Friday, May 16, 2008

Oh, the Beer-manity!!

In such times as these with $4.00 a gallon gas, a rocky economy, and endangered polar bears, this only adds to the grim outlook for our country. Yesterday, the CEO of Miller Brewing announced that "cash strapped drinkers" are switching to economy brands such as Miller High Life and Milwaukee's Best. According to Mr. Long, this trend that started in January is due to the decrease in disposable income of consumers.

Sales for both Miller Lite and Miller High Life were up 1.1% while MGD was down 10.6%. Oh, and 4th quarter revenue was up 15% for SABMiller. The article didn't address their "craft beer" lines, though, which I found odd. One would think that there would have been a steep decrease in the sales of these brands if Mr. Long were correct, but the best they could come up with was MGD as a "premium brand"?

So what is my take on all of this? Frankly, an increase of 1% for two of SABMiller's "flagship" beers is hardly reasoning enough, in my opinion, to declare that all beer drinkers are trending towards drinking more cheaply. Hell, that can be atributed to people switching from Coors Light and Bud Light becasue Miller Lite/High Life actually have a semblance of taste.

There's nothing like taking a small cross-section of the industry and turning it into an economic indicator, especially when said industry is brewing. This is what happened on Morning Express with Robin Meade. Nothing like waking up to hear that more and more swill is being purchased. Such a grim outlook for our country, well at least in taste of beer.

Good thing Pints for Pets is tomorrow. Hopefully the crowd's large enough to instill in me a new sense that humanity actually enjoys delicous craft beer . . . oh, who cares, at least we'll get to enjoy it.



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