Craft beers are more popular than ever, yet the most popular beers in America are dominating the beer war at the cash register. It doesn’t take a nerdy data scientist to observe the war for refrigerator shelf space at your local grocery store. And as an industry, beer is MASSIVE: Foodbeast notes that annual sales for beer over around $100 billion (!!!) in America, with only about 15% of that going towards the craft beer industry.
So what are the most popular brands, according to sales and math? According to this infograph of the most popular beers in America by VinePair‘s Joshua Malin, Bud Light reigns as King of the Beers, with its $5.9 billion in sales nearly two times its closest competitor, Coors Light, with $2.3 billion sales. VinePair puts it in perspective of just how HUGE Bud Light is by itself, independent of all the other Anheuser-Busch/InBev brands, including Bud Light Lime, Bud Light Platnium, and all those delicious Lime-Straw-A-Rita drinks:
“Bud Light’s U.S. sales alone would lodge it firmly within the Fortune 500.”
Damn. That’s a lot of $$$. A few more observations:
- The college Bro staple, Natty Light, is still a billion dollar beer and right behind everyone’s favorite laying-on-a-beach-and-pretending-to-be-Jimmy-Buffett beer of choice, Corona.
- Busch Light is amazing. As is Busch copper tops. Those camo cans (which Keystone and other bottom-shelf brands have replicated) rule, especially the blaze orange ones in the fall.
- I didn’t know they still made Bud Ice? Does anyone remember the last time they had a Bud Ice? I thought it was replaced by Bud Light Platinum. Guess I was wrong?
- I’m a little surprised Sam Adams doesn’t make this list. It’s so big and nationally-distributed that it barely counts in craft beer circles as a real a craft beer these days, even though it was leading the pack for industry change. It’s pretty ubiquitous, but fascinating to see that doesn’t translate to sales. Same for Sierra Nevada.
- I genuinely thought some more European/British beer brands would be on here: I thought Stella, Guinness, Becks, Amstel Light, or Newcastle would sell more than Modelo. In fact, I’m surprised to see Modelo on a “most popular” list yet Tecate — which I see everywhere — doesn’t make the sales numbers.
- Nice to see every Pennsylvanian’s favorite beer, Yuengling (“The oldest beer in America!”), crack the list. They’ve ramped up regional production and distribution like crazy over the last few years — especially in Florida, New England, and the South — so its nice to see that growth pay dividends.
Here’s the chart of most popular beers in America.
[H/T: Food Beast]