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Bloomberg reports on how “Americans, drunk with options, are turning away from beer at an alarming rate. U.S. alcohol consumption dropped in 2018, the third straight year of declines. The main culprit is the beer slump, with consumption of the classic American adult beverage down 2.8 percent since 2015. That’s despite continued growth for craft beer, which saw consumption jump nearly 15 percent in the same period, according to data from IWSR, which studies global alcohol trends.”

The story goes on: “Beer has a lot going against it for today’s consumer, especially carbs and calories. The industry has struggled for years to attract female customers, and while a cold beer is still the drink of choice at a baseball game, there are a lot of alternatives these days for discerning drinkers. It’s a similar story to what’s been happening elsewhere in the grocery store: classic brands that dominated shelves for decades—think Kraft Heinz—have been losing sales to upstarts as options proliferate.”

The story cites two problems facing the beer business:

• “While hangovers have never been popular, there’s a growing sense that Millennials and the Gen Z consumers who come after them have less of a tolerance for feeling terrible the next day. It’s hard to include getting drunk in an active lifestyle: Work starts earlier, and on the weekends, living life on social media means getting out of bed to go hiking or running or rock climbing in the hopes of grabbing a perfect picture for Instagram.”

• “As cannabis legalization spreads across the U.S., pot is viewed by many modern consumers as healthier than alcohol, particularly among younger cohorts. So far, the alcohol industry has insisted that weed isn’t a threat, but beer may not be as immune as wine or whiskey.”
KC's View:
There’s also the fact that so many of the young people I know like to drink Tito’s and sodas, with a slice of lime … which seems to have turned into the drink of choice for an entire generation. (And old guys like me like it, too … I must confess that I’ve cut way back on my beer consumption, preferring wine or Tito’s, and only indulging in a good craft/local beer on rare occasions.)