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The year in beer: Trends and top brands for 2019

Cortney Moore

As the final year of the decade comes to a close, New Year’s Eve festivities are sure to be underway with a few six packs in fridges and coolers across the country.

If you’re hosting New Year’s this year, you might want to know which trends and brands are doing well before you purchase beer for your guests. BeerBoard, an industry data and insights platform that manages over $1 billion in retail draft beer sales from 45,000 products, combed through the noise to create its “2019 Year in Beer” report.

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“Like any market, we analyze rises and falls in beer and its different categories, styles and brands," BeerBoard’s founder and CEO Mark Young told FOX Business. "Performance is driven by consumer preference, which now is trending back toward lighter and perceptibly ‘healthier’ options.”

What trended?

In the alcoholic beverage industry, BeerBoard reports that overall pour volume jumped 7.1 percent in 2019.

When it comes down to beer categories, domestic beers have been rebounding after a slump in 2017 that went below 50 percent – which was a first since BeerBoard started its calculations. By 2018, domestic beer rose to 51.5 percent.

At the end of 2019, BeerBoard estimates that demand for domestic beer has risen to 53.1 percent.

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Craft beer, on the other hand, went down “a nominal one percent” for the year, according to BeerBoard, reaching 32.7 percent overall. Imported beer decreased by 0.5 percent, coming in at 14.2 percent.

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Where beer performed well?

Despite reports that say the beer industry is struggling, BeerBoard found that demand for beer declined in the Northeast, decreasing 3.4 percent from last year. Every other region in the U.S. saw an increase in demand.

The two regions that experienced the largest influx of demand for the beverage were the Plains and California, which increased 18.3 and 15 percent, respectively. The Great Lakes region experienced the most modest increase out of the bunch at 2.8 percent.

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Which brands did well?

BeerBoard ranks top-performing brands based on pour data from its clients. This year rounding out the top five is Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra and Blue Moon.

Out of the top five, Michelob Ultra and Coors Light showed the greatest growth at 12.8 and 10.8 percent. Bud Light snagged first place while Miller Light placed second on the list.

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Dos Equis, Modelo Especiál, Budweiser, Lagunitas IPA and Stella Artois also made the cut within the list of top 10 beers.

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