My old college journalism advisor once told me, “Write what you know, stick to what’s close to your heart, and stop nailing my daughter.” Well there’s nothing closer to my heart than my gut, and my gut and I know beer. Thankfully, the rest of North America loves beer, too, which is why America’s most popular alcoholic beverage is popping up all over the news this week.
For starters, a recent Gallup Poll shows that beer is the preferred alcoholic beverage of choice for more than 41 percent of Americans. Better luck next year, grain alcohol! In fact, with the lone exception of 2005, beer has regularly been wine and alcohol’s drunken stepfather, beating them all year after year. That lone year? Wine barely topped beer. I blame a spike in Netflix rentals for Sideways. But the real reason for red, white and boozehounds to be excited is that the percentage of drinkers in the U.S. is an at all-time high. Approximately 67 percent of adult Americans are sipping on the proverbial syrup in 2010, which is the highest it has been in 25 years. In 1985, 66 percent of Americans were knocking back grandpa’s cough medicine.
Meanwhile, Canadians are struggling to keep up with their heavy-drinking older frat brothers to the south. Beer sales are down 1.8 percent from the last quarter throughout Canada, eh? But don’t tell the fine lumberjacks at Molson Coors, as their numbers have bucked (ed. – moosed?) the trend with profits up 2.2 percent. Thanks to a hotter-than-usual summer – and a pretty intense marketing campaign dating back to the Vancouver Olympics – Molson Coors is climbing the ladder with the hopes of jumping into the Top 4 beer distributors in America’s hat.
The motherland won’t be outdone, though. The United Kingdom played host to the 2010 Great British Beer Festival, which is good because it would have been pretty stupid if Laos hosted it. The five-day festival is currently going down at the Earls Court exhibition center in London. More than 60,000 ol’ chaps are packing in to get their guzzle on with 500 different types of British ales and 100 British ciders. If that’s not good enough for their goose and/or gander, there are also 350 beers from around the world available to quaff. Unless it’s Prince Harry, because I’m totally going to Ice him, brah.
- Get ready to have your minds blown. Brewers in the Pacific Northwest have invented a new beer that is both black and pale. Dubbing it Cascadian Dark Ale, the frosty brew has a citrus flavor to it that is impossible to duplicate by simply mixing two brands together. Unlike my latest drink – gin and Cuervo. (Washington Post)
- Alas, all is not well in the land of beer. The St. George RoadRunners baseball franchise of the Golden Baseball League has suspended operations due to lack of money. The reason for this travesty? Poor beer sales. Do your jobs, RoadRunner fans! (Deseret News)
- Recession? What recession? Japan’s Asahi Breweries have set aside more than $9.5 billion in funds to purchase other companies in the coming months. I’m sure the words “tentacles”, “school girls” and “sake” will be thrown around plenty. (Reuters)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- The first Gallup Poll took place in 1939. At that time, 58% of American adults were drinking booze. The nation’s lowest percentage came in 1958, when only 55% percent of adults were saucing. That means it’s pretty safe to say that between half and two-thirds of American adults are getting they drank on. (NY Daily News)
- Sam Adams rules the world of American craft beers, as the company nets $132,728,900 annually for its Seasonal, Boston Lager, Variety Pack and Light brands. But Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale is on top of the beer mountain, raking in $50,426,000. (The Perfect Happy Man)
- While Molson Coors is up 2.2% for the quarter in Canada, MillerCoors saw an increase of 28% in the second quarter this year. Bottoms up! (Beverage World)