1. People drink less beer than they used to
Here’s something for beer fans to say cheers to: The majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery. There are now nearly 3,200 breweries nationwide, up from 97 just 30 years ago.
Beer has long been the nation’s favorite alcoholic drink: 41% of Americans say they prefer beer, according to a recent Gallup poll, compared with 31% who favor wine and 23% who opt for liquor.
The surging number of breweries reflects a growing taste for smaller-batch, “craft” beers.
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“It’s harder to find people who say, ‘oh, I don’t like beer,’ anymore because there’s so many different flavors that there’s probably a beer for every legal-age drinking adult at this point,” says Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, a network of more than 2,300 U.S. breweries and 43,000 home-brewers.
Still, beer consumption is slipping. Overall sales for the $ 100 billion beer market were down 1.9% in terms of volume in 2013, the fourth decline in the past five years. Wine and liquor have been steadily winning over more drinkers since the 1990s.