Friday, July 15, 2011

Winners and Losers

Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.  In life there are winners and losers.  Today's triumphant gladiator is tomorrow's disgraced pro-wrestler.  Such is life, and such is booze as well.  There are only so many drinkers in America, and while the number might increase gradually with demographics it is a slow churn.  So if there is a big shift somewhere in booze, it probably comes at the expense of somewhere else.

So it should be no surprise with the rise of craft beer, the vodka crazy, the whiskey renaissance, and the wine discovery that there are losers in this equation.

Beer shipments declined 2 percent in 2009 and 1 percent in 2010, the first consecutive-year slide since the mid-1990s. U.S. shipments are expected to be flat or slightly down in 2011. Another down year would mark the first three-year slide since the 1940s.

and not just Miller is suffering

No. 2 Budweiser has posted consecutive years of sales declines and accounted for 8.5 percent of sales for the year ended May 15. Coors Light made up 7.7 percent of sales over the same period. Beer Business Daily, however, reported last month that Coors Light is on the verge of surpassing Budweiser in sold cases this year to date.

So there are winners and there are losers.  In Wisconsin you can even find microbrew scumbag beer.


Yup, it's a micro.  Well sorta not really.  But still.

So if there are less reasons to drink big beer brands, what about the rise of these small batch whiskeys?  I present to you the most heritage of all reconstruction whiskeys:  George Washington rye.

Talk about a patriot and brewer.  Old GW was the nation's biggest distiller at one point.  But 90 bucks for unaged rye whiskey?  I can get Old Overholt (and put it in my old overcoat) for 15 bucks.  And it at least spent time in a barrel.  Besides, it isn't like they have GW's original still or anything.  Weird.  So if people spend their money on this, what booze are they not spending their money on now?

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