Coors Light Dethrones Budweiser In Beer Sales Battle For No. 2 Spot

After a brewing battle, Coors Light is celebrating as they’ve passed up Budweiser in 2011 for the No. 2 selling beer in the country. Bud is the only full-calorie beer in the top five, so to lose ground to a lighter offering is kind of a big deal.

The Chicago Tribune cites data from market research firm Symphony IRI, adding that Budweiser has been on the decline for years. It had been sitting as second-best to Bud Light, which is the country’s top-selling beer.

Miller Lite and Natural Light are fourth and fifth, respectively, as of October 21, 2011. Coors Light’s parent company, MillerCoors, has been creeping up on Budweiser steadily, showing 18.3 million barrels in sales, and they’re already crowing about their victory.

“Dethroning the King is a great accomplishment so early in the history of MillerCoors,” a MillerCoors spokesman wrote in an email. “We will be appropriately celebrating this achievement with our employees and distributors who have worked so hard to deliver an impressive 7 consecutive years of growth on Coors Light and then getting back to work to deliver an 8th consecutive year of growth.”

Anheuser-Busch is staying mum for the moment on its 4.6 percent slide in sales to 17.7 million barrels. This also marks the first time since 1993 that the company hasn’t held the top two spots. Extra burn!

Coors Light surpasses Budweiser as No. 2 U.S. beer [Chicago Tribune]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    And mass market beers are, year-after-year, losing market share to the craft breweries. Like so many other Americans, I choose quality over price.

    Viva la local flavor!

    • Darrone says:

      Local my ass. The terminology has become so diluted it’s meaningless. Know your brewers people! Don’t think because they are local, they are local flavor. Two of my local “microbrews” get their “distinct local flavor” from flavoring packets.

      A lot of that lost market share is to brewers trading on the local/micro-brew name. Take Sam Adams, which would love for you believe they are some salt of the earth beer, made by regular guys who just love brewing. Sure, he brewed his first batch in his kitchen, but he already has his Harvard MBA, as did his major financier and business associate, and a major brand consulting firm working with them. That’s about as salt of the earth as Goldman Sachs.

      • trrwilson says:

        I’d have to look everything up, but I think a few years back, there was a major hops shortage. Sam Adams opened up their supply to small/micro brewers and sold to them at cost.

        He may not be “salt of the earth”, but he supports small brewers, which is a win in my book.

      • duffman13 says:

        That all may be true, but at least Sam Adams and most of their seasonal and other varieties are good.

        Can’t say the same about BudMilCoors

    • Ogroat says:

      While I’d agree with you for the most part, beer like Miller Lite has its place. I’ll get something tasty to drink at home, but if I’m bringing beer to a party I’ll pick up something cheap and unlikely to offend anybody’s palate.

    • tomok97 says:

      I live in St. Louis. Bud and Bud ARE local flavor.

  2. Costner says:

    Well in Bud’s defense this is due in part to severe weather and climate change which has resulted in people stocking up on Coor’s Light to use in place of tap water during a weather emergency or other disaster.

    • longdvsn says:

      Unfortunately, that would apply to four of the top five – so not the case here. The fall of Budweiser to Coors Light is more likely attributed to people preferring water over sewer-water.

      Yay to craft brews and homebrewing…I make my own beer at home!

      • Jawaka says:

        Actually I stopped purchasing Budweiser when they were sold off to Belgian InBev.

        • sponica says:

          they’re just not the same company since they got sold to the Belgians…the American owned A-B had a good reputation as an employer, the Belgian A-B doesn’t have as great a reputation

          I like Bud beers because they keep a fair number of people in my area employed due to a factory being located in my town…and when the bar has deals on Bud products (dollar drafts, etc) my brain goes into I can drink 4 buds or one Long Trail mode….

    • TheSkaAssassin - College Man says:

      *slow clap*

  3. tbax929 says:

    Well, 1 through 5 are out. I’m no beer snob, but I don’t like any of those beers.

  4. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    The king of horse piss is dead! Long live the king of horse piss!

  5. pop top says:

    I don’t understand the big appeal of light beers if you’re not dieting.

    • failurate says:

      They are session beers, you can drink them all day long without getting too lit up or full. For me, they are what I drink if I have a long day of beer ahead of me.
      Oh… and they are cheap. Dirt cheap.

      • Bsamm09 says:

        I agree. Try drinking 12 craft beers when you are at the beach all day. Not too appetizing.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          And any number of this coloured, slightly off-tasting water is somehow better?

          I’d rather just have one decent beer to last the entire day than >0 of this swill.

    • ARP says:

      They’re good beach, picnic, golf/sports, tailgating beers.

      I tend to buy the ones with a bit more flavor (Amstel light, Sam Adams light) or the mexican beers (tecate, modelo, etc.)

  6. RandomHookup says:

    Hmmmmm…. I came into this thread to say something, but I can’t remember now. Carry on.

  7. Copper says:

    I would just like to congratulate my father, who made all of this possible (by drinking every single can of Coors Light).

  8. FreeMarketFan says:

    5 Beers that are craptastic.

    If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll stop at Dogfish Head for some food and some 60 minute IPA

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      You take that back! I will not have you impugn the good name of Natty Light, one of the finest beers in all the land!

  9. Rocket says:

    They both still suck.

  10. Cat says:

    Best selling does not equal best.

  11. Rocket says:

    Man, now I want a glass of Magic Hat #9.

    • ARP says:

      New Galarus anything FTW. Also Bell’s puts out a pretty solid selection.

      Goose Island and Brooklyn brewery are OK, but are trending towards the more big brewery side of things.

  12. Tim says:

    Coors Light Dethrones Budweiser In Water Sales Battle For No. 2 Spot

    There, I fixed it.

  13. polishhillbilly says:

    The wife says coors is great for washing your hair

  14. Coffee says:

    Why do the top 5 beers remind me so much of politicians in Washington DC…I think the comments above pretty much explain it.

  15. Don't Bother says:

    I’m more of a hard cider person myself.

    Anyone else like Strongbow or Woodchuck??

  16. He says:

    Coors Light is like sex in a canoe.

  17. dush says:

    No real man drinks diet beer.

    • failurate says:

      It is funny, because that is pretty much how they sell light beer. The ads will tell you what a panzy any guy drinking light beer is… that is, any light beer other than the light beer they are trying to sell you.

  18. theFinn says:

    Apparently the marketing strategy of saying nothing about your beer other then that it’s cold works…who would have guessed..

  19. oldtaku says:

    Awwww, isn’t that cute? That baby wants his water.

  20. noahproblem1 says:

    So,does this give Coors Light a spot in Bud Bowl this year?

  21. HoJu says:

    This is because the Buffalo Wild Wings waitress gave me Coors Light when I asked for Corona Light, isn’t it?

  22. xredgambit says:

    I prefer coors light to any of the other beers on the list. I only buy it when in group drinking with my friends at a bar or something. But if I’m buying my own, I’ll buy something with flavor.

    Also if I was to make my own beer and used coors or something instead of water, would it add just a little more beer flavor to the beer?

  23. gman863 says:

    Since I’m not a beer snob, I’ll stick with Bud Light.

    If nothing else, a can of it gives me an extra chuckle when I think about their ads including Mr. Male Fur Coat Wearer and Mr. Edible Underwear Maker.

  24. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    Generic beer snob comment.

    I also don’t buy Pepsi, Coke or RC, I only buy cola made from the blood of Nile River-dwelling baby zebra mussels. They only sell it at one gas station in BFE.

  25. ironflange says:

    1. Weasel piss
    2. Weasel piss
    3. Weasel piss
    4. Weasel piss
    5. Weasel piss

  26. jack11058 says:

    If you like a lighter session beer and want something with some actual flavor and quality, go with a nice kolsch.

  27. Shinumo says:

    Best. Headline. Ever. They BOTH taste like #2.

  28. akronharry says:

    I miss Stroh’s Beer. I know it’s out there but not around me.
    ALso Genesee Cream ALe….ummmmm………….
    I have exquisite taste.

  29. Krazycalvin says:

    Gotta love that picture… Get em started early.

  30. bobomb says:

    I like Coors Light. I love, love, LOVE good beer, but for everyday stuff, Coors Light is pretty good. As far as that goes, I actually really like Miller High Life as well. I can drink Bud, but VERY much prefer not to.

    I’m as much a beer snob as the next guy, but come on, lighten up. Ha, see what I did there?

  31. duffman13 says:

    While I’ll admit that Bud Light is good for tailgating/beach/all-day drinking, If I have the choice it’s always a good craft brew or homebrew for me.

    Personal favorites right now are pretty much anything from Flying Dog or Heavy Seas.