4 Beers That Americans Apparently No Longer Want To Drink

Walk into a lot of bars in this country and there’s a decent chance you’ll see the taps that once belonged to big brands increasingly being taken over by smaller operations (even if some of those “craft” brands also happen to be owned by one of the mega-brewers). This shift, along with a general decrease in beer sales, have cut some brands’ orders by more than half in just the last few years.

The folks at 24/7 Wall St took a look at sales numbers from Beer Marketer’s Insights for 2007 through 2012 and came up with a list of beers that have taken it on the chin in the last half-decade.

The hardest-hit of the bunch is Michelob Light. While Bud Light and Miller Lite have done relatively well in recent years, and Michelob’s mid-calorie Ultra is seeing improved sales numbers, Michelob Light beer has seen orders drop nearly 70%, from more than 1 million barrels in 2007 to around 350,000 in 2012. Beer Marketer’s Insight dubs it a “sinking brand” on a “sinking ship.”

Michelob Ultra may be a modest mid-calorie success, but Budweiser Select… not so much. Sales of the beer, which is only about eight years old, declined 61.5% between 2007 and 2012. That said, the company is still selling 650,000 barrels a year of the stuff, 300,000 more than Michelob Light. Though given the downward trend, Bud Select can’t be long for this world.

For those of us who somehow made it through college barely tolerating Milwaukee’s Best, the rebranding of the beer as Milwaukee’s Best Premium wasn’t exactly tempting. And the sales figures demonstrate that lack of interest, with only 650,000 barrels of the beer being moved in 2012, around 950,000 fewer barrels than the company sold in 2007. The brand is outsold by its own Milwaukee’s Best Light, which moved 1.1 million barrels last year (though that number is down about 40% in recent years).

Miller Genuine Draft is still selling nearly 1.4 million barrels a year, which wouldn’t seem like a bad thing until you realize that the brand was selling more than 3 million barrels a year only a few years ago. So while it’s the best-selling of the bottom four on the list, one has to wonder how much longer MillerCoors will let the brand linger.

You can check out the full list of nine flagging beer brands at 24/7 Wall St.

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  1. indianajoel says:

    I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, its definitely not one of those… Blech…

  2. Thorzdad2 says:

    Talk about a list of junk. None of those come close to even qualifying as “beer” as I understand the term. Good riddance.

  3. CzarChasm says:

    I’m a little surprised they sell as much as they do. Then I go into places like the American Legion and notice it’s about all the geezers drink. No wonder sales are declining, their sales base is dropping like flies.

  4. Mapache says:

    The only reason some of those beers are around is because they sell like .50 pitchers in someplaces. I heard overseas Budweiser is actually good (I still can’t believe it)

    • PhillyDom says:

      That’s because the European Union beer, Budweiser Budvar, is brewed by a different company, Budweiser Budvar Brewery in the Czech Republic.

      • CzarChasm says:

        While technically correct, that’s not entirely true. Budwiser Budvar and Budwiser by Anheuser-Busch are not at all affiliated. Anheuser-Busch still sells beer in the EU, i’m not sure where it’s brewed, but it tastes pretty much the same to me.

  5. MissPurdy says:

    All of these beers stink but in a pinch I prefer Mich Light to Mich Ultra but you can never find it anymore. Mich Ultra is just swamp water in disguise while Mich Light doesn’t have that stanky Budweiser flavor. Budweiser is made from rice and I’ve got to believe that Ultra is as well because it’s tastes like a watered down version of it. The Michelob line at least uses barley and has a faint taste of hops.

    I’ll stick with Guinness if I’m looking for a lower calorie beer.