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Beer, it’s no longer for dinner.

Beer sale have dropped 14 percent! That is something that I did not know was possible. Everyone knows that us Americans like our alcohol, and beer is the best kind (not that I would know). But it is a drop that is four times greater than the overall fall in consumer spending. According to Bloomberg.com, “Take-out sales of alcoholic beverages tumbled 9.3 percent in the fourth quarter, the steepest drop [in] the U.S. [in half a century]”. the record before was in 1991 with a 3.7 percent drop just as the U.S. was finding it’s way out of a recession.

So, why the drop in beer sales? The answer lies in the fact that we just entered what is probably the second worse recession in seventy years. People don’t want to spend the money anymore. Who would want to with “Retail prices for beer at supermarkets and other stores up 3% in May from a year earlier” (USA Today)? The sales of jewelry and watches are also down 3.5 percent. So it seems that product that are not a necessity to us, we wont waste our money to buy. Those twenty-five dollars for a case of beer could buy a meal or two, or get you a half a tank of gas, the amount of gas you use to get to the liquor store or to the movie theater seeing as how their sales have actually seen a 10.9 increase in revenue.

But, now we have a new question. If Americans are not spending their money on frivolous products, why is the movie industry seeing an increase? FiveThirtyEight.com says that “You don't feel guilty after purchasing a movie ticket; you feel kind of wholesome”. Beer has always had an ethical and moral issue with many people and religion. It is one of our many guilty pleasures that we have. So we feel even more guilty that we spent our well earned (or not) money on something that may not be so moral and “wholesome”.

Personally, I think that it also has to do with the problematic celebrities that are always in the spot light, drunk off their butts and always high off of some unknown substance, nobody want to be like that and made into a fool. So they just stay away from those products. I mean, who really wants to be like Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears? Not me.

So beer is dropping in sales, so what! To me, that means less people making complete fools of themselves out in public, being admitted to the


The points you stated make sense to a point. The beer sales have dropped fourteen percent because people are not able to afford it anymore so they are giving it up. They would rather use it on gas or another meal which is a very smart choice. However, the part that I do not agree with in your statement is that people are buying less beer to not make a fool of themselves. That could be part of the problem but I doubt it has that great of an effect. Celebrities will not make people stop drinking. The high price of alcohol and beer is causing people to substitute for lower cost alternatives.

I think that after the economy is fixed and the times are better than what they are today, beer sales will be back to normal. It is just so low today because people cannot afford it anymore. Buying beer does not mean that people are just going to make fools either. Most people have self control and know what their limits are the people that make fools are the people that do not know the limitations. That is also what you have to take into consideration. But all I would say about the beer sales is all we can do is wait and see and eventually the sales will go back up.

America is in a recession and probably the second worst in the past 70 years of American history. Every American is thinking twice when they buy non-necessity products like beer from the grocery store. There are parts of your positional paper that I agree and disagree. I agree that the reason why alcohol sales has dropped 9.3 percent in the fourth quarter is due to the fact that many Americans are spending less on items that they don’t need, but at the same time the movie industry is increasing. It’s because of the power of advertising and the demand for entertainment. When you watch television, what do you see more for commercials? New movie previews for the upcoming weekend or beer commercials. Obviously new movie previews are constantly seen every day of the week. Also we all love entertainments, many people pay top dollars for entertainments like basketball, football, operas, etc. If people are willing to pay 150 dollars to watch a Wolves basketball game from the lower deck of the Target Center, 10 dollars for a movie ticket is like a pocket of change to those people. When you really think about it, there are a variety of movies that are made for all ages, beer is simply for the age of twenty-one and older to buy. That is why movie industries are seeing in increase. You also said “Personally, I think that it also has to do with the problematic celebrities that are always in the spot light, drunk off their butts and always high off of some unknown substance, nobody want to be like that and made into a fool.” I personally don’t think so; Most beer drinkers are guys, most guys do not watch TMZ and say “oh no, I don’t want to look like Lindsey Lohan.” I believe that many people simply decided to not purchase alcohol as much as they use to is because people find no entertainment in beer. In this bad economy Americans would rather spend their money on something that will make them happy during the recession.

I too was amazed to see the unprecedented drop in beer sales in America. I agree that Americans like their beer. I know that my friends and I do. I am amazed because just about every Thursday through Saturday I see the liquor stores continually doing business. It was really interesting to me though, according to the article written by Nate Silver, beer was on something of a hot streak prior to the fourth quarter. Now for something to be on the rise and then have the biggest drop in sales history seems inconceivable.
You have mad some good points to explain this phenomenon, but I think you missed a few. In the article he mentions a reversion to the mean, which is plausible, but a bit unexplainable considering it dropped more than it has ever before. There is also the possibility that Americans are switching their national beer for more expensive microbrew owned by foreign-based multinational conglomerates. This seems unreasonable considering the state of the economy but it is possible.
This all seems very weird because according to Wikipedia, beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the United States and it accounts for about 85% of all American alcoholic beverage consumption. It just seems strange that wine and liquor sales have not dropped all that significantly when beer is just plummeting. I do not think people are always making fools of themselves and I do not believe that people feel guilty when they buy beer, especially if they are trying to do their part to stimulate the economy. I think there must be some underlying cause to the drop in beer sales rather than the poor state of the economy, historically people drink more during hard times.

I agree with you how surprising it is knowing that alcoholic sales have dropped 14 percent. I am surprised that beer prices have dropped as much as you are. Alcohol is attracting young youth making them think how they are going to be able to steal their parents alcohol; and young adults that drink every weekend as a social fun thing to do. Having advertisements as movies and commercials having peoples favorite celebrities like P. Diddy drinking his own brand of alcoholic beverage, having television shows such as MTV’s College Life showing the lives of college kids partying and drinking, and even downloading games on your iPod and iphones throwing a ball into cups across the table..beer pong! The way our society is today with young teenagers being able to get alcohol easily and young adults having get together’s all the time; I am shocked that beer sales have dropped as much as you are.
But a thing that I did not so surely agree with which is people not drinking to not make complete fools of themselves is not so true. I think people making fools of themselves is the least thing people worry about because people drink to get stupid and look like fools tripping over the place, being ignorant, and try to hook up with complete strangers. If not, people know their limits but it makes them feel good enough to do something adventurous or open up socially if they do. If we can take a look at a lot of people that recently went to high school with or even people in college that drink a lot that you know, those people are like Lindsey Lohan and Brittney Spears, just without the paparazzi chasing them and without being a celebrity. There are a lot of people that we know that are as bad or even worse than the state those celebrities are in, just not as popular.