In February, the National Beer Wholesalers Association’s beer purchasers’ index showed an increase in total beer sales year over year. Segments like sub-premium beers — think Keystone and Pabst Blue Ribbon — as well as seltzers saw upticks. Meanwhile, the craft segment suffered the largest decline across the board.
“Craft beer on a whole we’ve seen an 8% decrease [in sales]. But we’ve seen actually a 7% increase in import and domestic, so a lot of price-conscious shoppers are out there,” said Jason Perkins, owner of Perk’s Beer and Beverage in Scarborough, Maine.
Since opening four years ago, Perkins has noticed that beer-only drinkers are more willing to broaden their horizons.
“Fifteen years ago, or even probably less than that, it’s if you’re a beer drinker, you’re a beer drinker,” Perkins said. “And that doesn’t really exist anymore. With the younger people coming through now, where it’s, you know, a typical night could be a beer, seltzer and a cocktail or a beer, seltzer and a glass of wine.”
To listen to Perkins’ story, click the audio player above.