Restaurant Beer Sales Improving

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July 23, 2010

Technomic, a company that tracks sales information in the on-premise market, had started the year with a 2010 estimate for alcohol sales declining 2.5 % in restaurants and bars. Technomic has revised that estimate to now expect 2010 to show an increase in alcohol sales by 1.1 %. That is good news for the many establishments that were hanging on during the recession. 

Beer is anticipated to grow 1.2 % in the on-premise and spirits 1.6 %. Wine is anticipated to show a further decline of 0.6 % this year. Other sources have reported that wine has a nice upside opportunity in the on-premise, but that has yet to manifest to the point where Technomic sees an increase. 

For beer sales to grow in the on-premise market at a time when overall U.S. beer sales volumes are down nearly 3 % is good news. Drummer Lester Jones, who also serves as Beer Institute’s Chief Economist, recently presented that draught beer sales were up 1.6 % January through May.  So the bottom line is that the on-premise market is claiming share back from the off-premise. This trend bodes well for craft brewers, as many craft brewers are strong in the on-premise market. This trend is one reason why many craft brewers are showing accelerated sales growth.

Thanks to Megan Metcalf of Wine and Spirits Daily for bringing this story to light. Most of this piece is an echo of her coverage.

I’ll see you at the bar over a beer soon.

–Paul Gatza