Beer sales down in Missouri but craft brewers post gains

2013-09-16T13:15:00Z 2014-08-15T18:12:47Z Beer sales down in Missouri but craft brewers post gainsBy Lisa Brown 314-340-8127

Less beer was sold in Missouri in the state’s most recent fiscal year, but several craft brewers continued to see growth.

Overall beer sales fell 1.3 percent to 134.08 million gallons through June 30, the end of Missouri’s fiscal year, as some consumers shifted to wine and spirits.

That’s down from 135.86 million gallons in 2012, according to new data from the state’s Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

It’s the fourth straight year of declining beer sales in Missouri.

There was no change in the top 10 beer rankings in the state from a year ago.

Anheuser-Busch remained the top seller of beer in the state, accounting for 62 percent of sales, the same percentage as last year. Nationally, A-B’s market share of beer sold to U.S. retailers is about 47 percent. In Missouri, A-B sold 83.7 million gallons of beer in fiscal 2013, down from 84.5 million in fiscal 2012. St. Louis-based A-B is the North American headquarters for A-B InBev.

Missouri sales for rival MillerCoors dropped to 31.8 million gallons, down from 33.3 million gallons in 2012.

Pabst Brewing Co., Crown Imports (which controls sales of Corona in the U.S.), and Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Co. were the next three largest beer sellers. Pabst and Crown both saw volume declines, but Boulevard grew its beer sales in the state.

Some growing craft brewers include St. Louis Brewery Inc., which sold 1.14 million gallons of Schlafly beer in Missouri this year versus 1 million gallons a year ago.

Other craft brewers that registered gains in 2013 versus 2012 include Urban Chestnut, which nearly doubled its sales volume to 110,081 gallons; O’Fallon Brewery; and the William K. Busch Brewing Co., maker of Kräftig lager.

“Craft brewers are encroaching on the big brewers’ territory, and that’s been happening for a long time,” said Hayden Schipp, an industry analyst with Santa Monica, Calif.-based market research firm IBISWorld.

“Consumers’ tastes are changing, and there are more options now than ever before.”

Lisa Brown is a business reporter at the Post-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @LisaBrownSTL and the Business section @postdispatchbiz.

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