NPR logo There's Always Beer

There's Always Beer

One thing consumers worldwide can agree on: beer. kern.justin hide caption

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As the companies that we once believed to be bedrocks of the American economy go into bankruptcy, there's an industry that's actually seeing continued growth in this economy: beer. Since the recession hit, Americans are drinking more of it.

Reuters reports that MillerCoors, the second-largest brewer in the U.S., predicts the American beer market will continue to grow, albeit by a smaller amount than in previous years. The brewer expects to see a 0.6 percent growth in 2009-2012, down slightly from the 0.9 percent growth the industry saw in 2004-2008.

This comes as a new report says beer sales are up 5.6 percent this year, especially among craft beers and discount brews.

That pattern is looking pretty consistent around the world. Canadians have seen one of their worst quarters ever, but consoled themselves with beer and hockey. British pubs saw a 2.8 percent increase in beer sales in April. And an Australian brewer has launched a buck-a-sip beer that they expect to sell out of within a week.

Bucking the trend, however, is Romania, where beer sales are down 12.3 percent this quarter.

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