Beer Beer Beer

Pour One Out for Light Beer: Miller Lite and Co. Losing Ground to Craft Beer

Bud, Coors, and Miller lovers, take note: Your barley water may be in trouble. According to a piece posted today on, the light-beer industry is suffering in an age of craft beer, designer cocktails, and wine.

Bloomberg reporter Duane D. Stanford cites "cabernet-loving baby boomers" and "millennials weaned on exotic cocktails" (as well as craft beers "invading" store shelves) among the reasons the $50 billion light-beer industry is wavering. High unemployment among the product's target clientele also is cited as a contributing factor.

Even in South Florida -- a region that has great affection for booze, like light beer, that's easy to drink in the sun and surf -- craft beer is starting to earn its stripes. Last week, Clean Plate Charlie heard from two South Florida craft beer experts/enthusiasts who attested to the growing popularity of nonlight craft beers that are gaining traction in our state. Holy Mackerel brewer/founder Bobby Gordash said "craft beer is booming right now," while John Linn of Brown Distributing cited Brown's growth rate of 84 percent in the craft beer sector in 2011.

Bloomberg says we can expect to see light-beer manufacturers attempt to rebrand their products in coming months to tap into the "sociability" aspect of drinking instead of emphasizing the light carbo load for the watery brews.

Speaking of beer and sociability, the New Times' Beerfest on Saturday is a good place to debate the merits of craft versus light beer: Both will be available to sample at the hops-heavy event.

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Tricia Woolfenden