America’s Fastest Growing Beer Styles

beer, America’s Fastest Growing Beer Styles

Nielsen, a global data and measurement company, recently released their annual rundown on the total sales of beer in the US based on a variety of factors, from brands, to parent companies, right down to styles. And here are America’s nine fastest growing styles…

9) Low Alcohol Beers

Not the fastest growing beer style (and we question that you can even call it a style in the traditional sense) Low alcohol beers picked up steam in the 52 weeks between July 2017 and 2018. And while sales only rose a modest 0.1%, Nielson data indicated that the category still makes up just 0.7% of the US’ total beer sales.

8) Flavored Beers

Again a dubious beer style per se, Nielson’s referencing fruit-flavored beers might cover a number of traditional styles from fruited IPAs to sours. Sales in this category ales of rose by 0.3% to $102.9 million last year, giving the category a 0.7% market share.

7) Lagers

Lagers, a style that until recently that Big Beer has largely owned remain a consumer favorite commanding a total market share around 79.2% according to recent data. Volumes rose by 1.2% within the past year, but sales are up just 0.6%, meaning lagers raked in around $11.7 billion over 2017.

beer, America’s Fastest Growing Beer Styles6) Porters

Brewers from Manchester, England’s Coldwater to California’s Sierra Nevada have released diverse takes on porters and even though its market share remained at 0.3%, sales rose by 0.7% in 2017.

5) Hybrids

According to Nielson, hybrid beers which span or combine styles commanded only 0.4% of the whole beer market in sales but it is growing, Sales were up 3.8% to $58.8 million, while units also rose by 0.4% over.

4) Stouts

Nielson differentiate stouts from porters by their use of roasted unmalted barley. And reports that stout sales rose by 4% in the US, with consumers spending $157.1 million on the dark brews. Market share rose by 0.04%, to make up 1.1% of all beer sold in the states.

3) IPAs

No surprise here. IPA sales rose 10.1% in the US over the last 12 months ending in July, bringing in around $895.8 million. IPAs now make up 6% of the overall market.

2) Other

Nielson defines “Other” beer styles as things like smoked beers, rye ales and wild beers which rely on wild yeast for fermentation. And notes that sales are up 11.2% in the states with consumers spending around $133.6 million on this extremely mixed and fairly nebulous category.

1) Sours

According to Nielson 2018, has been ‘the year of the sour.” Sales rose a mind-boggling 42.7% in the US, with beer lovers buying $14.8 million worth of sour ales between July 2017 and this summer.


Methodology: We have ranked these figures according to sales growth in the 52 weeks between July 2017 and 2018.

Bigtime H/T to The Drinks Business on for their help with this!

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