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Beer shipments from Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors and Heineken slip

January 16, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Beer shipments were down in 2011, according to Beer Marketer's Insights. Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors and Heineken USA all slumped.
Beer shipments were down in 2011, according to Beer Marketer's Insights.… (Toby Talbot / Associated…)

Beer had a lackluster year in 2011, with the latest estimates showing U.S. shipments at their lowest levels since 2003 as major manufacturers such as Anheuser-Busch and Heineken USA took tumbles.

Worldwide, suds shipments were down 2.9 million barrels, or 1.4%, from 2010, according to the latest newsletter from Beer Marketer’s Insights.

Top-ranked Anheuser-Busch, which owns Budweiser, Michelob, Beck’s and more, saw shipments slip 2.9 million barrels – or 2.9% -- to 98,800 barrels. That’s the first time the compnay has shipped less than 100 million barrels in a decade. MillerCoors saw a 3% shipment slip to less than 60 million barrels.

Both companies also lost market share in 2011, with Anheuser down 0.7 percentage points to 47% and MillerCoors down four tenths of a percentage point to 28.4%.

Heineken USA’s shipments stumbled 3.9% while Diageo/Guinness USA dropped 2.4%.

But several companies had banner years. Pabst’s shipments were up 0.4% in the company’s first boost since it purchased Stroh in 1999 and then proceeded to lose nearly 60% of its volume.

Smaller manufacturers such as Yuengling of Pottsville, Pa. were up 16.9%. Samuel Adams owner Boston Beer Co. scored an 8% increase.

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