In Legal Marijuana States, Consumers Are Turning to Buds Over Beer
That’s an interesting development, though not totally unexpected (and why the alcohol industry spent a fair amount of money fighting legalization initiatives). While that affects the brewers and spirit manufactures and winemakers, it also affects the neighborhood bar or pub, which is a nice hangout for many, a social meeting place. Those places can’t afford to stay open unless they’re selling something. I suppose you could reform them as neighborhood membership clubs—a pleasant place to go for which you pay an annual subscription. But if people are not drinking in those places, I doubt they can survive.
Philip Smith reports in Drug War Chronicles:
A new industry study says access to legal marijuana is having a negative impact on beer sales. That’s bad news for the brewing industry, but good news from a public health perspective.
According to the industry site Brewbound, the research firm Cowen & Company analyzed the beer industries in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — three states that have recreational pot shops — and found that their beer markets have “collectively underperformed” in the past two years.
The “magnitude of the underperformance has increased notably” as beer volumes have dropped more than 2% year-to-date in the trio of pot states, with big mainstream brewers like MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev seeing the biggest declines, with volumes down 4.4%. Craft beers have done a little better, but are down, too, seeing a 2.2% drop. . .
Continue reading. And do keep reading. It gets even more interesting.
I’m curious to know whether beer sales are in decline across the board, or whether the drop hits hardest those cheap, bad beers purchased (I would say) primarily for their alcohol content and not taste. Thus well-made craft beers—the kind whose greater price is justified by better taste—would probably decline less. Just curious.