- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 3, 2014

Beer sales are down, and manufacturers say the Fourth of July holiday could be make-or-break time for pulling out of the slump.

“We are confident the U.S. economy is improving,” Molson Coors chief executive Peter Swinburn told the Wall Street Journal. “As that economy improves, we do believe consumers will come back to beer.”

The industry already relies on the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day for the bulk of its revenue, accounting for approximately one-third of its annual sales total in those few weeks. But so far, numbers are down.

The Wall Street Journal said that domestic beer shipments have actually dropped by .1 percent between January and May — and that’s after the Beer Institute found the industry has been plagued by years-long dips in brew sales.

The Beer Institute reported that the sales decline would have been worse if Anheuser-Busch InBev, the company responsible for selling about 50 percent of beer in the United States, didn’t rush through shipments at the beginning of the year, bolstering sales figures, according to Newsmax.

Now beer makers have kicked into high gear with marketing, hoping the upcoming holiday will bring plenty of thirsty buyers, Newsmax reported.

One new draw: A beer product that combines with fruity flavors.

“As consumer preferences evolve, the beer market landscape is changing,” and buyers are snagging up more craft-type brews with specialty flavors, Eric Schmidt, the director of research at Technomic, told USA Today.

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