The Beer Institute recently reported that beer sales in restaurants throughout the United States were up 9 percent for the year 2011. Total restaurant beer sales for the year added up to $23.6 billion, which comprises close to 25 percent of the beer industry’s total take for the year.
Interestingly, the spike in restaurants far outperformed the beer industry as a whole, which saw an appreciation of just 2 percent for 2011. Beer sales in supermarkets, liquor stores and convenience stores saw even more modest growth of just 1 percent nationwide.
Still, the $23.6 billion in restaurant beer sales accounts for only about 3 to 4 percent of total restaurant revenues. Even so, restaurant profit margins on beer are very significant, which is leading more and more restaurants to get their liquor licenses and add beer to their beverage offerings. Eateries that have not traditionally sold beer are beginning to jump on board with the trend, which is expected to result in even greater increases in restaurant beer sales in 2012.