For Immediate Release Contact: Lori Levy
Beer Institute
Tel: (202) 737-2337

Beer Shipments in 1999 are Highest Level Ever Recorded
Shipments Increase While Alcohol Abuse Declines

(Washington, DC), March 9, 2000 - Forty-three states recorded increased beer shipments in 1999, making the last year of the 20th century the highest shipment level ever recorded, according to Beer Institute. The increase in shipments helped raise national consumption 1.7 percent in 1999, up from 1.6 percent in 1998.

Jeff Becker, president, Beer Institute, noted that while beer consumption is increasing, drunk driving fatalities, teenage drinking and teenage drunk driving fatalities continue to decrease. "No one is more concerned about problems caused by alcohol abuse, or is doing more to educate the public about responsible consumption than members of the beer industry. The increased consumption rates and decreased abuse rates are a great example of the effectiveness of these programs."

Nearly two-thirds of the states set all-time records for beer shipments in 1999, with 34 states registering increases of at least 1 percent in shipments last year. During that time, only three states recorded declines of at least 1 percent. Beer shipments measure brewers' shipments to wholesalers, and represent the best available proxy for beer consumption.

Per capita consumption for the United States in 1999 was estimated at 22.3 gallons per person, which was up from 22.1 gallons per person in 1998. Last year was the second straight year per capita consumption of beer increased.

Becker noted, "Throughout the nation, the producers and distributors of malt beverages are deeply involved in the communities in which they do business. Their long-standing commitment to reducing alcohol abuse is unparalleled." Becker added that while much remains to be done, recent studies show significant progress by the beer industry on safe and responsible alcohol consumption programs.