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553: Potent Potables

A Thousand Things to Talk About
553: Potent Potables
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Beer or cider?


Full episode script

In January of 2018, Grand View Research reported that the beer and cider market in the United States was growing, with a compounded annual growth rate over 11%. That same report found that, quote:

The beer and cider market in the U.S. contributed around 67.8 billion to the country’s economy and has provided over 456,000 full-time jobs

That growth, however, isn’t equal, and is growing at very different rates.

According to the Brewers Association, Overall U.S. beer volume sales were down 1% in 2017, whereas craft brewer sales continued to grow at a rate of 5% by volume, reaching 12.7% of the U.S. beer market by volume.

Cider, alternatively, is growing at practically a breakneck speed. According to The Cyder Market, who collates statistics on the cider industry:

As of January 2018, the Cyder Market survey includes 820 makers of cider/cyder and perry located in 48 USA States and the District of Columbia. This total is an over 250% increase in cider makers and 36% increase in cider producing States since their initial 2014 Survey.

As Forbes reported in 2018, quote:

Four percent of legal drinkers cite cider as their boozy beverage of choice, compared to 1% a decade ago. Cider controls .4% of the alcoholic beverage category – a small but mighty number when you consider that it started at .06% a decade-and-a-half ago.

So why is cider growing so quickly, even faster than craft beer by some standards? One of the things that multiple sources pointed out, and that Five Thirty Eight highlighted, was:

Although exact figures aren’t easy to come by, industry watchers estimate that cider drinking runs about 50-50 between men and women, compared to something closer to a 70-30 ratio for beer.

Of course, maybe it’s neither beer nor cider. Flavored malt beverages — things like alcoholic lemonade or pre-mixed drinks that can be purchased in the same aisle as beer and cider.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.