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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fun Facts

Doing a little deep research, and I came across a listing of beer sales in Oregon from 1988-2002. (Apparently, the OLCC no longer puts out the same kind of report, and I'm trying to figure out how to find more recent data.) Although 2002 isn't super-recent, this span does take us from the very early microbrew era past the late-90s shakeout and into the modern era.

Below is the percentage share of the market the "macro" breweries sold in each of three years. In 1988, there were seven of these, seven still in 1995, but only four in 2002. The remainder would be imports, micros, and insignificant regional macros (Rolling Rock, for example). Have a look.

Market Share of Macro Beer Producers in Oregon
1988 - 96.8%
1995 - 86.6%
2002 - 77.1%

An interesting paradox emerges from the numbers. Even while macro's share of the market declined, the collapse of Weinhard's and other local macros allowed the big three to increase their percentage of the market by wide margins. All of the big three sold about 300,000 more barrels in 2002 than 1988, and their market shares widened: Anheuser-Busch from 28% to 34%, Coors from 9.2% to 18.7%, and even Miller, which got killed over that same period nationally, went from 8.3% to 19.9%.

Yet that conceals larger truths. The three bigs appear to have plateaued in 2000--Bud had its 34%, Miller had 22%, and Coors had 19.5%. According to the Brewers Guild, total beer consumption in Oregon has declined, yet growth of craft breweries has been impressive. I'll try to track down more recent numbers. Still, these tell quite a tale.


  1. It's not sales, but production can be found at

  2. Not total production Ted, just beer produced AND sold in Oregon. I was scratching my head over that one for a minute.