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Tough Times Boosting Budget Beers

Americans may love kicking back with beer, but times are tough. That's why an increasing number of beer drinkers are swapping their microbrews for what are called "subpremium" beers in the beverage industry.

Anheuser-Busch has reported that its brands Busch and Natural Light have seen upticks in sales. Other beers — from Miller High Life to Milwaukee's Best to Hamm's to Keystone — have also been attracting a larger percentage of consumers.

To the beer industry's dismay, the increase in subpremium beer sales is happening at the expense of its higher-end beers, such as Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft. Said one MillerCoors wholesaler: "I'm selling way more economy brands than I'm comfortable with . . . consumers are trading down."

Is this the case for you? Have you also been purchasing less costly beer options?


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