Two Thirds Of American Imported Beer Is Mexican

Posted: Feb 18, 2018

Americans love Mexican beer. In fact, over the past few years, Mexican beers have been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise struggling beer market. Even American craft brewers have jumped on the Mexican trend: Though making a truly Mexican beer in America is impossible thanks to geography, lots of brewers have been producing Mexican-style products. But though south-of-the-border beers are clearly popular, you may not have realized they were this popular: According to the Beer Institute, in 2017, just over two-thirds of all beer imported into the United States came from Mexico.

Overall, imported beers only make up about one-sixth of America’s beer market – so it’s not like Mexican beers are taking over the American market entirely.

Still, that means that about one out of every nine beers in the United States is produced in Mexico, which is pretty impressive. Meanwhile, the next top countries are only a drop in the bucket by comparison. The Netherlands, home to Heineken, which is now the world’s second largest brewer, sent nearly 145 million gallons to the US (compared to Mexico’s 712 million). Belgium was the next largest import at nearly 58 million gallons, followed by Canada (44 million), Germany (34 million) and Ireland (32 million). From there, the numbers significantly drop off: The United Kingdom, at number seven, only sent 7.6 million gallons across the pond.

One important caveat to keep in mind is that not all “imported” beers are actually produced abroad. Some reasonably strong performing “foreign” brands are actually made right here in the United States – including Beck’s, Foster’s and Kirin. Still, a list of America’s best-selling non-American brands shows that even those big names wouldn’t help tip the scales away from Mexico’s domination. In 2015, of the top ten best-selling imported beers, six were Mexican, including Corona at number one and Modelo Especial at number three. Keep the limes coming.

By Mike Pomranz
February 16, 2018

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