Beer has been boutiqued. People are discussing, for heaven’s sake, a beer’s bouquet. You need a little savvy just to down a few brewskies in this town these days. To keep our readers up to date, we bring you this up-to-the-spigot report:
In the three-and-a-half years since the introduction of locally owned Texas Select, the first serious contender for the nonalcoholic beer market since Prohibition, the nationwide market for nonalcoholic beers has grown from an estimated 3 million to 6 million cases sold annually. We teetotalers at D tried a variety of the nonalcoholic brews, and though none of them rates a ten, and none of them fooled us into thinking we were drinking the real McCoy, even in a blind taste test, the far and away next-best-to-real-beer was Kahber. It looks, tastes, and smells the most like the real thing. Kaliber is now available in many bars and in Dallas-area Kroger stores.
Good ol’ robust American beer, says Central Beverage’s Mark Monfrey, is doing a very healthy business in Lone Star land. The introduction of Pennsylvania’s stalwart brew, Rolling Rock, produced sales in its first week that exceeded forecasts for the first month.
Imports are big business in bars and restaurants despite the fact that there is apparently little brand loyalty among import buyers. Simon David has to employ a beer buyer to sort through some 100 imports stocked regularly. But many people buy once and never come back. There are few devoted fans for brands other than the big-name imports like Heineken, Beck’s, Molson (which has just introduced a light version), and Corona.