Party like it’s 2003!  Beer sales were down in 2011, with the industry saying that U.S. shipments were at their lowest levels since 2003.

Nearly all of the major brewers such as Anheuser-Busch and Heineken USA experienced downturns and it doesn’t seem to be a purely American problem either.  Worldwide, beer shipments were down 2.9 million barrels, or 1.4 percent, from 2010.

The figures were published in the latest newsletter from trade publication Beer Marketer’s Insights.  The group posted on its blog:

“Big brewers need to regain drinking occasions taken by spirits over the last decade, especially among Millennials.  Consumers continue to face [a] plethora of new beverage choices.”

So how did your favorite brew fair?

  • MillerCoors consumption fell 3 percent to less than 60 million barrels.
  • Heineken USA’s shipments were down 3.9 percent
  • Diageo/Guinness USA was down 2.4 percent

It was not all doom and gloom.  Sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon were up 0.4 percent and brewer D.G. Yuengling & Son from Pottsville, Pa., saw a 16.9 increase.  Samuel Adams, who is owned by Boston Beer Co., saw an 8 percent increase.