Booze News: Wisconsin Beer Sales Down? You’re Kidding.

Beer sales in Wisconsin down? Seems… wrong.

Figures from the Department of Revenue show that beer tax collections dipped last year to $9.3 million. That’s down from $9.6 million in 2010 and $9.9 million in 2009.

But tax rates aside, beer sales in Wisconsin have been flattened by the recession, says Chris Thorne, vice president of communications for the Beer Institute in Washington, D.C., an industry group.

“Think of who has suffered most, the road builders, the construction guys,” he says. “These are the guys who drink what we call American premium. They’ve had to cut back on their beer budget and that is what I think you’re seeing with these tax numbers.”

Don’t panic, craft beer drinkers. No slowdown there.

Thorne adds that the growing popularity of fuller-flavored “craft beers” is also having an impact. Less craft beer is sold by volume than American-style beer, which equals less tax collected.

“Craft has grown its percentage, which has impacted the overall volume of sales,” he says.

Don’t blame me. I’m doing my part.