Here is a chart of the latest style trends broken out by the top six selling styles, based on seventeen-month’s worth of sales as of May 18, 2008, courtesy of DBBB, the Domestic Brewers Bottled Brands. They publish the book, “The Essential Reference of Domestic Brewers and Their Bottled Brands” and have a website, which offers monthly online updates of the book.
The chart is based on IRI Data showing sales of beer from January 2007 through May 18th of this year by beer style. IRI is short for Information Resources, Inc., a company that surveys sales of beer (and everything else) from over 15,000 retailers (mostly groceries) in the U.S. As a result, their data is invariably skewed toward the national and regional brands since it doesn’t take into account direct sales and sales from small mom & pop stores. I used to get IRI data from almost every medium to large brewer who called on me when I was the beer buyer for BevMo. And while it’s not as accurate for craft beer in specific, it does give you a general idea of certain trends, especially when you follow it over a period of time.