Draft Beer Consumption Increased On-Premise Over Memorial Day: BeerBoard

The number of kegs poured on-premise during the four-day Memorial Day holiday period was up 12% on a per location basis compared to 2023, with sales up 32%, according to BeerBoard.

That's despite less-than-desirable weather across most of the U.S. over 2024 Memorial Day weekend, on-premise performance data shows a promising increase in not only the amount of draft beer consumed, but also overall sales when compared to last year.

Domestics led overall draft volumes with light lagers commanding a 41% volume share. However, Craft contributed the most revenue at a 44% dollar share, with Blue Moon taking the top spot in most poured Craft on draft. Notable style gainers across the tap universe were craft IPAs led by New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze and Mexican Lagers like Estrella Jalisco and Modelo Negra

With all the talk of consumers cutting back, a return to affordable draft lagers was evident, with Busch Light increasing volume share 46% . Coors Banquet (+7%) and Pabst Blue Ribbon (+20%) also gained in volume share compared to 2023. 

There was some slight deviation in the volume performance of the top five draft brands over Memorial Day weekend 2024 when compared to 2023:

  1. Michelob Ultra held on as the top-poured tap, up 13.8% in volume and leading overall dollar sales in draft.
  2. Miller Lite moved up a spot to the second most-poured tap, but volumes were down slightly by -5%.
  3. Coors Light fell to the third place, with volumes dropping by -14.5%.
  4. Modelo Especial, the top-selling import, grew by 13.8% in volume and rose to the fourth spot overall. From a sales perspective, Modelo checked in as the #2-selling brand overall. 
  5. Bud Light dropped to fifth place with a -6% decline in volume.

Rounding out the top 10 most poured draft brands: Dos Equis, Blue Moon, Yuengling, Busch Light and Stella Artois.

On-premise sales of packaged products (bottles and cans) over the 2024 holiday period were led by Imports, with a 46% share in both volume and overall dollars. Lagers topped sales, increasing 45% in dollar share led by Corona Extra. Hard seltzers (both malt and spirit-based) showed a range of flavors across the top five selling brands: White Claw Black Cherry, High Noon Pineapple, Truly Wild Berry, White Claw Mango and Nutrl Watermelon.

White wine was 59% of all wine volume sold across BeerBoard tracked accounts, with Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay tied atop style share. The top five wines poured over the holiday weekend were: Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay, Josh Cabernet, La Marca Prosecco and Chloe Pinot Grigio.

Across spirits, Tito’s topped both volume and dollar sales, followed by Sauza. Unsurprisingly, tequila was the best performing category over Memorial Day weekend with margarita sales holding a 50% share of cocktails sold. Rounding out the top five spirits sold were Hennessy VS Cognac, Jack Daniel’s and Bacardi. Tiki cocktails were the second most popular style of cocktails sold, a nod to kicking off the summer fun.

Subscribe to Kane's Beverage News Daily

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson