Top Growth Brands

IRI releases list of top 30 beer brand performers

The IRI Beer, Wine and Spirits Practice announced its “Top 30 Beer Brand Performers in 2006,” a revealing industry look at the 30 fastest growing beer brands across the beer market. IRI also unveiled its “Top 15 New Beer Brands in 2006,” a list of emerging new brand entries.

For the Top 30 Beer Brand Performers ranking, IRI analyzed volume growth, share of segment trends, everyday base pricing, and incremental sales growth in 2006 versus 2005 to determine the brands with the strongest performance in the beer industry.

“The outstanding group of beer brands in this year’s top 30 ranking is a great representation of the big trends in 2006,” said Bump Williams, general manager, IRI Beer, Wine and Spirits Practice. “Consumers are definitely willing to pay premium price for their favorite brands, with 21 of the top 30 performers being high-end brands that include 14 imports, 6 craft brands, and one malternative. Manufacturers are also meeting the ever-changing tastes of consumer demands with their new product innovations. The key now is getting the proper amount of shelf space and distribution in the right stores to support these power brands.”

Notables, such as Bud Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Coors Light are on the list, but the coveted No. 1 brand goes to import beer, Newcastle Brown Ale, brewed by Scottish and Newcastle Importers. Import beer brands have a very strong showing in the ranking this year with such brands as Modelo Especial, Stella Artois, Corona Light, Guinness Draught and Beck’s. Craft beers also remain popular with Samuel Adams Seasonal, New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Shiner Bock among the brands making the list. Of course, domestic brands will never go out of style. Busch Light, Natural Light, Yuengling Traditional Lager and Steel Reserve High Gravity Lager remain strong brands.

The Top 30 Beer Brand Performers ranking is designed to highlight the brands that experienced significant year-over-year growth across total U.S. supermarkets in 2006. In addition to looking at volume and dollar sales, IRI also examined pricing, share growth and incremental volume and dollar contribution.

IRI Top 30 Beer Brand Performers in 2006
Total U.S. Supermarkets

Rank Beer Brand
1 Newcastle Brown Ale
2 Modelo Especial
3 Samuel Adams Seasonal
4 Blue Moon Belgium White Ale
5 Stella Artois
6 Corona Light
7 Smirnoff Twisted V Variety Pack
8 Guinness Draught
9 Corona Extra
10 Pacifico
11 Red Stripe
12 Keystone Light
13 Dos Equis XX Special Lager
14 Negra Modelo
15 Busch Light
16 Yuengling Traditional Lager
17 New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale
18 Natural Light
19 Bud Light
20 Samuel Adams Boston Lager
21 Heineken
22 Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
23 Shiner Bock
24 Widmer Hefeweizen
25 Steel Reserve High Gravity Lager
26 Beck’s
27 Saint Pauli Girl
28 Pabst Blue Ribbon
29 Coors Light
30 Guinness Extra Stout

IRI Top 15 New Beer Brands in 2006
Total U.S. Supermarkets

Rank Beer Brand
1 Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Wave Runner
2 Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Sunset Surf

3 Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat
4 Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Matava Blue
5 Mike’s Hard Crisp Apple
6 Mike Arita
7 Sparks Plus
8 Zima XXX Hard Punch
9 Bacardi Silver Peach
10 Deschutes Inversion IPA
11 Budweiser Happy Holidays
12 Widmer Broken Halo
13 Smirnoff Twisted V Artic Berry
14 Mike’s Frozen Lemonade
15 Jack’s Pumpkin Spice


  1. lagunitas says

    … sort’a irritate you…? I’ve had a few of my own and a couple of yours already tonight so I ought’a be more careful… but the quasi-collegiate popularity contest that these rankings represent in their narrow sliver sampling of consumer preferences always misses the point while congratulating the status quo…. whatEver… Beer Speaks. Rankings Mumble.

    Cheers brothers…