Makers of Beer, Wine and Spirits Report Growth in Sales in 2014

Liquor StoreMakers of beer, wine and spirits reported a growth in sales last year, USA Today reports.

Overall sales of liquor increased 4 percent, to $23.1 billion.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. reported this week that sales of hard liquor were particularly strong.

Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey volume rose 7.4 percent, to more than 19 million cases. Sales of Irish whiskey grew 9.1 percent, while sales of single malt Scotch rose 6.4 percent. Sales of tequila and vodka also rose, but at a slower rate.

Beer sales inched up just under 1 percent last year, to 209.2 million 31-gallon barrels, the article notes. Wine sales increased to 321.1 million cases last year, from 312.5 million in 2013.

The Council estimates that overall retail sales of distilled spirits in the United States is nearly $70 billion.

Distilled Spirits Council President and CEO Peter H. Cressy noted in a news release that underage drinking and binge drinking hit record lows in 2014. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased 2.5 percent from 2012 to 2013, he said.

Cressy said his group will continue to push for Sunday alcohol sales in Indiana, Minnesota and Texas and will be "defending the industry from taxes at the state and local levels."



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