The beer barometer and the reopening of America

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Microbrews are providing us with macro clues about the state of the U.S. economy — and how confident Americans actually feel about reopening amid the pandemic.

The big picture: The national trend shows that more watering holes are opening up, with 85% of locations open and pouring beer last weekend. And if the bars are open, it’s a good sign that those communities have opened up, too.

But the glass is half full: In open establishments, only 49% taps are open, compared to 96% last June.

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Americans are actually drinking less during the pandemic

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During the coronavirus pandemic, people are drinking less. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

While the masses are buying more booze from grocers and liquor stores to drink at home, that hasn’t been enough to fill the gaping hole created by declines in shipments to restaurants, bars and sporting venues that were closed to slow the virus. Global alcohol consumption isn’t expected to return to pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024, and the U.S. recovery will take even longer, according to researcher IWSR said.

Continue reading… “Americans are actually drinking less during the pandemic”