Our man-on-the-beer-beat in St. Louis, Jeremiah McWilliams of Lager Heads reports on declining global beer sales/consumption. No surprise, right?
Of course, twenty years from now, it'll be interesting to learn what an economic historian has to say about production and use of barley, rice, hops, etc., versus the purchase of those reported by brewing companies.
Because we can assume that some of the crops will end up in homemade beer, sake, spirits, and so won't be shown in tallies gathered by industry analysts or reported to taxing authorities. (That's one way that government officials were able to measure the amount of illegal alcohol production during Prohibition: What got planted? What got sold? What got taxed?)