A Look Back at Style and Brand Performance

2021 Year in Beer

As the turned the calendar to a new year, we take a look back at on-premise draft performance with our annual report, the 2021 Year in Beer.

The industry leader in technology and Automated Intelligence company, BeerBoard manages over $1 billion in bar sales. This generates incredible amounts of data and insights to style and brand trends within the industry.

Any associated beer data referenced in our Year in Beer report is based on pour volumes generated from BeerBoard clients. The sample set is same-stores, year-over-year (2021 v 2020).

We look back fondly on a year that saw the return of the on-premise and raise a pint to a healthy and prosperous 2022 for all.


The BeerBoard Team

2021 Year in Beer by BeerBoard

Industry Trends

Overall Volume Up
Overall pour volume was up a strong 36.6% in 2021.

Category Trends
Coming off a sluggish 2020 for the industry, 2021 saw some interesting category developments. Domestics, still the leader among category share at 50.1%, was down -3.5% in share percentage.  Craft (34.7% share) was relatively flat, picking up just 0.6% in share points. Imports were a big gainer, climbing +2.9% to 15.2% overall.

2021 Region Performance
as compared to 2020

Northeast = +39.7%
Mid South = +41.8%
Southeast = +34.5%
Great Lakes = +42.2%
Plains = +27.4%
South Central = +29.7%
West = +41.5%
California = +54.5%
2021 Top 10 Brands (by Volume)



% Change



Bud Light



Michelob Ultra



Miller Lite



Coors Light



Blue Moon



Modelo Especiál




Dos Equis Lager Especiál




Yuengling Traditional Lager




Stella Artois







Style Perfomance

Top 5 Styles for 2021:
#1 Light Lager
#2 Lager
#3 IPA
#4 Belgian Wit / White Ale
#5 European Ales

When breaking down Styles, some interesting trends were revealed:

  • Light Lager is trending upward. After seeing its share stripped away, little by little in past few years, the #1-ranked style grew by 24.6% this year.
  • Lagers, the #2-ranked style, was up 40.4% overall, strengthened by strong performances from the Mexican-style lagers.
  • IPAs continue to perform and were +41.1% in 2021. 
  • Belgian Wit/White Ales took hold of the #4 position in 2019 and has held firm ever since. It was +33% in volume in 2021.
  • European Ales realized the largest volume growth among top styles in 2021. For the year, it was +287.3%.
Light Lager

It is now a three-year climb back for Light Lager and with a massive 24.6% spike in 2021. It is now pulling 50.2% of the pour volume across the country.

    • The top three brands within the style remain unchanged with #1 Bud Light, #2 Michelob Ultra and #3 Miller Lite.
    • Michelob Ultra had another nice year, growing +45.7%. Bud Light was +14.8% for the year, while Miller Lite saw a +22.1% jump.


Lagers continue to hold the #2 position for style rankings. In 2021, it claimed an 18.7% share.

  • Modelo Especial continues to be a rocket ship, both in the category and overall.  another banner year. The brand was +63.4% for the year and is the #6 brand overall. 
  • Dos Equis is the #2 Lager and #7 brand overall. It has made a nice return and realized 42.9% growth in 2021.
  • Yuengling was +46.2% for the year. It is now the #3 Lager and the #8 brand overall.


IPA continues to hold firm as the #3 style overall and was +41.1% for 2021. Still, the top brands continue to slide down the list in the overall makeup of top brands

  • Lagunitas IPA continues to be the flagship of IPA. The brand was +22.1% for the year and now checks in as the #14 brand overall.
  • Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing IPA remains the #2 brand within the style, ascending to the position in 2020, and fell back two positions to #21 overall. It was +34.6% for the year.
  • Bells Two Hearted had a strong year as well, climbing to the #3 IPA position after being +52.2% in 2021. It checks in as the #33 brand overall.
About BeerBoard


About BeerBoard
BeerBoard is the leading technology and Automated Intelligence company enabling the food & beverage industry to make business decisions about its complete bar business. It manages over $1 billion in bar sales and 55,000 products through its industry-leading solution. The company’s patented digital platform captures, analyzes, and reports real-time data related to bar performance, brand insights and inventory. Built for retailers, brewers and distributors, the versatile platform is easily operated from a single dashboard, and it has streamlined operations and increased top and bottom line revenue all over the United States. Find out more about how BeerBoard is changing the bar industry through data-based business decisions at beerboard.com.

Data tells the story. Ask us how.