An article on Slate yesterday focused on the death of beer sales in America, which have grown less that one percent since 2000. Where have the customers gone? To wine. In fact, the article highlights, a 2005 Gallop poll showed that Americans preferred wine to beer.
What's this mean for the aspiring beer geek? Maybe not much. As the article points out, one of the reasons for the switch to wine is that the American middle class is becoming "connoisseurs of everything". So maybe the issue isn't so much that Americans are turning away from beer - maybe the issue is that Americans are asking for more from their beer. Which, if you ask me, is a win for everyone.