This 4th of July, Many Americans Will Celebrate Made-in-the-USA Spirits (and Wines, and Beers) finds Technomic

Jul 03, 2013, 11:15 ET from Technomic

CHICAGO, July 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As many American adults prepare to break out the Uncle Sam hats and partake of a few adult beverages, we at Technomic are shining the spotlight on the country's dynamic, ever-evolving domestic adult beverage market.

Domestic table wine outpaced imported table wine in volume growth in 2012, posting a 2 percent increase to 234.4 million 9-liter cases, according to Technomic's new WineTAB report. Domestic wine accounts for nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of total wine volume in the U.S.

Within the beer category, craft brews—the majority of which are domestic—enjoyed more than a 10 percent surge in volume. Craft remains a small category, accounting for 6 percent of total beer volume, but its growth helped offset a 2 percent volume loss for mainstream domestic beer. As a result, total domestic beer production was essentially flat for the year, after falling nearly 2 percent in 2011. Updated information on the beer industry will be available in our BeerTAB report, due out later this summer.

Straight American whiskey was one of the spirits segment's strongest performers last year, recording a 5 percent volume gain to 16.8 million 9-liter cases. Straight American whiskey - which includes bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, rye and corn whiskey - also outpaced the industry in sales growth, with sales climbing 7 percent to $3.9 billion, according to Technomic's SpiritsTAB report. More than 30 new straight American whiskey products were introduced in 2012, the report notes.

With increased competition for both shelf space and bar space, American products lead the way: Of the 251 new adult beverages introduced through the first five months of 2013, according to Technomic's Digital Resource Information Knowledgebank (DRINK), 138, or 55 percent, are U.S.-made. For the full year 2012, 52 percent of new adult beverages had U.S. origins.

For American consumers enjoying unprecedented access to domestic craft beers, regional wines and local spirits, this wider variety of American-made products is yet another cause for celebration.

In capping off this Independence Day look at the domestic adult beverage industry, it's worth noting the long tradition of adult beverage production and promotion among those holding the highest office in the country. Here are some highlights:

  • George Washington had a distillery built at Mount Vernon in the late 1790s on the advice of his Scottish farm manager, according to By 1799, the facility was producing 11,000 gallons of whiskey (a mixture of 60 percent rye, 35 percent corn and 5 percent malted barley), making it the largest distillery in the U.S. The Mount Vernon, VA, distillery is still in operation; it serves as the gateway to the American Whiskey Trail.
  • Thomas Jefferson tried, unsuccessfully, to produce fine wines from the grapes grown on his Monticello vineyards. Though the statesman and author of the Declaration of Independence wasn't able to add "master winemaker" to his list of titles, he did serve as an influential advocate for domestic grape cultivation. Some 200 years later, Virginia is home to more than 225 wineries, according to the Virginia Wine website.
  • Andrew Jackson's 1,000-acre Hermitage plantation in Nashville, TN, housed a distillery; today the image of the seventh U.S. president and the general known as "Old Hickory" graces the label of Lipman Brands' Old Hickory Great American Whiskey.
  • Finally, President Barack Obama now has the distinction of being the first president to enjoy beer brewed on the White House grounds. President Obama purchased a home brewing kit for the White House kitchen in 2011, and after some tinkering with recipes, the White House debuted its first signature offering: White House Honey Brown Ale. A Honey Porter and Honey Blonde now also are produced; all three are made with honey from a beehive on the South Lawn. In response to public demand, the White House released recipes for White House beers last fall.

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SOURCE Technomic