Beer ain't dead yet

We've been hearing dire reports on the popularity of beer worldwide since sales took a nosedive last summer and expressions of consumer preference fell behind wine.

A new Gallup Organization poll, however, has some good news for brewers: Beer is back.

Last year the pollsters said more American preferred wine (39%) to beer (36%) as a regular drink. Similar polls around the globe supported the beer-is-dying speculation, even in such traditional beer havens as Germany, Austria and Australia.

Now, Gallup says beer preference has bounced back to 41% with wine dropping to 33%.

"We think this is a real sign that things are starting to turn," said Bob Lachky, VP-global industry development at No. 1 brewer Anheuser-Busch Cos. "This is a reflection that, in terms of real sales, people still look to beer more often."

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