I read the other day that  Molson Coors, a beer maker, was planning to sue the National Hockey League over reduced beer sales due to the lock out and shutdown of the season.  That I get. I sense their loss, I feel their pain.  But what’s up …or should I say down with beer sales in general? 

Getty Images

People at the Beer Institute (yes there IS such a place and yes it would be an AWESOME job) suggest one result of the 2008-2009 recession that reduced manufacturing jobs has been slower traffic at some bars, and sluggish beer sales nationwide over the past four years.

According to the Beer Institute, beer drinkers last year in the United States drank 203.4 million barrels, about 5 percent less than in 2008.  But the reduction in hang out time with your assembly line pals after the shift isn’t the only cause.

Beer sales have had to withstand more concern about healthy living, stiffer drunk-driving laws and measures that ban smoking in bars and taverns.  It all adds up to not adding up to as much beer drinking.