As Vaccines Roll Out, Americans Are Drinking Slightly Less Booze

When the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down last spring, Americans reacted in the most logical manner possible: buying a shit ton of booze. Over the past 12 months of quarantine, alcohol sales have boomed in a big way—but now it looks that our nation's love of getting crunk at home is beginning to wane. According to Nielsen Data, alcohol sales were down 1.9% for the week ending March 13, marking the first downtrend in more than a year.

Wine sales took the biggest hit, falling 8%, with liquor staying about the same. Beer sales were slightly up, but not because of beer—the bump is due to the exploding popularity of hard seltzers, which for statistical purposes is lumped into the beer category. Had Nielsen excluded hard seltzer from its calculations, that 1.9% drop would actually be a 3% drop.

The news of declining sales might normally be reason for concern—but considering that last March, the alcoholic beverage industry saw a 55% sales increase in just under three weeks, it's pretty safe to say the booze barons will be just fine. CNN Business reports that the sales drop doesn't necessarily mean that Americans are drinking less, but rather, with bars and restaurants slowly reopening, they're choosing to drink in places that aren't their couches.