Beer might not be recession-proof after all


Now that the election season is over, the hip, hot happening Nate Silver is now helping us make statistical sense of other things, like the public's increasing sympathy for marijuana legalization and the why behind the recent decline in beer sales.

On his FiveThirtyEight site, Silver parses the details of 2008's fourth quarter alcohol sales, and according to his calculations, it's not looking good for beer, which he calls "absolutely unprecedented" and "something very, very different."

According to Silver -- using Commerce Department numbers -- wine and spirits sales declined far less than beer in the fourth quarter (1.6 and 0.9 percent, respectively, versus 14 percent for beer).

He does point out the possibility that it could all be chalked up to people just buying cheaper beer. The numbers unfortunately do not get more specific than overall sales.

Hot Dish reported last month on 2008's overall increase in liquor sales in Minnesota.