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Hierarchy In The Beer Cave Stays Intact

Microbrews and craft beers are making a strong showing, but not enough to make a dent — yet

Premium beer took a small hit in 2011 as convenience industry sales experienced a flat year. New products and innovation from major and smaller brewing companies — like Bud Light Lime Lime-a-Rita and Smirnoff ICE Black — could offer opportunities for improved performance this year, as many convenience retailers are still using beer to drive sales in other categories.

"Convenience stores offer beer consumers accessible, speedy service," said Joe McClain, president of the Beer Institute. "Convenience stores are growing in numbers, opening for longer hours and offering a wide variety of brand options to our consumers."

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