Craft beer, flavored liquors drive record alcohol sales - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Craft beer, flavored liquors drive record alcohol sales

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division reported more than $300 million in revenue this year.

The growth of craft beer and emergence of flavored liquors, like Fireball Whiskey, helped fuel that growth.

The report said that 75 million gallons of beer were sold this year, up from 73 million a year ago.

Many attribute that increase to the growing popularity of craft beers.

Kasey Jansen, co-owner of Monk's Kaffee Pub in Dubuque, said they keep between 80-90 varieties of craft beer stocked at all times.

"It's why people come here," Jansen said.

Eronel, another bar in Dubuque, also offers more than 50 craft beers.

"We see people now who come here and ask what's local or regional," Drew Bissel, Eronel's owner, said.

For Chris Thomas, a craft beer enthusiast, the craft beer movement is about so much more than drinking beer.

"Craft brewing and microbrews are a culture," he said.  "If I can try something I've never had before, I'm going to pick that every time over something I can get anywhere."

Jay Jubeck, the president of Jubeck New World Brewing in Dubuque, said he thinks this is a movement that won't go away.

"I think craft brewing is going to continue to grow," he said. "I think you're going to start to see more and more of what we're doing, which is small, local brewing for small towns."

The craft beer movement has grew so much that last year it sold 16.1 million barrels, which was more than the 16 million sold by Budweiser, according to Beer Marketer's Insights.

That was almost unthinkable 10 years ago, when Budweiser had a nearly 25 million-barrel lead.

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