Mexico remained the top source of U.S. beer imports in 2019, with a customs value over twice that of all other imports combined.
On Thursday, Bart Watson, chief economist at the trade group Brewers Association, tweeted a chart that illustrated how the customs value of Mexican beers has quadrupled in the past 20 years. The category first surpassed all other combined imports in 2013.
The customs value of imported beer from Mexico hit almost $4 billion in 2019. That's roughly 4X the value from 20 years ago controlling for inflation. All other beer imports are basically static during that same time period. pic.twitter.com/qO4EamqZXl
— Bart Watson (@BrewersStats) February 6, 2020
The visual is striking. Since 1992, the customs value of Mexican beer has been on a constant upward trajectory, corresponding roughly to the beginning of our Corona-led tradition of celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a cool cerveza. During the same period, the combined value of other beer imports has remained relatively static.
While Watson also noted that Beer imports in 2019 showed “the slowest growth in recent years”— just 1.8 percent — the recent passage of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal has lessened the threat tariffs will pose to Mexico’s dominance of the imports market.
The demand for Mexican beer has even seen American producers putting their own spins on the style, but the originals can’t be beat. As Beer Board noted in its 2020 Big Game Pour Report, the top two most-popular lagers poured during this year’s Super Bowl at a number of restaurants were Modelo and Dos Equis.