One result of the 2008-2009 recession that reduced manufacturing jobs in places such as Milwaukee has been slower traffic at some bars, and sluggish beer sales nationwide over the past four years, according to industry analysts.
"Contrary to the myth that people go out and drown their sorrows, the truth is that beer drinkers are pretty responsible people and when they have to cut back, they're cutting back on their pleasures," said Chris Thorne, vice president of communications at the Beer Institute, a Washington-based trade group.
According to the institute, beer drinkers last year in the United States drank 203.4 million barrels, about 5 percent less than in 2008.
More concern about healthy living, stiffer drunk-driving laws and measures that ban smoking in places such as taverns have hit beer sales during the last couple of decades in Milwaukee and throughout the country."
Over the past few decades, it has become much less acceptable in the business community to have a drink during lunch or tip a few after work with colleagues.
"Society looks at that person that has a glass of beer with his burger like he has a drinking problem," Madland said."