Irish brewer Guinness is tapping a deep thirst in America, with U.S. imports of Irish stout, including Ireland's trademark Guinness stout, rising more than 23 percent year over year in January and February, and 185 percent from two years ago, according to trade intelligence company Panjiva.
U.S. imports of stout bounced back ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, indicating U.S. consumers are recovering from a post-recession hangover.
That sent demand for Guinness and other imported stouts down the drain in 2010, with imports plummeting 68 percent year-over-year, according to Panjiva. In 2011, Guinness imports bubbled up 131 percent, and they rose even higher this year, climbing to a record 609 shipments, Panjiva said.
An improving job market and rising incomes are boosting consumer spending this year, as Americans purchase new cars, clothes, electronics and the occasional pint.
Retail sales jumped 1.1 percent in February, the biggest month-to-month increase since last fall, according to figures the Commerce Department released Tuesday.