In a surprising turn of events, beer sales in the United States are plummeting to their lowest levels since 1999, with the blame squarely placed on the disastrous Dylan Mulvaney campaign by Bud Light, sending shockwaves through the brewing industry. The sales graph paints a grim picture, with a decline of over 5% in the first nine months of this year alone. But it’s not just Bud Light’s missteps that are contributing to this downfall; it’s also the shifting preferences of younger consumers, who are looking elsewhere for their liquid refreshment.

The downfall of Bud Light, an Anheuser-Busch-owned brand, can be traced back to the ill-fated partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Ever since Mulvaney’s ill-conceived endorsements on April 1, Bud Light’s sales have been in a freefall, dropping by a staggering 25% to 30% each month. This swift and dramatic decline ended Bud Light’s two-decade reign as the nation’s top-selling beer.

While some other beer brands like Constellation Brands’ Modelo saw a boost, and Molson Coors’ Coors Light and Miller Lite experienced slight upticks, they couldn’t fill the void left by Anheuser-Busch’s sinking ship. David Steinman, vice president and executive editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights, noted, “This year in particular, AB is driving the decline in the industry.”

The backlash against Bud Light has been relentless, with an ongoing boycott gaining momentum throughout the year. Anheuser-Busch-owned brands, which include Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, and Busch, have also borne the brunt of these boycotts, representing 35% of all beer shipments to wholesalers in the US. In contrast, Molson Coors and Constellation Brands, despite their growth, accounted for only 30% of Anheuser-Busch’s losses.

Bud Light’s woes show no signs of abating, despite a renewed marketing effort targeting its traditional male audience. Even featuring NFL legends Peyton Manning and Emmitt Smith in a recent commercial failed to boost sales. Recent reports indicate that retail store sales for Bud Light were down a staggering 28% for the four-week period ending December 9, compared to the previous year.

It’s not just Bud Light feeling the heat, though. The entire beer industry is grappling with a generational shift in drinking habits. Millennials and Gen-Zers are increasingly turning away from beer in favor of other alcohol-infused options like canned cocktails or simply consuming less alcohol than previous generations.

Craft beer, once hailed as a savior of the industry in the late ’90s, has also seen a downturn for three out of the past four years. Craig Purser, president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, didn’t mince words, declaring, “This is an industry-wide, five-alarm fire.”

However, not everyone is in agreement. A spokesperson for Molson Coors believes the concerns about the beer industry are exaggerated, emphasizing, “It’s not so much a beer problem as it is a Bud Light problem.”

In conclusion, the decline in beer sales is sending shockwaves through the industry, with Bud Light’s disastrous Dylan Mulvaney campaign acting as the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. As the brewing landscape continues to evolve, it remains to be seen whether beer giants like Anheuser-Busch can adapt and regain their former glory, or if they will continue to fall victim to changing consumer tastes.