Beer Purchasers' Index | NBWA: America's Beer Distributors

The NBWA Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) is an informal monthly statistical release giving distributors a timely and reliable indicator of industry beer purchasing activity. BPI is the only forward-looking indicator for distributors to measure expected beer demand. Similar to the widely recognized Purchasing Managers’ Index, the BPI is a net-rising index and a leading indicator of industry performance based on surveyed responses from participating beer purchasers.

The December 2020 Beer Purchaser’s Index (BPI) moderated significantly compared prior months in 2020. After remaining elevated throughout the summer, the December 2020 BPI at 64 is only a few points above December 2019 at 61. The “at-risk inventory" measure continues to remain relatively low among all the segments, with total beer at 29 compared to 52 in December 2019. Overall, the slightly lower demand from beer purchases is expected heading into the new year. However, with low inventories, there is still a need to replenish stock.

Looking across the segments for December:

  • The index for imports remains in expansion territory with a reading of 61 in December 2020, well above the 55 reading from December 2019.
  • The craft index dropped to 44 in December 2020 breaking a four-month streak of above-50 readings in 2020. This month’s index is six points below the December 2019 reading of 50.
  • Premium lights continue to post significantly higher readings with December 2020 at 60 compared to 32 in December 2019. This is the eighth consecutive month of above-50 readings for this segment.
  • Regular domestic premiums also declined from historically high readings to hit a reading of 50 in December 2020 relative to 18 in December 2019.
  • Below premium beers continue their rapid decline into the end of the year. This series has declined each month after peaking at 70 in May 2020 and now sits at 42 for December 2020.
  • The FMB/seltzer segment continues to outperform all other segments, posting an index of 80 compared to 71 in December of 2019. However, the December index of 80 is the lowest reading this segment has posted in 2020.
  • Finally, the cider segment showed some improvement, rising to 39 in December 2020 from 34 in December 2019.

Beer Distributors: Please sign up to participate and receive the first and only advance notice of expectations for increasing or decreasing sales. Complete the form below using your company’s primary beer purchaser’s contact information. For additional information, please email

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