I just got home from running a hospitality suite for a small convention this weekend.
This is the third time I've worked on the "consuite" for this group, so I have very detailed notes about what has been consumed in the past.
We thought attendance might be down a little since the last time we hosted two years ago, so I bought slightly less beer than was drunk last time. I bought a couple of cases of the same beer (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale) they drank two cases of last time, plus assorted six-packs from small local breweries in the Bay Area. *Good* beer.
Astonishingly, even though we had about the same number of attendees, I have about two-thirds of it leftover! In other words, the same people in the same hotel suite at the same time of year only drank A THIRD of what they drank two years ago.
On the other hand, they sucked down three cases of assorted Charles Shaw wine (last time we only had about a case of wine).
Among other things, I credit the low-carb diet fad (which several people mentioned). Has anyone else noticed this trend? Is it just a statistical fluke, or is Atkins going to make a significant dent in the beer industry?