The American beer industry posted its third consecutive year of increased sales, managing a 0.5 percent increase from the prior year.

According to the Beverage Information Group, light and low-carbohydrate beer helped boost sales, particularly the launch of Bud Light Lime last year.

“The growth of the distilled spirits and wine industries continues to take market share away from beer industry, albeit at a slower rate in 2008 than previously,” the group said Monday in a statement.

Bud Light Lime, first thought of as a seasonal beer, helped the light beer segment grow more than 2 percent

“Ice” beer also saw an increase, gaining 4 percent.

Imported beer sales have been down since the recession began, the group said.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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