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The Booming Beer Brand No One Is Talking About
13 Feb 2012 EST - CNBC.com
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Coors Light recently made national headlines when, according to industry trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights , it passed Budweiser as the No. 2 best-selling beer in the U.S. in 2011.

Even with Bud Light keeping a firm grip on the No. 1 position it marked the first time in nearly 20 years that Anheuser-Busch didn’t have the top two selling beer brands.

While Coors Light toppling the self-proclaimed “King of Beers” received a lot of attention, a lesser known beer quietly put up some impressive numbers of its own: Modelo Especial.

It’s one of 13 brands brewed by Mexico’s Grupo Modelo. Modelo Especial is distributed in the United States by Crown Imports, which brings in 11 foreign-brewed brands to the States including Corona, St. Pauli Girl and TsingTao.

Modelo Especial is an old beer making new headway in the United States. Grupo Modelo began brewing and packaging Model Especial in Mexico in 1925, but the brand did not become available in the United States until 1990. Since then it’s been showing consistent year-over- year growth.

“It started at a consumer level with Mexican Hispanics out west,” says Jim Sabia, the chief marketing officer of Crown Imports. “It's their brand and they are very passionate about it.”

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