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Illustration: Nichole Shinn

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Pour One Out for the Fading American Beer Industry

U.S. drinkers ordering vodka sodas don’t want all the calories and carbs.

At a recent frat party in the backroom of a Manhattan bar, beer was scarce. Students were instead sipping a more popular concoction that might make some drinkers’ stomachs churn: tequila with soda water.

James Houk, 21, was drinking a gin-and-tonic. The Columbia University senior’s friends say they’ll still buy a 30-rack of Natural Light for games like beer pong or the rare tailgate at the urban Ivy League school, but his crew generally sticks to liquor when they’re out. “It’s more bang for the buck,” he said.