Is 80 Proof Recession Proof?

The folk wisdom I’ve always heard is that the one business that never suffers in a recession is alcohol. You’re never too poor, apparently, to rack up a bar tab, and if you are, well, all the more reason to order another round.

The New York Times, however, suggests this might not be the case:

Not even beer is immune. Sales of inexpensive domestic beers, like Keystone Light, are up; sales of higher-price imports, like Corona Extra, are down, the firm said.

Some are skipping drinks altogether. The number of people ordering an alcoholic drink fell to 31 percent last month from 42 percent last summer, according to a survey of 2,500 people conducted by Technomic, a restaurant industry consulting firm.

Is this a new trend, or is my understanding just economic folklore? I don’t know, but I suspect either Tyler Cowen or Baylen Linnekin might.