For three long, cold years, the hardworking men and women in the beer industry have had to hang their heads, in the knowledge that we Americans have been buying less, and less, and less beer, ever since 2008. Soda? Sure, we can't get enough of that sweet stuff. But beer? Good old-fashioned mass-produced alcoholic gut-swelling, cirrhosis-inducing beer? We just haven't been interested. Until now.

Celebrate with a cold beer, Americans, because you, the consumer, have finally started buying more beer, after a long, shameful period of buying slightly less beer. Take that, Osama. From the WSJ:

Beer shipments in the U.S. rose 1.9% to 141.4 million barrels in the first eight months of 2012 after falling three straight years, according to the Beer Institute, an industry group. Beer sales had fallen 1.5% in 2011. Americans are drinking more beer even though brewers increased prices through the recession, unlike wine and liquor companies.

Americans didn't want to buy less beer, it's just that you've all had to save up money for the past three years in order to be able to afford a new, more expensive beer. And you finally did it. Feels good.

Now, America just needs to find a job.

[WSJ. Photo: Doug Geisler/ Flickr]