Just-released Harris Poll asked different questions than annual summer Gallup Poll of American drinking habits. So the numbers come in a bit different. Still, beer beat wine and spirits when Harris asked drinkers: “if you had to choose just one, what is your current beverage of choice?” Beer got nod from 38% of drinkers, vs 31% for wine, 28% for liquor. (Recall, beer scored over 40% as bev consumed “most often” in last 3 Gallup Polls.) Similar disconnect tho with volume as shipments show beer still near half of all alcohol consumed vs 35% for spirits, 16% of wine. Beer is bev of choice for all age groups up to 65+. At that point both wine and liquor surpass beer in popularity. Beer still much more popular among men (55% say it’s their bev of choice) vs women (just 21%). Wine more than twice as popular among women (46%) than beer and 30% of women choose spirits as bev of choice almost a 10-pt lead over beer. Continuing gender gap remains key obstacle to building beer per caps.
Among beer drinkers, 38% say domestic non-craft beer is their favorite style. Interestingly, 29% say they favor craft, 23% imports; 6% say hard sodas/seltzer/teas and 3% say FMBs. Mainstream domestics have slight edge over craft among millennials (28% vs 25%), but craft takes big lead among 35-44 yr-olds (40% vs 29%). Mainstream beers get their mojo back at age 45+. Men prefer mainstream beers 37% vs 30%. A wider gap among women: 41% vs 26%. Geographically, no surprise that mainstream domestics beers win in northeast, south and midwest, but craft is style of choice in west, where just over 1/3 of beer drinkers prefer it compared to just under 1/3 who choose mainstream domestics.