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Beer Is Bev of Choice of 38% of Drinkers, Harris Poll Finds; Nearly 30% of Beer Drinkers Prefer Craft

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.

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue #: 24
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