Beer

In America Beer Is Still Our Favorite

30 July, 2018

Americans who drink alcohol continue to say they most often choose beer (42%) over wine (34%) and liquor (19%), according to a 2018 Gallup Poll conducted in early July. If you think this is an easy win for beer, consider wine and beer were essentially tied between 2011 and 2013.

Beer has almost always been Americans' preferred alcoholic beverage since Gallup began tracking this question in 1992. However, preferences have not been entirely static for the past quarter century. In the mid-2000s, the sizeable advantage beer held over its next-closest alternative, wine, shrank substantially, and the two were effectively tied in 2005.

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The overall rise in beer's popularity in recent years has generally been the result of the beverage reclaiming the ground it lost with key demographics in the earlier years of the decade, rather than due to a changing consumer base. However, there are notable exceptions to this trend, particularly with older Americans.

For the combined years from 2014 to 2018, 42% of U.S. drinkers aged 50 to 64 said their preferred alcoholic beverage was beer. This is not only nine percentage points higher than what was recorded from 2011 to 2013 -- a time period when beer was comparatively less popular with all imbibing Americans -- but also notably above the 35% of 50- to 64-year-olds who preferred beer in the years from 2001 to 2010. Likewise, from 2014 to 2018, preference for beer among Americans aged 65 and older rose to 29% from the 23% recorded in 2011 to 2013, though this more recent figure is closer to the 2001 to 2010 average for this group (26%).

Meanwhile, younger Americans aged 18 to 29, who turned markedly away from beer from 2011 to 2013, have become fonder of the beverage in the past five years, though not to the same extent as before 2011.