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Gallup: Booze Is Up, Beer Is Down for American Drinkers

by The Drink Nation on Aug 2, 2013 in Culture
Gallup: Booze Is Up, Beer Is Down for American Drinkers

Gallup is out with a new poll on Americans’ drinking habits and preferences, and the big news is that beer consumption is on the decline. Americans are nearly equally likely to say they drink beer (36%) and wine (35%) most often (liquor rings in with 23% overall preference).

It’s a trend the craft beer industry is well aware of — as Big Beer sales shrink, craft beer sales have increased. This has led to a trend of macrobrewing conglomerates trying to mimic craft beer’s successes, coming out with faux “craft-like” brands and labels and playing up local ties (see Budweiser Black Crown and A-B InBev’s trademark of area codes as beer names, for example).

When the data is segregated into age groups, more trends show up. In the 18–29 year-old category, liquor is the most preferred drink for 28% of Americans, a rather huge, 15 point increase from the response a decade ago (in 1993, just 13% said they usually drink booze). For young adults, beer preference dropped 30 points over the past 10 years. Wine was up by 10 points over the same time period.

Interestingly, the trend went in the opposite direction for older drinkers when it comes to liquor. For Americans older than 50, booze preference dropped 11 points, down to just 19% saying it is the go-to drink. For this group, wine is the winner, capturing 46% of drinkers’ hearts. Beer was relatively unchanged over the past decade, staying even at 29%.

In line with cliched stereotypes, gender also plays a big factor in most-common drink of choice. More than half of men (53%) name beer as their favorite drink, while for women, it’s wine that pleases the majority (52%). Race also figures in: nonwhites have fled from beer faster — their beer preference is down 19 points over the last 10 years, compared to a 9 point drop for whites.

Other interesting findings from the “Consumption Poll” include the fact that 35% of Americans report having a drink in the past 24 hours, a higher frequency than was reported in the 1990s. Click over for a full rundown from Gallup.

Top image by Danya Henninger; bottom image via Gallup

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