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Beer Trends

Beer Holds Steady Lead as Favorite

August 5, 2009


Beer is king, yet again. According to the June 14-17 Gallup Poll of more than 1,000 American adults, beer edged out a victory over wine as American beverage alcohol consumers’ drink of choice: 40 percent of imbibers said they prefer beer, while 34 percent named wine and 21 percent chose liquor.

This is consistent with Gallup’s previous findings since the question’s inception in 1992; beer has been named the top alcohol beverage every year except 2005, when wine took a short-lived lead. Liquor consistently has ranked third, chosen by between 18 and 24 percent of drinkers every year.

While beer remains at the top, wine is closing the preference gap. In 1992, beer was far and away the highest vote-getter, with 47 percent opting for beer and just 27 percent selecting wine. In recent years, beer’s popularity has hovered at around 40 percent, while wine has risen to the low- to mid-30s. Wine’s biggest supporters include adult women of all ages, adults over 55 and adults with at least some college education.

The total number of U.S. adults who drink alcohol beverages on occasion is 64 percent, unchanged from last year’s numbers. Approximately two-thirds of those who drink alcohol beverages said they had at least one drink in the seven days before the survey, a number identical to last year’s statistic and relatively unchanged since 2001. The average number of drinks consumed per drinker in the week prior to the survey was 4.8.

A popular theory suggests that the recession gives people more reasons to drink — but less money with which to do it. These two ideas seem to negate each other, as Gallup’s results find no major changes in the number of Americans who drink alcohol beverages, how many they consume or their preferred drink.


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