Beer tops polls as America’s favorite alcoholic drink

Sometimes we here at worry that we love beer too much, that we are outsiders in getting so excited about beautifully crafted drinks, that not everyone wants to discuss IPAs for three hours at a time.

But how wrong we were!

Almost four out of 10 regular drinkers –in this case classified as US adults over 21 who drink at least several times a year – turn to beer for their beverage of choice.

That’s 38% of US drinkers, far surpassing wine (31%) and spirits or hard liquor (28%), according to a recent survey of 2,148 US adults by the smart people at The Harris Poll.

The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the US.

Beer has been king of the castle for a while, with 83% of those surveyed aged at least 23 saying that it was their go-to alcoholic beverage two years ago.

It looks like has got an audience after all!

And almost three-quarters of those surveyed who were at least 31 years old said it was their go-to booze a decade ago.

Spirit drinkers are also set in their habits, with roughly three quarters of them always going to the harder stuff two years ago, and two thirds of them 10 years ago.

Wine was the real surprise, with only four in 10 people who drink it now admitting to drinking it a decade ago – meaning that people have shifted their prefereances as they’ve aged.

According to Danny Brager, SVP of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice, “While many consumers will increasingly drink across all three major adult beverage categories, they still have their ‘preferred’ drink type.  At the same time, all consumers are not alike, and various demographic groups clearly have different favorites.  For some, that ‘go to’ choice hasn’t changed a great deal, but for a significant percentage of those who favor wine today, they did prefer another beverage type 10 years ago.  Both life stage changes over that period of time as these consumers have aged, as well as today’s younger generations being more open to wine, are likely driving those changes in preference.”

Beer is favored among men (55%), younger generations (21-34, 41%; 35-44, 44%; 45-54, 42%), and those residing in the South (43%).

Adults who pick beer over all others favour domestic beer (38%), while a (very sensible, in our view!) 29% think craft beer is the best. Imported beer makes up 23% of top choices.

It’s easy to see how America’s love of beer is effecting the types of beer on offer. Business Insider reckoned that there were more than 4,000 breweries in the US at the end of 2015.

“It’s a very exciting time for the alcoholic-beverage industry, particularly beer, as consumers, food service, and retail rediscover the craftsmanship of beer-making commensurate with their interests in authenticity/heritage, transparency in source of supply and flavor adventure,” Nicole Peranick, director of global consumer strategy at Daymon Worldwide, told Business Insider. “We are seeing craft-beer menus popping up in all types of food-service establishments, from fine dining to fast casual.”

At, we’re seeing plenty of delicious new drinks pop up – and they’re very much welcome.

Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale is one of the more mass produced tipples that has been a particular revelation in the last few years. We just can’t get enough of that beer.

The company, which brews out of California and North Carolina, says the beer has piney and grapefruit aromas that come from the use of whole-cone American hopes.

We can certainly vouch for the woody-citrus combination, and wholeheartedly recommend you try it if you see it in your local store or bar – or brew something very, very close to it from the comfort of your own home.

Remember to check out our three reasons you should start homebrewing today to get you going.