BEER BACK to DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD
BEER REGAINED A COMFORTABLE MARGIN over wine when US drinkers were asked to name which alcoholic beverage they most often drink. In recent years, wine had narrowed the gap, including pulling slightly ahead in 2OO5 (though not by a significant margin), but for the first time since 2OO2, beer enjoys a better-than-double-digit advantage over wine. These results are based on Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits poll, conducted this July.
Beer still is not as widely preferred today as it was in the early 199Os, when close to half of Americans said it was their alcoholic drink of choice. Preferences for wine have fallen back from their 2OO5 high (39%) to 31%.
The shift back to beer from wine in recent years has occurred mostly among Americans between the ages of 3O and 49. In combined data from the 2OO4 and 2OO5 Consumption surveys, drinkers between 3O and 49 were about as likely to prefer wine as beer. Now, drinkers in this age bracket have shifted back to beer, with an average of 47% in the combined 2OO7 to 2OO8 data saying they most often drink beer.
Drinking preferences of younger adults have remained stable in recent years, with 21- to 29-year-olds still showing a wide preference for beer, though nowhere near as large as it was in the 1992 to 1994 data. Younger adults are more likely to say they drink liquor most often than to say they drink wine.
In contrast, wine is the preferred beverage of older drinkers, and has been since the early 199Os. Drinkers aged 5O and older have also had stable preferences in recent years.