It’s five o’clock somewhere, right? That at least seems to be the consensus among United States drinkers, who have consistently been imbibing earlier in the day compared to pre-Covid times, according to a new analysis from Next Glass.
Untappd is a “social app” allowing drinkers to share new watering holes, “check-in” their beer orders, and connect with other drinks enthusiasts. Think: 2010 Facebook check-ins, but a lot boozier. As this data from the Covid behavior study depends entirely on app users’ check-ins, it isn’t a comprehensive sample of drinkers nationwide. However, it may still provide a glimpse into the evolving habits of imbibing adults.
While users formerly overwhelmingly enjoyed a drink during the 7 p.m. to midnight window, Untappd reports a 5.2 percent decrease in check-ins during this time. App users seem to favor sipping beer during the afternoon hours, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., with each hour displaying a significant increase of check-ins.
While there’s no doubt that many an afternoon cocktail was enjoyed pre-2020, this habit seemed to further develop through different stages of the pandemic. During strict lockdowns in spring 2020, Untappd recorded check-ins occurring later in the evening compared to 2019 data. By 2021, consumption during those times dropped by nearly seven percent, year-over-year.
Next Glass CEO Trace Smith provides some possible context for these results. “Let’s be honest — it is much easier and socially acceptable now to wrap a Zoom meeting at 4:00, leave the basement office to head across the street to the neighborhood taproom, and manage the trickle of end-of-workday email from an iPhone than it was to start an early happy hour in 2019 when doing so meant leaving an office full of busy colleagues,” Smith states in the article. “Additionally, persistent staffing challenges have led many on-premise venues to shorten hours by way of earlier closures.
One last nugget of insight in the report? Pumpkin spice season is creeping earlier and earlier, with a significant amount of pumpkin beer check-ins starting in August. In 2021, most pumpkin posts occurred between August to November, with a sharp drop-off during the winter months.
Whoever is enjoying a cool 3 p.m. Jack-O Pumpkin Ale this week, we just wanna talk.