This is how America Drinks

Americans across the country make alcoholic beverage choices on a daily basis. A new poll found that more often than not, that choice is beer.

A new Harris Poll found that 38 percent of regular drinkers in the United States prefer beer. Wine is the go-to for 31 percent, while liquor is favored by 28 percent. The people have spoken, and it looks like there’s a record number of breweries in the country for a reason.

Craft breweries may be trendy, but beer consumption is consistent. Of the people who said they prefer beer when they drink, 73 percent said they preferred beer 10 years ago too. Compare that to wine, which is on the rise, but hasn’t quite caught up to the popularity of beer. Only 44 percent of people who said wine is their favorite alcohol beverage today preferred wine 10 years ago.

“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,” Danny Brager, senior vice president of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice, says in a statement on the survey results. “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.”

The poll surveyed 2,148 adults in the United States.

So who are all these beer, wine, and spirits lovers? The Harris Poll has some insight into that, too. Here are America’s beverage preferences, broken down by demographics:

Beer Drinkers

  • 55 percent of men prefer beer.
  • Around 40 percent of Americans 21 to 54 prefer beer.
  • 43 percent of Southerners prefer beer.
  • 38 percent of people who prefer beer prefer to drink domestic non-craft beer. Craft beer has the heart of 29 percent of beer lovers, and 23 percent favor imported beer.

Wine Drinkers

  • 46 percent of women prefer wine.
  • 42 percent of people over 65 years old prefer wine.
  • 37 percent of people who have a household income greater than $100,000 prefer wine.
  • 38 percent of people who prefer wine like red best, while 32 percent favor white, and 19 percent favor rosé. Only 10 percent like sparkling the best.
  • 49 percent of men who prefer wine prefer red, while only 34 percent of women prefer red.

Liquor Drinkers

  • 29 percent of people who prefer liquor prefer vodka. The next favorite is whiskey at 26 percent, then rum at 16 percent.
  • 40 percent of men who prefer liquor like whiskey best, compared to only 14 percent of women.
  • 38 percent of women who prefer liquor like vodka best, compared to only 19 percent of men.