Beer consumption leap frogs wine and spirits
When you are home eating dinner or enjoying a effortless meal at a restaurant, what do you wash it down with?Â
In a recent article written by Rob Kasper (titled.. Beer bubbles to top of the poll), he shared data from the 2008 Gallup Poll. The polls results state that 42 percent of the U.S. drinkers surveyed most often consume beer. This compares to the 31 percent who picked wine and 23 percent who preferred spirits.Â Â
He also mentioned that it wasn’t always this way…
Not so long ago, the same poll had beer playing second fiddle to wine. Back in 2005, wine had slightly knocked beer out of first place.
Since then, however, suds have surged in popularity. The shift to beer from wine is especially strong among drinkers between the ages of 30 and 49, Gallup said. Four years ago, adults in this age group were just as likely to drink wine as beer. But now beer is their beverage of choice by a 20-point margin.
The Gallup pollsters did not delve into the reasons why Americans are increasingly fond of beer. But the people I spoke with in the industry had ready answers for the trend. Most cited a thirst for better beer, as seen by the growth in the number of American craft beers.
We’ve seen this change happening. With increasing availability of “better” choices, many consumers are enjoying a craft beer — when in the past, they might have selected a wine.
Out in St. Louis, Jay Cunningham, a spokesman for Anheuser-Busch, said the Gallup Poll reflected what the nation’s largest brewer has been experiencing. “There is a strong demand for beer, especially at the premium end,” he said. Sales of the brewer’s upscale Michelob line are growing, he said.
Part of the appeal of beer, Cunningham said, is its lower alcohol content. Beer is typically 4 percent to 7 percent alcohol by volume, compared with 11 percent to 15 percent for most wines. “It is a less concentrated form of alcohol,” he said, “so for people in the 30-to-49 age group, that means they can take it to a wide number of social occasions.”
The nation’s economic slowdown does not appear to be hurting beer sales. In fact, it might be helping them. America’s craft brewers recently increased their prices by about $1 a six-pack, to compensate for the increased cost of hops and grain. Yet, despite the jump in prices, sales of craft beers rose.
Keep up the good work.Â Â Craft beer comes in all shapes and sizes.Â There is a different beerÂ to suit your ever mood.Â If you don’t like something today, try it in a few months.Â Maybe yourÂ ”beer palate” hasÂ changed.Â Who knows, maybe you’ll go from a stout avoider to a stout fanatic.Â Â The choice is yours.
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