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Beer Ranks as Adult Beverage of Choice

More than 40% of adults choose beer over wine and liquor, according to a recent Gallup poll.
July 28, 2014

​PRINCETON, N.J. – Americans who drink alcohol are choosing beer over wine and liquor, according to a new Gallup poll. This year, 41% of U.S. drinkers report they typically drink beer; 31% say wine and 23% say liquor.

At 41%, Americans' current preference for beer is among the highest Gallup has recorded since beer tumbled to 36% on this measure in 2005 — although still not as highly favored as it was in the 1990s, when nearly half preferred it.

The 2005 dip for beer occurred at the peak of an apparent increase in American drinkers' preference for wine between 2002 and 2005. Since then, drinkers' tastes have reverted somewhat, with beer back on top. Slightly more drinkers still choose wine today than did so in the early to mid-1990s; however, wine shows no upward momentum.

Consistent with recent years, wine continues to be the top choice for women, at 46%. Among men, wine (17%) trails both beer (57%) and liquor (20%). Wine edges out beer among older adults: 38% of those 55 and older drink wine most often, compared with 32% who most often drink beer. By contrast, the plurality of 18- to 34-year-olds (48%) and those aged 35 to 54 (43%) prefer beer.

The latest results are from Gallup's July 7-10 Consumption Habits survey, and are based on telephone interviews with U.S. national adults, aged 18 and older.