A nation of beer drinkers has finally acquired a taste for wine. According to Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits poll released Thursday, Americans are now almost equally divided in their preference for beer or wine, with only a slight edge going to beer. Overall, 36% of Americans indicated a preference for beer, while 35% of Americans are wine lovers. About 23% say hard liquor is their alcoholic beverage of choice.
Beer has been traditionally the drink of choice for Americans, but despite the rise of niche craft beers, the beverage’s overall popularity has declined. In 1992, beer had a 20% advantage over wine as the preferred national drink. Now just one percent of Americans claim to prefer it over wine.
Gender plays a key role in what people imbibe. Fifty-three percent of men say beer is their drink of choice. In comparison, 52% of women favor wine.
Age is a key factor as well. Young adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29, were the biggest consumers of hard alcohol, with 28% selecting it has their favorite happy-hour indulgence, versus just 19% of thiose over 50 and 7% of those between the ages of 20 and 49.
Overall, 60% of Americans indicate that they at least drink on occasion, down from the historical average of 63% since 1939.
The survey, which was conducted over the phone, polled 2,027 adults over a four-day period in mid-July.