Beer or Wine? The Answer May Depend on Your Gender

Overall Americans say they like both about the same, but women still prefer wine

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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.

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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.

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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.