CivicScience | Despite Recent Decline, Americans Still Rank Beer as the No. 1 Alcoholic Beverage of the Summer

General, Hospitality

Despite Recent Decline, Americans Still Rank Beer as the No. 1 Alcoholic Beverage of the Summer

Image Credit: Photo by Tim Durben from Pexels

Beer-drinking fell to its lowest rate in more than a year in June, even as wine consumption rates continued to ride high, according to ongoing CivicScience tracking. As of June, 57% of Americans (ages 21 and older) said they drink wine at least occasionally, while 52% drink beer to some extent.

Meanwhile, hard seltzer’s footprint continues to grow in the overall alcohol sphere. Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults have now given hard seltzers a try as of late June 2020, up from 21% in July 2019. In both surveys, three-fifths (60%) of those who tried hard seltzer said they liked it. 

Despite its lower numbers in the month of June, beer still took the top spot as America’s favorite alcoholic beverage of the summertime, while cocktails took second place and wine / sangria came in third. And, despite its growing reach, it seems hard seltzer is still not the preferred hot-weather drink for the vast majority of U.S. drinkers. Only 4% of U.S. adult drinkers (ages 21+) chose hard seltzer as their favorite summertime drink.

Though beer’s chart-topping performance here may seem counter-intuitive, given the brew’s recent slide in popularity, it’s actually a matter of demographics. In June 2020, about two-thirds (65%) of all self-professed beer-drinkers were men, and men were very loyal to beer when choosing their favorite hard drink of the summer. Women, on the other hand, were about equally likely to choose between wine / sangria and cocktails, essentially splitting the female vote.

Even with its recent dip in popularity, beer remains the No. 1 summer drink of choice for Americans overall. This goes especially for men, while women are split between wine and cocktails. Meanwhile, despite growth among hard drink alternatives (hard seltzers, iced teas, lemonades, and ciders), they remain just that — alternatives.

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