There are plenty of stereotypes surrounding who drinks which type of alcohol, but I thought I would take a deeper look, specifically by looking at fans of wine, brown spirits, clear spirits, and beer. Are wine-drinkers actually more wealthy? Are beer-drinkers the biggest sports fans? Let’s find out.

For the sake of this article, let’s consider fans to be those who drink a given alcohol twice a week or more. Surprisingly, there are many, though I’m not sure how they do it. One drink, and I’m out for the week…

…Slight exaggeration.


This is the second most popular group compared to all of the others and is the group with the highest percentage of women (45%). They are also the oldest out of all other drinkers, with 24% of them at age 65 or older. Though there’s been growing publicity of Millennials and wine habits, we found that Millennials still lag behind the older population in terms of how much they drink wine.

Most people who drink wine are older, millennials are only small percentage of wine-drinkers

Is It True That They’re Rich?

It turns out that there may be some truth to the perception that wine-drinkers have more money, as the largest slice (19%) make over $150k. Other liquor drinkers, in comparison, have a more evenly-weighted wealth distribution. Probably due to this high-income, wine-drinkers are 2x as likely to dine most often at upscale restaurants, and are 2x less likely to eat at fast food restaurants. They are more likely to favor restaurants with quality ingredients and to buy organic food. They are also more likely to follow food, cooking, health and fitness trends, and are more likely to own or want a wearable fitness tracker.

Accordingly, we found that wine-drinkers are fans of travel, home, and cooking TV shows. They are also more likely to own an e-book reader, because there’s nothing quite like reading a great book with a nice glass of Caymus.

What Else Do They Do with Their Money?

60% of wine-drinkers are likely to donate to cultural charities, and 57% of them are likely to donate to educational charities. They are also more likely to volunteer at least once a week. All of this meaning, yes they have money, but they also have souls.

What Else?

They are most likely to be influenced by internet ads and are fans of TV News.  Lastly, they are more likely to be fans of Trader Joe’s. Then again, who isn’t?

Brown Spirits (Whiskey, Dark Rum, etc.)

Only 7% of people we asked are fans of brown spirits, compared to 12% who are fans of wine (again, meaning they drink brown spirits at least twice a week). Though we found that these fans have many similar preferences as wine-drinkers, such as a preference for upscale restaurants, they differ in many ways as well.

The Stereotypical Man Cave 

72% of these drinkers are men, which is slightly lower than beer-drinkers. They are less likely to prefer restaurants with healthy menu items, and are more likely to smoke cigarettes.

72% of people who drink brown spirits such as rum, bourbon and whiskey are men.

Additionally, they are more likely to follow college football, the NHL, and NFL. Interestingly they are also more likely to own or want to own an augmented reality product.

In other words, it may be safe to imagine a man smoking a cigarette, eating French fries, while watching the Sunday night football game through his 3D glasses, with a glass of Bourbon in hand.

What Else?

They are more likely to subscribe to Cricket Wireless or MetroPCS. Like wine-drinkers, they are more likely to be influenced by TV ads, but they are also more likely to be fans of TV documentaries.

Clear Spirits (Vodka, Gin etc.)

Though many would say there is a big difference between whiskey and vodka drinkers, it turns out they’re not all that different, and they are both equally popular at 7% of people who say they drink them at least twice a week. Although many of this group’s characteristics align with their dark-spirit counterparts, such as being more likely to smoke cigarettes, they differ in unique ways.

Food, Entertainment and Sports Preferences

Unlike fans of brown spirits and wine, these folks are more likely to favor restaurants with a pleasant atmosphere. In addition to being fans of TV documentaries like brown-spirit fans, they are almost 2x more likely to be fans of TV Sitcoms. They are also more likely to be fans of music and entertainment TV shows. Like the other drinkers, they are also likely to be fans of TV News, but not by much. They are also more likely to subscribe to Boost Mobile, which is another unique distinction.

Though the wine and dark-spirit drinkers are sports fans, these folks are more likely to closely follow the MLB.


Last but not least are the beer-drinkers – the most popular, and possibly the most widely stereotyped. Are any of our cultural judgments about these drinkers true?

What We Might Expect

73% of this group are men – making them the most testosterone-saturated group – with 45% of them between 35 and 54. They are not as wealthy as the wine-drinkers, with the largest segment making between $50k and $75k. Accordingly, they are more likely to visit stores to look at a product and then buy it online (showroom), probably to save money.

Similar to the other groups, they are sports fans. Well, they actually make the sports fans in other groups seem like me (hint: not a sports fan) because these folks are die-hard. They are most likely to closely follow the NHL, NFL, and attend sports events regularly.

What We Might Not Expect

Though they are not as wealthy as wine and spirit drinkers, they still prefer to dine at upscale restaurants – not only sports and dive bars. They are also more likely to favor restaurants with quality ingredients, as opposed to other groups, such as clear spirit drinkers, who prefer either the service or the atmosphere of a restaurant. They are also the group that is least likely to volunteer.

Lastly, they are more likely to follow technology trends and are the most likely group to use Snapchat.

Time to Pass Out. It’s 10AM After All.

For those trying to reach these groups, going beneath the stereotypes and conventional wisdom may prove helpful. With alcohol ads having increased 400% over the last 40 years, it’s even more important that these companies are spending those dollars in the right place for the right people. Hopefully these quick profiles can provide that starting or pivot point, or at the least, provide you with some eclectic bar knowledge to impress your friends.