With St. Patrick’s Day festivities almost upon us (and with that, many a pub crawl to occur across our great globe), what better time than to use our valuable consumer data repository to find out who is more likely to prefer their beer from the tap, a bottle, or a can.

Perhaps this is the single-largest study of how people like to drink their beer? We reviewed 76,775 respondents aged 25 and older in 2014 to turn up these findings.

Here are a few high-level things we know about beer drinkers:

  • 58% of U.S. adults drink beer, at least a few times a year
  • 44% of them prefer to drink from a bottle; 33% from a tap (draft drinkers); and 8% from a can. The rest have no preference – they’ll take it in any format.
  • Shocker: Men are more likely to drink beer than women.

What interested us most in this study is what distinguishes bottle fans from draft fans. We worked with company PortaBeer, which offers mobile draft solutions for hospitality, restaurant, and other venues, to better dive in to the difference between these two segments:

  • Women are more likely to favor bottles; men, drafts.
  • Draft beer fans are more likely than can or bottle fans to live in the suburbs. 45% of them live here.
  • Draft beer fans prefer either national or regional craft beers or small, local beers.
  • Those who most often eat at casual dining/sit-down chain restaurants are most likely to prefer beer from a bottle. Those who favor eating at locally-owned, independent establishments are much more likely to prefer draft beers.
  • TV ads are more influential among bottle and can fans, while social media is more of an influencer on draft fans.

There’s more that we learned about them, which you can view in a PDF of our Beer Preference Insight Report (no login needed). But generally speaking, the draft beer fan tends to be wealthier, more educated, attends more sporting events, practices a healthier lifestyle, and also cares about the environment (which may explain the preference for draft beer: less waste).

Whatever your beer format preference, if you imbibe for St. Patty’s Day – please do so safely. And we advise you don’t answer our polls while under the influence. See our other recent blog post about “Only When Drunk…” for humor on this matter.