Beer, wine sometimes mix

New survey finds beer, wine drinkers have much in common

Oct 5, 2001 - A national survey comparing wine and beer consumers finds that the market profile for those who enjoy these beverages is much the same.


The National Beer Survey is the fourth in a series of surveys conducted to monitor trends and characteristics of craft beer drinkers. The first was performed in 1995 and reported in American Demographics magazine, with subsequent 1996 and 1998 survey results presented in The New Brewer magazine. All surveys were conducted as part of omnibus national probability surveys conducted by the Survey Research Center of the University of Maryland. John P. Robinson, Ph.D., a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, has written a complete analysis of the survey and its implications for the brewing industry. It appears in the September/October issue of The New Brewer.

The survey found that premium beer and wine drinkers share the features of being younger, earning a higher income, and holding a higher education level than the rest of the adult population. Both serious beer and wine drinkers are found mainly in the coastal rather than inland sections of the country.

Overall, it makes little sense to treat beer and wine consumers, both premium and not, as distinct groups, the survey indicates. There is considerable overlap between the two, with specialty beer drinkers being far more likely than mass-market and non-beer drinkers to drink wine, and to consume more expensive wines. In much the same way, premium wine consumers are far more likely than average to drink microbrews.

The survey found that beer and wine drinkers are most often the same people. People who drink beer consume more than three-quarters of the wine and nearly three-quarters of the beer is consumed by drinkers of wine. Both products are consumed by people who are more affluent and educated are more active Internet users and museum visitors than non-drinkers.

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