Beer still America’s drink of choice

Gallup’s annual update on Americans’ drinking habits shows beer again topping wine as the adult beverage of choice.

The poll received much attention in 2005 when wine – which consistently ranked below beer – jumped ahead, 39%-36%.

Beer returned to the top last year, being favored by 41% of those who drink (64% of the population), and in 2007 was at 40%.

According to a press release from Anheuser-Busch, beer represents the largest segment in the alcohol beverage category in both volume and dollar sales and accounts for 56% of all alcohol beverage servings.

Gallup points out that male, female, younger, and older drinkers have different beverage preferences, primarily in regards to beer versus wine. Beer is the favored beverage among male drinkers and younger drinkers, while wine is the top choice among female drinkers and older drinkers.

Not long after the 2005 results were released, Bob Lachky of Anheuser-Busch embarked on a campaign to improve beer’s image that turned into Here’s to Beer.

“We are very pleased with the reception the ‘Here’s To Beer’ campaign has received from our fellow brewers, as well as from the beer distributor and retailer communities,” Lachky – now executive vice president, Global Industry Development – said in the A-B press release. “Additionally, we’re encouraged by the consumer data such as today’s Gallup poll and this year’s ACNielsen global trend report that reinforce beer’s supremacy as a driver of food and beverage growth worldwide.”

Here’s to Beer will soon launch “The Beer Connoisseur” web site – an online beer university in which adults can enroll to learn about beer’s ingredients, brewing process, styles and the fundamentals of food-pairing.