NEW YORK – What a time to be alive – at least according to beer drinkers! Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) beer drinkers agree that it's a great time to be a beer lover. When looking more closely at what it is about beer they love so much, 7 in 10 (70%) say they enjoy trying new types of beer and nearly 2 in 3 (64%) are fans of local brews. The latter is especially true of craft beer drinkers, 86% of whom are fans of local beer, compared to 77% of those who prefer import beers and 60% of domestic non-craft beer drinkers.
Thirty-somethings stand out from the crowd in their passion for beer. Among beer drinkers in this age group, 95% say it's a great time to be a beer lover and 85% enjoy trying new types of beer. They're also more passionate fans of local brews than the average beer drinker (76%).
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,115 U.S. adults (ages 21 and older), including 913 who drink beer at least several times per year, surveyed online between February 17 and 22, 2016. Complete results of this study can be found here.
Changing with the seasons
As the weather changes, so do the taps with spring seasonal brews replacing the winter drafts. When it comes to beer style, lagers are tops with 30% of beer drinkers saying it's their preferred choice. However, 4 in 10 (40%) beer drinkers say their favorite beers change with the season. Millennials may welcome the change most as they're more likely than any other generation to modify their tastes with the seasons (56% vs. 42% Gen Xers, 26% Baby Boomers, 21% Matures).
"It's certainly a good time to be a beer lover," says Danelle Kosmal, VP of Nielsen's Beverage Alcohol practice. "As Americans continue to enjoy some of their favorite traditional lagers, they also have a seemingly unlimited set of options when it comes to styles and new flavors. Whether it's with a new session IPA, a farmhouse ale, or a refreshing summer flavor, there are plenty of reasons for beer lovers and brewers alike to be excited about their opportunities in beer."
Something to snack on
Perhaps just as critical as the contents of your pint glass, is what's on the plate next to it. Pizza tops the list of foods beer drinkers say is the best to eat while sipping a cold one (28%), which comes as no surprise since a separate Harris Poll found that pizza also ranked as the number one comfort food and beer beats out all other alcoholic beverages as the top alcoholic beverage to wash down a slice. Burgers (10%) and wings (7%) round out the top three favorite foods to pair with a beer.
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This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between February 17 and 22, 2016 among 2,115 adults (aged 21 and over), among whom 913 drink beer at least several times per year. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
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The Harris Poll® #23, April 6, 2016
By Allyssa Birth, Senior Research Analyst, The Harris Poll
About The Harris Poll®
Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. For more information, or to see other recent polls, please visit our new website, TheHarrisPoll.com.