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Mar 18
Last Updated on 15 March 2018

5 Fun Facts About America’s Drinking Habits

Growler fills

Have you ever wondered how your wine and spirits purchases and consumption compared with everyone else’s? Read on to find out!

  • People are drinking more wine in America than they used to. Back in 1993, Americans drank less than 2 gallons of wine per person every year. By 2013, we were drinking nearly 3 gallons of wine per capita. Impact Databank says now that the United States is the country consuming the most wine anywhere in the world. Wine and spirits are both up. Our per capita consumption of distilled spirits was at 1.6 gallons in 2015.
  • We have serious preferences when it comes to our wine and spirits. When talking about wine, there are five varieties we strongly prefer. Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. Our favorites are the red wines, at 51% and then the white wines at 46%. About 6% of wine sales are rose. When it comes to spirits, whiskey and vodka lead the pack, with rum coming in a distant third.
  • Millenials drink more than the rest of us. Millenials are tipping back an average of 3.1 glasses of wine per person when they drink. Gen Xers can only manage 2.4 and Baby Boomers are drinking about 1.9 glasses each time. Millenials dranks down 42% of all the wine sold in America in 2015. When it comes to the spirits, Millenials are driving the vodka train, while the Gen Xers are turning to rum more than others do. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are showing an interest in vodka and tequila.
  • How much are we spending on our booze? When it comes to spending on our wine and spirits, trends again depend on age. About 17% of millennials will have bought a bottle of wine that cost more than $20 in the last month, but only 10% of the rest of our drinkers will have done so. In general, people under 35 are spending between 1% and 1.2% of their income on liquor, while those over the age of 45 only spend between .08% and .09%.
  • Beer is still our favorite tipple. Sales of wine and spirits are up in recent years, but we still enjoy more beer than anything else. Beer accounts for 50% of all alcohol sales, and in 2015 the number of breweries operating in America grew by 15%. That’s 4,269 of them: the most we’ve ever had in our history. Craft beer is now accounting for 12% of that market and growing steadily. You might be surprised to learn, though, that from Colonial times until the advent of Prohibition, hard cider was America’s most popular drink. Cider is has been seeing a revival in recent years and could once again take an important place in America’s drinking life.

We love our wine and spirits, our beer and, once again, our cider. Whatever generation you belong to, and whatever tipple you personally prefer, there are an incredible number of types of wine and types of beer and spirits available. Maybe it’s time to go celebrate that with a drink.

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