What Percentage of Americans Drink Craft Beer?

So, you may have noticed a growing interest in craft beer among Americans in recent years. But have you ever wondered just how many of your fellow citizens are joining in on this trend?

The numbers might surprise you. And as you consider the demographics and regional trends, you might find that the reasons behind this increase in craft beer consumption are as intriguing as the statistics themselves.

Key Takeaways

  • Craft beer consumption accounts for a significant portion of the total U.S. beer market, with 13.1% by volume and 26.8% by financial value.
  • Regional craft beer preferences vary, with the West Coast favoring hop-forward beers like IPAs, the Midwest preferring maltier brews like stouts and porters, and the Northeast enjoying beers made with locally sourced ingredients.
  • Millennials, Boomers, and Gen Xers make up the majority of craft beer consumers, with millennials representing 32.9%.
  • Craft beer drinkers come from diverse demographics, including an increasing percentage of female drinkers, higher-income households, and ethnic populations like Hispanics and African Americans.

Craft Beer Consumption Trends

Craft beer consumption trends show a steady increase in the percentage of Americans embracing craft beer, with a notable preference for local and regional brews. The craft beer market accounts for 13.1% by volume and 26.8% by financial value of the total U.S. beer market, indicating a significant presence in the industry.

IPAs, constituting around one third of the craft beer market, reflect evolving consumer preferences towards less bitterness and more juiciness and haziness. The increasing number of craft beer consumers is evident as approximately 40% of the 21+ population in the U.S. are now craft beer drinkers, with this figure growing by 1-2 percentage points annually.

Moreover, there's a clear inclination towards local brews among craft beer drinkers, with 66% exclusively purchasing beer sold in their region and 57% limiting their purchases to their town or city. This underscores the significance of regional breweries in catering to the tastes of craft beer enthusiasts.

The overall shift towards craft beer is unmistakable, with 43% of legal-drinking-age consumers opting for craft beer, signifying a marked increase from 35% in 2015. Notably, more than half of 21- to 44-year-olds are now counted among craft beer drinkers, reflecting a trend towards younger demographics embracing the craft beer industry.

Regional Craft Beer Preferences

Indisputably, regional craft beer preferences provide valuable insights into the diverse and evolving tastes of American beer enthusiasts. Understanding these preferences is crucial for craft brewers to cater to their target market effectively.

Here are some key regional craft beer preferences:

  • Geographical Influences:
  • In the West Coast, there's a strong preference for hop-forward beers, particularly IPAs, due to the thriving hop farming industry in states like Oregon and Washington.
  • The Midwest displays a penchant for maltier brews, with a focus on traditional styles such as stouts and porters, likely influenced by the region's rich brewing history.
  • Local Ingredient Emphasis:
  • Craft beer drinkers in the Northeast exhibit a preference for beers made with locally sourced ingredients, driving the popularity of farm-to-glass breweries. This emphasis aligns with the broader market trend of consumers seeking products with a strong sense of locality.
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These regional variations in craft beer preferences underscore the complex interplay between consumer tastes, geographical influences, and the strategic decisions of craft brewers. Recognizing and adapting to these preferences is pivotal for brewers seeking to thrive in the competitive craft beer market.

Age Demographics and Craft Beer

Regional craft beer preferences offer valuable insights into the evolving tastes of American beer enthusiasts. This is particularly evident when considering the age demographics of craft beer consumers. Millennials constitute a significant portion, at 32.9%, of craft beer consumers, followed closely by Boomers at 34.6% and Gen Xers at 23.9%.

The legal drinking age population in the U.S. comprises over 40% craft beer drinkers, with an annual increase. Additionally, 90% of weekly craft beer drinkers also consume at least one other beverage alcohol category weekly, indicating a diverse drinking preference among this demographic.

Moreover, the data reveals that craft beer volume makes up 13.2% of beer production in the U.S., highlighting its substantial presence in the market. Notably, the percentage of female craft beer drinkers has also seen an increase, reaching 31.5% in recent years. This suggests a growing appeal of craft beer among female consumers.

These insights underscore the importance of understanding age demographics when analyzing craft beer consumption patterns, providing invaluable information for breweries and businesses aiming to target specific consumer segments.

Gender and Craft Beer Consumption

With 31.5% of craft beer drinkers being female in 2018, there's been a notable increase of 2% points since 2015. This shift indicates a growing interest among women in craft beer consumption.

Portland, Oregon stands out with 52.7% of craft drinkers being female, showcasing a particularly strong trend in this city. However, different areas show a range of female craft drinkers from 7.4% to 52.7%, suggesting that geographical location plays a significant role in gender and craft beer consumption.

  • Out of the total craft drinking population, 83.4% of female craft drinkers are found in various markets, making up 4.44 million women who drank craft beer in the last 30 days.
  • This highlights the substantial impact of female consumers on the craft beer market and the importance of catering to their preferences and needs.
  • There are opportunities to increase the number of female craft drinkers in markets where they currently represent less than 1/3 of all craft drinkers, and further growth can be achieved by reaching gender parity in markets where female craft drinkers are currently between 1/3 and 1/2 of all craft drinkers.

Efforts are needed to market craft beer to different communities and increase diversity in craft drinker demographics.

Income Levels and Craft Beer

Craft beer consumption is significantly influenced by varying income levels across different consumer demographics. When considering income levels and craft beer, it's interesting to note that higher-income households tend to make up a larger percentage of craft beer consumers. According to a Nielsen report, households with an annual income of $100,000 or more represent nearly 36% of craft beer volume. On the other hand, households with an income of less than $40,000 make up only about 21% of craft beer volume. This suggests that as income levels increase, so does the likelihood of consuming craft beer.

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Moreover, the craft beer market is often associated with premium pricing, which may be more accessible to consumers with higher disposable incomes. Additionally, consumers with higher incomes may have more disposable income to spend on non-essential items like craft beer, thus contributing to the higher percentage of craft beer drinkers within this income bracket.

Understanding the relationship between income levels and craft beer consumption provides valuable insights for breweries and marketers aiming to target specific consumer segments. By recognizing the income distribution of craft beer consumers, businesses can tailor their marketing strategies and product offerings to effectively reach different income demographics.

Education and Craft Beer Preferences

Education level strongly influences craft beer preferences, with higher levels of education often correlating with a greater propensity for craft beer consumption. The percentage of Americans drinking craft beer tends to increase with higher education levels. This trend can be attributed to several factors:

  • Cultural Exposure:
  • Individuals with higher education levels often have a greater exposure to diverse cultural experiences, including different types of beverages. This exposure can lead to an appreciation for the artistry and complexity of craft beer, influencing preferences.
  • Income Levels and Consumer Behavior:
  • Education is often linked to higher income levels, which can provide individuals with the financial means to explore and indulge in craft beer. As a result, individuals with higher education levels may be more inclined to spend on premium, artisanal products like craft beer.

These insights suggest that education plays a significant role in shaping craft beer preferences and consumption patterns among Americans. As the craft beer market continues to evolve, understanding the relationship between education and consumer behavior can provide valuable insights for breweries and marketers aiming to target specific demographics and expand their consumer base.

Urban Vs. Rural Craft Beer Drinkers

In the evolving landscape of craft beer consumption, the distinction between urban and rural drinkers presents noteworthy variations in consumer behavior and preferences. According to data from the Census Bureau, urban areas tend to have a higher concentration of craft beer drinkers compared to rural areas. This could be attributed to the higher availability and accessibility of craft beer options in urban settings, as well as the lifestyle and cultural factors associated with city living. On the other hand, rural craft beer drinkers said to prefer locally brewed beers and often prioritize the connection to the community and the authenticity of the brewing process. Below is a table that highlights some key differences between urban and rural craft beer drinkers based on recent data.

AspectUrban Craft Beer DrinkersRural Craft Beer Drinkers
Population DensityHigherLower
Preferred Beer CharacteristicsVariety and ExperimentationLocally Sourced and Authentic
Access to Craft Beer EstablishmentsEasierLimited

Understanding these distinctions is crucial for breweries and marketers to tailor their strategies to meet the specific needs and preferences of urban and rural craft beer consumers.

Ethnicity and Craft Beer Consumption

Considering the distinct preferences and behaviors of urban and rural craft beer drinkers, the exploration of ethnicity's impact on craft beer consumption provides a valuable lens through which to understand the evolving dynamics of the market. Analyzing the data provided by the Brewers Association, it's evident that ethnicity plays a significant role in craft beer consumption.

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Here's a breakdown of how ethnicity influences craft beer consumption:

  • Craft Beer Consumption by Ethnicity:
  • According to a study by the Brewers Association, Hispanic and African American populations are increasingly engaging with the craft beer market. Their preferences and purchasing decisions are influencing the direction of craft beer production and marketing strategies.
  • Dollar sales within these demographics are on the rise, indicating a growing interest and demand for craft beer among these consumer groups.

Understanding the nuances of craft beer consumption among different ethnic groups is crucial for brewers to tailor their products and marketing efforts effectively. As the market continues to evolve, acknowledging and responding to the diverse preferences of craft drinkers will be essential for sustained growth and relevance in the industry.

Marital Status and Craft Beer Preferences

Based on the evolving demographics and market trends, understanding the influence of marital status on craft beer preferences is essential for breweries to effectively target and engage with diverse consumer groups. When examining the percentage of craft beer consumers based on marital status, interesting insights emerge. The table below illustrates the distribution of craft beer drinkers by marital status, shedding light on their preferences and consumption habits.

Marital StatusPercentage of Craft Drinkers

The data suggests that married individuals make up the largest portion of craft beer consumers at 47%, closely followed by singles at 42%. This indicates that marital status may indeed play a role in craft beer consumption habits. Breweries can utilize this information to tailor marketing strategies and product offerings to appeal to different marital demographics. Moreover, understanding the preferences of diverse consumer groups can aid in the development of targeted campaigns, ultimately enhancing engagement and brand loyalty.

Occupational Factors and Craft Beer

Craft beer consumption trends suggest that understanding occupational factors can provide valuable insights into the evolving preferences and consumption habits of diverse consumer groups. When it comes to craft beer, occupation plays a significant role in shaping consumption patterns and preferences. Here are the key insights:

  • Craft Drinkers: Occupational factors influence the likelihood of being a craft beer consumer. For instance, individuals in creative professions or those with higher education levels are more likely to be craft beer enthusiasts due to their inclination towards innovation and exploration of diverse flavors.
  • *Volume Sales*: Occupational differences also impact volume sales, with certain professions showing a higher propensity for consuming craft beer in larger quantities, influencing overall market trends and demand.

Understanding the occupational factors that drive craft beer consumption is crucial for Craft Breweries to tailor their marketing strategies effectively. By targeting specific professions and understanding their preferences, craft breweries can enhance their sales strategies and product offerings to resonate with different consumer groups, ultimately driving growth in the craft beer market.