Half of US Adults Don’t Drink Beer!

Results from a US Consumer Survey

Recently, craft beer has exploded in popularity in Japan, and the number of craft beer makers is increasing every year. These craft beer makers are probably looking to expand into overseas markets.

In this post, we surveyed 1,000 American consumers in the United States, the world’s largest craft beer market, to find out what kinds of beer Americans drink and how often they drink it.

Lagers and Craft Beers are the Most Popular

The top beers as ranked by Americans were as follows:

  • 1st Place: Lagers and White Beers
  • 2nd Place: Brown and Red Ales
  • 3rd Place: Stouts and Porters

As in Japan, lagers and lighter beers were the most popular in the US. Although 30% of the respondents choose “Other” when answering this question, when reading their free answer choice, most of them were along the lines of “I like Budweiser” or “I like light beer,” suggesting that the percentage of those of prefer lagers may be 40% or higher.

A chart showing beer preferences in America by type

As in Japan, Beer Is Popular Among Men

In general, men consumed much more of each type of beer than women, with a 15% difference between men and women in the lager and white beer category. Often, the biggest reason for this difference may be that many women do not drink beer at all. Many of the female respondents who chose “Other” stated in the free answer section that the “Don’t like” or “Don’t drink beer”. Even in the U.S., there appears to be a large gender gap in the beer drinking population.

A chart showing beer preferences in America by gender

Americans Drink Less Frequently than Japanese

Finally, we asked about beer drinking frequency, the results of which may help Japanese breweries decide whether to expand their sales overseas. The results are in, and to our surprise, we found that less than 50% of Americans drink beer. Of those, only 35% drink beer at least once a week.

What is noteworthy, however, is the difference between men and women. Less than half of men drink beer at least once a week, and this falls to less than a quarter for women. As seen in the chart below, the beer drinking market, as in Japan, is mostly male-dominated.

A chart showing beer drinking frequency by gender

America is not a Beer Paradise, but New Potential Exists

On first glance, it may seem that America is a hard market to enter. There are already many well-known beer makers, and the total beer drinking population is less than 50%. That said, there may be a possibility to develop new markets by appealing to non-beer drinkers. For example, appealing to women with a friendly, easy-to-drink image may be an effective marketing strategy.

Survey Methodology

  • Target Country: The United States
  • Target Population: General population, both male and female, aged 18-79
  • Number of People Surveyed: 1049 (502 males and 547 females)
  • Survey Period: June 5-7, 2018
  • Survey Method: Internet Survey (Koeeru Global Omnibus Survey)

Koeeru Trend regularly presents the results of global market research surveys conducted by Koeeru and Koeeru’s partners using our international market research system.

If you have any questions about the data or would like to request a reprint, please feel free to contact us via the Contact Us page.

First Published: 2018-09-07

Revised: 2023-06-23

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