The latest Gallup Poll screams the news from the mountain tops. DRINKERS PREFERENCE FOR BEER FALLS 5%.
And, as in 2005, wine gains. So now 36% of drinkers prefer beer (that will be down to 1% in seven years if beer continues to lose 5% per year) and 35% favor wine. Lots of numbers that people who sell wine must love (look at the preferences of college graduates). Then, of course, there is the last paragraph.
While meaningful, this year’s shifts are not much different in magnitude from those seen in 2005 – changes that proved temporary. Whether beer continues to lose ground to other forms of liquor or rebounds may depend on the future direction of young adults’ drink preferences.
Maybe this will turn out to be a big deal and maybe it won’t. Certainly anybody running a brewery, particularly one with shrinking sales, should be bothered if it turns out that younger drinkers are abandoning beer for wine.
But what Gallup apparently missed when it formulated the questions — at least the ones we’re seeing the answers for — is that there’s beer and there’s beer.