Where the bullet meets the bone — or where self-analysis collides with reality? Americans may say in surveys that they love and buy craft beer, but the stats prove what they really buy is Bud Light. So, what’s to blame for this dichotomy? Is it a problem with the way we view ourselves, or maybe the problem is what is lacking in our pocketbooks? Regardless, a recent survey shows that what Americans state and what they buy are extremely different.
Ranker.com, a sample population survey (and arguably unscientific) ranking site, posted the results of a poll of more than 3,500 voters casting 44,000+ votes for their favorite of 386 beers that were listed and available to be chosen for ranking. The results were surprising, or maybe not, as particular areas of the country seem to favor Bud Light more than others.
Beer is as American as apple pie, considered to be a cultural and social need, a compliment to pizza, and is selling in record amounts since the end of Prohibition. While the U.S. is certainly not the only country to love its beer, there is no doubt that beer companies are in competition for top revenue in the U.S. When Americans are polled on what they love, Guinness scored the top spot, but the remainder of the top ten went to craft beer.
According to Quartz.com, Americans rated their favorite beer in the following order:
2. Newcastle Brown Ale
3. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
4. Samuel Adams Boston Lager
5. Stone IPA
6. Fat Tire
7. Stone Brewing Co. Arrogant Bastard Ale
8. Stella Artois
9. Rogue Dead Guy Ale
10. Blue Moon
But that’s not what Americans are actually buying, regardless of what they say they like, according to data from Euromonitor. The actual top 20 beers sold in the U.S. in 2014, by volume, are not craft beers at all. Guinness, the number one in the favorites poll, doesn’t even make the list, coming in below the top 20 at number 28. Bud Light sold nearly 5,000 millions of liters, which overtook Coors Light, next on the list, by about 20 times the amount sold. It’s clear that Bud Light is by far the most purchased beer.
Ranker‘s Jennifer Garnick told Quartz that the polled Americans responded appropriately because they were asked what they preferred, not what they actually buy. It would be interesting to see in a follow-up poll why they aren’t purchasing the beer they most love.
“The Ranker results are based on the personal preferences of our audience who voted on the list. We asked voters not to limit their voting to what they drink / buy most regularly, but more on taste and overall preference. Our list isn’t based on sales.”
[photo by chicagobusinessinsider]