The Wine and Beer Industry A Brief Overview of These Favorite Beverages

Wine store

Both wine and beer are popular beverages in the United States, and many people are connoisseurs of fine wines and craft beers. In addition to there being more than 7,700 wineries throughout the country, there are approximately 4,269 breweries in operation.

Wine Connoisseurs

It’s interesting to note that Gen Xers tend to drink a bit more wine than the Baby Boomer generation. While both generations continue to be oenophiles, or wine connoisseurs, the younger generation is drinking an average of 3.1 glasses of wine for every 2.4 glasses that the older generation is drinking.

Whether wine connoisseurs are purchasing different types of wine at a local wine store or while out on the town, they prefer these varietals:

  • Chardonnay
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir

When it comes to spending patterns, 17% of Millennials purchased bottles of wine that cost over $20.00 within the past month. Just 5% of Baby Boomers and 10% of all wine drinkers spent this much, however.

Craft Beer Connoisseurs

There are different types of beer, of course, and more and more people are choosing to drink craft beers. Most, or 99%, of the breweries in operation are small, independent breweries:

  • Microbreweries: 2,397
  • Brewpubs: 1,650
  • Regional craft breweries: 178

Microbreweries, for example, produce less than 15,000 barrels on an annual basis. A large percentage of the beer they produce is sold off-site. On average, 75% or more is sold in this way.

In addition to the types of breweries above, there are also contract brewing companies that supply different types of beer to liquor and grocery stores as well as pubs, restaurants, and other business establishments.

Small, independent craft brewers currently possess a market share in the beer industry. It’s interesting to note that in 2015 alone, craft brewers experienced a 13% increase in volume and a 16% increase in retail dollar value. During that year, craft brewers represented a 21% market share of the industry with a retail value of approximately $22.3 billion.

Exploring Different Types of Beer and Wine

While beer and wine drinkers often have a preference, they also tend to explore new flavor profiles. Given the rise in local pubs and tasting rooms, there are even more palate-expanding opportunities available. Growlers, for instance, provide an excellent way to take home a favorite craft beer in a reusable container. Favorite wines can also be purchased at local wine stores and wineries.

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