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Our Take On Wine and Liquor Affecting Beer Growth

From The Iron Horse Brewery Blog

Our Take On Wine and Liquor Affecting Beer Growth


Wine and spirits are cutting into craft beer growth. That’s what was revealed in a recent Power Hour hosted by the Brewers Association and then explored in this Brewbound article.

The Power Hour speaker, who worked for a market research firm, said that consumers are shifting away from beer purchases toward wine and spirits. He explained that while consumers are purchasing high end beer, fewer households overall are consuming beer. The growth of wine and spirits are outpacing beer.

We asked our cousins for their thoughts on the article and why they think this trend is happening.


Why do you think people are shifting to wine and spirits?

“From what I see over in Idaho, there has been a lot more emphasis on healthier living, and even though we all love beer, it’s not the best way to keep your waistline. What I see is that, though they aren’t great for you, these FMB’s (flavored malt beverages) like White Claws and Truly do have these carbs and fattening things in them, but are still line priced with beer. With the hard alcohol aspect, it still goes along the lines of calories and carbs. If you order the right stuff, i.e. vodka soda or something like that, there really isn’t anything bad except what you are in taking in the vodka.” — Duncan Pratt, Boise market manager

“I’m wondering if it’s because people are becoming more health conscious. If you’re on a diet or eating healthy you’re either cutting out alcohol altogether, or limiting it to once a week. If you enjoy having a drink but don’t want to sacrifice the weight loss gains you’ve made what are you going to drink? Probably not beer because it will make you feel bloated and has more carbs than other options. Straight spirits are lower in carbs than beer. Even the keto diet says if you’re going to have alcohol make it red wine over beer because it is much lower in carbs. Maybe I’m wrong but I have to guess that has something to do with it. Because White Claw only has 2 carbs and they are doing quite well.. ” — Nicole Klauss, marketing marketer


Are you noticing this trend personally among your friends? Do you have examples?

“I was at Safeway the other day checking out the beer aisle when I thought I should look for this White Claw and see what all the fuss is about. I found it and there were only a couple boxes of it left on the shelf. As I’m standing in the checkout line I look over and notice a group of three young ladies who had STOCKED UP on White Claw. They had multiple boxes of the stuff. Is it the low carb aspect that appeals to them? Is it the seltzer water piece because it’s the boozy version of LaCroix? I’m not sure, but it is obviously very popular with the younger demographic. I must have finally aged out of that demographic since I didn’t realize how hip it was.” — Nicole


“When observing a local bar with Thursday night football playing, there were 15 individuals that I took notes on.

1 ordered wine

3 ordered beer (noting that all beer ordered was domestic)

7 ordered mixed drinks

2 ordered other drinks

Personally, I think my taste buds have dramatically developed (or deteriorated) over the past few years. When I was freshly 21, I hated beer and wine wasn’t even an option because it smelt and tasted like vinegar. Fruity mixed drinks were the only viable option if I was going to enjoy a beverage.

Now, I feel fairly experienced in the craft beer industry. I understand it, I appreciate quality beers, and embrace all the flavors that comes along with it. This past summer, I’ve really been diving into the wine world since the taste doesn’t seem quite as intense to me anymore. Plus the whole experience of outdoor wine tasting next to the vineyards is super fun… that probably doesn’t help explain anything, but it’s just my experience. Lastly, I’ve never been to a distillery, but I do tend to lean more toward vodka sodas when going out, so I don’t feel so bloated or full from beer if I have a long night ahead of me. Maybe our world is becoming more and more health conscious, and beer doesn’t really fit that description?” — Aimee Bach, local marketing coordinator


What do you think? Do you find yourself drinking more wine or spirits instead of beer?



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Debbie Strotz
April 3, 2019 10:55 am

This begs my questions… you serve wine? Do you make ciders?

April 3, 2019 11:02 am

Hi Debbie. We don’t make cider or wine, however, we do sell both at [ the pub ] to accommodate people’s family members and friends who won’t drink beer. We also serve sodas for the kiddos.

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