Study: Five Percent of Adults Have Sampled Craft Beer in Past 30 Days

NEW YORK – A new study from local market consumer research firmScarborough reveals that 42 percent of the age 21+ American adult population have enjoyed a beer in the past 30 days. More specifically, five percent of all adults 21+ have had a microbrew in the same time frame. With Memorial Day behind us and BBQ and grilling season heating up, the latest Scarboroughanalysis looks at behaviors of Microbrew Drinkers.

Where are these beer drinkers buying their brew? More than half (53%) of Microbrew Drinkers purchased beer at a grocery store in the past 30 days. Microbrew Drinkers also purchased beer at sit-down restaurants (45%), nightclubs or bars (38%) and liquor stores (37%). Microbrew Drinkers are more than twice as likely as all beer-drinking adults 21+ to have purchased beer at a stadium or arena in the past 30 days.

In terms of demographics, 25 percent of Microbrew Drinkers are between 30 and 39 years old. Microbrew Drinkers are 49 percent more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to be men and also 49 percent more likely to be employed full-time. They are 54 percent more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to hold white collar employment and 78 percent more likely to have an annual household income of $250K or higher. Half of all Microbrew Drinkers have a college degree or higher and 19 percent have participated in adult continuing education classes in the past 12 months.

“Microbrews, or craft beers, are a terrific example of how localism has become trendy,” says Alisa Joseph, vice president of advertiser services for Scarborough. “By marketing the local brew to beer drinkers in their own communities, particularly while they’re immersed in local activities, brands can capitalize on the consumer loyalty that comes with rooting for the home team or visiting the neighborhood hot spots.”

Microbrew Drinkers can be found engaging in many different kinds of sports activities. Sixty percent of all Microbrew Drinkers attended a professional sports event in the past 12 months and 20 percent have attended a high school sports event in the same time period. In terms of interest, Microbrew Drinkers are 40 percent more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to say they are “very interested” (Avid Fans) in college basketball. They are 45 percent more likely to be Avid Fans of college football and 41 percent more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to be Avid Major League Baseball Fans. This summer in particular is sure to be exciting for Microbrew Drinkers as 30 percent of them are Avid Fans of the Olympics.

There’s more to Microbrew Drinkers than their affinity for sports; they also have a softer, artsy side. Microbrew Drinkers are nearly three times more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to have visited an art museum in the same period of time. Thirty-three percent of Microbrew Drinkers have attended live theater in the past 12 months. More than one-quarter (27%) of all Microbrew Drinkers bought a ticket to a music concert in the past year.

When they’re not spending time at arts and sporting events, Microbrew Drinkers are twice as likely as all U.S. adults 21+ to have used a mobile device to read a newspaper in the past 30 days. The types of television programs Microbrew Drinkers typically watch are comedies (65%), movies (61%) and sports (54%). Twenty-nine percent of Microbrew Drinkers visited a radio station website in the past 30 days.

In terms of digital media consumption, nearly one-third (29 percent) of online Microbrew Drinkers spend 20 or more hours per week surfing the web. They are 50 percent more likely than all age 21+ internet users to have visited YouTube in the past 30 days and twice as likely to visit Pandora. Microbrew Drinkers with wireless access are twice as likely as all age 21+ wireless users to check sports scores and watch video clips on their cell phones. They are also three times as likely to check their stocks or the stock market on their wireless phones.

Among the top twenty local markets for American adults 21+ who have had a microbrew in the past 30 days are:

DMA % of Adults 21+ Who Drank a Microbrew
Denver, CO 13%
Portland, OR 13%
Seattle, WA 11%
Colorado Springs, CO 9%
Milwaukee, WI 9%
Spokane, WA 9%
San Francisco, CA 8%
Boston, MA 8%
Grand Rapids, MI 8%
Austin, TX 7%
Minneapolis, MN 7%
Hartford, CT 7%
San Diego, CA 7%
Tucson, AZ 7%
Baltimore, MD 7%
Washington, DC 6%
Rochester, NY 6%
Green Bay, WI 6%
Des Moines, IA 6%
Kansas City, MO 6%

Continue the dialogue with Scarborough over Twitter by reaching out to @ScarboroughInfo using hashtag #Beer and be sure to visit us on Facebook at

This data is from Scarborough USA+, Release 2 2011. Scarborough measures 210,000 adults aged 18+ annually across a wide variety of media, lifestyle, shopping and demographic categories.

About Scarborough Research:

Scarborough ( measures American life. Our consumer insights reflect shopping patterns, media usage across platforms and lifestyle trends for adults. Media professionals and marketers use Scarborough insights to make smarter marketing/business decisions on things like ad placement, multicultural targeting, and sponsorship opportunities. The company’s core syndicated consumer insight studies in 77 Top-Tier Markets, its Multi-Market Study and its national USA+ Study are Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited. Other products and services include Scarborough Mid-Tier Local Market Studies, Hispanic Studies and Custom Research Solutions. Scarborough measures 2,000 consumer categories and serves a broad client base that includes marketers, advertising agencies, print and electronic media (broadcast and cable television, radio stations), sports teams and leagues and out-of-home media companies. Surveying more than 210,000 adults annually, Scarborough is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. and The Nielsen Company.

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