Beer (& More) In Food

Beer: The Condiment With An Attitude!


Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 30, 2008

New Gallup Poll Shows Beer’s Lead Over Wine, Spirits is Back to Double-Digits;

Shift Most Evident Among Adults Ages 30-49, Back to Beer After Trying Wine

ST. LOUIS (July 29, 2008) – According to a new Gallup poll, beer’s lead over wine and spirits has returned to double-digits for the first time since 2002, particularly among adults between the ages of 30 and 49 who tried wine for a few years then shifted back to beer.

The annual Consumption Habits poll, released Friday through Gallup’s Web site, shows that in combined data from Gallup’s 2004 and 2005 Consumption surveys, drinkers between the ages of 30 and 49 were about as likely to prefer wine as beer.  Now, drinkers in this age bracket have shifted back to beer, with an average of 47 percent in the combined 2007-2008 data saying they most often drink beer.  Drinking preferences among adults ages 21-29 have remained stable in recent years, with the majority showing a wide preference for beer.

“This poll shows what we’ve always known – that trends will come and go but beer is here to stay,” said Bob Lachky, executive vice president, Global Industry and Creative Development for Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and leader of “Here’s To Beer,” a two-year-old campaign that toasts Americans’ appreciation for beer.  “More Americans are learning – or re‑learning – how to appreciate the wide variety of beer styles available and how easy it is to pair beer with all types of food, which is also attracting new adult consumers to the beer category.”

Beer continues to represent the largest segment in the alcohol beverage category in volume and dollar sales, accounting for 56 percent of all alcohol beverage servings.  The Anheuser-Busch-led “Here’s To Beer” campaign was launched to help consumers develop a deeper appreciation for beer while providing tools for retailers and distributors to grow their beer business.

The campaign re-launched its Web site – – in April 2008 with enhanced interactive tools to help consumers learn about beer’s ingredients, styles, the brewing process, the importance of proper pouring and glassware, and how to pair beer with food.  The Web site also offers expert tips for food-pairing with videos featuring Food Network personality and cookbook author Dave Lieberman., the “members only” site for beer wholesalers, provides downloadable sign making and point-of-sale templates to create attractive in-store materials to elevate and enhance the beer aisle.  Beyond the more than 600 wholesalers in the Anheuser‑Busch network, an additional 350 members from the ranks of competitive brewers and non A-B wholesalers are also registered members.

“Here’s To Beer” also sponsors the annual St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival in Forest Park.  The festival is quickly becoming a must-attend event for beer industry leaders and enthusiasts, where more than 70 styles of beers were sampled from Anheuser-Busch and local craft brewers.  The festival drew 15,000 people at its inaugural event in 2007 and this year drew 20,000 people from across the country.


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I was at this year’s St. Louis Brewer Heritage Festival in Forest Park, and despite the perceived antagonistic relationship between A-B and craft brewers, I didn’t see it. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for A-B’s soft guidance, the fest probably would never have gotten off the ground, something that the local craft brewers were quick to admit. The seven participating brewers in the event were Alandale Brewery, Anheuser-Busch, Augusta Brewery, Morgan Street Brewery, O’Fallon Brewery, Schlafly Beer and Square One Brewery. 

One thing I liked in particular was Bob Lachky’s obvious dig at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and their competition and awards. The politics involved in the GABF probably began with accusations years ago that the Boston Beer Company had somehow stacked the “Best of” voting by offering a ton of swag to participants in order to win the competition for a few years straight. The political innuendoes seem to continue each year with insider stories of somebody feeling they got screwed during the beer judging.

Lachky, on the other hand, insists that the St. Louis fest will continue to celebrate beer—that’s it. No awards, no bitch fighting, no “Best of Show” sort of crap; just beer drinkers coming to town to drink great beer. I’m all for it.

There were also other criticisms from other uninvited beer writers that those of us who had been invited by A-B to come down as guests and observers of what was going on would be on the hook for A-B because they had covered our trip expenses. Nothing could have been further than the truth. As I described it, A-B didn’t lock us in a room and badger us like time-share salesmen giving 90-minute presentations. On the contrary, they went out of their way to treat us as professionals. It truly was a good time and I doubt if InBev will change the dynamics one bit.

Just to get back on message: BEER IS AGAIN AMERICA’S ALCOHOL BEVERAGE OF CHOICE! Pass it on.





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