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Andrea Lechner-Becker

America’s Most Popular Beers By State

Andrea Lechner-Becker / March 25, 2020 / 0 Comments

America’s Top Searched Beer Brands by State

The Most Popular Beers By State & All The Top Beers in America

It likely goes without saying, but beer is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world, and people can spend a lot of their adult lives trying to find their preferred brand and type. Beer brands are in high competition with one another to be the most popular amongst their clientele, particularly the groups who live outside of the area where their brewery is located. 

Now that the days are getting a bit longer and the temperature is slowly, but surely, starting to warm up, many breweries are opening their doors spring and summer drinking. That being said, it’s safe to say that the competition to be the most popular brewery is also ramping up – as is America’s interest in local craft breweries. 

As a marketing company, we’re always interested to learn how brands foster relationships with loyal customers and the methods they use to grow their customer base. With the summer months ahead, we wanted to find out exactly which craft and regular beers Americans are cracking. 

To find out, we utilized monthly search volume data from Google Trends to identify the top-searched craft and regular beers favored in each state. In order to determine which beer brands to use, we looked at America’s top-selling beers as well as the top companies in the national beer market. 

Read on to discover which brew you should bring to the kick-backs and barbeques you’re sure to be invited to all summer long. 

America’s Top Searched Craft Beer Brands

Over the last few years, craft beer and craft breweries have become much more mainstream. Craft beer is brewed carefully and often has a higher alcohol content than regular beer. Another important feature of craft beer is that the recipes for each particular brew are artisanal and refined with extra flavor profiles that people can’t get enough of. With over 7,000 breweries in the United States, each state will obviously have its favorites. 

map displaying the top searched craft beers by state

According to our findings, the top-searched craft beer in each state directly correlates to each state’s local craft brewery scene. A large part of craft beer culture centers around visiting breweries and spending time trying the different recipes they have developed. Local loyalty becomes obvious here, with nearly all of the top-searched craft beers being located somewhere in that state.

The top-searched craft beer brand by state showcases which companies are creating beer recipes that locals want to support, try, and share with locals and non-locals alike. This thought made us curious about something else: after trying them, which craft beer brands do non-locals gravitate toward? 

map showing the most searched non-local craft beers by state

After looking at the top-searched non-local craft beer brands in each state, it becomes clear that there are regional favorites, too! 

Five of the craft beer brands favored by locals were also the top-searched non-local craft beer brands in multiple states. Brewery Ommegang is the most popular craft beer in 10 states other than its home state of New York. Following closely behind is California’s Russian River Brewing Company, which is the most popular non-local craft beer in 9 states located all over the country. These states, which include Washington, Oregon, Texas, and Massachusetts, have strong local craft beer cultures of their own, so it’s even more remarkable that a non-local beer reigned supreme. Bell’s Brewery is the top-searched non-local craft beer in 7 states, while New Glarus Brewing and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery each won 3 states respectively. 

Even though craft beer has become more popular over the last few years, there are still some regular beer brands that people reach for time and time again. 

America’s Top Searched Regular Beer Brands 

map identifying the most searched regular beers across US states

Regular beers are typically mass-produced with a familiar recipe that beer enthusiasts appreciate. After all, there’s nothing better than cracking open a tried and true cold one on a hot day. There are a bunch of different brands that are household names, like Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Natural Light, Guinness, and more.

Of all the regular beers, Natural Light was the top searched beer brand in 8 states – the most of any of the regular beer brands. Natural Light is popular all over the country and not limited to one region in particular, whereas other beer brands seem to stick to specific ones. Michelob Ultra follows right behind Natural Light with 5 states, including southern states Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia. 

The diversity of beer brands across the country also had us asking: what would beer enthusiasts pick if they had a choice between a popular regular beer and a local craft brew? 

Craft vs. Regular Beer By State 

To answer this question, we surveyed over 2,500 people about which beer they’re most likely to purchase. The survey went out to at least 50 21+ adults in each state. 

graph showing which type of beer people are most likely to buy

Interestingly, only a few states strayed away from the local craft beer! We think this is fascinating because this shows that people are committed to representing their community and supporting local businesses. Although the overwhelming majority of respondents said they were more likely to purchase local craft beer, several states claimed the exact opposite. Budweiser was the beer of choice in Nebraska and Oklahoma, while Coors was the beer of choice in Missouri and North Dakota. The beer most residents were most likely to purchase in Arkansas turned out to be Michelob. 

Overall, it seems like your average beer drinker is looking for a unique flavor from a local brewery rather than the big-name beer brands that have been popular for decades. As the beer industry shifts from national brands to local brews, the industry as a whole has to re-evaluate their target market and product offerings. Local breweries will need to beef up their marketing to compete with other local vendors and big-name brands will need to evaluate who’s still buying their beer and how they can entice more consumers their way. And this all comes down to market research, which happens to be our specialty. Wondering how LeadMD can help you figure out what makes your target market tick? Find out more about our services here!




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