Craft Beer Poll: What Styles Do Hardcore Beer Geeks Buy?

We recently shared some craft beer buying data from the folks over at Brewers Association that showed the most popular styles of craft beer sold in drug, grocery and convenience store in 2010 were as follows:

Top 5 Craft Styles and Segment Share:

1. Seasonal 18.1

2. Pale Ale 15.3

3. India Pale Ale 10.4

4. Amber Ale 10

5. Amber Lager 8.5

Certainly this is only a small slice of the beer-buying pie, but I think it’s a fair illustration of how the average craft beer drinker spends their dough (on average beers).

But you’re far from average – you’re a beer geek.  With that in mind, we thought it’d be cool to compare how the beer-obsessed spend their money.  There may be some similarities, but we don’t think Amber Lager is going to crack the top 5! 

Please check out the poll below and pick the three styles that you spend the majority of your budget on. “Only three?” you say?  “Yes” we say.  We know you love variety, but we all have our favorite styles that make it into rotation more than others, so picking just three is probably doable.

Also, we’re hoping to get the biggest data sample possible, so please share this with your beer buddies on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, whatever (there’s little buttons below), so we can get some solid results.  We usually don’t ask you guys to pimp the site, but this is for science!

Happy voting!!



Hat tip to Zac from Building International Coalitions Though Beer and Pavement for planting the seed on this one.





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Categories: Beer, Poll


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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27 Comments on “Craft Beer Poll: What Styles Do Hardcore Beer Geeks Buy?”

  1. Don
    January 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I’m surprised Barleywine isn’t making a run here. But neither are sours, so I wonder how “scientific” we are actually being.

    • January 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

      I think both are occasional treats and not the every day stuff that fill days between rare goodies. I think few people have a fridge full of sours.

    • January 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      Kinda surprised at that, too, Don. But then Barleywines are kind of a semi-seasonal beers. You tend to see a lot of them this time of year and then they tend to be largely absent from the shelves the rest of the year.

      Oh, Don. Also wanted to say that Three Philosophers is on tap again at Brewforia. Might have gone on Saturday or Sunday. Don’t expect it will stay on long. I might try and get there today for a glass.

      • Don
        January 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

        Sounds good Chad. Might need to go there for a flatbread for lunch. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Chris
    January 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Wheat beers and Rye beers seem like a totally separate category to me. I think Rye would carry a larger percentage by itself.

  3. January 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Can I take credit for this idea or did someone beat me to it?

    • January 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      No – take credit. I forgot to give you a hat tip on this one. This popped into my head this morning and I immediately thought “Zac said something about this in the comments.”

      • January 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

        Well, in that case, a link for your vast readership to follow to my blog would suffice. Or just acknowledging my idea in the comments works as well. 😉

        • January 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

          Done! I should have done it in the first place.

          I also added you to our blogroll – I thought you were already there!

      • January 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

        Sweet! Thanks!

        • January 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

          You’re welcome!

      • January 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

        This might be my blog’s single greatest achievement since getting Freshly Pressed last week. W00t! Now, I need to hit the store for some beer.

        • January 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

          Congrats on the Freshly Pressed. It’s amazing what a traffic lift that provides. Don’t expect the same from us. 😉

  4. Paulette
    January 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Only three was difficult, I think I needed 5 choices.
    I’d buy more browns if I could find any that were good.
    My prediction is that Seasonals will win out.

    • January 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Yeah, I almost went five but thought it would be too wide open and not reflect where most of the dollars go. As you get down to the fourth and fifth style (maybe even the third) the $$ fall off is probably pretty large. I spend a lot on pale ales, stouts and occasionally pilsners (my three votes), but past that I would be giving a full votes worth of credit to a style that really isn’t getting my dough all the time.

  5. Alex
    January 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    “[W]e don’t think Amber Lager is going to crack the top 5!”

    Sound reasoning, since you didn’t bother to include Amber Lager, or Amber Ale in the poll. 🙂

    • January 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      Ha ha. Lagers are there, just not amber ones. But it’s a pretty good point, Alex. 😉

  6. January 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    I’m surprised that belgian is so high – really, the higher end belgians are more expensive. Even the cheaper ones like hoegaarden are more expensive.

    Interesting indeed.

    • January 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      I think lots of folks start with Belgians, and they are highly regarded for their history and quality. It’s a style so classic that it doesn’t matter where you are in your beer journey, there’s always room for Belgians.

      Or at least in theory. I got sick of them, but I think I’m the exception. 😉

      • Carmen
        January 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

        Nope. I get sick of them right quick too.

        Also, I think I am one of two votes for Pilsners thusfar. It bothers me that lagers and pilsners get so little respect in the craft world because they’re associated with macrobrewing. I know from experience how hard it is to create any old lager or pilsner versus an ale…to try and create a unique one in craft style takes cajones and I always try them when I can find them. Long live bottom-brewed craft beer!

        • January 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

          I’m with you on the pilsners – a hard style to do well, and wonderful when made “imperial.” I agree that it suffers because of the “macro” stigma.

  7. Greg K.
    January 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Definitely Pale Ales, Stouts, and Wood-Aged Beers. Especially the latter.

    • January 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

      I knew I liked you, Greg. Now I know why!

  8. January 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Interesting poll! Definitely seasonals and stouts for us but then it was hard to narrow down our third choice! When does voting end?

    • January 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

      Yeah, it was easy for me to pick one and two, but number three took some thought. Glad I wasn’t the only one!

      Voting will end when the poll slows down and I’ll do a recap of the findings. Probably next week some time.


  1. Beer in the Morning » Around the Beer Blogosphere January 22, 2011 - January 22, 2011

    […] Craft Beer Poll: What Styles Do Hardcore Beer Geeks Buy? Don and Jim over at Beer and Whiskey Bros. are hosting a poll to find out what beer geeks like you and me spend our money on. Stop by and cast your vote! […]

  2. Poll Results: Top 5 Beer Styles Purchased by Beer Geeks « Beer & Whiskey Brothers Blog - January 26, 2011

    […] are the results of last week’s poll, which asked you to share what three styles of beer you buy most often.  After hundreds of votes […]

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