Americans prefer drinking lagers, according to a new survey conducted by Anheuser-Busch InBev and KRC Research. The survey of more than 600 beer-drinking Americans was done to help push the upcoming National Lager Day (Dec. 10).
The company said the findings include:
-- Beer drinkers prefer lagers 2-to-1 over pale ales and 3-to-1 over IPAs and stouts.
-- Two-thirds of beer drinkers like the crisp flavor of lager more than beers with bitter, sweet or fruity flavors.
-- Respondents say they prefer beer in a glass bottle (38%), followed by beer on draft (32%).
“It’s great to see excitement for lagers reaffirmed through the survey results,” Anheuser-Busch head brewmaster Pete Kraemer said in a prepared statement. "They are the most challenging beers to brew, but also the most rewarding. There is nothing I enjoy more than the light, refined flavor complexity of an American lager. And I encourage everyone to raise a toast to America’s favorite beer style on National Lager Day.”
American lagers make up 75 percent of today’s overall beer category, according to IRI data. Anheuser-Busch, thanks to sales of Budweiser and Bud Light, leads the way in the U.S., controlling nearly two-thirds (63%) of the category.
Boston Beer Co., which makes Samuel Adams Boston Lager, also is celebrating National Lager Day and urging Americans to drink a craft lager. The brewery released: "Jim Koch’s Top 10 Reasons to Drink a Craft Lager on National Lager Day." Here they are:
1. The first beer I ever brewed was a lager. In fact, the beer I eventually named Samuel Adams Boston Lager was brewed in my kitchen in 1984 from an old recipe dating to the 1860s, handed down by my great-great grandfather, Louis Koch. In his day, this brew was called Louis Koch Lager.
2. Ales have been brewed and celebrated for over seven millennia…they’ve had their time to shine! Lagers are relatively new to the beer scene, first appearing in Bavaria during the 16th century and in America around 1840. Craft brewers only began brewing lagers towards the end of the 20th century, so today’s the day to give craft lagers their due.
3. It was a lager that helped kick-start the American craft beer revolution. In 1985, Samuel Adams Boston Lager was named “The Best Beer in America” in the Consumer Preference Poll at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Boston Lager’s popularity helped revive America’s passion for full-bodied brews with robust and rich character.
4. 63% of people aged 21 and over in a recent survey didn’t know the difference between a lager and an ale. There’s no better way to learn than through real-life experimentation!
5. Due in part to their clean, crisp character, lagers are sometimes mistakenly labeled as plain and boring by beginner craft beer drinkers. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Craft lagers are flavorful and complex, and a number of different styles fall under the lager category. These include Oktoberfest, Baltic porter, Vienna lager, bock, double bock, wheat bock and rauchbier, among many others.
6. Brewing yeast fall into two categories, ale yeast and lager yeast, and ferment in different ways. Lager yeast takes a longer time to ferment and condition than ale yeast, extending the brewing process by weeks and sometimes months. But as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. What’s the tradeoff for the additional weeks of waiting for a lager to brew? In the case of our Samuel Adams Boston Lager, it’s the extra hop in the aroma and smooth, refreshing finish.
7. Upon their introduction to the U.S., lagers took America by storm and temporarily pushed out popular ale styles like porters and stouts. Massive waves of German immigrants to America in the mid-1800s brought an influx of lager drinkers. As lagers began to replace ales, Americans couldn’t get enough!
8. Just because they’re cold-fermented doesn’t mean lagers can’t warm you up. Lager styles like bock, dopplebock, and dunkel are perfect for a cold winter day.
9. Beer and food is a match made in heaven, and lagers are perfect for pairing. Regardless of style, their smooth, malty character makes them an ideal counterpart for everything from cheeses and meats to desserts.
10. There’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker in the U.S. With over 2,500 breweries, it’s nearly impossible to find a craft lager that doesn’t please your palate. Go out and experiment!