Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Don't Non-White People Drink Craft Beer?

Headline caught your attention? Well. I'm serious.

According to data, almost 90% of craft beer drinkers are white. IMPACT 2009 (Simmons Market Research)*. A mere 3% of craft beer drinkers are African-American, while around 5% are Hispanic or Latino.

African-Americans comprise at least 12% of the United States. 16% of the United States is Hispanic/Latino. A full 38% of African-American households would at least be classified as "middle-class", while around 10% of the African-American population would be considered "upper" or "upper-middle".

Yet very few of them are drinking craft beer. Just wondering why that might be.

* Data is referenced as part of a BeerAdvocate forum. I don't normally attach much weight to BeerAdvocate forums, but this matches with other data that I've seen in more "proprietary" formats. It's one of the few places where this kind of information is not behind a (very expensive) pay wall online.


  1. I would assume most craft beer drinkers are white because white people occupy a larger population in the US and the majority of wealth belongs to white people. Craft beer is a luxury and white people, in general, are the ones who can afford it.

  2. What percent of the white/black/latino middle or upper class are those numbers?

  3. Tradition? There are very few african ales on the market (and that crap from sprecher doesn't count).

    Whereas white people often come from a long hodge podge of european ancestry, its easy to lay a heritage claim to certain types of beer you like.

    im probably way more swede than i am scot, but i know more about my scottish ancestry and so Scotch ale's seem to taste even better.

    As far as latin communities are concerned, they have their own alcohol traditions, and craft beer may not be one of them, but craft booze is.

  4. I'm part of the 3% of African-Americans who drink craft beer, and I also wonder what percentage of white Americans drink craft beer. How do those numbers compare to the number of people of color drinking craft beers? Also, I frequent area watering holes and often see white patrons buying Miller Lite. So the numbers would be interesting to me for that reason as well. Why aren't white people drinking craft beers right here in Wisconsin?

  5. My guess would be that, just like white people who don't drink craft beer, they just plain don't like the taste of beer. So they drink the least offensive, most water-tasting beer they can find. Beer with flavor is a shock to some people's sensibilities, when all they've known is flavorless, light lagers. That's true regardless of race, IMO.

  6. I think Scott makes an excellent point. I can claim to be from 7 different nations - most of which have healthy beer cultures, and all of which are inhabited mostly by cracker-ass honkeys like myself - and the sometimes negligible percentages of my ethnic makeup don't stop me from getting my pride on.

  7. Marketing could be the answer.

    Very few people find craft beer on their own. Drinking (should be or) is a social activity. If we just drank alone, no one would name a drink sex on the beach or strip and go naked.

    So, people have to introduce others to craft beer. If you do not socialize often with craft beer drinkers, or if craft beer drinkers only socialize amongst themselves, it creates "positive feedback loop", and large swaths of the population miss out on the most diverse beverage in the world.

  8. Well, perhaps Foothills Beer with its Sexual Chocolate (highly offensive) image of a black woman with an afro may have a chance at capturing the African American market, but so far all I see is white guys lining up for it...hmmmm


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