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Denver, Portland and Seattle Adults 21+ Three Times More Likely to Reach for the Local Brew

Scarborough Study Reveals Insights into Age 21+ American Microbrew Drinkers
Jun 14, 2012
New York, NY
Market Highlights

A new study from local market consumer research firm Scarborough reveals that 42 percent of the age 21+ American adult population have enjoyed a beer in the past 30 days. More specifically, five percent of all adults 21+ have had a microbrew in the same time frame. With Memorial Day behind us and BBQ and grilling season heating up, the latest Scarborough analysis looks at behaviors of Microbrew Drinkers. 

Where are these beer drinkers buying their brew? More than half (53%) of Microbrew Drinkers purchased beer at a grocery store in the past 30 days. Microbrew Drinkers also purchased beer at sit-down restaurants (45%), nightclubs or bars (38%) and liquor stores (37%). Microbrew Drinkers are more than twice as likely as all beer-drinking adults 21+ to have purchased beer at a stadium or arena in the past 30 days.

In terms of demographics, 25 percent of Microbrew Drinkers are between 30 and 39 years old. Microbrew Drinkers are 49 percent more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to be men and also 49 percent more likely to be employed full-time. They are 54 percent more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to hold white collar employment and 78 percent more likely to have an annual household income of $250K or higher. Half of all Microbrew Drinkers have a college degree or higher and 19 percent have participated in adult continuing education classes in the past 12 months.

“Microbrews, or craft beers, are a terrific example of how localism has become trendy,” says Alisa Joseph, vice president of advertiser services for Scarborough. “By marketing the local brew to beer drinkers in their own communities, particularly while they’re immersed in local activities, brands can capitalize on the consumer loyalty that comes with rooting for the home team or visiting the neighborhood hot spots.”

Microbrew Drinkers can be found engaging in many different kinds of sports activities. Sixty percent of all Microbrew Drinkers attended a professional sports event in the past 12 months and 20 percent have attended a high school sports event in the same time period. In terms of interest, Microbrew Drinkers are 40 percent more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to say they are “very interested” (Avid Fans) in college basketball. They are 45 percent more likely to be Avid Fans of college football and 41 percent more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to be Avid Major League Baseball Fans. This summer in particular is sure to be exciting for Microbrew Drinkers as 30 percent of them are Avid Fans of the Olympics.

There’s more to Microbrew Drinkers than their affinity for sports; they also have a softer, artsy side. Microbrew Drinkers are nearly three times more likely than all U.S. adults 21+ to have visited an art museum in the same period of time. Thirty-three percent of Microbrew Drinkers have attended live theater in the past 12 months. More than one-quarter (27%) of all Microbrew Drinkers bought a ticket to a music concert in the past year.

When they’re not spending time at arts and sporting events, Microbrew Drinkers are twice as likely as all U.S. adults 21+ to have used a mobile device to read a newspaper in the past 30 days. The types of television programs Microbrew Drinkers typically watch are comedies (65%), movies (61%) and sports (54%). Twenty-nine percent of Microbrew Drinkers visited a radio station website in the past 30 days.

In terms of digital media consumption, nearly one-third (29 percent) of online Microbrew Drinkers spend 20 or more hours per week surfing the web. They are 50 percent more likely than all age 21+ internet users to have visited YouTube in the past 30 days and twice as likely to visit Pandora. Microbrew Drinkers with wireless access are twice as likely as all age 21+ wireless users to check sports scores and watch video clips on their cell phones. They are also three times as likely to check their stocks or the stock market on their wireless phones.

Among the top twenty local markets for American adults 21+ who have had a microbrew in the past 30 days are:

DMA % of Adults 21+ Who Drank a Microbrew
Denver, CO 13%
Portland, OR 13%
Seattle, WA 11%
Colorado Springs, CO 9%
Milwaukee, WI 9%
Spokane, WA 9%
San Francisco, CA 8%
Boston, MA 8%
Grand Rapids, MI 8%
Austin, TX 7%
Minneapolis, MN 7%
Hartford, CT 7%
San Diego, CA 7%
Tuscon, AZ 7%
Baltimore, MD 7%
Washington, DC 6%
Rochester, NY 6%
Green Bay, WI 6%
Des Moines, IA 6%
Kansas City, MO 6%

Continue the dialogue with Scarborough over Twitter by reaching out to @ScarboroughInfo using hashtag #Beer and be sure to visit us on Facebook at

This data is from Scarborough USA+, Release 2 2011. Scarborough measures 210,000 adults aged 18+ annually across a wide variety of media, lifestyle, shopping and demographic categories.

About Scarborough: 

Scarborough (, brings the local market to life like no other company. Our consumer insights reflect the shopping patterns, media usage behaviors across multiple platforms, and the lifestyle trends of American adults. Media professionals, marketers and agencies use Scarborough insights to: create a smarter, more informed marketing mix; conduct market-competitive analyses; plan event sponsorships and partnerships; geo-target prospective consumers; increase product sales, grow customer loyalty and for overall marketing strategy. Scarborough’s core offering of individual local-market studies spanning 120+ markets (including Puerto Rico). 77 local markets are MRC accredited. Other products and services include Analytics (customized research and express analysis) Sports and Hispanic insights and attitudinal data to help our clients address the why behind consumer behavior.  Scarborough surveys more than 210,000 adults annually, and studies more than 2,000 consumer categories. Scarborough has been in business for 40 years and is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. ( and The Nielsen Company (