Alcohol makes the world go ’round. But why, exactly, is that? This is a question that has fascinated many an anthropologist and casual drinker alike for many hundreds of years, with liquor being one of the most consistent elements across all cultures and timelines in human history. It’s a social drink that brings people together. It’s a relaxing addition to any diet that, in moderation, can have positive long-term health benefits. Put simply? Alcohol is pretty darn great. When people go to the liquor store, they often do so for more than just another foodstuff in their pack. They often do so to have a good time wherever they go.
Something that only gets better with age, wine is an alcoholic beverage that has enjoyed consistent attention over many, many years. There are nearly 8,000 wineries located across all 50 states, some new and some quite old. According to studies provided by the Wine Institute, Americans drank around two gallons of wine per capita back in 1993. Compare this to the much more recent 2013, where that average was closer to two and a half! This has made the United States the largest wine consuming nation worldwide. Millennials, in particular, comprise nearly 40% of all buyers.
Popular Types Of Wine
Which wine to choose when you venture to the liquor store? Well, you certainly won’t lack for options. The five most popular varietals, even now, are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvinon, Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Wine offers a lush variety that can match any unique taste and accompany any dish, from airy and crisp wines to the rich and fruity. According to recent 2014 Nielsen scan data, Americans prefer red wine at a majority 51%.
Not everyone is a fan of wine. This is where beer comes in. There are four very distinct craft beer industry segments that provide the country with literally thousands of different beers — brewpubs, microbreweries, regional craft brewers and contract brewing companies, though these can occasionally cross over. A microbrewery is characterized by producing less than 15,000 barrels of beer on a yearly basis, with at least 75% of its beer sold off-site. All in all? Small and independent breweries account for 99% of all breweries in operation.
Popular Types Of Beer
Like beer? The liquor store will have what you need. Beer is separated into quite a few categories, boasting a history as lengthy and impressive as wine, and can be better understood once you become familiar with the brewing process. Dark beers are rather popular for their heavy and smooth flavor, while hard cider is a great compromise between a little sweet and a little tart. Yet more people seek out specialty beers, such as those flavored like apple pie or topped off with spices.
For those that steer clear of wine and find themselves uninterested in beer, spirits have picked up the slack and with incredible style. The number of consumers of liquor (or, alternatively, spirits) in the United States has hit 97 million as of the past few years. Spirits are popular for their ability to be mixed in a variety of interesting cocktails, allowing people to enjoy drinks that are fruity, rich, minty, you name it! From vodka to brandy, there’s little you can’t try out when going to your favorite liquor store. Feeling like an alcohol guru? It’s time to see what the buzz is all about.