Lagers Not Lagging

Style still reigns supreme with beer drinkers, according to new Anheuser-Busch survey

ST. LOUIS -- With ever-increasing interest in beers and brewing, adults still say that lager is their favorite type of beer, according to a new survey conducted by brewer Anheuser-Busch and KRC Research for National Lager Day (Dec. 10).

Anheuser-Busch AB Lager Day

The findings show a preference for lager by a wide margin over ales with the majority citing lager's crisp flavor as the reason.

Beer drinkers have long loved lagers, and the style still reigns supreme. American lagers make up the large majority (75%) of today's overall beer category, according to IRI data, with Anheuser-Busch leading the way in the United States, representing nearly two-thirds (63%) of the category. Two of the company's flagship lagers, Budweiser and Bud Light, are consistently among the world's leading brands.

The National Lager Day survey of more than 600 beer-drinking Americans age 21 and older affirms a prevailing preference for lagers and reveals more about how they are enjoyed. Key findings include:

  • Beer drinkers prefer lagers two-to-one over pale ales and three-to-one over India pale ales (IPAs) and stouts.
  • Two-thirds of beer drinkers like the crisp flavor of lager more than beers with bitter, sweet or fruity flavors.
  • When it comes to serving style, respondents say enjoying beer in a glass bottle is best (38%), followed closely by beer on draught (32%).

"It's great to see excitement for lagers reaffirmed through the survey results," said Pete Kraemer, head brewmaster for Anheuser-Busch. "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."

Anheuser-Busch commissioned KRC Research to conduct an online survey of 984 Americans age 21 or older, of which 601 indicated they are beer drinkers. The company designed the survey to determine respondents' preferences for various styles and flavors of beer, as well as the times and ways they enjoyed drinking beer. It conducted the research between Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, 2013. The margin of sampling error at the 95% level of confidence is plus or minus 3.12 for the sample.

Best known for its American-style lagers, Budweiser and Bud Light, the company's beers combined hold 47.6% share of the U.S. beer market, it said. Anheuser-Busch is the U.S. arm of Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev and operates 12 local breweries, 17 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities across the United States, representing a capital investment of more than $15.5 billion. Its flagship brewery remains in St. Louis.

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