8 Things You Don't Know About Millennial Drinking Habits, But Definitely Should

Don't blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol.

In honor of National Drink Wine Day, pour one out for knowledge with these eight fresh facts about millennials and drinking. 


1. Millennials aren't just a bunch of overgrown frat bros.

Budweiser who? A 2014 study by Anheuser-Busch found that 44 percent of drinkers aged 21 to 27 have never tried their brand. Apparently, many millennials' keg stand day are behind them as only 27 percent reported beer as their drink of choice in 2015, down from 33 percent in 2012.

Craft beers, however, are more popular than ever with millennials. In 2013, Mintel reported that most craft beer consumers are between 25 and 34 years old. These drinkers are believed to be the driving force behind the craft beer industry, doubling its market share from 2011 to 2014.  

2. Though they are a bunch of winos.

Millennials consumed 159.6 million cases of wine in 2015, according to a report from the Wine Market Council. Not only is that 42 percent of all the wine consumed in the U.S. last year, it's also more than any other generation. 

3. But they're, like, classy, sophisticated winos.

All those Gossip Girl-induced delusions of grandeur have finally paid off — literally. As millennials have grown up and become more established in their careers, they've become more willing and able to buy more expensive wine. The WMC report found that 17 percent of wine-drinking millennials bought a bottle costing more than $20 in the past month, compared to 5 percent of baby boomers.

4. Are you there, Vodka? It's us, the millennials.

According to a 2013 Scarborough study, vodka is the hard liquor of choice for millennials, with 33 percent of those surveyed. Rum and tequila are duking it out for the No. 2 spot, at 22 and 21 percent, respectively. 

5. Millennials drink to their health.

A 2014 online study by Allidura Consumer, GSW, and Harris Poll found that 95 percent of millennials place great importance on personal health. Goldman Sachs added in a note on millennials, "Wellness is now a key driver of consumer spending." This may explain why so many are ditching pound-packing beer for less-caloric spirits and wine. While the number of young people who prefer beer has fallen from 75 to 40 percent over the past 20 years, those who love their shots, shots, shots have increased from 13 to nearly 30 percent. 

6. Until they're stressed. Then all that health mumbo jumbo goes right out the window.

Millennials are the generation most likely to drink when they're stressed and for good reason. In the American Psychological Association's 2015 Stress in America survey, millennials reported a stress level of 5.5, well above the average stress level of 4.9 and higher than any other generation. 

While not every millennial uses alcohol as a stress reliever, 25 percent of those with high money stress do. Maybe that's why Trader Joe's has sold more than 800 million bottles of "Two-Buck Chuck" since 2002. 

7. How can you tell what a millennial drinks? Don't worry, they'll tell you.

Millennial drinkers are 47 percent more likely than the average 21-plus adult to spend three or more hours on social media per day. Besides posting pictures of themselves imbibing at restaurants, bars, and parties, a 2013 study from Unruly showed that millennials shared alcohol brands' social videos almost 5 million times in one quarter. Beer brands made up the majority of these alcohol brand shares. 

Wines brands aren't doing too shabby either. More than 50 percent of wine-drinking millennials talk about it on Facebook. More than a third also share their wine preferences via YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. 

8. Millennials look before they leap ... into a new drink.

Millennials are known for being adventurous and willing to try unfamiliar beverages, but they don't want to be blindsided by bad booze. Whether through social media or good ol' word of mouth, recommendations from family and friends are the No. 1 deciding factor in purchasing decisions. According to a 2014 WMC survey, 56 percent of millennial wine drinkers viewed wine reviews as "extremely" or "very" important, as opposed to only 21 percent of boomers.

Now that you're a modern alcohol expert, raise a glass to all your newfound knowledge this #ThursdayThursday. Just remember to give credit where it's due...


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