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Generational Alcohol Consumption: Which is Preferred?

Family toasting at a meal.

Within all generational groups, reaching the legal drinking age can be an exciting time. This can especially be said for Generation Z, as they are starting to have a dramatic impact on the alcohol and beverage industries. The alcohol preferences of each generation depend almost entirely upon occasions, motivators, and influences when buying these alcoholic beverages. Wine, beer, and spirits all have a part to play, but each generation usually has a preference when it comes to alcoholic beverages.

Generational Alcohol Preferences

There are five generations that are of legal age to drink in the United States: Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation. Marketers, restaurants, and bars break down average alcohol consumption by these five generations.

Silent Generation

The Silent Generation, born from 1928 – 1945, are now around 77 – 94 years of age. According to a survey conducted in 2019, the Silent Generation strongly favors wine, at 59%. 29% of this generation favors liquor and spirits, and 12% favors beer.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers, born from 1946 – 1964, are now around 58 – 76 years of age. According to the same survey, 42% of Baby Boomers favor wine, like the Silent Generation. However, 39% of this generation favors liquor and spirits, and 20% favors beer.

Generation X

Generation X, born from 1965 – 1980, are now around 42 – 57 years of age. Generation X favors liquor and spirits at 41%. 36% percent of Generation X favors wine, and 23% favors beer.


Millennials, born from 1981 – 1995, are now around 27 – 41 years of age. 43% of Millennials tend to favor liquor and spirits. However, 34% percent of Millennials favor wine, and 23% percent favor beer.

Generation Z

Generation Z, more commonly known as Gen Z, were born from 1996 – 2012, and are now 10 – 26 years of age. Of the Gen Zs who are of legal drinking age, 53% favors liquor and spirits. 27% of Gen Z favors wine, and 20% favors beer.

Generational Alcohol Consumption

Why does generational alcohol consumption matter? When you know the demographics of your customers, you can tailor your marketing efforts to appeal to that group’s tastes. Whether it’s by using discounts or eye-catching point-of-purchase displays, targeting your advertising will help increase sales.

At Creative Barrel, we know how to market alcohol. With customizable POP displays made from beautifully crafted barrels, your marketing will make a splash no matter which generation you’re targeting. Learn more on our website, or contact our team for questions.

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