America's favorite beer is from Europe

Linley SandersData Journalist
May 15, 2019, 1:00 PM GMT+0

Heineken is the most popular beer in America for 2019, but different regions prefer their own particular brews

America’s favorite beer is Dutch. Despite a bevy of domestic choices, Heineken is the beer of choice in America.

To determine the title-holder of America’s favorite beer, YouGov looked at nationally representative popularity scores. Heineken reigns as America’s top beer, and edges out Guinness by a marginal difference. About 47% of people view both beers favorably, according to YouGov data.

Heineken, which is brewed and bottled in Amsterdam before being shipped to the US, is described by fans as smooth, refreshing, and unique. The nation’s second-favorite, Guinness, is an Irish alcohol dubbed traditional, classic, and well-made. Guinness maintains strong popularity in the South Atlantic region near its domestic base as well as in the West South Central region.

Corona, a Mexican beer, lands in third place with 45% of Americans viewing it positively. It narrowly beats Boston’s signature brew, Samuel Adams, which 45% of Americans also regard as a good beverage choice. Budweiser, which is described as “trustworthy, good quality, and never gets old,” rounds out the top five most popular beers at 42% favorability. Its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, is based in St. Louis, Missouri, and boasts the nation’s two most well-recognized beers: Bud Light and Budweiser.

Heineken is known by 95% of Americans. Its domestic competitor, Bud Light, is known by nearly all Americans (98%) but it is far less popular than Heineken at 39% favorability. Comparing America’s most-popular beer with its most-famous beer reveals that people who rate Bud Light as “strongly favorable” are more likely than people who view Heineken as “strongly favorable” to make an effort to support American businesses, believe that success in America is a result of hard work rather than connections, and prioritize family.

Of course, the “best” brew depends on the tastebuds of the sipper. Across the US, the most popular beer varies by region. Heineken reigns supreme in the Middle Atlantic where 52% of people give it a positive rating. But in the Mountain division, four in 10 agree (41%) that Heineken is among the best. The New England pint of pride, Samuel Adams, earns the approval of 59% of local residents—the highest regional favorability score—but just 41% of West South Central residents view Boston Lager favorably.

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Hold the growl(er)s if there’s disagreement over the top brews—certain US divisions like the West South Central, Mountain region, and Middle Atlantic score a handful of beers within percentage points of each other, providing close competition for the area’s top pour.

In the Mountain region, for instance, Corona is essentially tied with MillerCoors’ Blue Moon, which got its start in Golden, Colorado. In the West South Central, Guinness is closely trailed by Corona and Budweiser. In the Middle Atlantic, Heineken’s favorability is rivaled by east coast competitor Samuel Adams.

Americans don’t love every beer, though. The German beer Radeberger is favored by just 9% of people surveyed, followed by Delaware’s Dogfish Head (17%) and Milwaukee’s Best (20%). Some bright news on the buds horizon: the owner of America's fourth most-popular beer, Boston Beer Company, recently acquired Dogfish Head for $300 million.

Disagree with the top beers? Cast your own vote. Sign up to become a panelist here and learn more about YouGov Ratings.

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Images: Getty