Attempting to determine “America’s favorite beer” is not an easy task. The United States has over 7,000 breweries producing everything from Natural Light to Banana Bread Bakery — and that doesn’t even include imports. But that hasn’t stopped YouGov, an online market research firm, from trying. The company showed over 8,000 respondents 41 major beer brands to gauge their favorability. In the end, the top 3 spots were all taken by foreign brands. Sam Adams was the highest-placed domestic brand, coming in at the 4th spot.
“America’s favorite” implies both recognition and quality. To measure both, YouGov determined what percentage of people recognized a brand (recognition score) before asking if they had a positive, negative, or neutral opinion (likeability score) of it. The product of both was the “popularity score”. For example, Bud Light is known to almost all Americans (recognition score = 98%), but only 39% of people liked it. So it’s overall score is 98% * 39% = 38%.
While we understand why they calculated the final rankings this way, we can’t help but feel this is more advantageous for Big Beer – if you have more dollars to plow into advertising, you don’t need to make a good beer to get to the top. The little guys, unfortunately, remain small.
In any case, here is the regional breakdown:
Meanwhile, if positive opinions correlate with America’s favorite beer, negative opinions should imply America’s least favorite beer. Though YouGov doesn’t specifically provide that information, the data suggests 2 beers that people don’t love: Busch Light and Bud Light Lime. Both have the highest negative opinions: 33 percent each.
Maybe that’s for the better.