- Beer means more than just a drink in Wisconsin.
We're a state known for brewing.
But a new study says beer could be suddsing out, especially with younger drinkers.
Mary Nelson works at the Rhinelander Cafe and Pub. She's seen the growing demand for wine.
"Wine is definitely on the upswing," Nelson said.
The Rhinelander Cafe and Pub is one of the many dinner clubs in the Northwoods. Even though Wisconsin touts its pride with beer, Nelson sees plenty of wine drinkers at dinners.
"We do have a large majority of wine people that like to have wine with their meals as opposed to beer."
But it's not just for dinner. A new Gallup poll says beer and wine are neck and neck for Americans. The poll said 36 percent drank beer most often. It also said 35 percent preferred wine. Two decades ago beer dominated.
For young Americans, hard alcohol seems like the growing preference.
Almost 30 percent of 18-29 year olds prefer liquor. That has doubled in two decades.
Ian Abrams sees that trend when he bar-tends in Rhinelander.
"I would say it's about a 50/50 split between people drinking either beer or hard alcohol," Abrams said.
He thinks younger drinkers pick hard alcohol because it's more bang for the buck.
"A shot of booze and beer cost you the same amount, but a shot of booze gets you down the road faster, " Abrams said.
Per-capita beer consumption has dropped steadily since 1990. But Abrams, like many traditional Wisconsinites, stands by beer.
"I love the taste of beer," Abrams said. "I don't know why you would want to drink anything else."
Right now more Americans are drinking something else.
Brewers hope it's just a temporary trend.
Written By: Adam Fox