Beer Groups Launch New Push to Win over Liquor & Wine Drinkers

“Beers to That” campaign comes as liquor, hard seltzer, low-carb options surge.

Joe Stange Sep 18, 2019 - 3 min read

Beer Groups Launch New Push to Win over Liquor & Wine Drinkers Primary Image

Industry groups announced a joint effort today to promote beer via a multifaceted marketing campaign called “Beers to That.” The campaign aims to remind drinkers that there is a beer for any occasion—even as more people have turned to hard alcohol, hard seltzer, and drinks lower in carbohydrates and calories.

The Brewers Association, Beer Institute, and National Beer Wholesalers Association jointly announced the campaign in a news release today—thus the coalition effectively includes smaller, independent brewers together with the largest beer companies and distributors.

The campaign includes a website, digital ads, point-of-sale materials, and other advertisements. The campaign’s launch is based in Austin, Texas, where this week four local artists are unveiling murals with their own takes on “Beers to That.” Meanwhile the website suggests “Laundry Night,” “Girls Night,” and “Tuesday Night” as three examples of occasions when one might want to drink beer.

The campaign comes while other categories, specifically liquor and hard seltzer, are posing a serious threat to beer’s share of the market.

Hard seltzer sales passed $1 billion for the year ending in August, an increase of 200 percent over the previous year, according to Nielsen. Analysts expect that growth to continue at least into next year. The most popular brand, White Claw, says that its brands outsold Budweiser in July, while reports such as the one on CNN on Monday—“Why America has a White Claw shortage”—have become almost routine.

Meanwhile a Gallup poll last month found that liquor jumped in popularity over the past year, winning fans from both beer and wine. Gallup’s annual question is, “Do you most often drink liquor, wine, or beer?” Beer remained the top choice with 38 percent; about 30 percent chose wine versus 29 percent for liquor. However, both beer and wine dropped a few percentage points over last year, while liquor jumped.

Gallup also said that recent health trends—specifically, the popularity of low-carb diets—may help explain why some people are choosing liquor over beer and wine. In another of its recent polls, 28 percent of respondents said they try to avoid carbs. Hard liquor has none, while hard seltzers are relatively low in them.

In the “Beers to That” announcement, Brewers Association President and CEO Bob Pease says that the campaign “celebrates both the universal appeal and diversity of beer and rekindles the reasons why beer is the ideal alcoholic beverage choice for adults of legal drinking age, no matter the occasion or celebration.”

Joe Stange is Managing Editor of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and the Brewing Industry Guide®. Have story tips or suggestions? Contact him at [email protected].