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The State of Suds

State of Suds Survey

By Rob Weiss

As we were contemplating our third annual “State of Suds” (and they said it couldn’t be done, at least by those of us in the advertising department), we decided to poll some loyal Eugene Weekly readers online at www.eugeneweekly.com about their beer preferences. Not a scientific survey by any means; we just wanted to ask a few questions on what you like, how you like it and how often you like it. Dangling a free pair of tickets to the Ratdog/Gov’t Mule show at the Cuthbert seemed to help motivate some of you. We thank you for your feedback — now onto the results.

First the basics: 89 people responded over a period of a little less than two weeks, not great but not too bad either. 44 of these folks were women (49 percent), 43 were men (48 percent) and 2 people chose not to answer, and we wish them luck with their decision. It was a little surprising the gender split was so even. Thirty-one percent of the people were between the ages 21 and 30; 18 percent were between 31 and 40; 29 percent were between the ages 41 and 50 and finally, 21 percent were over 50. (Ok that only adds up to 99 percent, so someone didn’t admit his or her age).

The people who did respond overwhelmingly preferred microbrews to anything else. Microbrews got almost 70 percent of the vote with homebrews next at 20 percent and beers from the big distributors coming in at a little over 6 percent. It is nice to know that the homebrew craze is still going strong. Twenty percent is a good number for all that time and energy it takes to sip a cold one, albeit a (hopefully) good, cold one. The next question asked for a pick between domestics and imports, and continuing from the microbrew answer we can see why domestics won 74 percent to 20 percent over imports. The best beer is right here, in our state, in our region. Buy local.

We then asked which was your favorite Oregon brewery and listed some of the more prominent names. There was a good split here but Eugene’s own Ninkasi won hands down over seven other selections, gathering 31 percent of the vote. Rogue was second with 18 percent of the vote followed by McMenamins at 12 percent. We love the boys at Ninkasi so congrats and hopefully you will be bringing us a short barrel for all this great free publicity. You are doing good work! 

We went on to learn you drink frequently, occasionally and hardly at all. The split between these was pretty even. The choices were: I drink a) less than once a week, b) one or two times per week, c) three or four timers per week and d) almost every day. Want to guess which one came in first? That’s right — people who drink almost every day gathered 28 percent of the vote. People drinking less than once a week came in second with 26 percent. So you figure that out: all or nothing, cheers!

Price was not really an issue. Our respondents said that they either look for something they like that is on sale (45 percent) or that money was no object because their favorite flavor was worth every penny (43 percent). Civilized people preferred drinking from a glass (62 percent) while another 30 percent drink from the bottle. Not a single person admitted to drinking from a plastic keg cup, but we know you are out there.

Half the people who answered our survey said they typically buy a six-pack when they pick up some beer. The answer “other” came in a surprising second, we’re guessing this is the home brewers again or the folks who buy a single tall boy. The friendly 12-pack came in a distant third while, while almost 9 percent (Wow!) of the people buy their brew in a keg form. “Party on Wayne.”

Beer made our online survey takers: sleepy — 9 percent, horny — 25 percent, mellow — 50 percent and angry — 3 percent. Another 13 percent chose the easy way out and put “no answer.” The final question dealt with the call of nature, the inevitable “what goes in must eventually come out” issue. It took most people (30 percent) two beers before they had to create some more room in their bladder; 25 percent said it took three beers. A full 21 percent said just answering all these beer related questions made them need to answer the call of nature.

Well that’s it. What have we learned? Not much other than we still like our own Oregon microbrews. As they say, life is too short to drink cheap beer. Summer’s here and the time is right, grab a cold one, fire up the grill, kick off your shoes and enjoy! 


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