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August 09, 2016 - Gallup: Beer Still No. 1
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Beer remains the alcoholic beverage of choice among Americans who imbibe alcohol. While 43% of Americans who drink alcohol say they prefer beer, 32% say wine and 20% say liquor.

These results come from Gallup's 2016 Consumption Habits survey, conducted July 13-17. The 43% of U.S. adult drinkers who say they drink beer most often is the highest since 2002, when 44% said the same. At several points since 2005, wine and beer essentially tied as the preferred alcoholic beverage, but in the last three years beer has held firmly as the top choice.

Americans' drink of choice differs by gender, as it has since the 1990s. Half of female drinkers prefer wine, based on combined data from 2010 through 2016, while beer and liquor tie as their next-favored beverage (23%). Meanwhile, 54% of male drinkers name beer as their preferred drink, followed by liquor (22%) and wine (18%). These gender differences largely echo men's and women's alcoholic beverage preferences from the previous decade (2001-2009).

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August 05, 2016 - Pennsylvania's Craft Beer Pride
The upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio are about to evoke some serious excitement and national pride. Americans everywhere are looking forward to tuning in to swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball. For two short weeks, we will all look to the medal counts, feeling as if our success as a nation is in the balance.

Single-minded nerd that I am, my thoughts automatically turn to the medals won by American craft breweries at the large beer festivals and competitions. Does the community take pride in these medals, as they do in Olympic ones?

As a born-and-bred Pennsylvanian, I know that my state has a lot of conflict. Pennsylvania is itself a state divided. In the west, they wave the Terrible Towels at Steelers (AKA “Stillers”) games, drink “pop,” and say “yinz” (the plural of “you”). The east sings “Fly, Eagles, Fly,” drinks “soda,” and says “yous.” PA, as we like to call it, is home to both the City of Champions and the City of Brotherly Love. The two sides rarely see eye-to-eye, but both sides can brought together by our love for the Commonwealth’s craft beer.

According to the Brewers Association, Pennsylvania had 178 craft breweries in 2015 (the most recent year with complete statistics), which puts it in eighth place nationwide. Those breweries, however, produced more than four million barrels of craft beer, solidly securing first place in total production. That is nothing to scoff at.

Nothing says success like a trophy case full of awards, and PA’s breweries have brought home a LOT of medals from the Great American Beer Festival (225 Medals) and the World Beer Cup (51 Medals) over the years. The barley-fed contenders from Pennsylvania have helped their home state earn a reputation as a craft brewing powerhouse and serve as inspiration for all the young worts across the nation. Strike up the marching band and load the confetti cannons because it’s time to recognize the achievements of these champions!

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