Drinking Preferences of Republicans and Democrats

Republicans, by and large, are beer drinkers; Democrats favor spirits.

An April blog post by Thomas Edsell of The New York Times illustrated the various ways Republicans and Democrats differ in their brand affiliations. One interesting point of departure may be seen in full flower at any local tavern: Republicans, by and large, are beer drinkers; Democrats favor spirits. Edsell notes the disparity: “Who would have guessed that the most Democratic drink by a long shot is Cognac, or that such lite beers as Amstel Lite, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite and Sam Adams Light tilt so far to the political right, while Bud, Miller High Life, and Natural Lite are Democratic?”

Who, indeed?  Spirits like Cognac, brandy and tequila (not to mention, malt liquor) overwhelmingly demonstrate a Democrat preference, although whiskey, bourbon and rye have a slight GOP advantage. Falling dead in the center, with no appreciable ideological spread, include Scotch, Bud Light, Guiness and Michelob Light. Of course, it’s not necessarily the case that the ratio of ideological preference means more Dems or Reps drink X; it just means that of people who enjoy a given drink, the politics tends to fall a certain way. For example, I’m a solid Republican but I loves me a good snifter of Cognac.

On the upside, knowing the spread helps — in a very subtle way — to discern clues about people in social settings. Edsell’s post covers a lot of subjects and is worth reading in its entirety.



  1. This subject was covered in podcast 69.
  2. The featured image for this post is a graph within the linked blog post, prepared by William Feltus.

About jason

Jason is the principal of Gillikin Consulting, a business-media and ethics consultancy based in Grand Rapids, Mich.