Judging America’s Booze Preferences by Their Tweets

 


You can pay big organizations to do in-depth studies of consumers’ preferences for beer, wine and spirits. Or, you can analyze data from a mountain of tweets. 
 
Quartz contributor Emma Pierson opted for the latter, crunching the numbers from a massive lot of alcohol-related tweets released into the Twittersphere during the summer and fall of 2014. The tweets in question: everything with a #wine or #beer hashtag. 
 
“I focused on tweets containing hashtags because I found these often more reliably came from people who were actually drinking,” Pierson wrote. 
 
She then linked the tweets to their location, coming up with a series of maps that indicated where the tweets originated. 
 
In very understated fashion, Pierson noted that most of America prefers beer over wine. Her overall-hashtag map showed that, in terms of pure land mass, more than 90 percent of the nation prefers to tweet their beer-related activities (indicated with blue) over those who drink wine (indicated with purple). 
 
The wine crowd’s strongest numbers came from the West Coast. California’s Los Angeles area, Central Coast and Northern Coast were strongly pro-wine, while a massive purple swath cut across most of Eastern Washington, the northeast corner of Oregon, the tip of Idaho and a sliver of Montana. 
 
Pierson’s numbers take an interesting turn, however, when you view her alcohol hashtags tweeted by women. Nearly the entire West Coast, minus the craft-beer haven of San Diego, a small chunk of the Central coast and a few bits of Northern California and Washington were beer prone. Female #wine tweeters dominated the rest – a good 70 percent of California and at least 80 percent of Washington. 
Female dominance continued in Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island. 
 
As you can imagine, the opposite was true of male drinkers who tweeted about #wine. The most concentrated pockets of  #wine tweets originated from California’s Central Coast, the area east of Orange County and a hard-core contingent in and north of San Francisco.
 
Oregon’s Pacific Coast was #wine heavy, as was the northeastern corner of Washington, the tip of Idaho and the northwest corner of Montana. Long Island and a pocket of Connecticut were also home to wine-heavy tweets. 
 
The rest of the nation was at the mercy of the male gender’s decisive preference for beer. 
 
“Men are more boring than women, although we didn’t need data science to tell us that,” Pierson wrote. “They overwhelmingly favor beer.” 
 
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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