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New York prefers wine, Austin loves liquor. Where does your city stack up?

Mike Pomranz
February 22, 2018

Online alcohol delivery brands like Drizly make relaxing with a beer, wine or spirit in the comfort of your own home as easy as drinking. Additionally, as is the case with many of these high-tech companies, they’re also able to offer a breadth of data about their customers like never before. Drizly recently dug through its data on a dozen major markets to determine how people in different areas drink – looking at what they buy, when they buy it, and how much they spend.

Probably the most interesting insight is the breakdown of sales on beer versus wine versus liquor.

Of the 12 markets the brand looked at, New York City had sold the highest percentage of wine – 50 percent of all alcohol sold in the city was wine – whereas Boston had the highest percentage of beer – 31 percent. Meanwhile, Austin had the lowest percentage of wine, just 28 percent – which makes sense for a college town – but it wasn’t beer that was making up the slack: Austin had the highest percent of any market in liquor sales: nearly 50 percent.

Drizly also broke each category down by type, and though nothing really jumps out on comparisons like reds versus whites and whiskey versus vodka, the beer data is a bit telling. Percentagewise, Dallas sold the most lager – 66 percent of all the beer sold in the city was lager – whereas Seattle, an early embracer of the craft beer trend, greatly preferred ales, with the style making up 52 percent of its beer sales. Along those lines, Seattle also broke from the rest of the cities when it came to their top-selling beer brand: In every other city, either Bud Light, Miller Lite or Coors Light was the top-selling beer brand, but in Seattle, they opted for Rainer – a lager, yes, but not one of the big three.

As far as pricing is concerned, Drizly points out that “cost of living and tax policies vary across the country,” but in general, New York and Los Angeles are higher on the spectrum while Denver and Tampa Bay are lower. Meanwhile, somewhat unexpectedly, Seattle spent the most on average per order, but Drizly was quick to explain this phenomenon by saying the city “has a disproportionate share of corporate orders where order totals are typically higher.”

As to when people order, the day of the week data is somewhat skewed since Texas doesn’t allow Sunday alcohol sales, throwing off the info on Austin, Houston and Dallas, but in general, Washington DC was the most weekend-focused city. And though most orders are placed between 5pm and 7pm, some cities skew earlier and later. Once again thanks to its corporate slant, Seattle tends to lean towards afternoon ordering. Meanwhile, the big metropolises of New York and Chicago skew the latest of any areas on the list.