Craft Beer According to Google Trends

by Billy Broas

With 2014 here I feel like getting all big picture with beer. How popular is craft beer in our everyday lexicon? Which words are popular and which ones are unpopular?

For this I turned to the almighty Google Trends. If you’ve never used it, clear your schedule for the next couple of hours. You can get totally lost in it. Google Trends tells you how popular a search term is, which is a good proxy for how popular a term is in everyday life.

First let’s compare “craft beer” to a popular mainstream term just to get a little perspective, say “Duck Dynasty”:

Yikes! Sorry craft beer, you’re popular but not THAT popular. Sad but true.

One thing I wanted to look at is how the term “craft beer” compares to “microbrew” in popularity. Here’s the answer:

Wow. I expected craft beer to be more popular but not that much more. I still hear a ton of people refer to it as microbrew.

Ok here is one I don’t understand:

Really? “Homebrewing” is going down? I thought it would correlate pretty closely with “craft beer”, or at least freaking go up. Any explanations?

Ok here is one more. This one is fun:

“Imperial stout” is killing it! Once again my assumptions were proved wrong. I expected “india pale ale” to be the most popular. Yes, it could be that most people search for “IPA” but that brings in a bunch of unrelated terms so I didn’t use it. Look at “sour beer” on the up and up as well. It sure speaks to its popularity.

Your Turn

Head to Google Trends and start typing in beer terms. Let’s see who can find the most interesting one. Go ahead and share the link to your chart in your comment. There is a “Share” dropdown that will allow you to post the link to social media, so you can just copy it from there and paste it here.

Here’s to another great year for beer in 2014.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren January 7, 2014 at 4:57 pm

I wonder if the availability of more and better beer has decreased peoples interest (and need) in wanting to brew their own?

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Billy Broas January 7, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Hey Lauren, that could be part of it. I have heard from people that they stopped brewing because there is so much great beer readily available. On the flip side I’ve read a bunch of statistics from the AHA about homebrewing being at an all-time high, so I thought that would outweigh and people who’ve left the hobby. Hmm…

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Derrick January 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Interesting that Imperial Stout has a cyclical popularity pattern, most likely due to the fact that Imperial Stout is a common winter seasonal.

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Billy Broas January 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Great point!

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James January 8, 2014 at 9:38 am

Craft beer to the big 3:
http://goo.gl/TDYVnL

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Shegogue Brew January 8, 2014 at 10:58 am

This is very interesting! I love that Budweiser spike in February of every year…I immediately think Super Bowl adds! Talk about successful advertising

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James January 8, 2014 at 11:15 am

Exactly what I thought. They may not know how to make a good beer, but they are ad geniuses.

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Billy Broas January 9, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Agree 100%. Great find James.

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Sheppy January 8, 2014 at 9:45 am

The homebrewing trend baffles me. According to the AHA stats (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/homebrewing-stats/) there are 1.2 million homebrewers, 2/3 of them started since 2005. It sure seems from my perception that it is increasing in popularity.

For what it is worth, I tried entering “home brewing” vs “homebrewing”. Adding the space really increased the popularity, although it still does not trend up like I would have expected. It does peak every December, which makes sense to me.

Anyway … this is very interesting. And, now you have ruined my work-day productivity. I should know better than to check your blog during working hours.

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Billy Broas January 8, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Always happy to destroy people’s productivity! Good find on “home brewing”. That’s certainly the more popular word, but you’re right, it still trends down. So strange.

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dude February 4, 2014 at 12:54 pm

My assumption is that as the popularity of craft beer goes up, less people feel the need to google homebrewing because it is a fairly self-explanatory word/phrase. I haven’t checked but I’d bet a phrase like “how to brew beer” would have a nice upward trend.

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Cory January 8, 2014 at 7:48 pm
Billy Broas January 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Hahah nice one Cory.

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Jimmie The Mum January 9, 2014 at 7:57 am

Interesting statistics. I do see more and more people buying craft beer for themselves & not for just special occasions.
.

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Billy Broas January 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm

I agree with that. It’s more a part of everyday life.

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