Three people walk up to a bar. The first orders wine, the second orders a gin & tonic, and the third orders domestic beer. Which person, do you think, has the most interesting conversations that night?

To help answer this question, PR Hacker launched the Budweiser 'Beerpressions' National Survey—a first-of-its-kind study (on behalf of our client, Anheuser-Busch) about how beverage choices influence first impressions and perceptions of approachability.

So is your drink choice worth a thousand words?

Based on a representative survey of 2,000 Americans (ages 21+), we asked respondents to match common bar drinks with the perceived personality traits of the people ordering them. What does your chosen drink say about you?

As it turns out, a whole lot.

Let's take a look at the results:

A few interesting points to note:

  • DOMESTIC BEER (BUDWEISER): Both women (70%) and men (59%) who drink a domestic beer are perceived as more approachable.
  • IMPORTED BEER: Has a positive effect for both women (36%) and men (29%), but not nearly as strong as domestic beer.
  • WINE: For wine lovers, women (23%) and men (18%) have lower overall approachability perception rates.
  • MARGARITA: The highest-ranking cocktail for approachability (38% for women and 28% for men), but still ranks significantly lower than domestic beer.

Making First Impressions: Work Events vs. First Dates

When it comes to work events, dates, and other social functions, both men and women communicate via their drinks. While 20% of Americans will actively consider how their drink order will be perceived by others while out with friends, nearly twice as many think strategically about their drink choices at a work or networking event (39%) or on a date (34%).

Also, it turns out that the majority of Americans also believe that "you are what you drink." 61% of people surveyed agreed that "what a person drinks at a bar gives significant clues about their personality"—with 1 out of 3 often "making quick judgments" about strangers based on this information.

So is it true that ordering a Bud could be the best way to break the ice? Regardless of where you fall on the issue, it's a fascinating topic for water-cooler discussion.


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