The Most Irish U.S. Cities (Based on Guinness Orders at Bars)…



How “Irish” is your city?

Because we’re based in Boston, we at BevSpot take our St. Patrick’s Day drinking very seriously. So seriously that, in celebration of this auspicious day, we wanted to see how other American cities fare at getting their Irish on. We did this by comparing their consumption of a go-to St. Patrick’s Day beverage: Guinness.

“My favorite food from my homeland is Guinness. My second choice is Guinness. My third choice – would have to be Guinness.” – Peter O’Toole

Guinness has been a staple of St. Patrick’s Day drinking for almost as long as it’s existed. First brewed in Dublin’s St. James’ Gate Brewery in 1759, it’s generally considered a staple of Irish cuisine by most Irishmen and women. It’s known globally for its iconic dark color and thick, creamy texture. And with sales in over 120 countries, it’s one of the most successful beer brands internationally and easily the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland proper.

We were curious to see how Guinness actually performs amongst our users. Let’s break down the performance of this historic beer.

The following material aggregates 2016 and early 2017 on-premise beer order data from about 300 BevSpot users across ten major metro areas. All figures represent percentages of orders in dollar terms.

Click to enlarge

Guinness ranked highly among Boston and New York BevSpot users—it got right around 3.5% of beer orders in both cities.

It’s not really surprising that Boston and New York top the city rankings in Guinness orders, given the higher concentrations of people of Irish descent in these northeastern cities. Guinness’ low performances in Miami and Houston also line up with expectations, as they have some of the lowest urban concentrations of Irish-Americans in the country.

However, it’s interesting to note Guinness’ beer market share in Boston and New York within the context of competition with other mass-market beer brands, as well as the insurgence of many local craft beers. As we noted in our trends report on Boston beer orders, Guinness still stands out as a major player in the Boston market despite the continued growth of the craft beer movement.

It was also shocking to see how highly cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles ranked in Guinness orders, with almost 2.5% and just over 2.0% of beer orders respectively.

Why is this the case? It might be that the national craft beer movement might not be as influential for our users in Atlanta and LA, allowing mass-market brands like Guinness to retain a significant foothold despite the lack of a local Irish population. The need of a well-rounded beer program for a porter or stout could also explain this, as there is a general lack of craft porters and stouts in these markets to compete with Guinness.

What’s your theory? Let’s discuss in the comments below over a pint of our favorite stout. And be sure to subscribe to the blog for the latest in local BevSpot data-powered articles.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: