Corona, Samuel Adams, Bud Lead YouGov Beer Rankings

Although some leading beer brands have improved their consumer perceptions and/or advertising awareness in the past year, none have managed to improve consumers’ intentions to buy them.

That’s a key takeaway from YouGov BrandIndex’s latest beer rankings, released annually near St. Patrick’s Day.

The rankings are based on a full year’s worth of the company’s measurements of the major beer brands, conducted each weekday via thousands of interviews with a representative U.S. population sample (in the case of the beer category, only those 21 and older).

Corona and Samuel Adams essentially tied as the best-perceived brands, with scores of 10 and 9.8, respectively, and Budweiser maintained its #3 ranking versus a year ago. This makes the fifth year in a row that Adams has topped best perceived list. Last year, Corona was in second place. 



They are followed, in order, by Budweiser (9.1), Heineken (8.4), Bud Light (8.2), Stella Artois (7.4), Blue Moon (7), Guinness (6.2), Dos Equis (5.7) and Redd’s Apple Ale (5.6). 

Bud Light, quite possibly seeing benefits from its hugely popular “dilly dilly” advertising, jumped from #6 last year to #3 this year, bumping Stella down one rank, to #6. Blue Moon rose to #7, from #10 last year. 

Perception is measured via BrandIndex’s “buzz” score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" 

In ad awareness, Budweiser (26.5) and Bud Light (22.4) — again likely boosted by “dilly dilly” — are this year’s leaders. Both scores — which mean that 26% and 22%, respectively, of drinking-age adults recall seeing an ad for the brands in the past two weeks — represent significant improvements from a year ago, according to YouGov. 

The other top 10 ad awareness leaders are Corona (17.5), Samuel Adams (17.4), Heineken (13.7), Stella Artois (13.1), Dos Equis (12.4), Coors (12.1), Coors Light (12) and Redd’s Apple Ale (11).

However, the scores for Corona, Dos Equis and Redd’s represented significant declines from a year ago. Non-top 10 brands Yuengling, Shock Top and Dogfish Head also saw declines in their ad awareness scores.

But regardless of their perception and ad awareness performances over the last year, none of the leading brands’ purchase consideration scores changed by any statistically significant amount, and their rankings are also unchanged.   

Corona and Sam Adams again led this ranking, with 16.4% and 15.6% of adults 21 and over, respectively, indicating that they would consider buying these brands the next time they purchase beer.

The others in the top 10 are Bud Light (14.7), Heineken (13.6), Budweiser (12.6), Blue Moon (12.5), Guinness (11.5), Coors Light (10.9), Stella Artois (10.6) and Miller Lite (9.3). 

This overall trend of advertising driving more “water cooler talk” than sales increases “may force beer manufacturers to devise  more persuasive and motivating marketing strategies” — and/or more compelling products — to convince consumers to switch brands,” observes YouGov data products CEO Ted Marzilli.

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