Ever wondered how far and wide the love of your local cheap brew spreads? Well, wonder no longer, because this map shows where regional beers are most loved.
Taken from a forthcoming book chapter called Offline Brews and Online Views: Exploring the Geography of Beer on Twitter, this maps is a result of mining Twitter to understand the beer drinking habits of the nation. Floating Sheep explains:
Using a database of one million geotagged tweets from June 2012 to May 2013 containing the keywords "wine", "beer" or the names of a range of light or cheaper beers within the continental US, some clear regional variations in alcoholic beverage preference are detected... While Bud Light is more popular in the eastern and southeastern US, Coors Light tends to dominate the west coast, with Miller Lite and Busch Light being preferred in the midwest and Great Plains. The dominance of these brands in virtual space is no surprise, as they also dwarf the competition in actual sales.
But these regional variations are even more distinct when one looks at locally- or regionally-specific brands. While some of these cheaper (which is not to say less delicious!) beers have reached a national or even international market, others remain popular in only a very limited region, owing either to local tradition or simply limited distribution outside of their home-markets.
The results are pretty interesting! While there's no surprise in where some beers prove popular—Sam Adams in New England, Grain Belt and Schlitz in the upper Midwest—it's interesting to see that areas with fewer regionally-specific competitors spread out far wider than where competition is high. And some beers—like Lone Star, Corona and Dos Equis—perhaps unsurprisingly have a broad overlap in regional preference. Do you agree with what's popular in your region? [Floating Sheep]