By. Joe Lipovich
West Virginia University students love their beer. We drink it all the time. We drink during tailgates, snow days, sunny days, rainy days, or any type of weather. We drink when we win, we drink when we lose, and sometimes even in ties. We love our beer, and it shows when we are rated a the top of playboy’s party school rankings every year. Even our football coach likes the more-than occasional ale. According to CBSSports.com, Morgantown consumes 1% of Anheuser-Busch’s (AB) alcohol sales.
But what type of beer do students drink? Where do they buy it from? How does the product get from producer to consumer? We took a convenience survey of 65 students, and asked them a few questions.
Firstly, according to our survey, 42 percent of students surveyed purchased a beer outside of the “big three” beers, Coors, Miller and Budweiser. Although Coors and Miller have merged, they still fall second to AB in overall beer sales. 29% of students most commonly purchase Natural Light, AB’s lower-end cheap beers. Only three students says that they prefer Coors over the other beer choices. Although “other” was an option on the survey and doesn’t necessarily reflect this, it’s a good sign for craft brewers looking to import their product into Morgantown.
The largest beer-sellers in the Downtown area; Dairy Mart, Ashebrooke Liquors, and BF Liquors by the post office surprisingly did not account for the majority of the beer sales in Morgantown. 48% of students who reported buying alcohol reported that they purchase their golden goodness outside of the downtown areas. This isn’t necessarily surprising, because a student can purchase a “thirty-rack” of Natural Light at Wal-Mart for $13.99, and Dairy Mart charges around $18.00 for the same product.
It’s not surprising that most students choose to consume their beer out of a can. According to our survey, 63% of students consume their beer out of a can. Surprisingly, however, students did not report drinking as much keg beer as we thought they might have, as 31% of students surveyed that they drank beer from a bottle, and only 6% drank from a keg.
Although buildings like University Place have shut down the historic SunnySide neighborhood, Morgantown will always be a drinking town. However, new legislation such as “home rule” could affect the beer market in this town. Regardless, let’s rais our can, glass, or whatever you choose to the massive beer vat that is Morgantown, WV.