Beer| Insights| Liquor| Restaurant Management

The Most Popular Beer & Liquor Brands of 2018

By Rebekah Gallacher

What can I get you?”

We have the answer.

It’s been a few months since our last report on the most popular beer and liquor brands in the United States, and we’re back with new insights on the top-selling booze brands of 2018 so far.

The following report aggregates alcoholic beverage orders and invoice data from hundreds of U.S. BevSpot users for the first half of 2018. All figures represent percentages of orders in dollar terms.

pie chart of the type of alcoholic beverage orders by spirits, beer, and wine in BevSpot bars in 2018

Beverage Categories

In the first half of 2018, the majority of beverages sold in BevSpot bars and restaurants were beer and spirits. We’re featuring these two large categories to dig deeper into the trends.

bar chart of top 10 most ordered beer brands in BevSpot bars in 2018


Dilly Dilly! Bud Light holds onto the top spot for most ordered beer in the U.S. since last year. However Bud Light’s older brother, Budweiser, dropped two spots, losing share to Modelo and Blue Moon Modelo.

Mexican beers make a stronger showing this year with Corona, Modelo, and Dos Equis all appearing in the top ordered brews. (Modelo and Dos Equis were nowhere to be found in last year’s data.) This could be attributed to the onset of warmer weather when south-of-the-border beers rise in popularity or perhaps it's the changing tastes of light beer drinkers in the U.S.

pie chart of top 8 most ordered spirit types in BevSpot bars in 2018


Whiskey remains the most-ordered spirit category, but lost 2% of it’s order share over the last year.

It may seem that rum is dominating cocktail menus these days (tiki drinks, swizzles, and daiquiris anyone?), but it's is still sitting steady at 6% of spirit orders in BevSpot bars. However, tequila gains a percent and gin loses a percent.

bar chart of top 10 most ordered whiskey brands in BevSpot bars in 2018


The top whiskey brands people are ordering stayed relatively consistent from last year, with the exception of Crown Royal and Bulleit swapping the third-place spot.

Toward the bottom, Jim Beam makes it onto the list, while The Macallan, the only single malt Scotch, drops off.

bar chart of top 10 most ordered vodka brands in BevSpot bars in 2018


Absolut and Smirnoff are the biggest brands in the vodka game, but it’s Tito’s that’s selling at bars. The Texas brand grew by 4% in the last year—more than any other brand in the list. Most other spirit categories have two major brands jockeying for the top spot, but Tito’s beats out the next vodka brand, Grey Goose, by 20%.

While Smirnoff made the biggest jump in order rankings from ninth in 2017 to sixth in 2018, it’s order share growth was small, at only 1%.

bar chart of top 10 most ordered tequila and mezcal brands in BevSpot bars in 2018

Tequila & Mezcal

Patrón and Don Julio are the number one and two most-ordered tequila brands by a wide margin. But the variety of other producers on the list that are growing their market share (Sauza and Casamigos, for example) may demonstrate that many bar programs are going deeper into the tequila and mezcal space, perhaps specializing in those spirits entirely.

Other notable changes include Milagro dropping off the top 10 list and El Jimador making its first appearance.

bar chart of top 10 most ordered rum brands in BevSpot bars in 2018


As with tequila, two brands continue to have the top spots on lock: Captain Morgan and Bacardi. Last year Bacardi increased it’s order share by almost 2.5%. The trend continued this year with Bacardi making another 2% jump in share.

Don Q makes its inaugural appearance on the list.

bar chart of top 10 most ordered gin brands in BevSpot bars in 2018


Gin is a unique category where the top four brands makeup over 60% of gin orders in BevSpot bars. Plenty of brands are fighting it out for the remaining market share, with Broker’s falling off the list this year and Aviation getting on the list for the first time.

Now that you know what the people want, take it a step further and make sure your cocktail program is working as hard for you as it should be.


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