Seltzers Challenge The Throne But Budweiser Remains King At Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Sturgis rally
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a motorcycle rally held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota, and the surrounding Black Hills region of the United States.

The rally began in 1938 by a group of Indian Motorcycle riders and was originally held for stunts and races. Since then, the rally has become a community endeavor that consists of events put on by many different groups.

The 2022 Sturgis Rally wrapped up earlier this month, and the drinking stats have started pouring in…

According to an event brand manager, Budweiser has been known as the “King of Beers” for decades and it is remains king among bikers at the rally.

The brand manager, Nick, told Black Hills Fox:

“Our lead brand for years here in Sturgis is Budweiser…”

However the case, there seems to be a new kid on the block…

Nick continues:

“Our biggest new kind of innovation is the seltzer category. If you would have asked me three years ago if that category would have been growing like it is, I would have said ’no.’

We’re seeing a lot of seltzers being consumed, just these last few days especially with the heat because they’re refreshing.”  

While seltzers are marketed to 21-29 year-olds, all ages drink them. And with the rally attracting an increasing younger demographic, one can only expect a continued growth in seltzer.

According to the 2021 City of Sturgis Rally Report, the average rallygoer is about 47 years old, younger than the 54-year-old average rallygoer in 2019.

Nick considers possible explanations for the surge:

“That’s the new generation, that new seltzer category, they want something more light, more refreshing…There are a lot of nutritional facts, with the gluten-free type stuff, they have lower calories in them now.”

Anheuser-Busch is taking notes, and is expanding its arsenal to include energy drinks and alcoholic beverages.

Though despite the changing tastes, Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser remains the rally’s drink of choice.

…Thank God.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock