Next, Zook and his colleagues turned their sights to "cheap" beers, loosely defined as affordable brews, both domestic and imported.
"It was just, I don't know if I should call it nostalgia for my misspent youth," Zook told Live Science.
They found that cheap beers clustered around their breweries of origin: Sam Adams in New England and Chicago's Goose Island around the Great Lakes. Lone Star dominated southeast Texas, and people in Southern California loved their Corona. Upstate New York and Michigan tweeted about Saranac, and Colorado and New Mexico remained loyal to Coors.
Twitter users aren't a representative sample of Americans, Zook said, but the findings are exciting, because they show that what people talk about on Twitter tracks historical and cultural patterns you'd expect in real-world behavior, such as Coloradans favoring the Coors brewed in their state. Similar work could be done looking at the distribution of small craft brews, he said.
"This is really where it gets really exciting, when you start comparing what kinds of things are being tweeted in a particular place versus what's being tweeted in another place," Zook said. "There's where you start getting some interesting differences in attention or cultural preoccupation."