The Little Ice Age that hit the world from 1450 – 1850 is said to have killed a large portion of the grape crop in Europe. As a result of the lack of grapes, Europeans began producing beer and hard liquor. Over the years, these libations became predominant in Northern European countries. As the English, Irish and Germans began settling the original colonies, they brought their beer and booze with them. Thus establishing beer and whiskey as our national drinks.
The Origins of Trader Joe’s and Why Americans Drink Don’t More Wine [link]