I was talking to someone last night and realized I typically buy what is on sale, going on sale, or is a seasonal item (with regard to beer). So most of the time I am planning based on what is going on sale or is on sale. That really does not make the purchase an impulse buy, but I figure I am in the minority with those purchasing habits. Most of the time in a grocery store which has both beer and wine in our area the wine is near the produce and the beer is near the frozen foods closer to the exit. I suppose that is the case to keep them colder longer.
People often will say, “Pick up a bottle of wine (or some beer), when they are at the grocery store.” Some have favorite offerings and replenish the cupboard when it goes bare, but I still believe most make a decision when they hit the store. I doubt many go to the store with the sole purpose to buy beer or wine unless they are out or they have a function to attend. On the other hand in NC the liquor store is a separate building in often located in odd areas so you do have to plan to go to the liquor store. While inside you might grab something you were not planning on getting, but most of the time when you go to the liquor store you know what you are after.
So after thinking out loud for two paragraphs I’m going to answer my own question and say sometimes alcohol is an impulse buy, but only when it is an add on or you remember you were almost out.