Does your state make the top ten?

Mike Pomranz
May 01, 2018

Some states are simply more synonymous with beer than others. Thanks to Bud, Miller and Coors, Missouri, Wisconsin and Colorado all have a significant attachment to brewing. (The fact that Wisconsin has a team called the Brewers also doesn’t hurt.) More recently, craft beer has put a whole new generation of beer meccas on the map from the IPAs of Vermont to the hop fields of Washington. But which states actually drink the most beer?

The site 24/7 Wall St—which regularly does some great work with beer data, including their intriguing annual list of beers people aren’t drinking anymore—crunched the numbers using shipment data from Beer Marketer’s Insights in an effort to rank all 50 states based on their per capita beer consumption.

The site warns that shipments are different than actual drinking, especially because they don’t account for people purchasing beer in one state but drinking it in another. Though this might seem like a small detail, New Hampshire makes for a compelling case to the contrary: Since the state has no sales tax, its liquor commission estimates that as much as half the state’s alcohol might be bought by consumers in neighboring areas to save some cash.

Still, since compiling actual drinking data is far more difficult (until the Census Bureau puts a sensor in everyone’s throat), the amount of beer sent to each state divided by the number of adults in the population works as the best estimate of which residents most like their brewskis.

Topping the list, as we have already hinted at, was New Hampshire, with an annual consumption rate of 40.6 gallons of beer per adult—or about 433 12-ounce beers each over the course of the year. Here’s the rest of the top ten:

10. Texas (31.8 gallons)
9. Vermont (32.8 gallons)
8. Nevada (32.9 gallons)
7. Nebraska (33.3 gallons)
6. Maine (33.8 gallons)
5. Wisconsin (34.3 gallons)
4. South Dakota (38.2 gallons)
3. North Dakota (38.3 gallons)
2. Montana (39.4 gallons)
1. New Hampshire (40.6 gallons per adult)

As for the states with the lowest levels of beer consumption, the one at the bottom of the list should be pretty obvious: Utah. Despite a surprisingly solid beer scene, the Mormon stronghold still only goes through 18.7 gallons of beer per adult each year—or 199 beers per person. Granted, that’s still a decent amount of beer, but obviously significantly less than New Hampshire. Here’s the bottom ten…

41. Arkansas (23.7 gallons)
42. Massachusetts (23.6 gallons)
43. Kentucky (23.6 gallons)
44. Indiana (23.4 gallons)
45. Rhode Island (23.0 gallons)
46. New York (21.9 gallons)
47. New Jersey (20.6 gallons)
48. Maryland (20.2 gallons)
49. Connecticut (20.2 gallons)
50. Utah (18.7 gallons)

If you don’t see your state listed above, you can find out where it ranks on 24/7 Wall St’s website.

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