States That Drink the Most Beer

Print Email

10. Maine
> Per capita consumption: 34.0 gallons
> Total consumption: 1.1 million barrels (11th lowest)
> Pct. binge drinkers: 17.3% (18th lowest)
> Number of breweries: 47 (19th highest)

Maine residents over 21 years of age purchased 34 gallons of beer last year. Despite the state’s small legal age drinking population of just 1 million in 2012, it had as many as 47 breweries, more than 31 other states that year. Currently, craft brewers Shipyard and Allagash are the two largest breweries in the state. The state also has a particularly high tax on beer purchases, equal to $10.85 per barrel as of June 2012.

9. Texas
> Per capita consumption: 34.4 gallons
> Total consumption: 19.9 million barrels (2nd highest)
> Pct. binge drinkers: 18.9% (19th highest)
> Number of breweries: 90 (9th highest)

Texas consumed nearly 20 million barrels of beer in 2012, more than any other state except for California. Breweries have popped up in Texas at a fast clip in the past several years. In 2010, there were just 49 breweries in Texas, the 14th highest of all states. Just two years later, there were 90 breweries, more than all but eight other states. Overall, the beer industry is both directly and indirectly responsible for nearly 82,000 jobs in the state, including more than 66,000 in retail. The beer industry in Texas contributed more than $21 billion to the economy in 2012, more than any other state except for California.

Also Read: The 10 States Making the Most on Beer

8. Nebraska
> Per capita consumption: 35.2 gallons
> Total consumption: 1.5 million barrels (15th lowest)
> Pct. binge drinkers: 22.7% (5th highest)
> Number of breweries: 19 (tied for 17th lowest)

Nebraska’s residents consumed seven more gallons of beer in 2012, on average, than the average American. Nebraska is not especially strict concerning alcohol, allowing a variety of private businesses to sell alcohol and permitting Sunday sales of beer. Unfortunately, nearly 23% of adults in the state were considered binge drinkers, among the highest proportions in the nation. According to the Omaha World-Herald, one village near the border sold nearly 4 million cans of beer to residents of South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reserve — where alcohol is banned.

7. Vermont
> Per capita consumption: 35.3 gallons
> Total consumption: 535,000 barrels (3rd lowest)
> Pct. binge drinkers: 18.5% (24th highest)
> Number of breweries: 25 (23rd lowest)

The beer industry in Vermont contributed more than $552 million to the economy in 2012. This comprised 2.0% of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), higher than all but four other states. The beer industry is directly associated with more than 3,500 jobs in the state, of which nearly 2,100 jobs involve the sales of beer. Vermont had 25 breweries as of 2012, a disproportionate high number given the state’s small population. More than 8% of the state’s adults are considered heavy drinkers, a higher percentage than all but Wisconsin and Illinois.

6. Nevada
> Per capita consumption: 35.8 gallons
> Total consumption: 2.3 million barrels (21st lowest)
> Pct. binge drinkers: 18.6% (22nd highest)
> Number of breweries: 19 (tied for 17th lowest)

Nevada levied a tax of just 16 cents per gallon of beer as of June of 2012. This was lower than neighboring California, and much lower than Utah, which taxed 41 cents on the gallon and has some of the strictest restrictions on purchasing beer in the country. Nevada does not require keg registration and allows sales of beer at gas stations and grocery stores on any day of the week. The state’s beer industry is not particularly large, and according to the Beer Institute, the state had just 19 breweries as of 2012.