States Drinking the Most Beer

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9. Nebraska
> Annual per capita consumption:
34.0 gallons of beer
> Pct. change beer consumption 2011-2015: -1.2%
> Adults reporting binge drinking: 21.4% (5th highest)
> Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 35.4% (11th highest)

Each Nebraska resident 21 and older consumes 34 gallons of beer a year on average, roughly 7 gallons more per person than the national rate. Not surprisingly, 21.4% of the state’s adults report drinking to excess regularly, the fifth highest share in the nation. Slightly more than 35% of driving deaths in the state are alcohol related, a higher proportion than in all but 10 other states. Nebraska’s alcohol laws are relatively relaxed. Unlike the majority of states, liquor is sold alongside beer and wine in grocery stores. Spirits of all kinds can be purchased on any day of the week.

8. Maine
> Annual per capita consumption:
34.1 gallons of beer
> Pct. change beer consumption 2011-2015: 1.8%
> Adults reporting binge drinking: 19% (15th highest)
> Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 35.4% (11th highest)

Half of the six states in New England rank among the nine states drinking the most beer. Maine, a state that sells about 34.1 gallons of beer per resident aged 21 and older, is one of them. Nationwide, small batch craft beer has been surging in popularity in recent years. Craft beer likely contributes heavily to Maine’s consumption rate as there are roughly 59 craft breweries in the state, the fifth most per capita of any state. Nationwide, beer sales have dropped 3.9% per capita since 2011. Maine, however, is bucking the trend. Per capita beer sales have increased by 1.8% in the state over the last five years.

7. Nevada
> Annual per capita consumption:
34.2 gallons of beer
> Pct. change beer consumption 2011-2015: -5.8%
> Adults reporting binge drinking: 17.6% (24th highest)
> Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 32.6% (23rd lowest)

Nevada’s economy — particularly that of Las Vegas, its largest city — is disproportionately dependent on entertainment and accommodation. The area’s high alcohol consumption is likely at least partially the result of the many tourists flocking to Sin City. The city has relatively lax alcohol laws. On the whole, carrying beer or other alcohol in public is permitted. The state sell more than 34 gallons of beer a year for every drinking-age resident. While this is the seventh highest consumption rate in the country, it used to be even higher. The consumption rate fell by 5.8% between 2011 and 2015 in the state, compared to a national decline in per capita beer consumption of 3.9%.