The 10 States Making the Most on Beer

10. California
> Beer as a pct. of GDP: 1.97%
> Beer economic output: $34.2 billion (the highest)
> GDP: $1.7 trillion (the highest)
> Jobs: 241,640 (the highest)

California’s beer industry was worth more than $34 billion in economic output in 2012, by far more than any other state in the country. There were 721 brewers and beer distributors in the state, while more than 240,000 people were employed directly by the industry or in a supporting capacity. Both figures are the largest in the country by a sizable margin. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest brewer in the world, has a brewery n the city of Fairfield. The country’s second-largest beer company, MillerCoors, has a brewery located in Irwindale.

9. Montana
> Beer as a pct. of GDP: 2.05%
> Beer economic output: $656 million (8th lowest)
> GDP: $32.0 billion (3rd lowest)
> Jobs: 8,530 (8th lowest)

There was one beer distributor or brewery in Montana for every 12,258 residents, the highest ratio in the country. According to a report released by the University of Montana last year, the craft brewery industry has grown significantly in the state. Between 2010 and 2011, beer production in the state’s breweries increased 18%, while the sale of those beers increased 20%. None of the brewers in the state are very large, though. The largest brewer in the state, Big Sky Brewing, produced a little more than 45,000 barrels in 2012. In comparison, Anheuser-Busch produces more than 100 million barrels a year. Residents of Montana drink more beer than all but two other states, at 40.6 gallons per capita, compared to a national rate of 28.3 gallons per person.

Also Read: The Most Tax-Friendly States for Business

8. Florida
> Beer as a pct. of GDP: 2.14%
> Beer economic output: $14.2 billion (4th highest)
> GDP: $661.1 billion (4th highest)
> Jobs: 139,190 (3rd highest)

The beer industry in Florida contributed more than $14 billion in economic activity, more than in all but three other states. Florida had 228 brewers and beer distributors, the 10th most of all states. More than 139,000 people worked in the beer industry, more than in any other state except for California and Texas. The craft brew scene is most evident in the Tampa Bay area, with a dozen breweries in the area as of late 2012 and several more scheduled to open soon. In addition, D.G. Yuengling & Son operates a brewery in Tampa, while Jacksonville is home to one of 12 Anheuser-Busch breweries in the country.

7. Georgia
> Beer as a pct. of GDP: 2.37%
> Beer economic output: $8.7 billion (10th highest)
> GDP: $365.8 billion (11th highest)
> Jobs: 64,610 (9th highest)

More than $186 per person in taxes on beer sales were collected in Georgia, the seventh-most in the country. A 32 cent per gallon state excise tax is levied on beer purchased in Georgia, while an additional 53 cents per gallon is levied by local governments. These are among the highest beer taxes of all states. Despite the beer industry playing such a critical role in Georgia, the number of breweries and beer distributors per capita was the second lowest of all states. Although Georgia is the eighth-largest state in terms of population, there were only 106 breweries and beer distributors in the state, the 19th highest number.

6. New Hampshire
> Beer as a pct. of GDP: 2.39%
> Beer economic output: $1.4 billion (18th lowest)
> GDP: $56.6 billion (11th lowest)
> Jobs: 10,320 (11th lowest)

Despite New Hampshire’s small size, the beer industry managed to produce about $1.4 billion in economic activity and employ more than 10,000 people, significantly more than in states of similar size. The state is one of just four where the economic output of beer sales per capita topped $1,000. Furthermore, more than $228 of taxes were generated per capita, higher than in all but three other states. New Hampshire is home to a host of microbreweries, such as Smuttynose Brewing Company and White Birch Brewing. The city of Merrimack is home to an Anheuser-Busch brewery as well. New Hampshire doesn’t just produce lots of beer, it also drinks it. No state consumes more beer per capita than New Hampshire, at 43 gallons per person, which is nearly 15 gallons more than the national average.

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