9 States Drinking the Most Beer

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9. Nevada
> Annual per capita consumption: 33.4 gallons of beer
> 5 yr. consumption change: -7.7%
> Driving deaths involving alcohol: 32.8% (21st highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.16 per gallon (16th lowest)

Drinking-age adults in Nevada consumed 33.4 gallons of beer on average in 2016, well above the 27 gallon average consumption nationwide. As is the case in most states that consume the most beer, Nevada does not levy an especially high beer excise tax. For each gallon of beer sold, the state collects 16 cents, less than half the 35 cent per gallon average tax across all states.

Tourists likely accounted for a large share of beer sales in Nevada in 2016. An estimated 42.9 million people visited Las Vegas in 2016, a record number for Sin City.

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8. Maine
> Annual per capita consumption: 33.7 gallons of beer
> 5 yr. consumption change: -4.0%
> Driving deaths involving alcohol: 39.8% (4th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.35 per gallon (18th highest)

In only seven states beer sales per capita surpassed the 33.7 gallons sold per adult in Maine in 2016. States with larger rural populations tend to consume more beer than more urban states, and Maine is no exception. Some 61.3% of Maine’s population lives in rural areas, the largest share of any state.

As is the case in many states with high beer consumption, the share of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Maine is relatively high. About 40% of driving deaths in the state involves alcohol.

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7. Nebraska
> Annual per capita consumption: 34.1 gallons of beer
> 5 yr. consumption change: -1.1%
> Driving deaths involving alcohol: 35.6% (9th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.31 per gallon (20th highest)

While Nebraska might not have the myriad of breweries its Midwestern neighbors like Wisconsin and Michigan do, the state does share the Midwest thirst for beer. Each year, adult Nebraskans consume 34.1 gallons of beer on average, seventh most of any state. Consumption is down slightly from 34.4 gallons in 2011.

The state’s love of beer may have some unfortunate consequences, as over 35% of all driving fatalities in the state involve alcohol, higher than the comparable national rate of 30% and the fourth highest share of all states.