States Drinking the Most Beer

April 30, 2018 by Mike Sauter

Source: interstid / iStock
Despite shifting tastes among millennials, beer remains the most popular alcoholic beverage in the United States. It is the drink of choice for 43% of Americans who drink, beating out wine at 32% and liquor at 20%. Beer makers shipped 26.4 gallons of beer per person per American adult in 2017.

Beer is, to many, an important part of America’s cultural legacy. The beverage is tied to some of the oldest businesses and brands in the nation. Some parts of the country take pride in the brews that come from their region, and those areas often happen to consume the drink with greater zest than those in other parts of the country.

In fact, beer consumption tends to vary considerably across the country. According to Beer Marketer’s Insights, a brewing industry trade publisher, shipments of beer per capita range from over 40 gallons in one state to less than 20 in another. Generally, residents of states in the Midwest tend to be the biggest beer drinkers, while residents of states in the Northeast and New England consume the least with a few notable exceptions. A few New England states are actually some of the biggest beer drinkers in the country.

Beer consumption differs from state to state not just because of cultural reasons, but also because of differences in purchasing laws and taxes.

Click here to see beer consumption in each state.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Bill_Dally / iStock

50. Utah
> Annual per capita consumption: 18.7 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 38.1 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +2.8%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 154.8 (6th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.41 per gallon (13th highest)

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock

49. Connecticut (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 20.2 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 54.2 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -8.1%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 204.5 (13th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.23 per gallon (24th lowest)

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock

48. Maryland (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 20.2 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 90.1 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -9.6%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 169.5 (14th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.53 per gallon (9th highest)

Source: sparhawk4242 / iStock

47. New Jersey
> Annual per capita consumption: 20.6 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 138.0 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -3.5%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 200.5 (17th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.12 per gallon (9th lowest)

Source: frankpeters / iStock

46. New York
> Annual per capita consumption: 21.9 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 327.5 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -2.9%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 235.7 (4th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.14 per gallon (12th lowest)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

45. Rhode Island
> Annual per capita consumption: 23.0 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 18.4 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -10.0%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 250.9 (2nd highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.12 per gallon (10th lowest)

Source: Thinkstock

44. Indiana
> Annual per capita consumption: 23.4 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 112.7 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -6.0%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 172.4 (19th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.12 per gallon (8th lowest)

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Source: Thinkstock

43. Kentucky (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 23.6 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 77.1 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -0.8%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 153.3 (2nd lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.85 per gallon (6th highest)

Source: Maudib / iStock

42. Massachusetts (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 23.6 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 121.9 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -5.7%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 217.7 (7th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.11 per gallon (7th lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock

41. Arkansas
> Annual per capita consumption: 23.7 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 52.0 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -6.8%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 153.8 (4th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.34 per gallon (19th highest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock

40. Georgia
> Annual per capita consumption: 24.0 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 179.6 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +0.1%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 167.9 (12th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $1.01 per gallon (4th highest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock

39. Tennessee (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 24.4 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 120.8 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -1.6%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 162.4 (8th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $1.29 per gallon (the highest)

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Source: ablokhin / iStock

38. Virginia (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 24.4 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 152.7 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -3.6%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 176.3 (22nd lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.26 per gallon (25th lowest)

Source: aiisha5 / iStock

37. Washington
> Annual per capita consumption: 24.7 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 135.6 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +9.1%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 202.2 (16th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.26 per gallon (25th highest)

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock

36. North Carolina
> Annual per capita consumption: 25.0 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 188.0 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -1.1%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 174.7 (21st lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.62 per gallon (8th highest)

Source: choness / iStock

35. California (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 25.1 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 724.9 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +3.4%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 192.2 (21st highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.20 per gallon (21st lowest)

Source: Thinkstock

34. Oklahoma (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 25.1 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 70.7 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -8.1%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 167.1 (11th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.40 per gallon (15th highest)

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Source: Thinkstock

33. Michigan
> Annual per capita consumption: 25.3 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 186.7 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -3.8%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 171.2 (18th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.20 per gallon (22nd lowest)

Source: benkrut / iStock

32. Kansas
> Annual per capita consumption: 25.7 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 53.2 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -7.9%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 173.5 (20th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.18 per gallon (18th lowest)

Source: Thinkstock

31. Idaho
> Annual per capita consumption: 25.9 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 31.5 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +2.8%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 183.3 (25th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.15 per gallon (13th lowest)

 
Source: Chilkoot / iStock

30. Alaska
> Annual per capita consumption: 26.0 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 14.0 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -5.1%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 196.4 (20th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $1.07 per gallon (2nd highest)

Source: Wiltser / iStock

29. Florida
> Annual per capita consumption: 26.3 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 423.1 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +4.5%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 169.5 (15th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.48 per gallon (11th highest)

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Source: jamegaw / iStock

28. Pennsylvania
> Annual per capita consumption: 26.4 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 254.1 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -6.5%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 186.7 (24th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.08 per gallon (5th lowest)

Source: miroslav_1 / iStock

27. Arizona
> Annual per capita consumption: 26.6 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 135.6 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -1.4%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 154.3 (5th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.16 per gallon (15th lowest)

Source: aceshot / iStock

26. Ohio
> Annual per capita consumption: 27.3 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 234.7 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -6.9%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 180.6 (24th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.18 per gallon (17th lowest)

 
Source: Andres Garcia Martin / iStock

25. Illinois (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 27.4 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 259.4 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -3.9%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 192.1 (22nd highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.23 per gallon (23rd lowest)

Source: 6381380 / iStock

24. West Virginia (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 27.4 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 37.8 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -10.9%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 165.3 (9th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.18 per gallon (16th lowest)

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Source: JByard / iStock

23. Missouri
> Annual per capita consumption: 27.7 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 125.6 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -7.2%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 170.7 (17th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.06 per gallon (2nd lowest)

Source: Jens_Lambert_Photography / iStock

22. Colorado
> Annual per capita consumption: 28.3 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 117.6 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +4.5%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 203.5 (15th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.08 per gallon (5th lowest)

Source: RudyBalasko / iStock

21. Minnesota
> Annual per capita consumption: 28.4 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 115.4 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +0.1%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 170.5 (16th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.49 per gallon (10th highest)

 
Source: maximkabb / iStock

20. Hawaii
> Annual per capita consumption: 28.5 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 30.6 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -2.9%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 227.8 (5th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.93 per gallon (5th highest)

Source: aimintang / Getty Images

19. Delaware
> Annual per capita consumption: 28.7 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 20.7 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -8.4%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 185.3 (25th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.26 per gallon (24th highest)

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Source: Baiterek Media / Shutterstock.com

18. New Mexico
> Annual per capita consumption: 28.8 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 43.8 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -9.1%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 158.4 (7th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.41 per gallon (14th highest)

Source: BJ Ray / Shutterstock.com

17. Alabama
> Annual per capita consumption: 28.9 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 103.7 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -2.3%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 153.3 (3rd lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $1.05 per gallon (3rd highest)

Source: Cliff / Wikimedia Commons

16. Wyoming
> Annual per capita consumption: 29.5 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 12.3 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -10.4%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 209.7 (12th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.02 per gallon (the lowest)

 
Source: Photoservice / iStock

15. Louisiana
> Annual per capita consumption: 29.6 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 99.4 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -10.9%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 169.1 (13th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.40 per gallon (15th highest)

Source: csfotoimages / iStock

14. Oregon
> Annual per capita consumption: 30.0 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 95.4 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +9.0%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 236.3 (3rd highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.08 per gallon (6th lowest)

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Source: Thinkstock

13. Mississippi (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 30.9 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 66.6 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -6.7%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 149.9 (the lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.43 per gallon (12th highest)

Source: John Wollwerth / Shutterstock.com

12. South Carolina (tied)
> Annual per capita consumption: 30.9 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 115.0 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +2.2%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 177.3 (23rd lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.77 per gallon (7th highest)

Source: Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

11. Iowa
> Annual per capita consumption: 31.7 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 72.0 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -4.0%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 190.5 (23rd highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.19 per gallon (19th lowest)

 
Source: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / iStock

10. Texas
> Annual per capita consumption: 31.8 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 626.3 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +1.3%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 166.3 (10th lowest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.20 per gallon (20th lowest)

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

9. Vermont
> Annual per capita consumption: 32.8 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 15.6 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -5.8%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 210.2 (11th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.27 per gallon (23rd highest)

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Source: AvatarKnowmad / Getty Images

8. Nevada
> Annual per capita consumption: 32.9 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 72.9 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +2.2%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 196.9 (19th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.16 per gallon (15th lowest)

Source: Thinkstock

7. Nebraska
> Annual per capita consumption: 33.3 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 45.3 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -1.7%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 197.1 (18th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.31 per gallon (20th highest)

Source: Thinkstock

6. Maine
> Annual per capita consumption: 33.8 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 34.9 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +0.2%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 226.0 (6th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.35 per gallon (18th highest)

 
Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

5. Wisconsin
> Annual per capita consumption: 34.3 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 147.1 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -2.4%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 213.8 (9th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.06 per gallon (3rd lowest)

Source: Courtesy of Augustana University

4. South Dakota
> Annual per capita consumption: 38.2 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 23.7 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +2.8%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 204.4 (14th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.27 per gallon (22nd highest)

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Source: Thinkstock

3. North Dakota
> Annual per capita consumption: 38.3 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 20.9 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -10.3%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 216.2 (8th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.39 per gallon (17th highest)

Source: miroslav_1 / iStock

2. Montana
> Annual per capita consumption: 39.4 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 30.8 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: +1.4%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 257.5 (the highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.14 per gallon (11th lowest)

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock

1. New Hampshire
> Annual per capita consumption: 40.6 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 41.8 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -3.5%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 213.0 (10th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.30 per gallon (21st highest)

Detailed Findings & Methodology

Many of the states at the top of the list of the biggest beer drinkers should not come as a surprise to those even slightly familiar with the history of brewing in the United States. Wisconsin, for example, which is fifth on this list, has produced some of the nation’s most popular breweries, including Miller, Milwaukee, and Pabst. Vermont, which ranks in the top 10, has the most craft breweries in the country. which also has an above-average rate of beer consumption. The presence of these industries indicate a strong cultural connection to beer, which likely leads to higher consumption rates.

Cultural influences can also partially account for low consumption rates in some states. Utah, which has by far the lowest annual beer consumption rate per capita, is also home to the largest share of members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, a religion that expressly forbids consumption of alcohol.

Though consumption figures are not available per state, this measure of shipments of beer per adult is meant to be a proxy for beer drinking in each state. At least one important factor is likely distorting how close shipments per capita reflect actual consumption per capita in certain states — out-of-state buyers.

In New Hampshire, which ranks first on this list at 40.6 gallons per adult consumed in 2017, there is no sales tax. This means that residents from nearby Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine can travel to the state to buy cheaper beer, and they frequently do. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission estimates that roughly half of the state’s beer, wine, and spirits sales are by out-of-state buyers.

One of the most immediate risks associated with excessive drinking is fatal motor vehicle accidents. Nationwide, 29% of all driving deaths involve alcohol. In each of the nine states consuming the most beer, the alcohol-related driving death rate is higher than the national rate. In North Dakota, the state with the third highest beer consumption rate, 48.1% of driving deaths are alcohol related, the largest share of any state.

To identify the states drinking the most beer, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed beer shipments in each state per resident 21 years and older in 2017 with data provided by According to Beer Marketer’s Insights, a brewing industry trade publisher, and the U.S. Census Bureau. We also reviewed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on excessive drinking rates and alcohol-related death figures. Beer excise tax rates as well as sales tax rates came from the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy research organization. The share of the population living in rural localities came from the U.S. Census Bureau, and alcohol impaired driving deaths came from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.