Mapped: Beer Consumption in the U.S.

Mapped: Beer Consumption in the U.S.

Beer consumption spans almost the entire world, and is a staple in much of the United States.

When stacked up next to other alcoholic beverages, beer is America’s preferred drink of choice, closely followed by wine and spirits. In fact, it is the fifth most-consumed drink overall in the country, behind coffee, water, soft drinks and tea.

At the end of 2021, beer in the U.S. was a $94.1 billion industry. Alongside massive multinational conglomerations, it is also driven by over 9,000 breweries of different types.

This visualization, created by Victor Dépré of Hypntic Data, maps the consumption of beer by gallons per capita across the U.S. using data from Top Agency and The Beer Institute.

What is Beer?

Beer is produced from the fermentation of combined water, malt, and yeast. It was first produced 12,000 years ago with the emergence of grain agriculture.

Today, beer is made from several different malted grains: wheat, corn, rice, oats, and most commonly, barley. Hops, a type of flower, are added for flavor, balancing out the malt’s sweetness with a bitter taste while also preserving the beer’s freshness and giving a good amount of foam.

American Beer Consumption By State

So which states drank the most beer, and what was their preferred brand?

The annual consumption stats come from the Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac report, while the preferred beer of choice was compiled by Data Agency’s 2021 Beer Rankings report, which is based on a combination of surveys combined with Google search analysis from all over the country.

Beer Consumption By State (2020) Annual Gallons Per Capita Preferred Beer
Alabama 29.1 Budweiser
Alaska 26.1
Arizona 27.0 Dos Equis
Arkansas 23.9 Budweiser
California 24.5 Budweiser
Colorado 28.1 Denver Beer Co
Connecticut 19.8 Bud Light
Delaware 27.9 Dogfish Head
District of Columbia 18.2
Florida 25.4 Stella
Georgia 23.0 Terrapin
Hawaii 26.7
Idaho 25.0 Budweiser
Illinois 25.9 Goose Island
Indiana 23.6 Miller Light
Iowa 31.0 Budweiser
Kansas 27.8 Coors Light
Kentucky 23.1 Budweiser
Louisiana 28.4 Abita
Maine 32.5 Budweiser
Maryland 19.7 Budweiser
Massachusetts 21.1 Budweiser
Michigan 23.6 Budweiser
Minnesota 27.1 Budweiser
Mississippi 31.6 Lazy Magnolia
Missouri 26.9 Budweiser
Montana 41.1 Budweiser
Nebraska 31.6 Nebraska Black Betty
Nevada 29.0 Coors Light
New Hampshire 41.5 Budweiser
New Jersey 20.0 Miller Light
New Mexico 27.7 La Cumbre
New York 20.2 Budweiser
North Carolina 25.8 Bud Light
North Dakota 37.5 Fargo
Ohio 25.5 Heineken
Oklahoma 26.8 Budweiser
Oregon 27.7 Budweiser
Pennsylvania 24.9 Bud Light
Rhode Island 20.1 Narragansett
South Carolina 32.5 Budweiser
South Dakota 37.3 Budweiser
Tennessee 24.2 Budweiser
Texas 31.9 Lone Star
Utah 20.0 Budweiser
Vermont 34.0 Bud Light
Virginia 24.2 Budweiser
Washington 23.7 Bud Light
West Virginia 27.8 Budweiser
Wisconsin 33.7 Spotted Cow
Wyoming 29.8 Snake River

New Hampshire took the top spot in 2020, outdrinking other states with 41.5 gallons of beer consumed annually per capita. In contrast, the lowest consuming state was Maryland which only consumed 19.7 gallons per capita, about half as much.

The most popular beer?

Despite the growing trend of craft breweries in some states, the most popular beer across the country was Budweiser of Anheuser-Busch, which took the top spot in 23 states.

Which State Has The Most Breweries?

Each state also has varying numbers of breweries operating within, and there are many different types.

Larger breweries, including those run by some of the world’s largest companies, are also called macrobreweries. They are usually defined as having an annual production greater than 6 million barrels of beer, compared to craft breweries and other types of microbreweries which have a lower annual production.

Craft breweries are also usually independently owned, and through both positioning and general perception, have come to be associated with specialties and originality, adding unique and interesting ingredients to traditional brews.

Breweries By State (2020) # of Breweries
Alabama 70
Alaska 68
Arizona 170
Arkansas 73
California 1,466
Colorado 565
Connecticut 163
Delaware 49
District of Columbia 17
Florida 505
Georgia 191
Hawaii 46
Idaho 116
Illinois 406
Indiana 283
Iowa 151
Kansas 83
Kentucky 119
Louisiana 67
Maine 201
Maryland 177
Massachusetts 304
Michigan 611
Minnesota 291
Mississippi 26
Missouri 215
Montana 130
Nebraska 74
Nevada 73
New Hampshire 133
New Jersey 188
New Mexico 154
New York 680
North Carolina 514
North Dakota 31
Ohio 497
Oklahoma 91
Oregon 431
Pennsylvania 642
Rhode Island 50
South Carolina 135
South Dakota 59
Tennessee 196
Texas 532
Utah 54
Vermont 106
Virginia 425
Washington 633
West Virginia 37
Wisconsin 364
Wyoming 52

California has the highest number of breweries in the country, more than double any other state, at 1,466.

On the flip side, Mississippi has the fewest breweries, with the most recent Beer Institute’s 2021 almanac only listing 26 in the entire state.

Beer Sales During the Pandemic

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, commonplace items saw massive spikes in sales across the world.

As lockdowns were implemented and people were forced to stay at home, household items like toilet paper, soap, and pastas began to disappear from store shelves at alarmingly fast rates. Beer was no exception, and sales have continued to increase, going up by 8.9% in the U.S. since 2020.

This is a worrisome fact to many researchers, as it could be a strong indicator that alcohol was used as a coping mechanism against anxiety and isolation felt during the pandemic. This rise could be a result of increased consumption, but may also indicate increased stockpiling.

Regardless of why beer sales increased, it will be interesting to see which way the trend swings with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the attempted return to normalcy in the months to come.

The post Mapped: Beer Consumption in the U.S. appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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