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Consumption by State

Many Americans may now be unwinding by uncorking a bottle of wine, but by and large the U.S. is still a beer-drinking nation. Gallon for gallon, per capita consumption of beer in the U.S. is about nine times that of wine and 14 times that of spirits, according to data from the Beer Institute, an industry lobbying organization. Some states have a particularly hardy appetite for brewed malt beverages, including a few with lax alcohol laws: In Nevada (the No. 5 biggest beer drinker), alcohol can be sold 24/7, and in Wisconsin (No. 6), even customers under age 21 can buy a drink at a bar in the company of a guardian of legal drinking age. Utah has the lowest per capita consumption rate, followed by Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. The average person of legal drinking age in the U.S. drank 20.7 gallons (the equivalent of about 221 12-oz. cans) of beer last year, down from 22.3 gallons (about 238 cans) in 1994, according to the Beer Institute. (Still, that's relatively tame. The Czech Republic is the No. 1 global beer consumer, where per capita consumption in 2010 was 151.2 liters, or 39.9 gallons, according to Euromonitor.) The U.S. beer industry may have slowed down in recent decades as Americans generally drank less alcohol but increased wine consumption, but for many still, there is no replacing a cold brewski.

Click here to see which states drink the most beer per capita.
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