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Mapped: Beer Consumption in the U.S.

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Open the large interactive version here

 This visualization maps the consumption of beer by gallon across the U.S.

Open the large interactive version here

 This visualization maps the consumption of beer by gallon across 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 CapitaPreferred Beer
Alabama29.1Budweiser
Alaska26.1
Arizona27.0Dos Equis
Arkansas23.9Budweiser
California24.5Budweiser
Colorado28.1Denver Beer Co
Connecticut19.8Bud Light
Delaware27.9Dogfish Head
District of Columbia18.2
Florida25.4Stella
Georgia23.0Terrapin
Hawaii26.7
Idaho25.0Budweiser
Illinois25.9Goose Island
Indiana23.6Miller Light
Iowa31.0Budweiser
Kansas27.8Coors Light
Kentucky23.1Budweiser
Louisiana28.4Abita
Maine32.5Budweiser
Maryland19.7Budweiser
Massachusetts21.1Budweiser
Michigan23.6Budweiser
Minnesota27.1Budweiser
Mississippi31.6Lazy Magnolia
Missouri26.9Budweiser
Montana41.1Budweiser
Nebraska31.6Nebraska Black Betty
Nevada29.0Coors Light
New Hampshire41.5Budweiser
New Jersey20.0Miller Light
New Mexico27.7La Cumbre
New York20.2Budweiser
North Carolina25.8Bud Light
North Dakota37.5Fargo
Ohio25.5Heineken
Oklahoma26.8Budweiser
Oregon27.7Budweiser
Pennsylvania24.9Bud Light
Rhode Island20.1Narragansett
South Carolina32.5Budweiser
South Dakota37.3Budweiser
Tennessee24.2Budweiser
Texas31.9Lone Star
Utah20.0Budweiser
Vermont34.0Bud Light
Virginia24.2Budweiser
Washington23.7Bud Light
West Virginia27.8Budweiser
Wisconsin33.7Spotted Cow
Wyoming29.8Snake 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
Alabama70
Alaska68
Arizona170
Arkansas73
California1,466
Colorado565
Connecticut163
Delaware49
District of Columbia17
Florida505
Georgia191
Hawaii46
Idaho116
Illinois406
Indiana283
Iowa151
Kansas83
Kentucky119
Louisiana67
Maine201
Maryland177
Massachusetts304
Michigan611
Minnesota291
Mississippi26
Missouri215
Montana130
Nebraska74
Nevada73
New Hampshire133
New Jersey188
New Mexico154
New York680
North Carolina514
North Dakota31
Ohio497
Oklahoma91
Oregon431
Pennsylvania642
Rhode Island50
South Carolina135
South Dakota59
Tennessee196
Texas532
Utah54
Vermont106
Virginia425
Washington633
West Virginia37
Wisconsin364
Wyoming52

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.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Politics

How Do Democrats and Republicans Feel About Certain U.S. Industries?

A survey looked at U.S. industry favorability across political lines, showing where Democrats and Republicans are divided over the economy.

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A cropped chart with the percentage of Democrats and Republicans that found specific U.S. industries "favorable."

Industry Favorability, by Political Party

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Much and more has been written, in the last decade particularly, about the U.S. political sphere becoming increasingly polarized. The two main parties—Democrats and Republicans—have clashed over how to run the economy, as well as on key social issues.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Democrat and Republican voters are also divided on various U.S. industries, per a YouGov poll conducted in 2022.

Between November 7-9th of that year, the market research firm polled 1,000 adult Americans, (sampled to represent prevailing demographic, racial, and political-party-affiliation trends in the country) on their opinions on 39 industries. They asked:

“Generally speaking, do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following industry?” — YouGov Poll.

In this chart we visualize the percentage with a favorable view of an industry minus those with unfavorable view, categorized by current voter status.

A higher percentage means more Democrats or Republicans rated the industry as favorable, and vice-versa. Negative percentages mean more respondents responded unfavorably.

Democrats vs. Republicans on Industry Favorability

From a glance, it’s immediately noticeable that quite a few industries have divided Democrats and Republics quite severely.

For example, of the sampled Democrats, a net 45%, found Higher Education “favorable.” This is compared to 0% on the Republican side, which means an equal number found the industry favorable and unfavorable.

Here’s the full list of net favorable responses from Democrats and Republicans per industry.

IndustryDemocrat Net
Favorability
Republican Net
Favorability
Agriculture44%55%
Trucking27%55%
Restaurant53%54%
Manufacturing27%53%
Construction23%49%
Dairy45%46%
Higher education45%0%
Technology44%36%
Food manufacturing15%37%
Transportation27%37%
Railroad37%35%
Mining-3%36%
Automotive19%36%
Grocery35%22%
Hotels30%35%
Textiles24%34%
Entertainment34%-17%
Shipping24%33%
Retail31%31%
Book publishing30%29%
Alcohol23%16%
Television22%3%
Waste management15%22%
Education services21%-16%
Wireless carriers19%19%
Broadcasting17%-30%
News media17%-57%
Airlines11%3%
Oil and gas-28%7%
Real-estate-2%6%
Utilities2%6%
Health care3%4%
Fashion4%-6%
Cable-12%3%
Finance2%-2%
Professional sports1%-2%
Insurance-12%-14%
Pharmaceutical-18%-14%
Tobacco-44%-27%

The other few immediately noticeable disparities in favorability include:

  • Mining and Oil and Gas, (more Republicans in favor),
  • Entertainment, Education Services, and News Media (more Democrats in favor).

Tellingly, the larger social and political concerns at play are influencing Democrat and Republican opinions about these parts of the economy.

For example Pew Research pointed out Republicans are dissatisfied with universities for a number of reasons: worries about constraints on free speech, campus “culture wars,” and professors bringing their politics into the classroom.

In contrast, Democrats’ criticisms of higher education revolved around tuition costs and the quality of education offered.

On a more recent note, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, a big Harvard donor, pulled funding after criticizing universities for educating “whiny snowflakes.” In October, donors to the University of Pennsylvania withdrew their support, upset with the university’s response to the October 7th attacks and subsequent war in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the reasons for differences over media favorability are more obvious. Commentators say being “anti-media” is now part of the larger Republican leadership identity, and in turn, is trickling down to their voters. Pew Research also found that Republicans are less likely to trust the news if it comes from a “mainstream” source.

But these are industries that are already adjacent to the larger political sphere. What about the others?

U.S. Politics and the Climate Crisis

The disparity over how the Oil & Gas and Mining industries are viewed is a reflection, again, of American politics and the partisan divide around the climate crisis and whether there’s a noticeable impact from human activity.

Both industries contribute heavily to carbon emissions, and Democrat lawmakers have previously urged the Biden transition to start planning for the end of fossil-fuel reliance.

Meanwhile, former President Trump, for example, has previously called global warming “a hoax” but later reversed course, clarifying that he didn’t know if it was “man-made.”

When removing the climate context, and related environmental degradation, both industries usually pay high wages and produce materials critical to many other parts of the economy, including the strategic metals needed for the energy transition.

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