Mapped: Beer Consumption in the U.S.
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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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Science

Visualizing the Relationship Between Cancer and Lifespan

New research links mutation rates and lifespan. We visualize the data supporting this new framework for understanding cancer.

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Cancer and lifespan

A Newfound Link Between Cancer and Aging?

A new study in 2022 reveals a thought-provoking relationship between how long animals live and how quickly their genetic codes mutate.

Cancer is a product of time and mutations, and so researchers investigated its onset and impact within 16 unique mammals. A new perspective on DNA mutation broadens our understanding of aging and cancer development—and how we might be able to control it.

Mutations, Aging, and Cancer: A Primer

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells. It is not a pathogen that infects the body, but a normal body process gone wrong.

Cells divide and multiply in our bodies all the time. Sometimes, during DNA replication, tiny mistakes (called mutations) appear randomly within the genetic code. Our bodies have mechanisms to correct these errors, and for much of our youth we remain strong and healthy as a result of these corrective measures.

However, these protections weaken as we age. Developing cancer becomes more likely as mutations slip past our defenses and continue to multiply. The longer we live, the more mutations we carry, and the likelihood of them manifesting into cancer increases.

A Biological Conundrum

Since mutations can occur randomly, biologists expect larger lifeforms (those with more cells) to have greater chances of developing cancer than smaller lifeforms.

Strangely, no association exists.

It is one of biology’s biggest mysteries as to why massive creatures like whales or elephants rarely seem to experience cancer. This is called Peto’s Paradox. Even stranger: some smaller creatures, like the naked mole rat, are completely resistant to cancer.

This phenomenon motivates researchers to look into the genetics of naked mole rats and whales. And while we’ve discovered that special genetic bonuses (like extra tumor-suppressing genes) benefit these creatures, a pattern for cancer rates across all other species is still poorly understood.

Cancer May Be Closely Associated with Lifespan

Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute report the first study to look at how mutation rates compare with animal lifespans.

Mutation rates are simply the speed at which species beget mutations. Mammals with shorter lifespans have average mutation rates that are very fast. A mouse undergoes nearly 800 mutations in each of its four short years on Earth. Mammals with longer lifespans have average mutation rates that are much slower. In humans (average lifespan of roughly 84 years), it comes to fewer than 50 mutations per year.

The study also compares the number of mutations at time of death with other traits, like body mass and lifespan. For example, a giraffe has roughly 40,000 times more cells than a mouse. Or a human lives 90 times longer than a mouse. What surprised researchers was that the number of mutations at time of death differed only by a factor of three.

Such small differentiation suggests there may be a total number of mutations a species can collect before it dies. Since the mammals reached this number at different speeds, finding ways to control the rate of mutations may help stall cancer development, set back aging, and prolong life.

The Future of Cancer Research

The findings in this study ignite new questions for understanding cancer.

Confirming that mutation rate and lifespan are strongly correlated needs comparison to lifeforms beyond mammals, like fishes, birds, and even plants.

It will also be necessary to understand what factors control mutation rates. The answer to this likely lies within the complexities of DNA. Geneticists and oncologists are continuing to investigate genetic curiosities like tumor-suppressing genes and how they might impact mutation rates.

Aging is likely to be a confluence of many issues, like epigenetic changes or telomere shortening, but if mutations are involved then there may be hopes of slowing genetic damage—or even reversing it.

While just a first step, linking mutation rates to lifespan is a reframing of our understanding of cancer development, and it may open doors to new strategies and therapies for treating cancer or taming the number of health-related concerns that come with aging.

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Misc

Visualizing Which Countries Drink the Most Beer

Which countries drink the most beer? China ranks number one due to its sheer size, and the Czech Republic comes out on top, per capita.

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Visualizing Which Countries Drink the Most Beer

Humans have been drinking beer for thousands of years—and since it’s still one of the most popular beverages worldwide, it seems we haven’t gotten sick of it yet. The latest available data shows that beer consumption exceeded 177 million kiloliters around the world in 2020.

Beer consumption occurs all over the world, but the amount varies greatly depending on the location. So, which countries drink the most beer?

This graphic uses data from Kirin Holdings to compare global beer consumption by country. Kirin is a Japanese company that has been tracking beer consumption around the world since 1975.

Which Countries Drink the Most Beer?

When it comes to total beer consumption, China ranks number one.

In 2020, the country’s consumption reached 36 million kiloliters—that’s enough beer to fill more than 14,000 Olympic-sized pools. The country accounts for a whopping one-fifth of total beer consumption worldwide. Archaeological evidence also suggests that China has a beer producing history that goes back thousands of years.

Here’s a look at the top 25 countries for beer consumption, and their global market share:

Ranking 2020CountryTotal Consumption
(thousand kl)
Global Market
Share
1🇨🇳​ China36,08820.30%
2🇺🇸​ United States of America24,10513.60%
3🇧🇷​ Brazil13,8477.80%
4🇷🇺​ Russia8,6464.90%
5🇲🇽​ Mexico8,2874.70%
6🇩🇪​ Germany7,7464.40%
7🇯🇵 Japan4,4162.50%
8​🇬🇧​ United Kingdom4,0882.30%
9🇻🇳​ Vietnam3,8452.20%
10🇪🇸 Spain3,8152.10%
11​🇵🇱 Poland3,6332.00%
12​🇿🇦​ South Africa3,2841.90%
13🇨🇴​ Colombia2,2461.30%
14🇫🇷 France1,9841.10%
15​🇨🇦​ Canada1,9791.10%
16🇨🇿 Czech Republic1,9461.10%
17​🇰🇷 South Korea1,9361.10%
18​🇮🇹​ Italy1,8861.10%
19🇺🇦​ Ukraine1,8811.10%
20🇷🇴​ Romania1,8281.00%
21🇦🇺 Australia1,8251.00%
22🇦🇷​ Argentina1,7971.00%
23​🇮🇳 India1,6860.90%
24🇹🇭 Thailand1,6800.90%
25​​🇵🇭​ Philippines1,4620.80%
Rest of the World31,56317.78%

China is the most populous country in the world, accounting for about 18% of the global population. Of course, a large population doesn’t necessarily translate to high beer consumption at the individual level. For instance, India, which has the second highest population in the world, ranks 23rd on the list for beer consumption, and only accounts for 1% of what foamy liquid gets guzzled down each year.

The U.S. comes second on the list, with more than 24 million kiloliters of beer consumed throughout the country in 2020. Americans don’t just drink a lot of beer—they brew a lot of beer, too. The U.S. is the second-largest beer producer worldwide (after China).

Beer Consumption Per Capita

Things look a bit different when you look at beer consumption per capita, rather than total beer consumption. The Czech Republic comes in first when it comes to beer consumption per capita.

In 2020, the average Czech drank more than 181 liters of beer.

chart showing beer consumption per capita by country in 2022

The Czech Republic is well-known for inexpensive beer. Some travel sites even claim that, in certain parts of the country, beer can be cheaper than bottled water.

International Beer Day

While consumption levels vary across the world, beer is an integral part of many countries’ cultures. In fact, the beverage is so popular, that it’s been given its own day. International Beer Day is celebrated on the first Friday of every August in over 200 cities across the globe.

Cheers, and happy sipping!

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