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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Misc

Sharpen Your Thinking with These 10 Powerful Cognitive Razors

Here are 10 razors, or rules of thumb, that help simplify decision-making, inspired by a list curated by the investor and thought leader Sahil Bloom.

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Improve Your Decision-Making with These 10 Cognitive Razors

The average adult makes about 35,000 conscious decisions each day.

Given this sheer volume of choice, how do we ensure we’re making the right decisions, day in and day out, without becoming exhausted?

Using insights from investor and thought leader Sahil Bloom, this graphic shares 10 cognitive razors, or rules of thumb, that can help you simplify your decision-making.

We’ve organized Bloom’s favorite cognitive razors into three overarching categories, which we dive into in further detail below.

Location, Location, Location

The first theme is location, and the importance of being at the right place at the right time.

The Luck Razor falls into this category because it highlights the importance of putting yourself out there. According to the Luck Razor, when choosing between two paths, pick the one with the largest “luck surface area,” or the path that offers you the most opportunity to get lucky.

This is because when you’re networking, meeting people, and building new relationships, you’re much more likely to stumble upon an opportunity than if you were sitting on your couch, not taking action.

The Rooms Razor follows a similar theme because it emphasizes the importance of your surroundings. It stresses that, if you have a choice between two rooms to walk into, choose the one where you’re most likely to be the dumbest person in the room.

While it’s a bit of an uncomfortable situation, it provides a greater opportunity for growth, as long as you check your ego at the door and listen to what others have to say.

Lastly, the Arena Razor reminds us that when we want something, we need to take the necessary steps to make it happen.

For instance, if you want to become a social media influencer, you need to start creating content and posting it online. It’s not easy to put yourself out there and take action, but if you want to play the game, you need to be in the arena.

The Power of Positive Thinking

The next theme is the power of mindset and positive thinking. This relates to how you view your life, the people you choose to surround yourself with, and how you interpret the actions and opinions of others.

According to the Gratitude Razor, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to show your gratitude to people who have supported you, or given you advice or opportunities.

Research studies have shown that expressing gratitude and giving thanks can be correlated with greater happiness, improved health, and stronger more meaningful relationships. So make sure to say thank you regularly, and tell your loved ones how much you appreciate their support.

It’s not just your mindset that’s important, though. The Optimist Razor recommends surrounding yourself with optimists, rather than pessimists. Pessimists may point out everything that could go wrong in a scenario, which might discourage you to break out of your comfort zone.

Optimism, on the other hand, will emphasize everything that could go right—and may even help you problem solve if you encounter problems along the way.

Keep Decision-Making Simple, Silly

The last one is quite simple, really: don’t overcomplicate things.

Occam’s Razor, which is named after the 14th-century scholar Franciscan friar William of Ockham, is generally interpreted as the following: when faced with a decision between two competing theories that generate the same outcome, the simplest theory is often the best one.

As Bloom says in this blog post, “simple assumptions [over] complex assumptions. If you have to believe a complex, intertwined series of assumptions in order to reach one specific conclusion, always ask whether there is a simple alternative assumption that fits.”

The ability to make things simple is also a good indicator of how deeply you understand something. According to the Feynman Razor, if you can’t explain a concept simply, then you don’t really understand it. So, if someone uses a ton of jargon or complexity to explain something, they could be masking a lack of deeper knowledge on the topic.

Editor’s note: For more information on cognitive razors and simplifying your decision-making, check out Sahil Bloom’s newsletter, or listen to his podcast episode where he talks about the most powerful razors he’s discovered so far in life.

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Misc

Brand Loyalty is Declining for Most Luxury Automakers

Brand loyalty has declined for most luxury automakers, but three brands—Tesla, Maserati, and Genesis—appear to have bucked the trend.

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Brand Loyalty is Declining for Most Luxury Automakers

New research conducted by S&P Global Mobility has found that brand loyalty—measured as the percentage of buyers that go back to the same brand for their next vehicle—is falling across the luxury segment.

In this infographic, we’ve visualized the results of this research, which spans from January 2020 to April 2022.

Brand Loyalty Losers

The following brands have all experienced a drop in brand loyalty over the time period.

For additional context, we’ve also included each brand’s score in the J.D. Power 2022 Initial Quality Study. This is measured based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) in the first 90 days of ownership.

BrandPercentage Point Change
in Brand Loyalty
PP100
🇬🇧 Land Rover-9.2193
🇩🇪 Porsche-8.5200
🇺🇸 Lincoln-7.9167
🇩🇪 Audi-7.3239
🇩🇪 Mercedes-Benz-7.0189
🇮🇹 Alfa Romeo-6.6211
🇺🇸 Cadillac-6.4163
🇸🇪 Volvo-5.3256
🇯🇵 Infiniti-5.2204
🇬🇧 Jaguar-5.1210
🇯🇵 Lexus-4.8157
Luxury average-4.5199
🇯🇵 Acura-2.7192
🇩🇪 BMW-2.3165

Land Rover experienced the biggest drop in loyalty, despite a better than average PP100 rating. One potential reason is timing⁠—the brand’s premier model, the Range Rover, has been in its fourth generation since 2012. The SUV has become relatively dated, though a new fifth generation was recently revealed for the 2022 model year.

Two Volkswagen Group brands, Audi and Porsche, also fared poorly in terms of loyalty. This is somewhat surprising, as both brands offer a portfolio of both gasoline and electric models. Many competitors, such as Acura, Lexus, and Maserati, have yet to release an EV.

Brand Loyalty Winners

Three brands have managed to buck the trend, as shown below.

BrandPercentage Point Change
in Brand Loyalty
PP100
Luxury average-4.5199
🇺🇸 Tesla+4.0226
🇮🇹 Maserati+4.3255
🇰🇷 Genesis+8.5156

We can draw parallels between Tesla and Apple, in that both have incredibly loyal followers.

For instance, between March 2021 to April 2022, 62% of buyers/households who returned to market and previously owned a Model 3 purchased a new Tesla. That’s an impressive statistic, especially when we consider Tesla’s history of build quality issues.

Maserati appears to be in the same boat. The Italian automaker has strengthened its brand loyalty by 4.3 percentage points, despite having the luxury segment’s worst PP100. Perhaps build quality matters less than we think.

Another Factor to Consider

Ongoing supply chain issues could also be contributing to wide-spread declines in loyalty. Rather than waiting several months (or in the case of EVs, years), buyers may switch to a different brand that has cars in stock.

We are still monitoring it week to week, but up to now basically worldwide, we had no issues running production.
– Joerg Burzer, Mercedes-Benz

Many automakers have reported that their supply issues are diminishing, though new economic challenges have risen. For example, surging inflation has pushed the price of a new car to record highs. Combined with rising interest rates (cost of borrowing), this could negatively impact the demand for new cars.

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