In recently updated statistics by the Beer Institute, Montana now ranks third in the U.S. in beer consumption per capita behind only New Hampshire and North Dakota.
In 2011, Montana switched spots with North Dakota, which now ranks second. According to the data, Montana has an estimated 730,259 legal beer drinkers who on average drink 40.6 gallons each. To put it in perspective, that’s a little more than 81 growlers per person. That’s down from 2010′s figure of 41.7 gallons of beer (more than 83 growlers) for each legal drinker. New Hampshire in 2011 boasted 43 gallons of beer per capita and North Dakota registered 42.2 gallons per capita.
I’m not completely sure on how the Beer Institute estimates the per capita figure, but I assume it takes the amount of beer sold and divides it by the amount of legal drinkers. In which case you can be sure that the per capita figure is likely less because it’s not just those who are over 21 that are drinking beer.
The Beer Institute also keeps track of beer shipments. In 2011, Montana actually shipped less beer than it did in 2010. The Treasure State ranked 43rd with 956,133 31 gallon barrels of beer (about 1,912,000 kegs) shipped, down from 971,947 barrels (about 1,944,000 kegs) in 2010. California shipped the most with 21,805,539 31 gallon barrels of beer in 2011.
Check out the stats from 2003-2011 here.
- Matt Pritchard