According to a recent study, Illinois was named the cheapest U.S. state to buy a 24-pack of beer in 2018. The study used the average cost for a 24-pack of Bud Light and Miller Lite in each state to organize the rankings. The study says it costs $15.20 for a 24-pack of either brand on average state wide. Illinois took over the #1 spot from Michigan, who had the title in 2017. Illinois had finished as the third-cheapest state in the last study in 2017. Alaska finished as the most expensive state to purchase a 24-pack of beer at $31.21 a case, more than double the average in Illinois.
Overall, U.S. beer volume sales were down 1% in 2017; whereas, craft brewer sales continued to grow at a rate of 5% by volume, reaching 12.7% of the U.S. beer market by volume. Craft production grew the most for micro breweries. The national average of beer consumption per drinking-age adult is about 27.6 gallons annually.
Which state ranks first in gallons of beer consumed per capita? New Hampshire ranks first on this list at 40.6 gallons per adult consumed in 2017, mainly because there is no sales tax. This means that residents from nearby Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine can travel to the state to buy cheaper beer, and they frequently do. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission estimates that roughly half of the state’s beer, wine, and spirits sales are by out-of-state buyers. Again, this is based on population and total sales.
Many of the states at the top of the list of the biggest beer drinkers should not come as a surprise to those even slightly familiar with the history of brewing in the United States. Wisconsin, for example, which is fifth on this list, has produced some of the nation’s most popular breweries, including Miller, Milwaukee, and Pabst. Vermont, which also ranks in the top ten for average beer consumption, has the most craft breweries in the country. The presence of these industries indicate a strong cultural connection to beer, which likely leads to higher consumption rates.
Illinois ranks 25th in total consumption.
> Annual per capita consumption: 34.3 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 147.1 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -2.4%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 213.8 (9th highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.06 per gallon (3rd lowest)
> Annual per capita consumption: 27.4 gallons of beer
> Total beer consumption: 259.4 million gallons
> 5 yr. consumption change: -3.9%
> Bars and restaurants per 100,000 people: 192.1 (22nd highest)
> Beer tax rate: $0.23 per gallon (23rd lowest)