Beer Institute Research: On the Fourth of July, People Will Drink Beer

If there’s a “man bites dog” hook to this press release from the Beer Institute, it’s probably along the lines of “man bites hot dog.”

It also features the stunning revelation that “This year, brewers and beer importers hope to see beer again be the top choice for Americans celebrating the occasion.”

Also, if you look below, you’ll see that three out of the five states that drink the most beer per capita have two-word names. That’s a stunning contrast to the greater U.S. state nomenclature, in which only 10 out of 50 states have two-word names.

All in all, reason to celebrate with a cold one.

Anyway, here’s the release:

Beer Sales Could Top $1 Billion Again This July Fourth

Beer Institute Marks Holiday Week by Releasing 2012 State Consumption Ranking

WASHINGTON, DC — If you are reaching into a picnic cooler for an ice cold beer this Independence Day holiday, you are in good company. More than 99 million Americans drink beer responsibly, making beer the top choice over wine and hard liquor for celebrating occasions like the Fourth of July — America’s top beer-selling holiday.

In the two weeks ending on July 7, 2012, beer was the largest selling category of all food and beverage categories in Nielsen measured channels, with sales reaching $1.36 billion. This year, brewers and beer importers hope to see beer again be the top choice for Americans celebrating the occasion.

This week also marks the release of a new analysis of state-by-state beer consumption data from the Beer Institute, the national trade association representing America’s brewers, beer importers and industry suppliers. The annual ranking can be found in its entirety below and online. The analysis found that the five states that consumed the most beer per capita in 2012 were:

1. North Dakota

2. New Hampshire

3. Montana

4. South Dakota

5. Wisconsin

Overall, beer consumption rose 1.5 percent in the United States in 2012 as the economy began to come back after the recession and above normal winter and spring temperatures helped boost beer sales. This means that, on average, each American over the age of 21 drank a little less than one 12 ounce beer per day in 2012. That equates to about 300 beers per year.

There’s another reason to feel good about drinking a beer in salute to America’s birthday. The U.S. brewing and beer importing business puts more than two million Americans to work, from barley farmers to shopkeepers and truck drivers. And with the taxes levied on all aspects of brewing, importing, trucking and selling beer, American beer drinkers contribute significantly to local, state and federal government — $49 billion in 2012, according to a recent economic study. In fact, more than 40 percent of the retail cost of beer paid by consumers goes toward taxes, on a national average, making taxes the most expensive ingredient in beer.

“From hops producers to can and bottle makers in communities across the country, beer is an economic engine that contributes more than $246 billion to the U.S. economy,” said Joe McClain, president of the Beer Institute. “As folks raise a beer this July Fourth in backyards, on front porches and at holiday celebrations, I ask that they salute the millions of Americans who worked to get that beer from grain to glass.”

For more information about the economic impact of beer in the United States, including state and Congressional district data, please visit

Click here for a downloadable PDF of Beer Institute’s annual rankings.