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Bottoms Up

Texas has more breweries, but residents are drinking less

hands toasting with beer mugs
Texans drink an average of 34.4 gallons of beer each year.

A recent survey from the Beer Institute ranks Texas No. 9 in beer consumption by state in 2012. Texas also took home a No. 2 ranking for beer shipments in the annual survey. According to the statistics, Texans 21 years of age and older (wink wink) consume an average of 34.4 gallons of beer a year.

While a sizeable amount, that's actually less than 2011 when Texas tied with Nebraska at No. 8, with 34.6 gallons per year for the average of-age resident. 

The number of breweries in the Lone Star state has nearly doubled in the past two years from 49 to 90.

 An interesting analysis by the website 24/7WallStreet shows that the number of breweries in the Lone Star state has nearly doubled in the past two years, from 49 to 90, a reflection no doubt of the burgeoning craft beer movement. Yet the state does not rank among the top 10 states making the most money on beer.

Paradoxically, Texans consumed nearly 20 million barrels of beer in 2012, more than any state except California. However, because there are so many people in the state, per capital drinking isn't nearly as high as smaller states. And we're not binge drinkers, with a relatively low 18.9 percent in that category, ranking as only the 19th highest in the nation.

The No. 1 spot for per-capita beer consumption went to North Dakota, which boasts 45.8 gallons per person, per year. The worst place for beer drinkers? Utah residents average 20.2 gallons of beer annually, which puts them in the No. 51 slot, behind all states and the District of Columbia. 

Across America, the average adult drank 300 beers in 2012, or a little less than one 12-ounce beer a day. The institute says that beer is the beverage of choice for celebrating holidays, topping wine and hard liquor.

The top five states for beer consumption do beg the question of whether more beer necessarily equals more fun. North Dakota, New Hampshire, Montana, South Dakota and Wisconsin aren't exactly known for a bustling social scene. Meanwhile, New York (No. 48), California (No. 44) and Florida (No. 34) are practically teetotalers.

Of course, the survey doesn't account for other kinds of alcohol consumption — or how much fun folks had while knocking back a cold one.

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