Now we have confirmation of what we expected all along: Texans drink a lot of beer.
The Lone Star state ranks No. 2 in total annual assumed consumption, thanks to the nearly 605 million gallons sold in 2011, according to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St. based on data from the Beer Institute. California is No. 1 in total consumption, having beaten out Texas for at least a decade (a victory that we're chalking up to the population split between the two states).
But when it comes to per capita beer consumption, Texas dropped to No. 8, tied with Nebraska. In both states that's 34.6 gallons per year for the average of-age resident.
New Hampshire ranked No. 1 in the study, with a per capita consumption of 43 gallons. North Dakota, which averaged 42.2 gallons per capita, took No. 2, followed by Montana, South Dakota, Nevada, Wisconsin and Vermont.
However, only 54.3 percent of 21-and-up Texans surveyed last year claimed to have imbibed an alcoholic beverage in the preceding 30 days, much lower than the 57.1 percent national average.
Religious affiliation likely has something to do with alcohol abstention, but others are making up for the difference: Binge drinkers accounted for 18.9 percent of the state's adult population and 7 percent of residents consider themselves "heavy drinkers," figures comparable to the national rates according to a Centers for Disease Control survey.
Drinking has decreased on a national scale at a rate of 7.5 percent, a trend that is reflected in Texas, which has seen a consumption decrease of 9.4 percent between 2003 and 2011. Meanwhile, the craft beer industry is on the rise.