Study Says Michigan Doesn’t Drink Nearly As Much Beer As We Think
When I was getting ready to move to Southwest Michigan, I was told all about how much Michigan, and Kalamazoo in particular, loves its beer. After my first Oberon Day, I witnessed firsthand just how seriously Michiganders take their beer drinking. It's actually impressive.
Now I like beer as much as the next guy, but I'm far from a connoisseur. I either like the drink or I don't, and couldn't tell you the difference between most types of beer. Cut me a break, I come from a state down in Alabam that thinks Bud Light, Natty Light and Busch are the cream of the crop in beer. If those are your favorite beers, I'm sorry your taste buds have such poor taste.
I have to say, I'm surprised at where several states rank for alcohol consumption according to a study from WiseVoter using data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
For instance, the top two states for alcoholism consumption per capita are New Hampshire and Vermont. The New England area dominates the list overall, but it is densely populated even if these are the more rural states. Number three and four are Montana and North Dakota, but I mean what else is there to do in those states?
The Mitten State doesn't even crack the top 10. I was always told growing up in the Deep South that northern states drink a ton in the winter for warmth and because there isn't much else to do when it snows you in. After a winter here in Michigan, I don't know how much weight that logic holds, but eight of the top 10 states for alcohol consumption per capita are in the north and the other two, Nevada and Hawai'i, are vacation destinations.
No, Michigan falls in the latter half of the list all the way down at No. 31 in the United States for alcohol consumption per capita with 31.6 gallons per person per year. That's less than the national average of 34 gallons. For comparison, the number one state, New Hampshire, was at 59.5 gallons though number two, Vermont, was at 49.4.
Even worse is Michigan's beer consumption. The average person in Michigan drinks a gallon of beer a year according to this study, which ranks just 35th in the nation. That's no better than the national average. The state I'm from, Alabama, is No. 32 and you can't even buy alcohol before noon on Sunday there! I thought Michigan loved beer?
That is 10 million gallons of beer per year for the state as a population, which sounds way better, but per capita still wouldn't stand up to some of the smaller or less densely populated states.
For those curious, a six-pack of 12 oz. beer is a bit more than half a gallon. So if you drink a 12-pack, you drink more beer than the state and national annual average. Sounds hard to believe, but those are the numbers. Don't worry, I feel kind of attacked too.
It gets worse, or better depending on your perspective I guess. Ohio drinks more beer than Michigan at 1.11 gallons. Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa also drink more beer than Michigan. Indiana brings up the rear in the Midwest, so at least we aren't dead last.
This is pitiful.
Michigan does like wine a bit more compared to other states, though.
Michigan ranked No. 24 in the U.S. for wine consumption with an average consumption of .42 gallons per person per year. So we got that going for us.