Beer Today
Some Statistics
 


95% of all beer consumed in the United States is American beer. 80% is made by the five largest
companies; Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Coors, G. Heilman (Henry Weinhard), Miller, and Pabst.


In 1880, the golden age of American brewing, there were 2,272 American breweries. In 1990, there
were only around 60, although that number is starting to climb.


Germany consumes the largest amount of beer per capita than any other nation. Czechoslovakia is
2nd and Great Britain ranks 9th. The United States ranks a disappointing 11th. On the flip side,
however, we make more than twice as much beer as any other nation. Germany is 2nd and Great
Britain 3rd.


In the United States, California consumes more beer than any other state by a wide margin. Of
course, there are more people here. Texas is 2nd and Florida is 3rd; Wyoming is last.


In per capita beer consumption, California ranks a disappointing 16th. New Hampshire,
surprisingly, is 1st, followed by Nevada, Wisconsin, Texas, and Arizona; Utah is last. Since 1935,
per capita consumption in the United States has more than doubled.


59% of all American males and 37% of all American females are beer drinkers. 55% of college
graduates drink beer versus only 39% of high school dropouts. Higher paying jobs produce more
beer drinkers than lower paying ones. Not surprisingly, younger age groups drink more than older
groups. More than half of all people ages 18-34 drink beer. This figure drops gradually as the age
rises until age 65, when it levels off at less than 30%.


Until 1979, making beer at home was illegal. In February of that year a law was passed allowing
citizens to legally make up to 100 gallons of beer per year.


Microbreweries have only been legal in California since 1983 and, by law, may produce only
15,000 barrels a year. Most, however, produce only about 10,000 barrels. Anchor Steam, not
technically a microbrewery, produces closer to 25,000 barrels per year, but this still pales in
comparison to Bud's 90,000,000 yearly barrel output.


It is widely believed that beer is fattening. Friends pat your stomach and, blaming the beer, call it a
beer belly. The truth is that beer is the least fattening alcoholic drink. Per ounce, drambuie has 110
calories, 100 proof spirits has 85 calories, 80 proof spirits has 65 calories, sherry has 36 calories,
champagne has 25 calories, and chablis has 22 calories. Beer, on the other hand, has only 13
calories per ounce (of course there is a tendency to drink more!).
In contrast, food has a much higher caloric count than alcoholic beverages. Per ounce, potato chips
have 160 calories, Fritos have 155 calories, and a Baby Ruth bar has 135 calories.