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Ranking states with the highest and lowest beer taxes

Ranking states with the highest and lowest beer taxes

Americans drink more than 6 billion gallons of beer every year. That’s enough to fill almost 10,000 Olympic swimming pools, which would take Michael Phelps three and a half days to swim across. Three times as much beer was consumed in the U.S. in 2016 as wine and spirits combined.

But like many American indulgences, beer comes at a price. The U.S. government started taxing alcohol in 1791 in order to help pay the new government’s debts from the American Revolution. Today, states impose excise taxes on all fermented malt beverages in addition to regular business and sales taxes. This added tax is generally collected at a rate relative to how much beer has been sold—a fee retailers offset by raising prices. Some states have additional alcohol-specific sales taxes, which impact consumers directly. These fees function similarly to other “sin taxes” on tobacco and in some states marijuana by bringing revenue to state governments while theoretically motivating Americans to control their vices. All told, about 40% of the price of a beer goes toward taxes.

To find out where in America the government has made it most costly to drink beer, Stacker dove into data from the Tax Foundation (updated May 2018), which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the basis of their current excise taxes on beer. Stacker supplemented that data with information on revenue from each state’s beer excise taxes from Beer Serves America’s 2017 report (the most recent data available), and information on beer brewers, wholesalers, and retailers. This slideshow also incorporates data on beer consumption per capita from an April 2018 report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Read on to see how much your state is earning off your next happy hour.

RELATED: The cost of a beer the year you turned 21

#51. Wyoming

State excise tax in 2018: $0.02 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.02 per gallon (#51 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $237,600
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 2,956 ($93 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.18 gallons (9.3% above U.S. average; #20 among all states)

#49. Missouri (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.06 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.06 per gallon (#49 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $7.6 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 23,564 ($1.2 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.15 gallons (6.5% above U.S. average; #23 among all states)

#49. Wisconsin (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.06 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.06 per gallon (#49 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $9.7 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 35,046 ($1 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.36 gallons (25.9% above U.S. average; #8 among all states)
 

#46. Pennsylvania (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.08 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.08 per gallon (#45 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $26.6 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 36,510 ($1.3 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.31 gallons (21.3% above U.S. average; #9 among all states)

#46. Colorado (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.08 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.08 per gallon (#45 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $9.3 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 26,631 ($1.2 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.14 gallons (5.6% above U.S. average; #26 among all states)

#46. Oregon (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.08 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.08 per gallon (#45 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $7.9 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 20,188 ($727.5 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.24 gallons (14.8% above U.S. average; #16 among all states)

#45. Massachusetts

State excise tax in 2018: $0.11 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.11 per gallon (#41 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $13 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 31,262 ($1.2 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.95 gallons (12% below U.S. average; #43 among all states)

#42. New Jersey (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.12 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.12 per gallon (#39 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $16.6 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 23,791 ($864.4 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.82 gallons (24.1% below U.S. average; #50 among all states
 

#42. Indiana (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.12 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.12 per gallon (#39 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $13.1 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 19,748 ($552.4 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.98 gallons (9.3% below U.S. average; #39 among all states)


 

#42. Rhode Island (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.12 per gallon (+9.1% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.11 per gallon (#41 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $2 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 4,309 ($121.7 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.94 gallons (13% below U.S. average; #44 among all states)


 

#40. New York (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.14 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.14 per gallon (#37 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $47.2 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 69,936 ($2.9 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.91 gallons (15.7% below U.S. average; #47 among all states)


 

#40. Montana (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.14 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.14 per gallon (#37 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $4 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 5,090 ($146.7 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.62 gallons (50% above U.S. average; #3 among all states)


 

#39. Idaho

State excise tax in 2018: $0.15 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.15 per gallon (#35 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $6 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 5,893 ($194.6 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.92 gallons (14.8% below U.S. average; #46 among all states)
 

#37. Nevada (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.16 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.16 per gallon (#31 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $11.6 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 24,645 ($904.2 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.41 gallons (30.6% above U.S. average; #6 among all states)

#37. Arizona (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.16 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.16 per gallon (#31 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $22.1 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 23,662 ($778.9 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.14 gallons (5.6% above U.S. average; #25 among all states)

#34. Ohio (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.18 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.18 per gallon (#28 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $43.4 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 40,099 ($1.3 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.15 gallons (6.5% above U.S. average; #24 among all states)

#34. Kansas (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.18 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.18 per gallon (#28 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $9.7 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 8,160 ($246.3 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.02 gallons (5.6% below U.S. average; #35 among all states)

#34. West Virginia (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.18 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.18 per gallon (#28 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $6.9 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 3,826 ($116.7 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.19 gallons (10.2% above U.S. average; #18 among all states)

#33. Iowa

State excise tax in 2018: $0.19 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.19 per gallon (#27 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $14.1 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 16,111 ($428.9 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.3 gallons (20.4% above U.S. average; #10 among all states)

#30. California (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.20 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.20 per gallon (#24 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $145.9 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 125,289 ($4.9 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.96 gallons (11.1% below U.S. average; #40 among all states)

#30. Texas (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.20 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.20 per gallon (#24 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $122.5 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 80,682 ($3 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.3 gallons (20.4% above U.S. average; #12 among all states)

#30. Michigan (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.20 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.20 per gallon (#24 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $38.5 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 34,390 ($941.7 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.04 gallons (3.7% below U.S. average; #34 among all states)


 

#28. Illinois (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.23 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.23 per gallon (#22 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $61.4 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 45,504 ($1.6 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.12 gallons (3.7% above U.S. average; #28 among all states)

#28. Connecticut (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.23 per gallon (-4.2% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.24 per gallon (#21 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $13.4 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 11,483 ($397.3 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.85 gallons (21.3% below U.S. average; #48 among all states)
 

#25. Washington (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.26 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.26 per gallon (#19 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $34.4 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 26,723 ($1 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.96 gallons (11.1% below U.S. average; #42 among all states)


 

#25. Virginia (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.26 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.26 per gallon (#19 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $43.3 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 28,623 ($996.3 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1 gallon (7.4% below U.S. average; #37 among all states)

#25. Delaware (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.26 per gallon (+62.5% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.16 per gallon (#31 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $3.4 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 3,179 ($116.3 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.2 gallons (11.1% above U.S. average; #17 among all states)

#23. Vermont (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.27 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.27 per gallon (#17 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $4.4 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 4,495 ($145.2 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.56 gallons (44.4% above U.S. average; #4 among all states)


 

#23. South Dakota (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.27 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.27 per gallon (#17 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $6.5 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 4,668 ($112.3 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.46 gallons (35.2% above U.S. average; #5 among all states)

#22. New Hampshire

State excise tax in 2018: $0.30 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.30 per gallon (#16 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $12.7 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 6,778 ($263.2 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.87 gallons (73.1% above U.S. average; #1 among all states)

#21. Nebraska

State excise tax in 2018: $0.31 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.31 per gallon (#15 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $14.2 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 8,979 ($235.5 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.3 gallons (20.4% above U.S. average; #11 among all states)

#20. Arkansas

State excise tax in 2018: $0.34 per gallon (+47.8% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.23 per gallon (#22 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $12.6 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 5,440 ($157.8 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.93 gallons (13.9% below U.S. average; #45 among all states)

#19. Maine

State excise tax in 2018: $0.35 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.35 per gallon (#13 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $12.1 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 8,567 ($289.4 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.36 gallons (25.9% above U.S. average; #7 among all states)


 

#18. North Dakota

State excise tax in 2018: $0.39 per gallon (+143.8% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.16 per gallon (#31 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $3.2 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 3,945 ($106 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.64 gallons (51.9% above U.S. average; #2 among all states)


 

#16. Louisiana (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.40 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.40 per gallon (#11 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $33.9 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 18,287 ($614 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.25 gallons (15.7% above U.S. average; #15 among all states)


 

#16. Oklahoma (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.40 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.40 per gallon (#11 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $26.5 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 8,218 ($272.8 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.05 gallons (2.8% below U.S. average; #33 among all states)


 

#14. New Mexico (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.41 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.41 per gallon (#9 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $16.9 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 7,055 ($203.1 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.11 gallons (2.8% above U.S. average; #29 among all states)


 

#14. Utah (tie)

State excise tax in 2018: $0.41 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.41 per gallon (#9 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $16.1 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 6,535 ($199.9 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.63 gallons (41.7% below U.S. average; #51 among all states)


 

#13. Mississippi

State excise tax in 2018: $0.43 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.43 per gallon (#8 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $29.5 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 5,861 ($185.9 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.28 gallons (18.5% above U.S. average; #14 among all states)


 

#12. Florida

State excise tax in 2018: $0.48 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.48 per gallon (#7 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $203.4 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 81,047 ($2.6 billion total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.09 gallons (0.9% above U.S. average; #31 among all states)


 

#11. Minnesota

State excise tax in 2018: $0.49 per gallon (+226.7% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.15 per gallon (#35 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $16.8 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 27,356 ($848.1 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.15 gallons (6.5% above U.S. average; #22 among all states)


 

#10. Maryland

State excise tax in 2018: $0.53 per gallon (+488.9% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.09 per gallon (#43 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $8.3 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 17,295 ($597.4 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.83 gallons (23.1% below U.S. average; #49 among all states)


 

#9. North Carolina

State excise tax in 2018: $0.62 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.62 per gallon (#5 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $118.1 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 29,853 ($992.1 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.05 gallons (2.8% below U.S. average; #32 among all states)


 

#8. District of Columbia

State excise tax in 2018: $0.70 per gallon (+677.8% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.09 per gallon (#43 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $1.2 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 6,265 ($257.2 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.13 gallons (4.6% above U.S. average; #27 among all states)


 

#7. South Carolina

State excise tax in 2018: $0.77 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.77 per gallon (#4 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $89.1 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 15,320 ($443.6 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.18 gallons (9.3% above U.S. average; #19 among all states)


 

#6. Kentucky

State excise tax in 2018: $0.85 per gallon (+962.5% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.08 per gallon (#45 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $6.3 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 8,921 ($269.2 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.96 gallons (11.1% below U.S. average; #41 among all states)


 

#5. Hawaii

State excise tax in 2018: $0.93 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.93 per gallon (#3 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $27.9 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 7,237 ($268.4 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.29 gallons (19.4% above U.S. average; #13 among all states)


 

#4. Georgia

State excise tax in 2018: $1.01 per gallon (+215.6% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.32 per gallon (#14 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $86.5 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 25,685 ($909.6 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 0.99 gallons (8.3% below U.S. average; #38 among all states)


 

#3. Alabama

State excise tax in 2018: $1.05 per gallon (+98.1% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $0.53 per gallon (#6 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $115.4 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 11,723 ($376.1 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.09 gallons (0.9% above U.S. average; #30 among all states)


 

#2. Alaska

State excise tax in 2018: $1.07 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $1.07 per gallon (#2 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $12.2 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 3,149 ($118.4 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.15 gallons (6.5% above U.S. average; #21 among all states)


 

#1. Tennessee

State excise tax in 2018: $1.29 per gallon (0% change from 2017)
State excise tax in 2017: $1.29 per gallon (#1 among all states)
Revenue from state excise tax in 2016 (most recent data): $159.5 million
Jobs directly supported by beer industry in 2016: 14,761 ($498.6 million total wages)
Beer consumption per capita: 1.02 gallons (5.6% below U.S. average; #36 among all states)