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Ranking states with the highest and lowest beer taxes

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DisobeyArt // Shutterstock

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

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inkknife_2000//Wikimedia

#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)

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Daniel Schwen // Wikimedia Commons

#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)

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Yinan Chen // Wikimedia Commons

#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)
 

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Adam Jones // Wikimedia Commons

#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)

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Pixabay

#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)

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Max Pixel

#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)

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Emmanuel Huybrechts // Flickr

#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)

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David Merrett // Flickr

#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
 

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Pixabay

#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)


 

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Leonard J. DeFrancisci//Wikimedia

#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)


 

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Anthony Quintano // Flickr

#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)


 

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Djembayz // Wikimedia

#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)


 

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Good Free Photos

#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)
 

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Pixabay

#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)

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Melikamp // Wikimedia Commons

#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)

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Ynsalh // Wikimedia Commons

#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)

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

#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)

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PumpkinSky//Wikimedia

#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)

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Ron Reiring // Flickr

#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)

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Pixabay

#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)

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Good Free Photos

#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)

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PxHere

#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)


 

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Pixabay

#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)

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Good Free Photos

#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)
 

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Joe Mabel//Wikimedia

#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)


 

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Ron Cogswell // Wikimedia Commons

#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)

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Analogue Kid at English Wikipedia // Wikimedia Commons

#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)

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Max Pixel

#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)


 

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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#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)

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Jon Platek // Wikicommons

#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)

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Wikimedia Commons

#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)

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Alfredo Carrillo // Flickr

#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)

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Wikimedia Commons

#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)


 

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Andrew Filer // Flickr

#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)


 

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Antrell Williams // Flickr

#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)


 

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katsrcool // Wikimedia Commons

#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)


 

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Ken Lund // Flickr

#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)


 

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Aqua Mechanical // Flickr

#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)


 

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Ken Lund // Wikicommons

#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)


 

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Pixabay

#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)


 

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Pixabay

#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)


 

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Adamshlossman // Wikimedia

#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)


 

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Pixabay

#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)


 

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Pixabay

#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)


 

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Btcsc // Wikimedia Commons

#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)


 

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Anthony//Flickr

#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)


 

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Edmund Garman // Flickr

#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)


 

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Ron Cogswell // Flickr

#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)


 

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Max Pixel

#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)


 

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Pixabay

#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)


 

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Derrick Brutel // Flickr

#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)



 

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