Follow us:

Beer, Cider, & Sake 8

US beer statistics, part 2

ThomasvanDale | Mar 26, 201406:36 AM

Let's start this time with Domestic vs. Import. For 1980, the first year in the chart, domestic production had a 97 percent share, while imports were only 3 percent. By the year 2000, imports had reached 10 percent. Over that 20 year period, imports declined five times, however no less than ten times, they had either close to 10 percent or over 10 percent growth between two years.

By 2012 (latest numbers), imports account for 13 percent and domestic for 87 percent. Of the 27 million barrels imported into the US in 2011, almost 17 million come from North America (Canada and Mexico, almost all from Mexico). The second largest import area is Europe (almost 10 million barrels), with my country providing slightly more than half of that. Belgium provides 1.4 million barrels and Germany almost 1.2 million. The fourth largest is the UK, but with only 718 hundred thousand barrels.

The US exported in 2011 a bit over 3 million barrels - a very unbalanced volume of trade. In what is almost a comedy, a bit over one million of those barrels went to.... Mexico! Most of the rest of the 3 million stayed in the Americas. Only 114 hundred thousand was sent to all of Europe, of which the UK took the largest share (39 hundred thousand) and, somewhat surprisingly to me, Switzerland took the second largest with 31 hundred thousand. My country took a bit over 8 hundred thousand barrels after sending the US well over 5 million barrels. I'm not sure which beers we got, but I'm pretty sure I know which beer you got.

Now, per capita consumption: just like in much of Europe, beer consumption in the US is declining. In 1994, it is 22,3 gallons per person and in 2011, it is down to 20,3 gallons. According to the converter on my iPhone, that is 83 liters in 1994 and 76 liters in 2011.

Interestingly, the state with the highest beer consumption per capita is New Hampshire, with almost 32 gallons per person. California, which I think has the most breweries in the US, is only 18 gallons per person.

So, it seems the US is producing more breweries, however, total production, after quite a few years of steady growth since 1980, began falling around 1990. However, imports have kept the amount of beer available in the US at fairly high levels (almost 208 million barrels in 2012). Nevertheless, the domestic share seems to be shrinking and the amount of consumption matches this fall.

It also seems to me that imports have been far more successful than "craft" beer in the US. While the exports reached a high point in 2008, US domestic production also reached a high that year. Both imports and domestic production have fallen almost every year (actually, only domestic production improved in 2012).

And on a final note, the statistics include consumption of distilled spirits as well. Once again, New Hampshire leads the country.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›
Log In or Sign Up to comment

Recommended from Chowhound

Plan your meals around fall premieres with TV Guide