Alcohol Percentage in Beer by State 2023

Each state sets its own limit to the alcohol content of beer sold within the state. The alcohol by volume (ABV) is above the 0.5% threshold to be federally recognized as “beer,” but some states have maximums on the ABV of beer.

Low States Alcohol By Volume, Averaged By Label

The lowest state is Wisconsin, with an average of 5.84%. This does not necessarily represent the strength of the beer itself but the label that sold it within the state. There are many ways to go about determining the average percentage of alcohol content in beer, as those who are drinking do not necessarily consume the same product that is being sold by the market. For example, Ohio produces some of the strongest beer in the country but exports it to other states and sometimes at an international level. Interestingly enough, Ohio does not find itself in the top five states of alcohol by label, meaning it is brewing strong beer that is mostly enjoyed outside the state.

This also means that mixing alcoholic content is an issue when looking at this data, evidenced by Wyoming. Although it is the state with the weakest produced beer, Wyoming drinkers are around the midpoint regarding the consumption of alcoholic content in terms of strength. This is also reflected in Utah, as it is the state with consumption of the weakest average alcoholic content but produces above-average strength beer of 6.9%.

High States Alcohol By Volume, Averaged By Label

By label, Oklahoma produces beers with the highest average alcoholic content, coming in at 7.619%. Interestingly enough, Oklahoma residents and tourists, on average, consume beer that is 6.744% strong. California seems to be one of the few exceptions to the rule, as it consumes the largest ABV in the country while also producing the 4th most ABV beer. This is largely due to the sheer size of the population in California, which skews the results according to the number of beer drinkers found within. This means that not only are Californian natives consuming more alcohol, but the influx of tourists, visitors, and international migrants positively affects the number of alcoholic beverages consumed.

Furthermore, the demand for strong beer is palpable, as many Californian breweries focus on creating a vast variety of products for sale to their local and national customer base. This presents the unique result of consuming and producing beer with high alcohol content.

Do Alcohol By Volume Laws Affect Consumption?

More research is necessary to determine whether the state's rules and regulations affect the strength of the beer consumed. As with any data, outliers are plentiful, which can drastically change the data. Generally speaking, most consumers prefer an ABV in the single digits, with those looking for more specialty beer being a rare occurrence or just an isolated instance in determining the data. Culture has a huge implication, as seen in the above example of Utah.

Utah is known for having some strict religious societies, which often do not allow the consumption of alcohol, making it the state with the least desire to consume strong alcohol. However, it produces above-average strength for others to enjoy.

Alcohol Percentage in Beer by State 2023