Montana Ranked a Top Ten Beer State

Recognizing the increasing local pride in the craft beer world, The Street magazine set out to determine what states can “legitimately call themselves ‘beer states.'” Using statistics provided by the Brewers Association and Beer Institute, they created a top 10 beer state list for 2011 based on four criteria: production, consumption, breweries and breweries per capita.  Montana checked in at number 10.  Here’s The Street’s write up on our state:

Number of breweries: 27
Capita per brewery: 36,645
Production in 2010: 971,947 barrels
Consumed per capita in 2010: 30.5 gallons

The output of Montana breweries including Big Sky, Great Northern and Bitter Root isn’t all that impressive, especially considering that Mike’s Hard Lemonade alone rolled out roughly 200,000 more barrels last year and D.G. Yuengling & Son more than doubled the entire state’s production on its own. Yet Montana’s beer production has increased 1.8% in the past decade, which ties Montana for the most brewing growth of any state in the U.S.

How Montana pours out that production and that of other states is much more awe inspiring. At 30.5 gallons of beer per year, the average Montana resident’s beer consumption is second-highest in the nation, almost a full gallon ahead of third-place North Dakota and a whopping three gallons ahead of South Dakota. 

Those little more than two dozen breweries may not seem like much in more established craft brew states, but it’s the third-best ratio of brewers to citizens in the U.S. There are some hard winters in Big Sky Country, but there’s plenty of beer to warm those cold nights.

To read the whole story and see which states captured spots 1 – 9, head over to The Street’s website here.