Marylanders apparently don't drink enough beer. That's the conclusion of the Beer Institute's annual survey of beer consumption in the United States.
In 2010, Maryland shipped 3.2 million barrels of beer, making the state the 25th highest beer seller in the country. But, in terms of how much beer Marylanders consume per capita, the state comes in at 47th, with a rate of 24.1 gallons of beer consumed on average.
That puts Maryland behind Delaware (No. 10), Virginia (No. 35) and Pennsylvania (a surprising No. 27). Utah, Conneticut, New York and New Jersey are ranked above Maryland in the list, which measures gallons consumed per persons over 21 years of age. The national average is 28.9 gallons of beer a year per person, according to the study.
The study, which was released this summer, uses state-by-state shipment numbers to measure total beer consumption in the United States; Beer in Baltimore picked up on it last week. The full study is here. The Beer Institute is a lobbying group for the beer industry.
The study shows that while the state has a healthy importing beer business - shipments mean the amount of beer that's shipped from brewers and importers to wholesales in the United States - it still has progress to make with the average beer drinker.
That's in part why brewers and retailers see an event like Baltimore Beer Week as an important promotional platform. Like Heavy Seas' Hugh Sisson told me last week, BBW is about "trying to move [craft beer] to a more sophisticated place than just sitting around and having a bunch of cold ones."