We love a good map comparison, and this map of beer case prices per state especially tickled our fancy. With the graphic courtesy of Simple Thrifty Living via Food and Wine, you can see the clear discrepancy between the price of beer across the U.S. While a few might refer to a case of beer as a 30-rack, this research data actually takes into account only 24-packs of beer.
To gather the data, per Food and Wine, Simply Thrifty Living checked out the price of cases of beer at nationwide shops, like Total Wine and Walmart. Of 10 selected stores in each state, with every shop being in a different zip code, the research team calculated the average price of a case of beer per state. If you live in the one of the Top 10 Most Expensive States, you might not feel great after seeing this.
For the actual numbers, check it out below.
District of Columbia: $20.34
New Hampshire: $17.92
New Jersey: $18.99
New Mexico: $19.69
New York: $19.25
North Carolina: $15.23
North Dakota: $21.38
Rhode Island: $21.10
South Carolina: $15.96
South Dakota: $16.88
West Virginia: $19.94
It's so interesting to see the discrepancies between neighboring states. While North Dakota is one of the most expensive states to buy a case of beer, South Dakota is surprisingly one of the least expensive states.
Do state tax rates on beer have anything to do with the discrepancies between these prices? We consulted the State Tax Rates on Beer report released in January 2017 by the Federation of Tax Administrations to find out.
It should be noted that the below numbers are by dollar per gallon of beer, and a 24-pack of beer typically has 2.25 gallons. To calculate the full tax rate on a case of beer in each state, multiply the tax rate by 2.25, but don't forget about sales tax when it applies!
The Top 10 Most Expensive States
If you live near the border of any of these states, you're better off heading out of state if you're on a budget down to nickels and dimes.
Texans to the north are out of luck, however, since Oklahoma is also one of the most expensive states to buy a beer.
State Tax Rates on Beer ($ per Gallon)
Pennsylvania ($21.98): $.08, in addition to general sales tax
Tennessee ($21.97): $1.29, in addition to general sales tax
Texas ($21.66): $.20, in addition to general sales tax
North Dakota ($21.38): $.16, in addition to general sales tax
Rhode Island ($21.10): $.11, in addition to general sales tax
Nevada ($20.93): $.16, in addition to general sales tax
Oklahoma ($20.66): $.40, in addition to general sales tax
Alaska ($20.65): $1.07
Wyoming ($20.45): $.02, in addition to general sales tax
D.C. ($20.34): $.09, in addition to general sales tax
The Top 10 Least Expensive States
Surprisingly, states that might seem to have a reputation for higher price points like California and Connecticut have fantastic beer prices.
Michigan, however, seems like the state to be, y'all.
State Tax Rates on Beer ($ per Gallon)
Michigan ($14.62): $.20, in addition to general sales tax
California ($14.87): $.20, in addition to general sales tax
Illinois ($15.00): $.02, in addition to general sales tax
North Carolina ($15.23): $.62, in addition to general sales tax
Connecticut ($15.96): $.24, in addition to general sales tax
South Carolina ($15.96): $.77, in addition to general sales tax
Indiana ($15.98): $.11, in addition to general sales tax
Virginia ($15.98): $.26, in addition to general sales tax
Arizona ($16.35): $.16, in addition to general sales tax
Nebraska ($16.62): $.31, in addition to general sales tax
When it comes to state tax rates on beer, each list is all over the map, though it is clear that the most expensive states seem to have a larger variety of numbers, with tax reaching as high as $1.29 in Tennessee, in addition to higher sales tax.
As for the least expensive states, it appears that each state on the list has tax rates consistently between $.02 and $.77, with no tax rates over $1.00 per gallon.