California vs Texas Beer and Alcohol Consumption Statistics

Texans may be famous for their beer consumption, but Californians are no slouches when you look at the actual statistics out of government and academic studies of regional alcohol use. And while the two states are quite different in terms of culture and lifestyle, they aren’t that far off when we consider drinking habits.

Beer is a common beverage at stores throughout the country, though you need to be above 21 years to buy it across the country. In both Texas and California, consumption of alcohol is incredibly common.

Here are some quick stats that will give you a better idea about the consumption of Alcohol throughout California and Texas:

  • 17.3% of Texans report excessive drinking
  • 18% of Californians report drinking excessively
  • Austin-Round Rock has the highest alcohol-related incident rate among metro areas in Texas
  • Chico, CA has the highest alcohol-related incident rate among metro areas in California
  • Even though they drink less, 19.3% of Texans report poor or fair health, while Californians overall report higher holistic health levels

As more and more people have settled in two of America’s largest states, the overall drinking stats have only increased. If you take a look at the trends, you will realize that alcohol consumption has increased dramatically in both of these states.

There are several important facts compiled in this article that actually back up this claim. In the following few paragraphs, we shall explore statistics related to the drinking culture and the overall consumption of beer in California and Texas, and see how they stack up.

(Source: CDC)

Even though it is the second-largest state in terms of land area, Texans don’t like to drink heavy compared to some of the other states. More than half of Texans report regular drinking, a significant amount. Funnily enough, Texas saw a 1.7 percent _decrease _in adult drinking rates from 2008 till 2017. 25.6% of Texans report regular binge-drinking.

(Source: CDC)

The percentage of adults who drink is more than that of Texas at 54.68%. There has been a -0.4% change in the rate of adult drinking from 2008 till 2017. Alcohol consumption per capita in California is around 2.3 glasses per capita (14 and older). 25.4% of Californians are also binge drinkers.

3. There are 3.1 craft breweries per capita in California, ranking it at 28th among US states in 2019.


California might rank 28th based on the number of craft breweries per capita, but the economic impact it makes ranks at the top. The estimated economic impact by the craft breweries in California is $9,661 million, ranking it at the top in 2019. The number of craft breweries in California has continued to rise steadily from 2011, with 907 craft breweries in the state.

3,664,080 barrels of craft beer were produced per year, ranking California at the top. California also consumes 3.9 gallons per 21+ adults.

4. There are 341 craft breweries in Texas, approximately 1.7 per capita.


The economic impact of Texan craft breweries in 2019 was only $5,425 million, almost half that of California. This shows a clear disparity in income and expenditure. Texas produced 1.8 gallons for every 21+ adult, and the state produced 1,180,393 gallons of craft beer per year, ranking it at 8th.

5. Over 139.8 m individuals 12 year or older used alcohol in 2018 in Texas in a month.

(Source: SAMHSA)

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that more than 139 million Texans of just 12 years and older consumed alcohol. This statistic also includes more than 7.1 million people who fall between the 12 through 20 age demographics. The figure highlights a disturbing trend of the ease with which Texans are able to procure and consume alcohol.

6. 13,138 people died in car crashes involving drunk drivers in Texas. 2.1% of individuals reported driving after drinking too much.


Compared to the national average, the rate of death related to drunk driving has been higher in Texas consistently from 2003 till 2012. It is the highest in the age demographics of 21 and 34, with 6.7 national and 10.0 for Texas. Drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher are considered to be impaired. Texas also does not allow for sobriety checkpoints, so police is not able to briefly stop vehicles and check whether the drivers are sober or not.

7. 58.4% of Texans believe the state should have stricter punishments for drunk drivers.

(Source: Patterson Law Group)

More than half of Texans are of the opinion that Texas should take stricter action against drunk drivers. Similarly, 53.6% of Texans believe that the state could, and should do more to prevent accidents related to drunk driving. The use of technology is now becoming more and more common to prevent drivers from getting into accidents, and 89.6% of Texans support technological enhancements that prevent a driver with a BAC of 0.08 or higher from driving.

8. Between 2009 and 2013, more than 186,000 people in California were treated for alcohol abuse. This was only 8 percent of the actual number of people who needed treatment.

(Source: SAMHSA)

This is a disturbing figure, and highlights the social taboos associated with seeking help to prevent alcohol abuse. In 2012, it was reported that alcohol was the second most commonly referenced drug of abuse for individuals who were admitted to public-funded treatment programs — not to mention private treatment centers in the state. This was second only to the excessive abuse of marijuana.

9. Drink driving fatalities in California decreased in 2017 from the previous year by a mere 0.2%. In 2016, 1,122 died as a result of drunk driving. This figure reduced to 1,120 in 2017.

(Source: California Annual Report 2018)

While the fatality rate increased by 0.06% from 2015 to 0.33% in 2016, it actually fell by 0.2% in the subsequent year. However, with more than 26 million licensed drivers in California in 2016, even this tiny percentage is quite a lot (more than 80,000!). Traffic fatalities as a whole decreased in California by 6.1 percent from 3,837 in 2016 to 3,602 in 2017. The percentage of motorcycle operators killed who had a blood alcohol level of 0.08, or greater, also fell from 22 percent in 2016, to 10 percent in 2017.

10. Californians rank 35th in per capita beer consumption in 2017, consuming an average of 25.1 gallons per individual.

(Source: 24/7 Wall St.)

Annually, Californians consume 25.1 gallons of beer. Total beer consumption throughout the state in 2017 was 724.9 million gallons. The consumption has increased by 3.4% over a period of 5 years. Furthermore, there are 192.2 bars and restaurants for every 100,000 people, making it the 21st highest in the country.

11. Texas ranks at number 10, consuming 31.8 gallons of beer per capita. Total beer consumption was a whopping 626.3 million gallons.

(Source: 24/7 Wall St.)

The same report also sheds light on the beer consumption stats of Texas. There are 166.3 bars and restaurants for every 100,000 people, perhaps indicating the disparity in population density around the state. This is the 10th lowest when compared with other states across the country. The consumption change over the past 5 years is slightly positive, coming in at 1.3%.

12. San Diego’s beer industry generated $1.2 billion in economic impact in 2018. Total industry revenue jumped to $848 million.

(Source: San Diego Brewers Guild)

People in San Diego really like to drink beer, and it shows. The craft beer industry in San Diego continued to outpace the overall craft beer industry, generating $1.2 billion in economic impact. Breweries in San Diego produced 1.3 million barrels in 2018, creating almost 6,500 jobs throughout the region. Even though Californians are not heavy beer drinkers, the beer in San Diego is really loved throughout the country and abroad!

13. The rate of residents over the age of 11 who suffered from alcohol abuse in California in 2012-2013 was a notch higher than the national average. It was 7.3 percent, whereas the national average was 6.7 percent.

(Source: SAMHSA)

Almost 2.3 million Californian residents, every year from 2009 to 2013, battled alcohol abuse in California. On average, 7.5 percent of the population aged 12 and older was battling alcohol abuse in California. Californians were drinking more and more, perhaps attributed to the influx of tech jobs in the region.

14. In 2006, alcohol abuse cost California almost $32 billion, the fifth highest per capita across the country.


There was considerable loss and cost to society as a result of heavy drinking in California. These costs include legal costs, lost production in the workplace, expenses related to criminal justice, and the costs attributed to healthcare. In essence, a single drink in California cost the state economy around $2.44.

15. California residents who engaged in binge drinking rose to 30 percent in 2012, compared to rates measured in 2002. This figure is only expected to increase.

(Source: San Diego Addiction Treatment Center)

This is a disturbing trend, and really highlights the impact of tech jobs in California and the amount of stress it has added to the average population. Many people across the country take to alcohol consumption in order to relieve stress, and the figures in California clearly highlight this. This is around the time when companies like Facebook and Twitter began to grow in Silicon Valley, and the pressures of the average workplace started to creep up.

16. In 2012, 58 percent of Texan secondary school students in grades 7 through 12 had used alcohol. 25 percent had consumed alcohol only in the last month.

(Source: NIDA)

Alcohol access, even though illegal to people below the age of 21, is still relatively easy for the average Texas student. According to the report by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, alcohol is the primary drug of abuse in Texas. In the same year, the report also shows that 12 percent of all secondary students were drinking more than five beers at a time when they drank.

11 percent of them also reported binge drinking.

17. In 2013, 28 percent of all clients were admitted for seeking help with alcohol abuse at all public treatment programs in Texas.

(Source: NIDA)

The same report also highlights that 28 percent of all clients admitted to treatment programs across the state wanted treatment for alcohol abuse in 2013. The characteristics have also begun to change over the passage of time. In 1988, 82 percent of all individuals admitted were male. This figure has fallen to 68 percent in 2013. The average age of people seeking treatment has also increased to 39.

Conclusion: Californians Drink More Overall, but Alcohol Drives More Accidents and Incidents in Texas

While alcohol is heavily consumed across both the states, it is important to understand that alcohol is not the only drug that poses a challenge. Marijuana, methamphetamine, and cocaine abuse is also incredibly common, and millions seek treatment for these as well.

These statistics, however, show that alcohol abuse is prevalent and appropriate measures need to be adopted by bot the states in order to bring this problem into control, otherwise it will continue to cost billions to the economy of both states.