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Published: Wednesday, 7/24/2013

Report says Ohioans average 321 beers a year


AKRON — Burp.

The average Ohioan downed more than 300 beers last year, according to a new analysis released this month by the Beer Institute.

The Washington-lobbying group estimated that state residents of legal drinking age consumed 30.1 gallons of beer, which equals 321 12-ounce brews per person.

Think that’s a lot? It ranked only 23rd among all states — well behind North Dakota, where residents consumed a nation-leading 45.8 gallons per capita.

Utah brought up the rear with 20.2 gallons.

The national average was 28.2 gallons.

Jeff Ewart, co-manager of Lakes Beverage in Green, Ohio, said he knows that craft beer sales are increasing but he had no clue that beer consumption was so high.

The business, which recently beefed up its craft beer selection, stocks about 400 beer brands. It also sells eight beers on draft in 64-ounce growlers.

He questioned whether the figure is inflated.

The Beer Institute reported that beer consumption rose 1.5 percent last year as the economy rebounded and above-normal winter and spring temperatures helped boost beer sales.

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