American whiskey experienced another strong year in 2020, as the category grew at a rate of 6.8% and sold over 27.2 million cases across the country. The growth was led by fast-rising brands including Woodford Reserve, Ole Smoky, Bird Dog, Angel’s Envy, and Uncle Nearest.
We took another look at the 2020 data from Beverage Information Group to determine the top ten markets in the U.S. for American whiskey consumption, excluding blended whiskeys, based on nine-liter cases sold.
1. California: 3.3 Million Cases
The state is also home to the top metropolitan area for American whiskey consumption in the country: the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area. This area consumed 1.2 million cases alone.
2. Texas: 1.9 Million Cases
While Texas ranks second in overall consumption, Texans were actually in the bottom ten for per capita consumption, consuming only 95 cases per 1,000 people.
3. Florida: 1.8 Million Cases
The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area was the third-largest metropolitan area in the country for American whiskey consumption, with 834k cases consumed.
4. Ohio: 1 Million Cases
As the top control state for American whiskey consumption, Ohio saw a 16.4% increase in consumption from 2019 to 2020, one of the top increases in the nation.
5. North Carolina: 1 Million Cases
North Carolina also saw a significant spike in consumption from 2019 to 2020, with a jump of 135k cases year-over-year accounting for a 15.4% increase.
6. Virginia: 996k Cases
This marks the first time that Virginia has made one of our top ten markets lists for any category. Virginians also rank in the top ten for per capita consumption, consuming 158 cases of American whiskey per 1,000 people.
7. New York: 940k Cases
While a top market for overall consumption, New Yorkers are among the least likely to drink American whiskey. With a consumption rate of 66 cases per 1,000 people, New York ranks second to last in per capita consumption.
8. Kentucky: 937k Cases
Kentucky makes its first appearance, as well, coming in at eighth overall for American whiskey consumption. The Home of Bourbon is also the top market by far in per capita consumption of American whiskey with 286 cases consumed per 1,000 people.
9. Michigan: 877k Cases
Michigan saw the largest year-over-year increase in American whiskey consumption of all the top markets in 2020 with a 16.5% increase from 2019.
10. Illinois: 875k Cases
The Chicago-Naperville-Joliet area was one of the top five overall metropolitan areas in the nation for American whiskey consumption, consuming 761k cases on its own.
If you’d like to learn more about the top markets in beverage alcohol, check out our full series here.