There’s no doubt that Utahns are drinking more.
In 2006, Utahns on average consumed nearly 1.96 gallons of liquor annually, compared with 2.54 gallons today — an increase of 30 percent. The most popular alcoholic beverage is wine, with per capita consumption this year rising to more than a gallon, an increase of more than 20 percent.
Utahns on average also downed nearly a gallon of spirits last year, a half-gallon of heavy beer (alcohol content greater than 3.2 percent by weight) and 0.05 gallons of flavored malt beverages, according to the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Three years ago, legislative auditors said the amount of liquor sold in Utah had increased at a far greater rate than the population, indicating a greater percentage of drinkers. While the population from 2001 to 2009 increased 22 percent, gallons consumed during the same period increased by 54 percent.
To be sure, Utahns per capita drink far less than others nationally, according to a 2010 report by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. Only people in Maine drink less beer than do Utahns, and only residents of West Virginia and Mississippi drink less wine. And West Virginians are the only ones who consume less spirits.
Here are the top brands bringing in the most annual sales to the state’s liquor monopoly:
Barton Vodka • $2.7 million
Jägermeister Liqueur • $2 million
Patrón Silver Tequila • $1.8 million
Stella Artois • $1.354 million
Icehouse Beer • $1.353 million
Squatters Hop Rising IPA • $1.29 million
Kendall Jackson Chardonnay • $844,150
Franzia Sunset Blush House • $782,900
Franzia Chillable Red House • $694,900
Bud Light Lime-A-Rita • $558,500
Mike’s Hard Black Cherry • $300,600
Mike’s Hard Lemonade • $284,400
Strongbow Dry Cider • $220,500
Hornsby’s Crisp Apple Cider • $159,500
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple • $152,700