Historical Trends: 1850-1997

This graph shows Spirits, Wine and Beer consumption by gallons of ethanol and year. The vertical axis depicts alcohol consumption in .5 gallon increments from 0 to 3. The horizontal axis depicts years beginning with 1850, 1916-1919, 1940, 1955, 1975, 1985, and 1995. The greatest quantity of alcohol consumed is beer, followed by spirits. The smallest amount of ethanol consumed is in the form of wine. The total amount of ethanol consumed was 2.5 gallons in 1850. This decreased to a low of .7 gallons in the period from 1916 to the late 1930’s. Consumption began rising again in 1940, reached a peak of 2.5 gallons again in 1975, and leveled off to 2.1 in 1997. The source is Nephew et al., 1999.