KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Beer drinkers in Tennessee may find this hard to swallow: the state has the highest beer tax in the nation, just ahead of runner-up Alaska.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported last week that 2008 data analyzed by the Beer Institute and served up by the Tennessee Malt Beverage Association shows that state and local taxes on beer in Tennessee are now $33.25 per 31-gallon barrel, up from $32.28 in 2007.
Alaska has a total beer tax of $33.17 per barrel, according to the two organizations. The national average is $9.75, with Wyoming having the lowest levy at just 62 cents.
Beer lobbyists see little chance of lowering the tax since it raises more than $100 million a year for local governments in Tennessee.