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10 Best Beer States of 2011

8. New Hampshire
Number of breweries: 16
Capita per brewery: 82,279
Production in 2010: 1.4 million barrels
Consumed per capita in 2010:32.7 gallons
The "Live Free" part of New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die" motto seems to have the state's beer drinkers covered.

That 32.7 gallons of beer consumed by the average New Hampshire resident last year is the highest level in the land, and the state gives its beer lovers a whole lot of freedom to choose when it comes to its tap selections.

Want a small brewpub? Portsmouth Brewery still keeps that "kettles in the back" aesthetic that drove the original craft boom in the '90s. Want a local craft brew, but something with a broader palate? Even the Portsmouth Brewery keeps fellow Portsmouth brewer and regional favorite Smuttynose's Old Brown Dog and Old Shoals Pale Ale on tap. If all that's just a little too local and specialized, the Craft Brewers Alliance's (HOOK) Redhook cranks out ESB, Wit and Copperhook at its large Portsmouth-based brewing facility and brewpub while hosting special events on the brewery's sprawling grounds throughout the year.

New Hampshire has the 11th-best capita-per-brewer ratio in the U.S., but even that's not enough to keep up with both in-state demand and that of thirsty neighbors who drive over the state line to New Hampshire State Liquor Stores just to avoid the sales tax. That's why Anheuser-Busch InBev helps bulk up the total by churning out its macrobrews at the brewery in Merrimack that serves as the hub of its New England operations. If you're going to take it, you may as well dish it out.

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