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10 beers to try despite their states' high alcohol taxes

Märzen Oktoberfest beer photo courtesy Kegerator

Oktoberfest celebrations are wrapping up here in the German communities of Central Texas, as well as around the rest of the Lone Star State, nation and world.

That means we'll all be back to drinking our regular routine beers.

What won't change are the federal and state excise taxes collected on brewskis.

Tax price of imbibing: It's a notable amount. The Beer Institute says that more than 40 percent of the retail price of beer comes from taxes.

A big chunk of that is from the federal alcohol tax of up to 58 cents per gallon on beer. If you're a craft beer fan, it's a tad less as smaller breweries face a lower levy.

Then there are the state beer taxes. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have their own beer taxes.

That means that even those the taxes are levied on the breweries, as our potent potable moves through the distribution system, its cost is marked up at various levels, in part to pay state and local sales taxes.

"As a result, beer drinkers actually end up paying about $2.00 out-of-pocket for each $1.00 of tax levied by government," according to the Beer Institute.

Beers worth the added taxes: Of course, beer lovers tend to take the taxes in stride. Up to a point.

Like any consumer product, when the price gets too high, buyers will shop around for beer bargains.

Kiplinger, however, says there are some brews that are worth the extra bucks. Specifically, the personal finance magazine has some suggestions for some ales et al that deserve beer lovers' attention even though they're brewed in the 10 states with highest beer taxes.

Sabrina Medler notes in her article specialty beers ranging from the Minnesota-made sour ale featuring mango and guava flavors to the cheekily named "Citra Ass Down" and "Erogenous Rhone" brews from Kentucky. Her effort earns this week's Saturday Shout Out.

I'm especially intrigued by the beers from the two United States outside the contiguous 48. They make the list, in large part thanks to ingredients unique to their locales.

I know I'd definitely give an Alaskan beer that infusing Sitka spruce tips or one from Hawaii with notes of pineapple or lilikoi — that's passion fruit for all of us not in America's Pacific Paradise — a try.

Once you've finished your favorite German ale, check out these other beers.

Just enjoy them sensibly, safely and make sure you have enough cash to cover the costs, tax and otherwise.

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