Ranked! The Top 10 Cities For Beer Fans, Study Says It’s Time to Relocate
The brewing industry has been booming in the U.S. in the last decade. In 2010, there were only around 1,700 breweries in the country. Fast forward 10 years to today (barring COVID closures) and there are well over 8,000 breweries. That means that whatever town, city, or village you live in is likely to have a brewpub, brewery, or brew shop selling hard-to-find beer. But while beer seems to be everywhere from Seattle to St. Petersburg some cities have a better beer culture than others. Thanks to the folks at SmartAsset, we know exactly which cities those are.
The financial modeling and investing company analyzed the industry and found the best cities for beer drinkers. They began with 384 cities and, based on the number of breweries, breweries per 100,000 people, the average number of beers per brewery, bars per 100,00 people, and the average price of a pint, they made a list of the top 50. But, since we don’t have all day, we’re going to show you the top 10. They are definitely a few surprises. Check it out below and call your realtor because it’s time to move.
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10. Cleveland, Ohio
The “Mistake by the Lake” might not be as much of a mistake as previously thought as it’s apparently the 10th best city for beer fans. The city is home to great beer bars and breweries like Great Lakes, Noble Beast, and Masthead. If you move there you’d have to root for The Browns so is that even worth it?
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9. Missoula, Montana
Who knew that Missoula was a beer lover’s paradise? We know all about the wide-open skies and easy-going, outdoor-centric lifestyle of Montana, but we didn’t know it was a city ripe for beer discovery. Draught Works, Conflux, and Imagine Nation lead the way.
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8. Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin. In non-COVID times you can bet it’s a city filled with rowdy beer-fueled tailgaters. But we didn’t know the city itself was a great place for beer fans. It’s home to Ale Asylum, One Barrel, and others as well as countless bars and brewpubs where you can grab a pint and cheer on the Badgers.
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7. Bend, Oregon
This is the first city on the list that actually doesn’t surprise us. The Pacific Northwest is well-known (and Oregon in particular) for its beer. Bend is only a city of 90,000 and it has 22 breweries, including Bend Brewing, Deschutes, and Crux Fermentation Project.
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6. Denver, Colorado
We’d be surprised to see a list of best beer cities without Denver. But we assumed it would be a little higher on the list. The “Mile High City” is home to countless brewpubs, beer bars, and over 150 breweries. Plus, marijuana is legal in Colorado so that’s cool too.
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5. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The “Steel City” is well-known for its over-the-top french fry-filled Primanti Brothers sandwiches, the Steelers, and a history of brewing. Some of its best are Voodoo, Grist House, and Dancing Gnome.
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4. Portland, Oregon
Not to be confused with another great beer city in Maine, Portland, Oregon is the second city from the Pacific Northwest and we’re not surprised. The city is home to 58 breweries including Threshold, Cascade, and Great Notion. Plus, it’s the setting for Portlandia, one of the most underrated comedies of the decade.
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3. St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis might be the center of the beer universe because of one brewery: Budweiser. But the city is more than just one giant brewery and an equally giant arch. It’s also home to countless bars and breweries like Schlafly, 2nd Shift, and Urban Chestnut.
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2. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville might be the worst kept secret in the beer world. This city located at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains is home to some of the most well-known breweries in the country (some are second locations) including New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Wicked Weed, and Burial.
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1. Cincinnati, Ohio
If you’re surprised to see Cincy topping this list, you’re not alone. The city that once called Jerry Springer its mayor (yes really) is well-known for the bungling Bengals, cheese-covered Cincinnati Chili, and being really close to Kentucky. But it’s also apparently the best city in the U.S. for beer drinkers with more than 50 breweries including Rhinegeist, Darkness, and Braxton.
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