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View Poll Results: What is the best all around region for Craft beer in The United States?
Greak Lakes:IL, IN, MI, OH, WI 62 22.55%
Mid-AtlanticE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, D.C. 26 9.45%
Midwest: IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD 16 5.82%
Mountain: CO, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY 29 10.55%
New England: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT 14 5.09%
Northwest: AK, OR, WA 65 23.64%
Pacific: CA, HI 27 9.82%
South: AL, AR, KY, LA, MS, TN 5 1.82%
South-Atlantic: FL, GA, NC, SC, VA, WV 19 6.91%
Southwest: AZ, NM, OK, TX 12 4.36%
Voters: 275. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-12-2015, 12:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
That list is accurate. If you don't think Portland, Chicago and Grand Rapids when you think beer, my assumption is that you're not very knowledgable about the US beer scene.
I actually consider myself very knowledgeable on the craft beer scene. Portland, San Diego, Bay Area, Denver are all stronger than Portland, Grand Rapids, Chicago -- and really? Chicago? Why does everyone cream their pants over Goose Island? Except for it's Bourbon County stout, everything I've had by them sucks.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Boston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N610DL View Post
I actually consider myself very knowledgeable on the craft beer scene. Portland, San Diego, Bay Area, Denver are all stronger than Portland, Grand Rapids, Chicago -- and really? Chicago? Why does everyone cream their pants over Goose Island? Except for it's Bourbon County stout, everything I've had by them sucks.
When did you first start drinking Goose Island? Since AB InBev took them over, many people have complained they have gone downhill in quality. I don't drink enough Goose Island to be able to make that call, but I've always liked their Matilda as well as the Bourbon County Stout. Sofie is pretty good too.

I would agree that Goose Island probably gets a little more credit due to being a relatively big name. There are a lot of smaller operations that put out stuff that's as good as or better than theirs.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
That list is accurate. If you don't think Portland, Chicago and Grand Rapids when you think beer, my assumption is that you're not very knowledgable about the US beer scene.

Portland is easily 1 or 2 (with Denver) and frankly Chicago is underrated on the list (should probably be ahead of Seattle). Grand Rapids is quite easily the best small beer city in the US and punches well above its weight. It's been named Beer City USA by Draft Magazine (IIRC) and HopCat has won numerous best brewpub awards.
Sorry, but I think Thrillest got it right in putting Portland, San Diego, Denver, and Seattle as the top four (although the order for those four is debatable). No way should Chicago have been ahead of Seattle. The craft beer culture is far more prolific in Seattle - Seattle has way more micro-breweries per capita and even the diviest bars often have a good selection of local microbrews.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Westside Grand Rapids
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLake View Post
Portland is easily 1 or 2 (with Denver) and frankly Chicago is underrated on the list (should probably be ahead of Seattle). Grand Rapids is quite easily the best small beer city in the US and punches well above its weight. It's been named Beer City USA by Draft Magazine (IIRC) and HopCat has won numerous best brewpub awards.
Not to take away from Grand Rapids reputation as a leading beer city, because I think it's definitely become a major player. I don't think the "Beer City USA" title should be taken too seriously. It was decided by online voting. Local Grand Rapids media is notorious for shamelessly promoting those things. The two years it won the contest local residents overwhelmed the next nearest city (Ashville) which is prolly the biggest reason it won.

Aside from that I think it's still undervalued for its beer scene at this point.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:25 PM
 
104 posts, read 91,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N610DL View Post
I saw that list and I disagree with a bulk of them -- many are not "beer" cities at all. Some have several local breweries to visit (which ANY US city does, even LA) but it's hard to classify majority of them as strong cities with large amount of beer influence and/or distribution. Heck, I was in Minneapolis a few weeks ago for work and none of their beers have made it out to California (or when I'm home visiting) New Jersey. They want to really spotlight any old city for beer they should mention ATL -- I feel like half a dozen local beers are in the city of Atlanta.

When I think beer cities I think of BOS, DEN, SAN, SFO etc. Not NYC, CHI, Portland, Grand Rapids etc.
Then you have no idea what you are talking about. Portland has a very strong case to be #1 for so many reasons that have already been listed. Seattle, Denver, and San Diego also make a strong case, although Portland probably beats them. But there is little doubt these are the top 4. I lived in the Bay Area for many years and still visit frequently - San Francisco is a good beer city, but it's not in the same category as these four. Chicago is about on par with San Francisco.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Westside Grand Rapids
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DANNNY__ View Post
Then you have no idea what you are talking about. Portland has a very strong case to be #1 for so many reasons that have already been listed. Seattle, Denver, and San Diego also make a strong case, although Portland probably beats them. But there is little doubt these are the top 4. I lived in the Bay Area for many years and still visit frequently - San Francisco is a good beer city, but it's not in the same category as these four. Chicago is about on par with San Francisco.
I cannot tell for sure but you seem to be based in the Pac NW, clearly favoring its beer scene. I'm not saying you are right or wrong because I don't know enough. I tend not to trust homer bias on these subjects. Since you have strong opinions how would you rate the cities listed?
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
I cannot tell for sure but you seem to be based in the Pac NW, clearly favoring its beer scene. I'm not saying you are right or wrong because I don't know enough. I tend not to trust homer bias on these subjects. Since you have strong opinions how would you rate the cities listed?
Portland is up there -- I misspoke. Did my research and found that way more beers than I thought were based there. Still think SD and DEN beat PDX though.

People from the Pacific Northwest tend to get their panties in a bind when you even moderate criticize their cities. There's a superiority factor that I'll never understand.

Agree to disagree: San Francisco has easily a better craft beer scene than Chicago. And then it's even more of an embarrassment for Chicago when you include the whole Bay Area.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:43 PM
 
104 posts, read 91,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
I cannot tell for sure but you seem to be based in the Pac NW, clearly favoring its beer scene. I'm not saying you are right or wrong because I don't know enough. I tend not to trust homer bias on these subjects. Since you have strong opinions how would you rate the cities listed?
Like I said, I think Thrillest was close. If I had to rate them I would probably say:

1) Portland
2a) San Diego
2b) Seattle
4) Denver
----
5) SF/Northern CA
6) Chicago

If anything Seattle is underrated by most people. It has arguably the best brewery district in the country (Ballard industrial area) and the beer scene is thriving and growing in an incredible way. There are many reasons why Washington is such a beer hub: The culture is long-established - the original post-prohibition craft brewpub was located in Yakima, WA, most of the country's hops are grown in Eastern Washington, Washington has the second most breweries in the country out of any state (second to CA) and had by far the most new breweries open last year of any state (83).

And, not surprisingly, Washington's beer culture is centered around the Seattle area. Craft beer is everywhere and there are new breweries, brewpubs, and beer bars to try seemingly every week.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:49 PM
 
104 posts, read 91,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N610DL View Post
Portland is up there -- I misspoke. Did my research and found that way more beers than I thought were based there. Still think SD and DEN beat PDX though.

People from the Pacific Northwest tend to get their panties in a bind when you even moderate criticize their cities. There's a superiority factor that I'll never understand.

Agree to disagree: San Francisco has easily a better craft beer scene than Chicago. And then it's even more of an embarrassment for Chicago when you include the whole Bay Area.
I agree with that as well. They're in the same league, but I'd put SF ahead of Chicago, especially when you consider not only the rest of the Bay Area but further Northern CA as well.

However, having spent a lot of time drinking beer in these cities, I can tell you that neither are in the same league as Portland, San Diego, Seattle, and Denver. Among these four, it really is close - I would argue Portland is probably #1, but you could make a strong case for any of them. You seem really focused on national distribution, which really is only one of many factors to consider and - in my opinion - not the most important one by a long shot.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:57 PM
 
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Another way to look at it is Craft Beer sales by state (per capita)

States that got over 150 breweries per capita (per 100K adults):
1. CA (431)
2. WA (256)
3. CO (235)
4. OR (216)
5. NY (181)
6. MI (159)

Over 100 club has: PA, NC, FL, OH, IL, TX, NC

Below that 100 are (surprisingly): WI, MA, VT.

Source: https://www.brewersassociation.org/statistics/by-state/
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