28 Mar 2009 @ 8:13 AM 

In preparation for this year’s American Craft Beer Week (May 11 – May 17) American Homebrewer’s Association and Brewer’s Association High Poo-bah and general beer ambassador Charlie Papazian has opened up a poll: Vote for your Favorite Beer City. Polls are open ’til May 7 and the winner will be announced in time for Craft Beer Week.

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It’s a good set of cities, mostly. I can’t help but feel like who ever put this list together for Charlie just pulled a list of the locations of 30 popular breweries in the US. I’m a little surprised (but happy) to see so much on the East Coast, and even more surprised to nothing in Texas. In fact, looking at that map there’s a pretty sad furrow down the middle of the country. Somebody should get on that.

Some cities are at a distinct disadvantage. There’s a vast difference between San Francisco/Oakland/Bay Area and, say, Boulder, CO which is just a few miles outside of its competitor, Denver, CO. No doubt, there are a ton of breweries in each of those, but sheer population alone puts the Bay Area up by, oh, 6 million people. Consider, too, that Fort Collins and Colorado Springs are also listed.

Kansas City (Kansas Cities?) gets especially screwed by being listed in both states – they don’t count as a greater metropolitan area? Albuquerque and Santa Fe are getting listed together and they’re 60 miles apart.

Charlie says that if any particular city gets more than 50 votes in the “Other” category he’ll put it on the list as an official choice. So do you see your city on there? If not, rally the troops and get your vote in.

I’m glad to see Asheville, NC, but, I’d love to see Raleigh/Durham, NC on that list. I think you’d be hard pressed to find an area in the country that’s going through a comparable beer culture explosion. It’s pretty fantastic.

Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 28 Mar 2009 @ 09:36 AM



Responses to this post » (8 Total)

  1. Jules says:

    About time you put this knowledge to use.

    Asheville is dominating this damn poll! What gives?

    I have to say, Boston is good for beers, if you go to the right bars (Sunset obvio, Anam Cara – now called The Publick House I think), but after a year and a half in Brooklyn, I’m incredibly impressed with the variety of beer bars, and the variety of beers at any bar. Almost every bar will have at least one surprising microbrew on tap, and the beer bars themselves are loaded with new shit to try.

    P.S. Screw Asheville.

  2. erik says:

    That’s really interesting.

    Aside from the breweries that I know of there, I’ve always been led to believe that New York is much more a cocktail town than a beer town, but beer is getting pretty chic.

    Out of curiosity, in comparison to how many places have a good microbrew, how many places serve PBR in cans? I love how PBR is the hipster drink.

    • Jules says:

      I guess I can clarify my comments – bearing in mind that having only been here for 18-20 months and am a NYC neophyte – that I am impressed with the beer bars and beer selection in BROOKLYN and downtown Manhattan, i.e. the Lower East Side. I’d have to say that the rest of the Hat, certainly midtown and up, is cocktail central.

      As for PBR, it’s definitely around in that ironic “hipster” way, but so is MGD and Black Label and anything else that’s “so uncool that we’re cool for drinking it!” Williamsburg is hipster central, and those beers are prevalent there, but not to the exlusion of microbrews.

      The fact is NYC is so big and dense, you can find just about whatever you want. I want good beer, so I go to the bars that have them. And there are plenty.

      • Fabian says:

        He is soo good! Praise Him. I too am in tears at God’s goodness. We are so undenervisg. I pray the doctors would be astonished at our miraculous, incredible, holy God! I can’t wait to meet baby Asher. I love that name! We will continue to pray but we certainly rejoice with you!!The Turleys (Marsha)

  3. Patrick M says:

    I have a feeling that making PBR a hipster beer was some ultrasecret corporate plot by an evil marketing genius at PBR.

  4. chandra says:

    I’m a huge fan of Portland, Maine – with just over 65,000 people, we have something like 10-20+ local/regional breweries, and I really like most of them (aside from those who put blueberries in their beer)

  5. KJ says:

    I’m with Chandra — hooray Portland! As for NYC, unless it’s changed dramatically since I moved away in ’07, I don’t think it can count as a beer city. Good places exist, sure, but beer culture isn’t integrated with gastronomic culture. Lots of otherwise super places offer Amstel as their “good beer,” or might offer one micro/craft amidst a slew of mass-produced options. In beer towns (imho), good restaurants almost always have a range of good beer and often the exact opposite: one mass-produced amidst a slew of more artful choices.

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