Here Are The 25 Best Cities For Beer Drinkers So Who Else Is Ready For A Road Trip?

pandemic impact drinking at bars beer


Studies such as this one by SmartAsset to determine which cities are the best at something, in this case, the best cities for beer drinkers, are always met with some skepticism.

I, however, take a different stance. Sure, there are always flaws and things you can disagree with, but I take a study like this and say, these are places that there is obviously a good reason to visit. In this case, it happens to be lots and lots of beer. That’s as good of a reason any in my book.

Anyway, as usual, I know you want to understand how they came to determine these rankings so here goes…

To find the best cities for beer drinkers, SmartAsset collected data on the beer industry in 296 of the largest cities in the country. Specifically we considered the following five metrics:

— Total number of microbreweries and brewpubs.
— Number of microbreweries and brewpubs per 100,000 residents.
— Average Yelp score of breweries.
— Number of bars per 100,000 residents.
— Average price for a pint of domestic draught beer.

We ranked every one of the cities in our study according to those five metrics. We then averaged those rankings. In calculating the average ranking, we gave double weight to the total number of microbreweries and brewpubs in each city, half weight to the average Yelp score of breweries and average price for a pint of beer and full weight to the other two metrics.

Those average rankings formed the basis for the overall ranking and index score. The city with the best average ranking across those five metrics scored a perfect 100, ranking first, while cities with lower average rankings garnered lower scores.

Got it? Good. Here’s what they came up with

1. Portland, Maine
2. Asheville, North Carolina
3. Portland, Oregon
4. Billings, Montana
5. Denver, Colorado
6. Seattle, Washington
7. Wilmington, North Carolina
8. Missoula, Montana
9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
10. Cincinnati, Ohio

Looks like if your town is named Portland there’s a good shot that you’re in beer drinking heaven.

So any disagreements (or agreements) out there? Any places you’d add? Let us know.

Check out the rest of the study, including a further breakdown of why each of the top cities received their rankings over at SmartAsset.

Beer image by Shutterstock