Special Report

This Is the Worst American City for Beer Lovers

Data about beer consumption in America is usually robust. According to beer news site, Beer Info, U.S. beer consumption by people 21 years or over totals 28.2 gallons per person per year. That is about a six-pack per week. Since not all Americans drink beer, the figures for those who do must be much higher on an annual basis — with many no doubt regularly imbibing some of America’s 30 oldest beers.

Consumption is usually high in the Plains States. North Dakota tops the list at 45.8 gallons per adult a year. Montana is third at 41 gallons and South Dakota is fourth at 38.9 gallons. At the far end of the spectrum is Utah, at 20.2 gallons. In addition, there are rankings of best and worst cities for beer lovers. The worst American city for beer lovers is San Bernardino, California.

Lawn Love has been able to break down the best and worst cities for beer lovers. This list delivers very different results than state consumption data does. It uses different metrics. Across America’s 180 largest cities, Lawn Love measured access to establishments where people drink beer. It also ranked what it calls “establishment quality,” a yardstick of consumer rankings. It looked at beer quality and costs. It listed its sources as BreweryDB, Eventbrite, Great American Beer Festival, Livability, Meetup, North American Brewers Association, World Beer Awards, and Yelp.

Each of the measurements was weighted to calculate an overall score for each of the 180 cities.  The highest among them posted a score of 55.07. The lowest score was 14.46, for San Bernardino, California.

24/7 Tempo listed the 50 worst cities for beer lovers. The two largest states by population, California and Texas, dominate the worst 10 cities. California has two more cities among the worst 10: Fontana with a score of 21.01 and Bakersfield with a score of 21.02. In Texas, Plano has a score of 18.38 and Laredo a score of 19.05. 

Virginia also has two cities among the worst 10 for beer lovers, Chesapeake, with a score of 20.55 and Virginia Beach with a score of 21.19. Rounding out the list, Columbus, Georgia, has a score of 17.07; Kansas City, Kansas, has a score of 17.8; and Scottsdale, Arizona has a score of 20.96.

Two geographic areas dominate the top of the list — the best cities for beer lovers. Among the Pacific Northwest states, Spokane, Washington, has a 55.07 score, the highest nationwide. Portland, Oregon, ranks second with a score of 53.41. Seattle ranks fourth with a score of 48.97. With that beer, you might want a burger — this is the best American city for burger lovers.

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