Special Report

Best Cities to Drink a Good Beer

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Americans started drinking more alcohol amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from Nielsen. Though pandemic-related lifestyle changes altered our alcohol consumption habits, increasing consumer preferences for wine and spirits, beer is still the nation’s favorite alcoholic beverage, preferred by 46% of those who drink alcohol (versus 37% for spirits and 17% for wine), according to a study by American Addiction Centers. (These are America’s top-selling beer brands.)

 It’s no wonder, then, that beer is big business in the United States. The beer industry generated more than $331 billion in 2020 alone, which is about 1.6% of the country’s total gross domestic product, according to a study conducted on behalf of the Beer Institute, an organization representing the interests of beer makers and distributors nationwide.

 The average American aged 21 and over consumes just over 28 gallons of beer a year, amounting to about a six pack a week. Consumption tends to vary considerably across the country, however. This is at least partially due to access to and quality of the beverage in different states and cities.

 To compile a list of the 30 best cities to drink a good beer, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the results of a survey on the subject from Lawn Love, a lawn care resource site that frequently analyzes data around various lifestyle topics. Lawn Love evaluated factors including accessibility (including the number of beer and brewery tours per 100,000 residents), quality, affordability, and community (including average annual beer consumption and number of beer festivals and other events).

Click here to see the best cities to drink a good beer

One geographic area dominates the top of the list: Six of the 10 best cities for beer lovers – and more than a third of 30 on the list – are on the West Coast. Cities in states located in the Rocky Mountains and Midwest regions also appear frequently. (Here’s a list of the top-rated beer from every state and D.C.)

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30. Fort Collins, CO
> Overall score: 30.05/100
> Beer quality rank: 25 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 90 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 38 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 2 out of 182 cities

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

29. Sunnyvale, CA
> Overall score: 30.35/100
> Beer quality rank: 101 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 2 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 65 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 31 out of 182 cities

28. Jersey City, NJ
> Overall score: 30.46/100
> Beer quality rank: 84 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 135 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 9 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 79 out of 182 cities

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27. Oakland, CA
> Overall score: 30.49/100
> Beer quality rank: 37 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 38 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 29 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 85 out of 182 cities

26. Tempe, AZ
> Overall score: 30.94/100
> Beer quality rank: 70 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 133 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 8 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 73 out of 182 cities

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25. Fort Lauderdale, FL
> Overall score: 31.42/100
> Beer quality rank: 101 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 75 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 12 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 84 out of 182 cities

24. Minneapolis, MN
> Overall score: 31.74/100
> Beer quality rank: 35 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 49 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 18 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 117 out of 182 cities

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23. Los Angeles, CA
> Overall score: 31.91/100
> Beer quality rank: 27 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 108 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 16 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 45 out of 182 cities

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22. Alexandria, VA
> Overall score: 31.92/100
> Beer quality rank: 39 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 23 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 17 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 147 out of 182 cities

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21. Long Beach, CA
> Overall score: 32.08/100
> Beer quality rank: 49 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 119 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 13 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 15 out of 182 cities

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20. Miami, FL
> Overall score: 32.23/100
> Beer quality rank: 101 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 146 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 3 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 48 out of 182 cities

Source: josheberry / Flickr

19. Atlanta, GA
> Overall score: 32.92/100
> Beer quality rank: 14 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 33 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 63 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 46 out of 182 cities

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18. Santa Rosa, CA
> Overall score: 33.08/100
> Beer quality rank: 13 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 26 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 50 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 64 out of 182 cities

17. Spokane, WA
> Overall score: 33.29/100
> Beer quality rank: 9 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 95 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 57 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 58 out of 182 cities

16. Chicago, IL
> Overall score: 33.81/100
> Beer quality rank: 18 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 88 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 22 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 113 out of 182 cities

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15. Salt Lake City, UT
> Overall score: 33.90/100
> Beer quality rank: 7 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 52 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 143 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 115 out of 182 cities

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14. Washington, D.C.
> Overall score: 34.04/100
> Beer quality rank: 101 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 27 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 6 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 155 out of 182 cities

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13. Las Vegas, NV
> Overall score: 34.87/100
> Beer quality rank: 21 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 81 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 7 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 149 out of 182 cities

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12. Cincinnati, OH
> Overall score: 34.93/100
> Beer quality rank: 10 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 131 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 27 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 38 out of 182 cities

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11. Indianapolis, IN
> Overall score: 35.66/100
> Beer quality rank: 5 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 142 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 134 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 24 out of 182 cities

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10. Huntington Beach, CA
> Overall score: 35.84/100
> Beer quality rank: 24 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 11 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 14 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 55 out of 182 cities

9. New York, NY
> Overall score: 37.60/100
> Beer quality rank: 30 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 140 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 11 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 110 out of 182 cities

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8. Austin, TX
> Overall score: 38.11/100
> Beer quality rank: 8 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 44 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 58 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 27 out of 182 cities

7. Anaheim, CA
> Overall score: 38.72/100
> Beer quality rank: 20 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 104 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 2 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 12 out of 182 cities

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6. Charlotte, NC
> Overall score: 41.64/100
> Beer quality rank: 6 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 15 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 74 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 52 out of 182 cities

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5. San Diego, CA
> Overall score: 48.46/100
> Beer quality rank: 3 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 48 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 35 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 25 out of 182 cities

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4. San Francisco, CA
> Overall score: 49.59/100
> Beer quality rank: 11 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 8 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 1 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 82 out of 182 cities

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3. Portland, OR
> Overall score: 52.14/100
> Beer quality rank: 4 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 77 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 5 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 49 out of 182 cities

2. Denver, CO
> Overall score: 53.21/100
> Beer quality rank: 2 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 51 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 10 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 81 out of 182 cities

1. Seattle, WA
> Overall score: 60.55/100
> Beer quality rank: 1 out of 182 cities
> Affordability rank: 21 out of 182 cities
> Access rank: 4 out of 182 cities
> Establishment quality rank: 41 out of 182 cities

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