What a wonderful day for a beer

We can push ourselves forward doing the things we love, it just makes things easier. Craft enthusiasts understand this because it's not just about the beer—it's about the community, too. Mask restrictions. Winding down. Your favorite beer drinking destination. Opening up. With summer nearly hitting its stride, there is a lot of livin to catch up on.

So, what are you waiting for?

Just recently, I met up with a few fully vaccinated friends and took in a night of craft, food and live music. If you have done the same, I don't think I have to tell you how it feels. From coast to coast, and everywhere in between, we are trying to pick up where we left off. Is it easy? No. Are things different? Yes.

But we are a resilient lot. And we can push ourselves forward doing the things we love, it just makes things easier. Craft enthusiasts understand this because it's not just about the beer—it's about the community, too. And nothing says community like your local craft brewery haunt.

Where are people kicking it these days? The real estate discount company Clever recently ranked the 50 top beer destinations in the country—a list each of us can get behind. The group analyzed publicly available data to rank America’s most populous metropolitan areas from best to worst when it comes to beer. The criteria included:

  • The number of breweries within each metro area
  • The density of breweries per 100 square miles
  • The number of beers per brewery
  • The number of beer styles per brewery

Here's a look at the Top 10:

  1. San Francisco — With 144 breweries, San Fran featuers an average of 19 beers per brewery and 11 different beer styles.
  2. Indianapolis — With 102 breweries and an average of 39 beers per brewery, Indy featured 20 different beer styles.
  3. Chicago — The Windy City offers 180 breweries in the greater Chicago area, plus an average of 32 beers per brewery and 15 different beer styles.
  4. Philadelphia — Philly's 139 breweries has an average of 26 beers per brewery, and 15 different beer styles.
  5. Los Angeles — LA delivers 158 breweries, an average of 20 beers per brewery and 12 different beer styles.
  6. Portland — Portland posts an impressive 183 breweries, plus an average of 19 beers per brewery and 11 different beer styles.
  7. Denver — The Mile High City features 155 breweries, and an average of 24 beers per brewery, and 14 different beer styles.
  8. Tampa — One of the Southern gateways offers 83 breweries, an average of 29 beers and 13 beer styles.
  9. Cleveland — The home of rock 'n roll boasts 49 breweries, 33 average beers and 17 beer styles on average.
  10. San Diego — America's finest city has 69 breweries, 36 average beers, and 14 beer styles.

And if you're looking for some cool facts, check out these:

  • Collectively, the 50 metro areas offered a total of 70,067 unique beers.
  • The average American brewery offers 19 different brews—but the metro areas in the Top 15 all offered more variety, with an average of 28 types of beer per brewery.
  • Among the 50 metro areas ranked, six are in California, which boast 423 breweries, or 13% of the total number of breweries on the list.
  • Portland, Oregon has the most breweries in a single city, with 183, or more than seven breweries per 100,000 residents.
  • Nine metro areas on the list have more than 100 breweries: Portland; Chicago; Los Angeles; Denver; San Francisco; Philadelphia; New York; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; and Indianapolis.

Where is your favorite brewery on this list? We want to hear from you. Follow us on LinkedIn and send a photo of your favorite neighborhood crew.

Until then, raise one up for us.


Story by Michael J. Pallerino, editor of Craft Brand & Marketing magazine. Over the past 30-plus years, he has won numerous awards, including the "Jesse H. Neal Editorial Achievement Award," recognized as the Pulitzer Prize for business-to-business magazines. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..