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The Top 10 Beer Cities in America

June 4, 2015 - 10:43 PM
- by Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog -

Portland is the top beer city in America, Seattle is second, with San Francisco and San Diego not far behind. It’s a fact. Deal with it.

Everybody loves, or hates, a top 10 list, especially when it has to do with the top 10 beer cities in America. Lists are all the rage these days. That’s largely because of all the rage they incite these days. People get positively red-faced if their hometown is not on the list.

Most of these kinds of lists are simply based on someone’s opinion. Take it with a grain of salt and don’t let it boil your barleywine. Then again, some lists are based on real empirical evidence, like the list below.

The following cities lead the nation in terms of craft beer sales in grocery stores. These numbers come from Nielsen Scantrack and are based on the 52-week period ending on 12/27/14. In other words, 2014.

The numbers below represent the share of craft beer purchased in grocery stores as compared to non-craft beers. In other words, in Portland 43.3 percent of the beer purchase in grocery stores was craft beer. That is, craft beer enjoyed a 43.3 market share. The numbers are based on dollar sales, not volume. It should also be noted that not all states allow the sale of craft beer (or beers over 3.2 percent ABV) in grocery stores.

As we reported some time ago, craft beer reached a new high last year, accounting for 11 percent market share nationwide. Craft beer obviously enjoys more popularity in urban centers.

Top Beer Cities

CITY, SHARE

  1. PORTLAND, 43.3

  2. SEATTLE, 37.2

  3. SAN FRANCISCO, 34.0

  4. SAN DIEGO, 33.0

  5. SACRAMENTO, 31.5

  6. WASHINGTON D.C., 28.1

  7. CLEVELAND, 27.0

  8. ROCHESTER, 25.4

  9. HARTFORD/ NEW HAVEN, 25.4

  10. GRAND RAPIDS, 25.2


Other impressive cities (runners up):

  • COLUMBUS, 23.8

  • DETROIT,  23.4

  • NEW YORK, 21.7

  • CINCINNATI, 20.3


States with impressive numbers:

  • VERMONT, 30.6

  • WISCONSIN, 25.1

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