Craft beer is a massive industry in the United States. There are well over 8,000 breweries across the country which accounts for more than 100,000 distinct beers. A while back we noted the crowdsourced favourites listed by the American Brewers Association, but now a new list has been published that takes a wide look at data from the whole country.
RewardExpert analyzed over 4.5 million consumer reviews of over 50,000 beers produced by almost 6,000 breweries across the U.S. to definitively determine where the best brews and breweries are located. Their method included calculating average ratings for each brewery and then calculating an average rating for breweries located in each 3-digit ZIP code area using GIS data and software. They then ranked places according to a score based on average brewery ratings, the number of breweries per 100,000 residents, and the total number of reviews found.
So to break it down, there’s a list for the best places for craft beer and a top ten of the best breweries in the country. The research found the top 10 breweries to be:
- Round Guys Brewing, Lansdale, PA – 5.0
- Elizabeth Street Brewery, San Francisco, CA – 5.0
- Von Scheidt Brewing, Twin Falls, ID – 4.75
- Brass Monkey Brewing, Kokomo, IN – 4.6
- Comanche Creek Brewing, Eagle Nest, NM – 4.5
- Willoughby Brewing, Willoughby, OH – 4.5
- 4 Hands Brewing, St. Louis, MO – 4.5
- High Point Brewing, Gypsum, CO – 4.5
- Telluride Brewing, Telluride, CO – 4.5
- Cape May Brewing, Rio Grande, NJ – 4.44
Meanwhile the top places for craft beer in the country were:
- Two Harbors, Minnesota
- Boulder, Colorado
- Jackson, Wyoming
- Southwest Colorado
- Asheville, North Carolina
- Northern Colorado
- Juneau, Alaska
- Portland, Maine (NOT Oregon)
- Boston, MA
- Bend, Oregon
Both the brewery list and the locations differ wildly from the American Brewers Association’s annual list, which is interesting as both are compiled from drinkers reviews or opinions. The major difference being the RewardExpert list is pulled from 4.5 million general consumer reviews and the Association list is pulled from their readers votes.
So which list do you agree with more? Both have valid data points, and both list a number of quality breweries and locations. Really it’s going to come down to a matter of personal preference to which you think is the superior list.