The Top Ten Places in the U.S. for Craft Beer
The current state of beer and craft brewing in the United States is a far cry from what once was the case none too long ago: craft beer is decidedly in. Even the corporations that produce them on an industrial scale have quietly got into the craft beer game by acquiring smaller, craft breweries. Without knowing it, you could be buying a so-called craft beer owned and distributed by a corporate giant.
With well over 100,000 distinct beers in the United States, it’s a rather intimidating task to cultivate an intimate knowledge of craft beer. It will take either extensive research, or an invincible liver and an unlimited budget, that much is certain.
RewardExpert took a different approach in order to take the guesswork (and hangovers) out of the equation. We analyzed a total of 4,510,386 reviews of 110,419 beers and identified reviews of one or more beers produced by 5,760 breweries across the country. We calculated average ratings for each brewery and then calculated an average rating for breweries located in each 3-digit ZIP code area using GIS data and software. We 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.
Note: while beers and breweries were rated on a scale of one to five, very few breweries and regions received a mean or median rating in excess of 4.0. The highest area average brewery rating in our analysis was 4.59, one of only five areas to exceed an average brewery rating of 4.1. As for breweries: only 9.28% received an average rating of 4.0 or higher. Bear this in mind when interpreting average review ratings figures.
Top Ten Places:
Two Harbors, MN / Arrowhead Region
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 556
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 37.36
- Top Brewery: Castle Danger Brewery - Rating: 4.0
City and County of Boulder, CO
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 803
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 25.28
- Top Brewery: Southern Sun Pub and Brewery
- Brewery Rating: 4.06
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 830
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 27.29
- Top Brewery: - Melvin Brewing - Rating: 3.63
Uncompahgre Region / Southwest Colorado
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 814, 813, 812, 811
- Cities: Montrose, Delta, Cedar Ridge, Durango, and Gunnison, CO
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 16.47
- Top Brewery: Pagosa Brewing - Rating: 4.12
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 288
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 23.23
- Top Brewery: Wedge Brewing - Rating: 3.97
The Colorado High Rockies
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 804, 805
- Cities: Evergreen, Leadville, Fort Collins, and Greely, CO
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 14.99
- Top Brewery: Hops Grillhouse & Brewery - Rating: 4.17
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 998
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 15.52
- Top Brewery: Alaskan Brewing - Rating: 3.91
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 041
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 19.13
- Top Brewery: Maine Beer - Rating: 4.22
Boston, MA--NH--RI Metropolitan Area
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 022
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 14.66
- Top Brewery: Backlash Beer
- Brewery Rating: 4.07
Bend, OR / Central Oregon
- 3 Digit Zip Code: 977
- Breweries Per 100,000 Residents: 18.08
- Top Brewery: Deschutes Brewery - Rating: 4.14
The Best Rated Breweries In The U.S.
- 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
Best Credit Cards for Foodies
If you love great beer and fantastic food, you need to get a credit card that rewards you for you passions. There are a number of cards on the market that offer bonus cash back or travel rewards for dining out, including bars and brewpubs.
Get the Most Cash Back
You may be surprised to hear that the Uber Visa card is great for dining out. This cashback card gives you an impressive 4 percent back at restaurants and bars, and for takeout. You won’t find a better return rate for food and beverages with any other card.
You’ll also get 3 percent back on hotel and airfare, making this card an excellent choice for your next trip to a beer destination.
Bonus Rewards While Dining Out and Grocery Shopping
The Capital One Savor card is designed for foodies. Not only will you get 3 percent cash back for dining out, but you’ll get 2 percent back at grocery stores. That means you’ll get bonus cash back for both stopping at the local brewpub and picking up a six pack on your way home from work.
For the Frequent Traveler
If you travel a lot and enjoy the finer things in life, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the way to go. This premium travel card offers big perks that can more than justify its annual fee.
Not only will you earn 3x points for dining and travel purchases, but you’ll get complimentary access to Priority Pass airport lounges for you and three companions, an annual $300 travel credit, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, special privileges at various car rental companies, and a lot more.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t be earning a little extra on your next food adventure, even if that’s just trying the new seasonal brew at your local brewery. There are so many rewards credit cards on the market, there’s sure to be one to fit your lifestyle.
RewardExpert analyzed a total of 4,510,386 reviews of 110,419 beers, drawn from data sets compiled by researchers using web-crawling techniques. We identified reviews for one or more beers produced by a total of 5,760 breweries out of the 8,798 breweries included in POI Factory’s geocoded North American Breweries data set.
We calculated average ratings, first for every beer, then for each brewery, and then a regional average including all breweries located within each 3-digit ZIP code area using Matlab and QGIS for bulk data analysis and geographical aggregation and analysis, respectively. We ranked places according to a score based on 1) average brewery ratings, 2) the number of breweries per 100,000 residents (as determined by the number of breweries falling within the boundaries of each area, and Census Bureau population figures), and 3) the total number of reviews found.
Prior to computing a final composite score, each sub-score calculated for these three metrics was scaled to a value ranging from 0 to 1, linearly in the case of the first two, and according to a first-order exponential function in the case of the last. The final score used to determine our ranking and top ten is a weighted average of 1) ratings (double weight); 2) breweries per 100,000 residents; and, 3) the ratio of the quantity of reviews to the number of breweries within the boundaries of each 3-digit ZIP code area (half weight).
BeerAdvocate Reviews https://data.world/socialmediadata/beeradvocate
RateBeer Reviews https://webpages.uncc.edu/~hli38/data/index.html
POI Factory North American Breweries http://www.poi-factory.com/node/21733