These Are the 15 Best Cities for Beer Lovers

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Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Milwaukee top off the list

Written by Jon Whitely on June 29, 2016

To get in gear for Fourth of July weekend, the start of the perfect
saison for a beer on the patio, Redfin researched which cities have
the attributes beer lovers need to thrive. We teamed with the Beer
Institute to craft a list of the best cities for beer lovers. We
ranked cities by:

The number of breweries in their state per 100,000 adults aged 21+
The number of active brewery permits in each state
State beer taxes (lower ranked better)
The median home sale price
The city’s Walk Score (don’t drink and drive!)
To top it off, Redfin real estate agents weighed in on their cities’
local beer scenes.

At the head of the list of the best cities for beer lovers were
Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Milwaukee, and the majority were Rust Belt
cities, powered by their relative affordability, low tax on beer and
plenitude of breweries. The old guard of beer cities was well
represented by the hometowns of Miller (Milwaukee), Budweiser (St.
Louis) and Coors (Denver) placing in the top 10. On the West Coast,
stalwarts like Seattle, Portland and San Francisco all placed highly,
however the growing price of homes along the West Coast kept them from
the top spots.

Here’s the full list.

BeerLovers_1280x960
1. Pittsburgh, PA

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 3
Active Brewery Permits: 256
State Beer Tax: $.08 per gallon
Walk Score: 61
Median Home Sale Price: $150,200

“Pittsburgh has always been what I’d call ‘a beer and a shot town,’
with our blue collar roots. Back in the day, all the steel workers
would meet at the bar for an Iron City beer and a shot of whiskey.
Today, those roots are alive and well. You’ll still find Iron City in
most bars, but we’re also seeing a boom in craft brewing. There are
lots of microbreweries, particularly in the Southside.” – Keith
Jimenez, Pittsburgh Redfin real estate agent

2. Buffalo, NY

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 2
Active Brewery Permits: 294
State Beer Tax: $.14 per gallon
Walk Score: 67
Median Home Sale Price: $125,500

“Beer brings people together and that’s increasingly true in Buffalo.
As Buffalo experiences a revival, so does our beer scene, with new
breweries opening up all around the city. From the shadow of the Peace
Bridge on Niagara Street, to Downtown, the Old First Ward and
Larkinville, brewing activity is thriving. At least 20 local breweries
participated in the recent Buffalo Brewers Festival at its new Outer
Harbor location. There are so many events that take place in western
New York throughout the summer months, bringing thousands of people
from across the area and the globe to enjoy beer, music and our
wonderful laid-back culture.” – Lesley Lannan, Buffalo Redfin real
estate agent

3. Milwaukee, WI

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 4
Active Brewery Permits: 177
State Beer Tax: $.06 per gallon
Walk Score: 61
Median Home Sale Price: $190,000

“Milwaukee is known as the home of Miller, Blatz and Pabst, but our
beer scene has grown into so much more thanks to breweries like
Lakefront and Company Brewing. Summerfest is a great time of year to
experience the summer fun Wisconsin has to offer while enjoying live
music during the two week festival. Miller Park is also a pretty
quintessential beer drinking experience for fans of tailgating and
baseball.” – Ashley Lamb, Milwaukee Redfin real estate agent

4. Grand Rapids, MI

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 4
Active Brewery Permits: 291
State Beer Tax: $.20 per gallon
Walk Score: 61
Median Home Sale Price: $190,000

“Often referred to as ‘Beer City,’ Grand Rapids has a strong tradition
of brewing. Founders Brewery is perhaps the most well-known across the
country, but we also have HopCat, voted the best brewpub in the
country. We have places like Brewery Vivant, the first LEED-certified
microbrewery, Harmony Brewing, B.O.B.’s Brewery – the list goes on and
on. It’s a true beer lover’s paradise!” – Kent Selders, Grand Rapids
Redfin real estate agent

5. Philadelphia, PA

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 3
Active Brewery Permits: 256
State Beer Tax: $.08 per gallon
Walk Score: 78
Median Home Sale Price: $240,000

“Craft beer is huge in Philadelphia and the microbrewing scene has
been growing here for at least a decade if not longer. There are many
local breweries: Yards, Philadelphia Brewing, Manayunk Brewing Co. and
Conshocken Brewing Co. to name a few popular ones. Redfin actually
hosts monthly homebuying classes at Yards Brewing. By Pennsylvania
law, you can only buy beer from licensed distribution stores. You’re
seeing more of these stores specialize in craft beer. They’ll have
hundreds of options and you can mix your own six-pack.”  – Jimmy
Caraway, Philadelphia Redfin real estate agent

6. Portland, OR

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 9
Active Brewery Permits: 265
State Beer Tax: $.08 per gallon
Walk Score: 64
Median Home Sale Price: $340,000

“Portland is a no-brainer when it comes to beer. Boasting more
breweries than any city in the world, it is easy to find craft beer
around almost any corner. Our grocery stores host a wide variety of
different craft beers and when you can’t find what you fancy, our
bottle shops will do the trick! Belmont station located on SE Stark
and 45th is a personal favorite, as they have a great selection in
both their tasting room and bottle shop. Regardless of weather, there
is likely an Oregon-brewed beer that fits your taste and style for the
day.” – Matthew Brennan, Portland Redfin real estate agent

7. Denver, CO

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 8
Active Brewery Permits: 330
State Beer Tax: $.08 per gallon
Walk Score: 60
Median Home Sale Price: $355,000

“First off, Denver is home to the Great American Beer Festival, an
annual competition and celebration of all things beer. It draws
attendees from across the country – and they chose Denver for a
reason. In the greater metro, there are well in excess of 50
breweries, my favorites being Avery and Left Hand. And then, of
course, there’s Coors, which is in Golden, CO, and the world’s largest
single-site brewery. Go for a tour to see just how enormous it is.” –
Corey Keach, Denver Redfin real estate agent

8. Detroit, MI

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 4
Active Brewery Permits: 291
State Beer Tax: $.20 per gallon
Walk Score: 55
Median Home Sale Price: $162,000

“Detroit is chock-full of microbreweries. In addition to the first
microbrewery in Michigan, Traffic Jam and Snug, there’s Motor City
Brewing Works, the Detroit Beer Company and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan
Ales. And there are plenty of tasting rooms, like those at Atwater
Brewery, Batch Brewing and Brew Detroit. Particularly downtown, you
can easily spend an evening enjoying some well-crafted suds.” – Terry
Kaltsas, Detroit Redfin real estate agent

9. Cleveland, OH

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 2
Active Brewery Permits: 167
State Beer Tax: $.18 per gallon
Walk Score: 59
Median Home Sale Price: $134,000

“Clevelanders like to drink with the seasons. Hoppy IPAs in the spring
like Chillwave by Great Lakes Brewing Company, crisp Hefeweizens and
blondes in the summer time, pumpkin beers in the fall. Cap it off with
a heavy stout or porter to stay keeping warm during the long cold
winter. The year ends with a battle between Great Lakes Christmas Ale
and Thirsty Dog’s ’12 Dogs of Christmas.'” – Joe Rath, Cleveland
Redfin real estate agent

10. St. Louis, MO

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 2
Active Brewery Permits: 81
State Beer Tax: $.06 per gallon
Walk Score: 64
Median Home Sale Price: $170,500

“Of course St. Louis is home to Anheuser-Busch, makers of Budweiser.
That’s a big deal around here–and I’d recommend going on a tour of
their brewery. But we also have our share of smaller craft breweries.
Places like 4 Hands Brewery and Earthbound Beer make unique,
high-quality beers to reach every palate. And if you want to just
chill at a brewpub, Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood is the place to
go.” – Tamika Evans, St. Louis Redfin real estate agent

11. Madison, WI

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 4
Active Brewery Permits: 177
State Beer Tax: $.06 per gallon
Walk Score: 48
Median Home Sale Price: $225,000

“I’m not sure if there’s a better city for beer enthusiasts than
Madison because of the city’s relative affordability and breweries
like Karben4, Ale Asylum and Capital Brewery producing some of the
best beers around. Drinking at the Union Terrace is a favorite pastime
of students and locals alike, and our tailgating season is second to
none when it comes to beer consumption and gameday fun.” – Brian
Callahan, Madison Redfin real estate agent

12. Long Island, NY

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 2
Active Brewery Permits: 294
State Beer Tax: $.14 per gallon
Walk Score: 95
Median Home Sale Price: $390,000

“While not technically a city, Long Island has certainly earned its
place among the best cities for beer lovers. There are at least 30
breweries and beer gardens on Long Island from Oceanside to Montauk.
It’s not uncommon for residents and visitors to make a whole weekend
out of visiting breweries for tours and tastings. And it’s not just
beer that attracts people to Long Island’s breweries. Many are
restaurants, highly rated for their food too. Popular and new
breweries in the area include the Blue Point Brewing Company in
Patchogue and the Great South Bay brewery in Bay Shore.” – Mario
Urrutia, Long Island Redfin real estate agent

13. Seattle, WA

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 7
Active Brewery Permits: 352
State Beer Tax: $.26 per gallon
Walk Score: 73
Median Home Sale Price: $440,000

“Seattle has an amazing array of great breweries, beer bars and bottle
shops, making it a premier destination for craft beer lovers.
Seattleites are lucky that even our local grocery stores are stocked
with a wide variety of outstanding local brews. The fresh hop season
is the best time of year because Washington has access to some of the
best hops in the United States, which is why Seattle is known for its
IPAs!” – Kyle Moss, Seattle Redfin real estate agent

14. Cincinnati, OH

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 2
Active Brewery Permits: 167
State Beer Tax: $.18 per gallon
Walk Score: 50
Median Home Sale Price: $159,900

“Cincinnati has a rich beer history stemming from the German
immigrants that came to the city in the 1850s. Over-the-Rhine
continues to be a great, German-influenced neighborhood with a Brewery
District that offers tours of pre-prohibition breweries. Today, we
celebrate all things beer during Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, and we still
have great beers available from breweries such as Listermann Brewing
Company, Madtree and Rhinegeist.” – Trina Walton, Cincinnati Redfin
real estate agent

15. San Francisco, CA

Breweries per 100,000 Adults 21+ in the State: 3
Active Brewery Permits: 352
State Beer Tax: $.20 per gallon
Walk Score: 86
Median Home Sale Price: $1,200,000

“San Francisco has dozens of fantastic local craft breweries. One of
the most famous is Anchor Brewing, famous for its delicious amber
Anchor Steam that was first brewed back in 1896. If you prefer to find
lesser-known brews, there are plenty of other options. San Francisco
also has a couple of great beer festivals across the city, including
San Francisco Beer Week, which involves a host of activities, events
and even classes on brewing.” – Mark Bigggins, San Francisco Redfin
real estate agent

Methodology

Data on active brewery permits per state and breweries per adults aged
21+ per state was provided by the Beer Institute and the figures are
from 2015. The beer tax per state was found from the Tax Foundation
study conducted on March 17, 2016. Walk Score and median home sale
prices as of May 2016 were taken from Redfin.com. The final ranking
was determined by ranking 50 cities according to each metric, and then
taking the average of all those rankings to rank order the top 15 best
cities for beer lovers. Our real estate agents then weighed in on the
list. The Redfin team consumed many beers from all around the country
in order to ensure the accuracy of the list.

Best Cities For Beer Lovers, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver,
Detroit, Grand Rapids, Local News, Long Island, Madison, Milwaukee,
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francsico, Seattle, St. Louis

https://www.redfin.com/blog/2016/06/best-cities-for-beer-lovers.html



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