The Best City for Beer Lovers in Each State 2023

Alex Kerai
Apr 05, 2023
bullet8 min read

Looking for the best place to crack open a cold one? You’re in luck. We found the best cities for beer lovers in each state with the top breweries and local tips for places to go. If you consider yourself a beer connoisseur, or you just enjoy the atmosphere of a beer garden, we’ve got you covered.

To find the best cities in each state for beer lovers, we calculated the breweries per capita in major cities. (We considered major cities as those with more than 100,000 residents—for states that don't have cities with a population of 100,000 or more, we chose the most populous city with the most breweries.) Cities with the most breweries per capita were ranked the highest in each state.

From local breweries in big cities like Austin, Texas, to the off-beaten-path nano breweries in Anchorage, Alaska, this list can help you find your next place to move or be an itinerary as you road trip across the U.S.

The best part is that there’s something for everyone.

Looking for a simple lager or a tart IPA? There’s a brewery for that. Want a fun atmosphere? We’ve got that too. How about award-winning brews? Oh, yes. So, pack the car and let’s road trip to the best breweries in each state! (Drive and drink responsibly, of course.)

Local Tips
  • Austin: In the last fifteen years, Austin has increased its local brewery count by 1,900% to more than 400 breweries. So how do you decide where to go? We’ve gotta start with Pinthouse Pizza and their flagship IPA. And if you’re ready for some history, (512) Brewing Company has been in Austin for more than 15 years! Check them out for great quality and reasonable prices. Finally, Live Oak Brewing Company is the place to go for the best German-style beers.
  • New Haven: Sure, it’s more known for pizza than beer, but have you heard of a better combo? The Brü Room at Bar has both—house-brewed beer and $3 slices. East Rock Brewing Company and Beer Hall has a rotating tap and is family-friendly. Prime 16 offers beer and burgers, with half-off brews during Monday happy hour. And if you’re looking for the best pizza, grab a slice at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and drive down Chapel Street to Armada Brewing and its homemade draft beers.
  • Salt Lake City: First things first, if you’re looking for the stories of the great craft brewers in SLC to soundtrack your drive, our friends at Business.org talked to David Jimenez, co-creator and host of The Tastemakers podcast that profiles breweries and fermentation artists. David’s awesome, and he profiles some of the best artists in Utah. Now, onto the breweries: Strap Tank Brewery is a favorite and has everything from light lagers to west coast IPAs on tap. From there, check out Epic Brewery with its great line-up of beers while Templin Family Brewing focuses on traditional lagers. And if you love a sour, you’ve gotta check out Uinta Brewing Company.
  • Atlanta: New breweries have opened almost every year in Atlanta since 2010, which means there are tons of options to check out. Glover Park Brewery offers great beers and seltzers with blueberry puree and Georgia peaches. Looking for specialized and limited drops? Check out Reformation Brewery with their cookies and cream stout and rosé ale. Orpheus Brewing is right near Piedmont Park and has a beer garden, while Halfway Crooks is one of the few breweries with a full food menu.

The Difference in Beer Cities: 2021 vs. 2023

Turns out, there are a lot of beer and breweries in the 50 states. There are more than 13,000 beers and 780 breweries in the top beer cities. What does that mean? There are a lot of options for beer lovers to explore!

Sure, there were some obvious winners like Austin, Texas, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Still, our data also found some pleasant surprises like Bend, Oregon, beating out Portland and Rochester, New York, taking the cake over New York City and Buffalo. (Portland and Buffalo were some of our top 20 cities for beer lovers two years ago.)

In fact, six cities repeated from our 2021 list of the best cities for beer lovers in the U.S.

  • Cincinnati, Ohio (#3), Richmond, Virginia (#4), Spokane, Washington (#5), Minneapolis, Minnesota (#9), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (#10), and Albuquerque, New Mexico (#18) all appear on both lists.
  • In a twist, Portland, Oregon, the former #1 city for beer lovers in the U.S., did not rank as the best city for beer lovers in Oregon. Instead, it was replaced by Bend in Oregon, and Portland, Maine, became the sole Portland on the list.

Local Tips
  • Rochester: ​​I’m lucky to live in the best city for beer lovers in New York. A personal favorite is Three Heads Brewing, which offers a dog-friendly beer garden and rotating drafts. Iron Tug Brewing is located down the road and has a great happy hour. Genesee Brewhouse is right next to a waterfall and the Genesee River—it’s the classic Rochester brewery. Swiftwater Brewing Company has a great mix of beers and from-scratch food that make it a great place for families to gather. Meanwhile, Rohrbach Brewing is just down the street from Rochester’s Public Market and has great food plus a long tap list at their beer hall. (Plus, there’s a great cider and meadery too—shout out to Seed and Stone.) Stop by, give me a call, and we can grab a beer together.
  • Bend: Cascade Lakes Brewpub has a beautiful, rustic indoor space with an outdoor patio plus pub food and year-round IPAs and porters on tap. Boss Rambler Beer Club is a fun spot for those who love their outdoor time with summer lagers and fruited beers. Now, who can go wrong with a giant beer pretzel (with mustard and cheese, obviously) and a Northwest pale ale at Sunriver Brewing Co.? Finally, the Brasserie at Monkless Belgian Ales brews small-batch specialty beers that are a delight.
  • Minneapolis: Local ingredients? Yes, please! 56 Brewing is a microbrewery that offers special releases and regular small-batch releases. Bauhaus Brew Labs is family-run and family-focused, which makes it a great place to hang out and enjoy a German-inspired beer. Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative is a community-owned coop with porters, seltzers, IPAs, stouts, and more. Finally, if you’re looking for food, beer, and a full-service bar, then Day Block Brewing Co. is for you. Local ingredients and hops make it perfect for a night out.
  • Torrance: The surprising victor in California has only 13 breweries (#26 in the country) but over 780 beers (#3 in the country)! So what makes the Torrance beer scene great? Monkish Brewing Co. has a mix of IPAs and Belgian-style beers, while Smog City has barrel-aged beers and IPAs. Absolution Brewing Company uses fresh, local California ingredients with over 21 taps. Finally, Scholb Premium Ales is family owned and has a great atmosphere in their taproom with 20 taps and eight fermentors.

On Tap in the Top States

Our research found that Austin, Texas, has the most breweries per capita (46), making it the top city in the nation for beer lovers in the U.S.

Jackson, Michigan; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Charleston, West Virginia, have the lowest number of breweries per capita in our study (three each).

  • These cities still rank as the best cities for beer lovers in their corresponding states, according to the highest number of breweries per capita data.

Looking for the best deal on beer? The average price per pint is just $3 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, making it the lowest cost for beer in our study.

  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll shell out at least $8 per pint in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Listermann Brewing Company, in Cincinnati, Ohio, offers the widest variety of beers in our study, with 842 available. The Veil Brewing Company in Richmond, Virginia, is the only other brewery with over 800 beers on tap.

  • Meanwhile, Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon, has the most awards of any of the breweries on our list with over a dozen—including two years running as the Best Brewery in Bend!
Local Tips
  • Worcester: Bay State Brewing Company has a taproom right next to the brewery in the Worcester Ice Arena with some food, arcade games, and hockey. Double Down Brewing is a newer brewery, in the same location as some previous favorites, with sours, ales, and New England IPAs. And if you’re looking for something strong, Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company has IPAs with 12% ABV. Finally, stop by Wormtown Brewing for patio drinks and trivia. And if you branch out beyond Worcester, you can find Treehouse Brewing just below Worcester in Charlton with great IPAs and a beautiful beer garden.
  • Anchorage: It may be far from the beaten path, but the clean, clear Alaska water does offer something special to Alaska brewers. Glacier BrewHouse is in downtown Anchorage and offers award-winning oak-aged beers, including oak-aged stout and cherry wheat. Like most brewhouses, you can even see the brewing equipment in the taproom. Anchorage Brewing Co. is more of a niche brewery—they ferment in oak for months and brew complex wild yeast for flavor. Midnight Sun Brewing Company is the adventurers’ place with bikers and hikers stopping by for an ale or pilsner after their adventure. Finally, King St. Brewing Company has traditional, European beer styles and custom blends. Just remember, all breweries must close by 8 p.m., so stop by early for happy hour.
  • Washington D.C.: Lagers, shandies, ales, and IPAs are on the menu at DC Brau Brewing Company. The massive taproom and brewery also has open mic nights and music. Looking for a cozy local spot? Right Proper Shaw Brewpub is the place for you. There are rotating taps and food on the menu. Red Bear Brewing Co. is the only gay-owned brewery and feels like the Pacific Northwest in D.C. with its reclaimed wood and hoppy IPAs. Plus, it’s family-friendly! Another fun story comes from Hellbender Brewing Company where two homebrewers came together to take their brewing project to the masses. German-style Kolschs, IPAs, and ales abound in the brewery. Finally, over 20 beers and five cask brews are on top at Bluejacket, a massive building with something for everyone.
  • Boulder: Launched by home brewers in Colorado, Vision Quest Brewery is a nano-brewery with just 15 beers on tap and kits to make your own beer at home. Avery Brewing has over 30 beers on tap with something for everyone. Plus their outdoor space is dog-friendly and hosts live music performances. Upslope Brewing Company donates 1% of sales to conservation and restoration organizations in Boulder, plus they have two taprooms in Boulder with food and over 25 beers on tap. Finally, Uhl’s Brewing Company is a small brewery with tons of innovative flavors, like a Coconut and Strawberry Daiquiri Pastry Sour and beer aged in bourbon barrels.

Recap

If you’re looking to crack open a cold one and try out some of the best small-batch beers the U.S. has to offer, then you’ve gotta check out the top beer city in each state. Each offers something different—from classics at Genesee Brewhouse in Rochester to the innovative flavors at Uhl’s Brewing Company in Boulder.

Maybe the top beer city is actually right down the street from your new house. Stop by, meet the locals, and have a cold one.

Cheers!


The Best Beer Cities in Each U.S. State

City, State
Count of breweries
Brewery with most beers
Average price per pint
Birmingham, Alabama11TrimTab Brewing$5.50
Anchorage, Alaska12Midnight Sun Brewing Company$6.50
Tucson, Arizona19Pueblo Vida Brewing Company$5.00
Little Rock, Arkansas4Stone's Throw Brewing (AR)$5.00
Torrance, California13Monkish Brewing Company$6.00
Boulder, Colorado21Avery Brewing Company (Mahou San Miguel)$7.25
New Haven, Connecticut7BruRm @ BAR$8.00
Wilmington, Delaware6Iron Hill Wilmington$5.00
Washington D.C., District of Columbia17Bluejacket$7.00
Orlando, Florida21Ellipsis Brewing$5.00
Atlanta, Georgia32Wrecking Bar Brewpub$6.00
Honolulu, Hawaii8Beer Lab Hawaii$7.00
Nampa, Idaho22C Family Brewing Company$4.50
Springfield, Illinois6Obed and Isaac's Microbrewery and Eatery$5.00
Fort Wayne, Indiana11Summit City Brewerks$4.25
Cedar Rapids, Iowa7Lion Bridge Brewing Company$4.00
Topeka, Kansas4Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant$4.00
Louisville, Kentucky24Brewpub/Brewery$4.50
New Orleans, Louisiana17NOLA - New Orleans Lager & Ale$4.00
Portland, Maine20Allagash Brewing Company$6.00
Baltimore, Maryland26DuClaw Brewing Company$5.50
Worcester, Massachusetts7Wormtown Brewing Co.$5.00
Ann Arbor, Michigan10HOMES Brewery$5.00
Minneapolis, Minnesota44Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery$6.00
Jackson, Mississippi3Bicentennial Beer Company$7.00
St. Louis, Missouri24Perennial Artisan Ales$5.00
Billings, Montana9Carters Brewing Co.$3.50
Lincoln, Nebraska11Boiler Brewing Company$4.00
Reno, Nevada16IMBĪB Custom Brews$5.00
Manchester, New Hampshire7Backyard Brewery and Kitchen$6.50
Jersey City, New Jersey3Departed Soles Brewing Company$6.50
Albuquerque, New Mexico32La Cumbre Brewing Company$5.00
Rochester, New York18Rohrbach Brewing Company$4.00
Wilmington, North Carolina14New Anthem Beer Project$4.00
Fargo, North Dakota4Drekker Brewing Company$4.50
Cincinnati, Ohio31Listermann Brewing Company$4.50
Norman, Oklahoma6405 Brewing$5.00
Bend, Oregon27Deschutes Brewery$6.00
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania35Rock Bottom Pittsburgh$4.00
Providence, Rhode Island8Long Live Beerworks$6.00
Charleston, South Carolina17Edmund's Oast$5.25
Sioux Falls, South Dakota8Fernson Brewing Company$6.50
Knoxville, Tennessee19Pretentious Beer Company$4.00
Austin, Texas48Pinthouse Pizza$6.00
Salt Lake City, Utah17Epic Brewing Company (USA)$5.75
Burlington, Vermont11Foam Brewers$5.00
Richmond, Virginia21The Veil Brewing Company$6.00
Spokane, Washington26No-Li Brewhouse$5.00
Charleston, West Virginia3Bad Shepherd Beer Company$4.00
Green Bay, Wisconsin8Titletown Brewing Company$3.00
Cheyenne, Wyoming5Freedom's Edge Brewing$3.50

Methodology

Population estimates were gathered from the 2021 Census Population Estimates. Count of breweries was gathered from ratebeers.com. Breweries per capita rank was calculated by taking the total number of breweries in the city and dividing it by the value of the total population estimate by 100,000. Cities with less than 100,000 residents were excluded from the ranking.

Alex Kerai
Written by
Alex Kerai
Alex began writing for student newspapers and has managed to turn that into a career. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he wrote about small businesses for Biz2Credit and Business.org. Before that, he spent time in communications for higher education institutions, created marketing materials for nonprofits, and worked for entertainment companies in Los Angeles. Today, he reports on emerging consumer trends and his work can be seen on The Penny Hoarder, Business.org, Move.org, WhistleOut.com, CableTV.com, SafeWise.com, HighSpeedInternet.com, and SatelliteInternet.com. When he's not writing, Alex watches too much TV, plays guitar, reads and writes fiction, and goes on nature walks.