Ahh, beer. “The cause of, and solution to, all of live’s problems”, to quote Homer Simpson.
It is certainly a part of the American lifestyle. It’s hard to imagine going to a bar, a baseball game, watching sports, being at a concert, a backyard barbeque, at the the lake or just kicking back on the porch on a nice day without a beer by your side.
So where are the best places in America to drink beer? Well, us beer lovers at PubClub.com have compiled our list of the best cities in for beer drinkers in the USA. After all, we’ve traveled from sea to shining sea in our never-ending quest to quench our thirst for good beer.
1.) San Diego, CA
If you like craft beer – paired with beaches, warm weather and zillions of fun events – then San Diego should be at the top of your list of cities to visit. San Diego County has 150+ breweries, more than any other county in the country, holds the week-long San Diego Craft Beer Week and is hosing Home Brewcon in 2023. This, and an overall craft beer attitude, makes it America’s top beer city.
2.) Portland, Oregon
PubClub.com has a soft spot in our hearts for Portland. It was the first place we know of that even had local craft beer and during our frequent travels there loved taking advantage of all if offered. One year we even went to the Oregon Brewer’s Festival, a huge summertime craft beer festival in a park by the Willamette River. It’s the city that led the craft beer craze and that makes it worthy of its lofty ranking.
3.) Asheville, CA
With 28 breweries for every 10,000 people – a total of 50 in all – Asheville leads in country in per-capita breweries. It is really the Portland of the South, an area where outdoor recreation is topped off by having a few local brews.
4.) St. Louis, MO
The longtime home of Anheuser-Busch – now AB InBev – St. is one of America’s oldest beer cities. It was founded in the 1850s as a neighborhood brewery and became a national brand when it created refrigerated rail cars and could transport fresh beer around the U.S. Today it’s an A-B town to be sure and the brewery’s history and culture make it a great place for beer lovers, as well as baseball and blues bars.
6.) Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Even before A-B was established in St. Louis, Milwaukee was the beer capitol of the U.S. It’s breweries date back to 1840 and it has the nickname of “Brew City.” It has been the home of Miller Brewing Company, Pabst Brewing Company and Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company. Today, Miller dominates the local scene.
6.) Denver, CO
Like St. Louis and Milwaukee, Denver has a long beer history. Its is tied to gold rush and Tivoli Brewery was the first brewery in Colorado and the second in the nation, dating back to 1864. Today it hosts the country’s premier beer event, the Great American Beer Festival each September.
7.) New Orleans
There is only one place in the U.S., where you can walk down the street and get a “Big Ass Beer” from vendors selling to-go brews. That would be New Orleans, which not only has big ass beers but Hurricanes, Hand Grenades and pretty much anything you can pour into a cup from an alcohol standpoint. But it’s also that laissez rouler les bons temps attitude along with huge beer drinking events such as Mardi Gras and JazzFest.
8.) Any College Town
There are tons of “best beer drinking” cities in the U.S., all over the web but only PubClub.com has college towns. There is no group in America that consumes more beer than college students and where do they drink that beer? In the college towns. Well duh! College bars, college nightlife, college football games (with the accompanying tailgate parties), frat parties and just any Friday and Saturday night are beer drinking times in college towns.
The fact that Old Style beer is sold in the stands in Wrigley Field is enough to make the PubClub beer cities list. So what it’s actually a Midwest beer and not even brewed in Chicago; Old Style is Chicago with its association to the city and the loveable Cubbies. But there’s more than Old Style in Chicago as now there are more than 160 breweries (and counting) in the city and surrounding suburbs.
10.) Knoxville, TN
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I am thrilled to report that my hometown has made this list. Knoxville’s craft beers started brewing about five years ago has is now something of a “new Asheville.”
Just two hours over the Great Smoky Mountains from Asheville, Knoxville is a bigger city with many of the same recreational activities as well as being a robust place for nightlife. There is a Knoxville Ale Trail with currently 20 breweries. Plus, it’s the home of the University of Tennessee and that makes it a college town.