Portland Tops National List for Cities with Best Breweries
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
GoLocalPDX Lifestyle Team
Few things compare to the indulgence of a titillatingly complex, savory and frothy beer poured graciously from the tap. Sure, the recent merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller means about a third of the world's beer is mass produced. However, their generic formulas leave much to be desired when compared to the elixirs generated by an aggressively growing craft brewery scene.
According to Brewers Association, mid-year domestic craft beer production reached 12.2 million barrels in the first half of 2015 — representing a 16 percent year-over-year rise in production. Despite the acquisition of once-craft breweries like Goose Island Beer Co. by the AB-InBev enterprise, the number of small-business lager lines is growing. We're on the cusp of outdoing the country's 1873 record of 4,131 open breweries, according to USA Today.
The team at FindTheHome wanted to see which American cities boast the best brewery scenes. To do this, we consulted Yelp data and American Community Survey data from 2014 to calculate a three-part brewery score for cities with more than five breweries and populations exceeding 200,000 people.
Their score takes into account quality, popularity and quantity of breweries by factoring in:
- The number of breweries with four or more Yelp stars in the area, and at least 25 reviews.
- The number of Yelp reviews per 10,000 residents in the area.
- The number of breweries per 10,000 people.
If you consider climbing the ranks of Untappd a legitimate hobby, some states are deserving of a visit. California is a craft beer mecca, with three cities making the list. We've ranked the list from lowest to highest brewery score.
#10. Durham, NC
Brewery Score: 79.03
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.25
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 51.94
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.38
Number of Breweries in Durham: 9
#9. Anaheim, CA
Brewery Score: 80.14
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.23
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 64.26
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.32
Number of Breweries in Anaheim: 11
#8. Tampa, FL
Brewery Score: 80.16
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.23
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 63.59
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.34
Number of Breweries in Tampa: 12
#7. Reno, NV
Brewery Score: 80.48
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.17
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 84.34
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.61
Number of Breweries in Reno: 14
#6. St. Louis, MO
Brewery Score: 81.63
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.38
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 71.38
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.60
Number of Breweries in St. Louis: 19
#5. San Francisco, CA
Brewery Score: 81.70
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.13
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 164.85
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.37
Number of Breweries in San Francisco: 31
#4. San Diego, CA
Brewery Score: 84.42
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.45
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 149.32
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.68
Number of Breweries in San Diego: 91
#3. Denver, CO
Brewery Score: 85.97
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.69
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 117.85
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.93
Number of Breweries in Denver: 59
#2. Seattle, WA
Brewery Score: 87.62
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.52
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 142.17
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 1.00
Number of Breweries in Seattle: 64
#1. Portland, OR
Brewery Score: 89.35
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.55
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 222.78
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 1.44
Number of Breweries in Portland: 87
Upright Brewing Oyster Stout
Oyster Stout sounds strange, right? Just imagine your stout with a salty kick and a mineral taste at the end. It turns out to be very flavorful, time tested concoction. Locally, Upright Brewing makes a tasty one in their seasonal portfolio and looks like it will be released shortly after the first of the year.
Rogue Ales Beard Beer
While most beer is brewed with carefully cultivated yeast strains, there are any number of wild yeasts that can be used, though this one is decidedly the strangest. Somehow Rogue Brewer John Maier “discovered” a natural yeast ideal for brewing in his beard. Yuck. Stylistically, an “American Wild Ale, if you are really interested in trying it yourself, you can buy a bottle here.
Wynkoop Brewery Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout
What started – and should have ended – as an April Fools’ Day prank led to the release of Wynkoop Brewery’s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout. They only sell it in two packs. Get it? I won’t suggest where you might buy this one, dear reader, because I like you and would not do that to you.
Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale
Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale has been on the market for a while and is ubiquitous in Portland, as are the other mistakes they brewed to taste like Portland’s biggest tourist trap’s products. Good for Rogue for hopping on the tourist bandwagon by partnering with Voodoo Doughnuts on this uniquely Portland beer. This beer drinker has to admit that drinking this beer forced me to admit that not everything is actually better with bacon.
Evil Twin Turkish Delight
Me: What does Turkish Delight taste like?
Beer store clerk: Um, it tastes like Turkish Delight.
Me: Um, okay. What is Turkish Delight?
Clerk: Just try it.
Tastes like put coffee and cardamom in my darker ale. Nuff said? I’m not chomping at the bit to try either Turkish Delight or the Evil Twin’s Turkish Delight beer again. It is available locally at Belmont Station if you are interested.
Bison Brewing Organic Gingerbread Ale
Ginger. Nutmeg. Cinnamon. No I’m not talking about a dessert or even a hot beverage but Bison Brewing’s Organic Gingerbread Ale. Somehow, it works to create a great flavored porter. Yum. Rumor has it that John’s Market still has a few sixers of this one left.
Rogue Ales Sriracha Stout
Apparently 2014 was the Year of the Rooster, with millions more discovering Sriracha, a simple staple in Vietnamese restaurants (and a product that has stayed stocked in my fridge since at least 2005). Never one to miss hopping on a bandwagon, Rogue Ales brewed a stout with it. Shocking, right? It tastes exactly like you’d expect: like someone pranked you by sneaking some hot sauce into your otherwise tasty stout when you went to the loo. The only place to find this gem is at Rogue Hall until more is released after the first of the year.