Hot summer days just beg people to cool off with a cold beer. But ask any beer drinker and they’ll tell you that not all beers are created equal. Some are cheap and delicious, and they taste that way; others are harder to find and delicious, but worth all the effort once you taste them. While Budweiser remains king, for those who prefer to find more obscure brews a new map shows what states (plus D.C.) are the best for craft beer lovers.
VinePair wanted to find out which states are better than others for beer connoisseurs who want to make sure they have access to the very best craft beers. To find this information, the media company that specializes in drinks took a data-driven approach to keep things fair.
“We combined several widely watched and interesting sets of data around beer production, like excise taxes, with an eye toward not overly biasing for small or large population states,” VinePair explains.
To rank the states, the company analyzed several metrics, specifically at data points for people of drinking age. This included the number of craft breweries per 100,000 adults over 21 years old in 2021 and the number of total breweries per 100,000 adults over 21 years old in 2021, citing Brewers Association data points for both.
VinePair also looked at how much craft beer is produced, which beers rank in the top 100 on Beer Advocate, the top 25 breweries list on Untapped, and the amount of state excises taxes for beer according to Tax Foundation data. And after collecting, sorting, and interpreting those data points, there’s a clear winner, and a map to make it easier to follow.
The best states in America for craft beer lovers:
1. Vermont scores number one because the state has super low excise taxes on beer, plus it has high numbers for overall craft breweries and craft barrels.
2. Colorado, thanks to its low excise taxes — one of the lowest in the country — and a whole lot of craft breweries.
3. Oregon also tops the list thanks to its overflowing breweries and loads of barrels produced per capital, which is really high given there isn't a large population in the state.
The worst states in America for craft beer lovers:
49. Arkansas because the state has really low per capita numbers for craft breweries.
50. Alabama fell very last on the list for craft breweries per capita.
51. Mississippi ranked last overall because of how few craft breweries the state has per capita. Plus it produces the fewest barrels per capita, too.
To read the full breakdown of each state and how it fairs for craft beer lovers, check out VinePair.
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