Real estate data company Clever recently evaluated 50 of the United States’ most populous cities in terms of their beer. Chicago came in third for “its tavern culture, which has been honed through 160 years of award-winning brewing tradition.” Indianapolis came in second place for “the greatest variety of brews of any metro area” while San Francisco took the first spot as the #1 beer city in the US as the home of “the first type of beer originally developed in the U.S.
Clever evaluated the cities across 4 metrics:
- The number of breweries within each metro area
- The density of breweries per 100 square miles
- The number of beers per brewery
- The number of beer styles per brewery
Chicago ranked #3 for having 180 total breweries, the second-highest of all the cities Clever looked at behind only Portland, Oregon. Chicago was also in the top five for average beers per brewery with 32 and only Indianapolis and Cleveland had more average beer styles per brewery than Chicago.
Clever acknowledged Illinois’ recent craft beer boom, “with approximately 60 new breweries debuting between 2011 and 2014 alone.”
Chicago’s brewery density is largely to thank for its position in the top three. The Windy City has an average of 6 breweries per 100 square miles, which is double that of runner-up Indianapolis. Clever also highlighted local breweries Half Acre, Dovetail Brewery, and Goose Island while Revolution Brewing received a mention for appearing in the 2013 movie Drinking Buddies.
According to Clever, the 50 metro areas examined in their study collectively offer a total of approximately 70,067 unique beers.
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