2022 Beer Lovers Index - HomeToGo base64Hash 2022 Beer Lovers Index - HomeToGo
The 17 best spots to enjoy a brew-tastic vacation

2022 Beer Lovers Index


Where are the best beer towns in the U.S.? Whether you're a fan of beautifully bitter IPA's, malty stouts, or regular domestic draughts—HomeToGo has searched across the country to find the best destinations for beer lovers just like you.

Featuring seventeen cities from fourteen different states, the ranking explores the affordability and availability of top-rated beer bars, breweries. and accommodations, providing all the info you need to raise the bar for a brew-filled celebration. Seize the hop-portunity and find the perfect destination to toast to the end of summer with the 2022 Beer Lovers Index. 

Toast-worthy Beer Facts 🍻

Biggest Beer Drinkers in the U.S.

The state that consumes the most beer in the U.S. is Vermont, averaging about 24.2 gallons per 21+ adult. Vermont is also home to the most breweries per capita at 14.9, according to the U.S. Brewers Association.*

State with the Most Craft Beer

California produces the most craft beer in the U.S., averaging a whopping 3,499,182 barrels produced per year. Conversely, Mississippi produces the least at only 21,283 barrels of craft beer each year.*

World’s Most Expensive Beer

A limited edition bottle of Nail Brewing’s Antarctic Nail Ale was sold at auction for approximately $1,300 US. The Australian Pale Ale is a limited edition brew using water from Antarctic ice. Proceeds from the sale of this beer went towards marine conservation.**

Top 17 U.S. Cities for Beer Lovers

Rank
Location
Bars
Breweries
Beer Prices
Accommodation Prices
TOTAL SCORE
1
Chicago, Illinois
9.51
9.53
8.87
8.16
36.07
2
Portland, Oregon
7.70
9.72
7.58
9.63
34.63
3
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
5.97
7.64
9.51
10.00
33.12
4
Denver, Colorado
6.33
9.72
7.58
9.09
32.72
5
Seattle, Washington
8.45
9.53
6.29
8.04
32.31
6
New York, New York
10.00
6.04
5.00
9.16
30.20
7
Asheville, North Carolina
5.53
7.36
9.19
7.97
30.05
8
Austin, Texas
6.42
10.00
7.58
5.76
29.76
9
Tampa, Florida
5.75
6.60
7.58
9.70
29.63
10
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
5.00
5.09
10.00
9.35
29.44
11
San Diego, California
6.86
9.62
6.29
6.63
29.40
12
Daytona Beach, Florida
5.00
5.00
9.51
9.50
29.01
13
Charleston, South Carolina
5.18
7.08
8.87
7.50
28.63
14
Birmingham, Alabama
5.09
5.57
8.22
9.39
28.27
15
Portland, Maine
5.22
6.79
7.58
6.93
26.52
16
Boston, Massachusetts
5.75
5.85
6.29
7.69
25.58
17
Key West, Florida
5.04
5.09
9.51
5.00
24.64
[1]
Chicago, Illinois
[106]
[50]
[$5.00]
[$338]
36.07
[2]
Portland, Oregon
[65]
[52]
[$6.00]
[$232]
34.63
[3]
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
[26]
[30]
[$4.50]
[$205]
33.12
[4]
Denver, Colorado
[34]
[52]
[$6.00]
[$271]
32.72
[5]
Seattle, Washington
[82]
[50]
[$7.00]
[$347]
32.31
[6]
New York, New York
[117]
[13]
[$8.00]
[$266]
30.20
[7]
Asheville, North Carolina
[16]
[27]
[$4.75]
[$352]
30.05
[8]
Austin, Texas
[36]
[55]
[$6.00]
[$512]
29.76
[9]
Tampa, Florida
[21]
[19]
[$6.00]
[$227]
29.63
[10]
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
[4]
[3]
[$4.12]
[$252]
29.44
[11]
San Diego, California
[46]
[51]
[$7.00]
[$449]
29.40
[12]
Daytona Beach, Florida
[4]
[2]
[$4.50]
[$241]
29.01
[13]
Charleston, South Carolina
[8]
[24]
[$5.00]
[$386]
28.63
[14]
Birmingham, Alabama
[6]
[8]
[$5.50]
[$249]
28.27
[15]
Portland, Maine
[9]
[21]
[$6.00]
[$427]
26.52
[16]
Boston, Massachusetts
[21]
[11]
[$7.00]
[$372]
25.58
[17]
Key West, Florida
[5]
[3]
[$4.50]
[$567]
24.64

*Each category has been given a score between 5 to 10 and the raw data can be viewed in [brackets]. More information can be found in the methodology below.

A Closer Look at the Top Destinations for Beer Lovers

Green River in Chicago for St. Patricks Day

Chicago, Illinois

Commonly referred to as the Windy City, Chicago is widely celebrated for its rapid-growing brewery scene. Known for its wide array of locally brewed craft beers, the city attracts travelers from all over the country with its signature creations. The brewery scene has taken off over the past few decades with Goose Island Beer Company opening in 1988. Other local brewers like Two Brothers, Half Acre Beer Company, and Metropolitan Brewing have also become tremendously popular over the years. 

Top Rated Bars: 106 | Breweries: 50 | Avg. Price of a Domestic Pint: $5.00 | Avg. Accommodation Price: $338

Total Score: 36.07

Neon sign in Portland

Portland, Oregon

Nicknamed “Beervana,” Portland, Oregon, is famous for its dynamic brewpubs and tasty beverages. Since 1988, the city has been home to one of America’s largest annual craft beer festivals, the Oregon Brewers Festival, where thousands of beer and cider lovers sip on the delicious independent libations. Travelers can look forward to the city’s notorious IPAs, along with dark, rich beers like imperial porters and stouts.

Top Rated Bars: 65 | Breweries: 52 | Avg. Price of a Domestic Pint: $6.00 | Avg. Accommodation Price: $232

Total Score: 34.63

Milwaukee bar

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Although Milwaukee, Wisconsin is known for being on Lake Michigan’s western shoreline, it’s also seen as one of the best places to experience beer culture. Often called “Brew City,” Milwaukee has several tours like City Tours MKE, Milwaukee Brewing Co. and Lakefront Brewery highlighting its important role in the beer industry. Travelers are sure to recognize some famous beers from the area including American classics Pabst Blue Ribbon Miller High Life and Miller Lite.

Top Rated Bars: 26 | Breweries: 30 | Avg. Price of a Domestic Pint: $4.50 | Avg. Accommodation Price: $205

Total Score: 33.12

Denver, Colorado 

Denver is a city with deep roots surrounding its love for beer—its first brewery, Rocky Mountain Brewery, traces all the way back to 1859. In the late 1970s, Denver became more well-known for its microbreweries and brewpubs and has since expanded upon its notorious beer scene, making it home to many beer-loving individuals and a hot spot for beer loving travelers. Denver also hosts one of the United States’ biggest beer celebrations each year, the Great American Beer Festival. 

Top Rated Bars: 34 | Breweries: 52 | Avg. Price of a Domestic Pint: $6.00 | Avg. Accommodation Price: $271

Total Score: 32.72

Seattle, Washington

Surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, Seattle boasts some of the most widely celebrated craft beers. The city and state’s first brewery, Washington Brewery, was founded by Antonio B. Rabbeson in 1854, opening just three years after settlers arrived. Today, sipping on local favorites is a Seattle pastime as many neighborhoods like Ballard and South Park are packed with craft breweries, making it easy for travelers to make multiple beer stops.

Top Rated Bars: 82 | Breweries: 50 | Avg. Price of a Domestic Pint: $7.00 | Avg. Accommodation Price: $347

Total Score: 32.31

Methodology

We created a shortlist of the top cities for beer production in the United States using information from openbrewerydb.org and the brewers association. We then researched each city based on 4 data points: the number of top rated beer bars in each city, the number of breweries & brew pubs, the median nightly price of an accommodation and the average price of a pint of beer. After obtaining the raw data, we assigned each data point a representative numerical value between 5 and 10, with 5 representing the lowest data point and 10 representing the highest data point. The hypothetical "perfect score" would be 40 out of 40. We used the following equation in order to calculate this for every factor:

Score(i) = 5 · (x(i) - xmin ) / (xmax - xmin ) + 5

Bar Score: Represents the number of top rated beer bars in each city, according to a leading beer rating and review platform - ratebeer.com. Cities with the highest number of top rated bars were given a higher score, Accessed August 20, 2022.

Brewery Score: To represent the quantity of local beer production, we gathered the number of craft breweries, large breweries, and brew pubs for each city from openbrewerydb.org. The city with the most local breweries were given a maximum score of 10 and the remaining locations were given a score of 5 or higher. Accessed August 16, 2022.

Beer Price Score: To account for the affordability of beer in the area, we researched the price of a pint of domestic draught beer from numbeo.com. The city with the lowest average price for a pint of domestic draught beer was awarded a maximum score of 10, and the remaining locations were awarded a score of 5 or higher. Accessed August 11, 2022.

Accommodation Price: We used internal HomeToGo data to find the median price per night for a vacation rental in the area between September 1st - October 31st 2022. The area with the lowest median price per night for a vacation rental was awarded a maximum score of 10, and the remaining locations were awarded a score of 5 or higher. Data was collected in July 2022, prices are subject to change.

Footnotes

* State Craft Beer Sales & Production Statistics, 2021 - Brewers Association. Accessed August 30, 2022

** Antarctic Brew – World's Most Expensive Beer. Australian Food News. Accessed August 30, 2022

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