Livability.com Names the 10 Best Beer Cities, 2014

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Annual list ranks America’s top beer cities

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These cities offer innovative and award-winning breweries, residents who consume beer at higher rates than the average American, sophisticated beer tastes and a high-quality of life for beer lovers.

In recent decades, breweries have sprung up all over America – in towns big and small – evolving the art and science of brewing while enhancing the city’s livability. With this in mind, Livability.com has named the 10 Best Beer Cities, 2014. These cities offer innovative and award-winning breweries, residents who consume beer at higher rates than the average American, sophisticated beer tastes and a high-quality of life for beer lovers.

Our editors looked at both sides of the beer equation: production and consumption. For the production side, they took into account the number of award-winning breweries and beers the town has crafted in recent years according to the Great American Beer Festival. On the consumption side, they used data from Esri to find cities where people were drinking more craft and high-end beers than average, and less macro-brews than average.

In addition, our editors considered the number of liquor stores per capita. They also weighed in the city’s reputation as a beer town, its overall livability, and a shot of our editor’s own experiences with the towns and their brews.

“Being a great beer city has positive implications for attracting talent, fostering business and drawing in tourists,” says Livability editor Matt Carmichael. “But most importantly, it means you have great beer."

10 Best Beer Cities 2014

1. Bend, OR
2. Denver, CO
3. San Diego, CA
4. Albuquerque, NM
5. Tampa, FL
6. Grand Rapids, MI
7. St. Louis, MO
8. Bellingham, WA
9. Hershey, PA
10. Billings, MT

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Matt Carmichael
Livability.com
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