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Beer Map
February 3, 2011 6:49 AM   Subscribe

The United States of Beer
posted by backseatpilot (138 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Georgia gets stuck with Terrapin? No thanks, I'll keep on drinking Sweetwater.
posted by arcolz at 6:57 AM on February 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


We're Yuengling, yay. I guess Yards, PBC, Dock Street, Victory, Stoudt's couldn't all fit.
posted by fixedgear at 6:58 AM on February 3, 2011


"Florida gets saddled with MGD Light 64 because it's the beer we imagine bikini-clad Miami Beach babes drinking to stay slim."

Real high quality thinking in this here post.
posted by oddman at 6:59 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Georgia gets stuck with Terrapin?

Yeah, but as usual, having Alabama right next door makes us look better.

The Dakotas got screwed, too.
posted by TedW at 7:00 AM on February 3, 2011


No! Stop! Fail! Narragansett isn't brewed in RI, and also, it's terrible. It's an old fashioned Lawnmower Lager - too sweet and the alcohol note is too sharp. It's cheaper than Budweiser, that should set off some warning bells.

Newport Storm Hurricane Amber Ale is brewed in RI, and also darn tasty. They have small-batch brews, too, that I've found to be satisfying.

Also, I'd take Harpoon UFO over whichever Sam Adams any damn day.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:00 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Florida gets saddled with MGD Light 64 because it's the beer we imagine bikini-clad Miami Beach babes drinking to stay slim.

Based on that line of thought, wouldn't Michelob Ultra have been a better choice?
posted by TedW at 7:02 AM on February 3, 2011


I like some of the Brooklyn Brewery beers alright, but not selecting an upstate NY brewery is likely to garner some angry comments on that site. Some of the other states' selections have me surprised we didn't get a big can of Genny Cream Ale on NYS.

The Soda Map was much easier to like.
posted by activitystory at 7:02 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I did that Monty Python 'making love in a canoe' gag the other day and it was tha yanks who laughed loudest.

I've never really drunk (US of) American beer...
posted by pompomtom at 7:03 AM on February 3, 2011


No Natty Boh for MD?
posted by gaspode at 7:04 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Illinois is Goose Island?

OLD STYLE!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:05 AM on February 3, 2011


There are lots better beers made in PA than Yuengling Lager but for a cheap beer to drink during hot summers you could do worse. Its kind of funny that we used to drink the stuff in college because you could buy a case for $8, not because we loved it that much and now it's sort of a cult thing.
posted by octothorpe at 7:05 AM on February 3, 2011


Georgia gets stuck with Terrapin? No thanks, I'll keep on drinking Sweetwater.

I came here to complain about this very thing, but you beat me to it. Terrapin? WTF? I didn't even know that was brewed here - Sweetwater 420 is the local brew of choice among basically everyone I know.
posted by deadmessenger at 7:05 AM on February 3, 2011


Stone?

Fuck off.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:06 AM on February 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Why is it so small? Why bother putting pictures of products on the map if even the large size is going to be completely illegible?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:06 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's clear that this is a quick-and-dirty survey, and not meant to be authoritative or even accurate. Their methodology seems to imply that it's the biggest beer from that state that wins, which explains Bud, or Sam Adams' defeat of Harpoon for MA. But then Stone beats Sierra Nevada for California?

There's definitely room for improvement, but the question basically becomes, "Will the extra effort garner the extra clicks?" The answer is no, and to a large degree, room for debate means more hits, so why bother?
posted by explosion at 7:07 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I came here to bitch about RI but Slap*Happy beat me to it.
Newport Storm definitely. Or what about Trinity IPA? Anything but Gansett.
And I'm wearing a Narragansett t-shirt, too.

And four loko isn't even a beer!
...Then again neither is budweiser.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:07 AM on February 3, 2011


So according to this I should move to Missouri? When will the bus get here, I have some people to say goodbye to
posted by Ad hominem at 7:09 AM on February 3, 2011


pompomtom: "I did that Monty Python 'making love in a canoe' gag the other day and it was tha yanks who laughed loudest.."

The expiration date on that joke was about 25 years ago. There are hundreds of brands of good beer made in the US these days. Come to Pittsburgh and I'll buy you a draft of Snow Melt Ale.
posted by octothorpe at 7:09 AM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


While I think a growler from Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis is clearly the wrong choice for this map (Summit would be the hands-down choice; it's our Sierra Nevada), it does highlight the incredibly archaic liquor laws we have in this state.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:11 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't really complain about Abita and if you ever get a chance to visit their brew pub, you should certainly try their seasonals.
posted by GavinR at 7:11 AM on February 3, 2011


Poor Texans, they obviously don't know a thing about beer.
posted by Floydd at 7:12 AM on February 3, 2011


Yuengling? You're awesome, Victory, but no other beer can compete with Yuengling's longevity.

Yuengling is a decent beer, no doubt, but I don't get how the rankings are made. Is it the "best" beer associated with the state, the one most consumed, or the one from the oldest brewery, the one most recognized? Also only Delaware and Rhode Island could be expected to have one beer.

Iron City is the beer I would associate with Western Pennsylvania. Slag filtered and the locals love it that way. A staggering amount will be consumed by Steelers fans on Sunday I imagine.

Rolling Rock used to be a very decent Central Pennsylvania beer, but it's brewed in Missouri now - and tastes like it is. I don't know what the Pennsyl-tuckians drink these days.

In Philly, back in the day, it was Schmidts (long out of business - and justifiably so), brewed in Philadelphia, but Yuengling (brewed I think in Pottstown) is now the most common local beer.
posted by three blind mice at 7:16 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


What the hell is a Stone? California makes lots of beer. Give me Anchor Steam or give me death (or maybe a Lagunitas IPA?).
posted by doctor_negative at 7:22 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yay for having Yazoo for Tennessee. Boo for having PBR for Virgina, what about Legend or Starr Hill?
posted by ghharr at 7:24 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rolling Rock used to be a very decent Central Pennsylvania beer, but it's brewed in Missouri now - and tastes like it is.

Somebody brought Rolling Rock to a "cheap beer" blind taste-test last summer (we were trying to decide what to bring on a camping trip). It placed dead last, dozens of points behind everything else: Schlitz, Schaefer, Stroh's, High Life, and Pabst. It's just that bad.

(The winner, for the curious, was Schaefer, which is surprisingly not-awful.)
posted by uncleozzy at 7:26 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


PBR for Virginia is just wrong. Richmond's Legend Brewery deserves to represent the Commonwealth.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 7:30 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm confused about the concept here. Wisconsin is represented by Miller. I thought that this was supposed to be about beer.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:30 AM on February 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


No! Stop! Fail! Narragansett isn't brewed in RI, and also, it's terrible.

It's the beer most associated with the state-- I've never seen Newport Storm outside RI/ Southern Mass. And if local brewing were your sole criteria, why not Haffenreffer Private Stock?
posted by yerfatma at 7:37 AM on February 3, 2011


I don't know what the Pennsyltuckians drink these days.

Troegs if you care about whether you're drinking something good, Yuengling or Lionshead if you don't. Also there's tons of good local beer around here but none of it distributes much beyond State College.
posted by jackflaps at 7:39 AM on February 3, 2011


I once saw a map in a beer industry magazine that showed the top-selling brand in every state. Anheuser-Busch had more than 50 percent of market share in EVERY STATE but two, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. I believe that's still the case. Wish I could find that map online, but check out this one.

Also, Rolling Rock (formerly brewed in Latrobe, Pa., which is western Pa.) is brewed by A-B in Newark, N.J. (no glass-lined tanks or mountain springs there); Yuengling is brewed in Pottsville, not Pottstown (big difference); Schmidt's was once one of the 10 largest breweries in America (it's now a shopping center); Pittsburgh isn't as fond as Iron City (now brewed at that former Rolling Rock plant) since it jilted the city several years ago and left it with a huge sewage bill (since repaid); and all of our beloved micros account for under 10 percent of the American market.
posted by sixpack at 7:45 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, Brooklyn Lager. Brewed somewhere between the cool mountain streams of the East River and Gowanus Canal, a taste like fresh hospital disinfectant and the aroma of dreams deferred. I'll pass.
posted by swift at 7:48 AM on February 3, 2011


Octothorpe: I thank you for the invitation. Consider yourself on the hook.

Upon reflection I recall that I haven't had "Pete's wicked ale" (which I used to quite fancy) since I left the UK.
posted by pompomtom at 7:49 AM on February 3, 2011


Cottrell for Connecticut is pretty iffy too. You never even see that on tap in-state. I would have picked New England Brewery.
posted by smackfu at 7:49 AM on February 3, 2011


Iron City is the beer I would associate with Western Pennsylvania. Slag filtered and the locals love it that way. A staggering amount will be consumed by Steelers fans on Sunday I imagine.

I've lived in Western PA for over twenty years and have only every seen anyone drink an Iron City a few times. I had it once. They still make it so someone must be drinking it but I've seldom met anyone who did.
posted by octothorpe at 7:50 AM on February 3, 2011


There are far better brewed there, but I'm kind of surprised they didn't pick Lone Star for Texas.

I mean, it says "The National Beer of Texas" right there on the label.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:53 AM on February 3, 2011


Minnesota.

The End.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:54 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am SO PISSED about Florida getting MGD, but because I can't tell how the selections were made, I can't really offer any alternatives. Off to dig up my old fake ID from Oregon.
posted by penduluum at 7:56 AM on February 3, 2011


Ah, Brooklyn Lager. Brewed somewhere between the cool mountain streams of the East River and Gowanus Canal in Utica, mostly.

I don't really see how you could hate on reliable Brooklyn Lager, though. It's everywhere, it's not particularly expensive, and it's a perfectly decent amber lager.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:57 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't decide if Kansas' Free State showed up because someone's a fan, or if it was because there was a dearth of options. Because it's an incredibly regional beer as far as I know, mostly just well-loved in Lawrence.
posted by TypographicalError at 8:04 AM on February 3, 2011


Terrapin's Hopsecutioner IPA rocks hardcore! Sweetwater isn't bad as an alternative when overdone Sam Adams, well assuming no Belgian options present themselves, but I'd never choose Sweetwater first.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:06 AM on February 3, 2011


Brooklyn? Really? For all of New York State? No Genesee? No Ommegang? No Saranac? And that's not including the micros and brewpubs. It's a big state, not as big as Texas, but more than just NYC.
posted by tommasz at 8:08 AM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Microbreweries were illegal in California, and much of the rest of the US, since prohibition. When the laws were finally changed a number of excellent microbreweries popped up. Some of them, like Sierra Nevada, still exist today and are available throughout the state and the country.

This cannot be said, as far as I can tell, with Stone. Until now I've never seen nor heard of this relative newcomer.

Does the author's cousin work at this brewery or something?
posted by eye of newt at 8:12 AM on February 3, 2011


Shiner? Fuck that shit, Lone Star.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:13 AM on February 3, 2011


Stone makes great beer. So does Deschutes. The west coast is a good place to drink.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 8:13 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I would have expected that or Hooker for CT, smackfu. I've never seen Cottrell around here either.
posted by reptile at 8:14 AM on February 3, 2011


I should say though that Stone is readily available in PA and NJ, while I don't think that is the case with Deschutes.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 8:15 AM on February 3, 2011


In Oregon, Deschutes is that beer that shows up in frat boy bars as "the microbrew" mixed in with the BudMillerCoors swill. It's almost as bad as Widmer. Given how many actual good brews there are all over the state (Rogue, Ninkasi, Double Mountain, Full Sail, among many others), this is a crime.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:20 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


This cannot be said, as far as I can tell, with Stone. Until now I've never seen nor heard of this relative newcomer.

Stone was the 15th-largest craft brewer in the US in 2009: bigger than Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, Anchor. They make great beer which is widely-available. (I still think they're an odd choice for the map, but not entirely out-of-place.)
posted by uncleozzy at 8:22 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Trinity IPA? Anything but Gansett

But Trinity brews Gansett...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:23 AM on February 3, 2011


Terrapin? Really? No thank you, I'll continue to drink Sweetwater when I go home, thanks.

Also, I love Abita, but am really sad Dixie didn't make the cut. God, I love Dixie.
posted by Kitteh at 8:25 AM on February 3, 2011


I don't really see how you could hate on reliable Brooklyn Lager

Brooklyn and Stella Artois are especially offensive to me because they are so ubiquitous, and by most accounts seem like decent-quality beers, and yet I do not like the taste of them. The fact that these are not low-quality, piss-water brews, and that everyone around me can enjoy them like normal human beings, just amplifies my distaste. But I'll drink a Brooklyn because it's the only thing at the party, smile pathetically, and watch the others jabber on. Will I introduce myself? No. Maybe if I knew how to enjoy Brooklyn, maybe if the taste didn't coat my tongue like powdered soap. No, I'll just stand there, the bottle warming in my hand, waiting to receive a chance human connection from someone, anyone who can taste that sweetness I'll never know. I'm just not wired like that, I wasn't born to enjoy Brooklyn Lager, I can't stand the taste of Stella, and so I drink in the corner, by the bathroom, alone, rolling the bitterness around and around in my silent, carbonating mouth.
posted by swift at 8:29 AM on February 3, 2011


Man, people get defensive about beer. The Houston Press is the local free weekly. They must be delighted that this hastily thrown together half-assed map has gone viral.
posted by IanMorr at 8:31 AM on February 3, 2011


Their soda map puts Ale-8-One in fucking Indiana. This tells me all I need to know about their research and analytical abilities.
posted by dilettante at 8:32 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll stay out of the Terrapin/Sweetwater debate (it'd be a face off of the two ryes: Rye'd Ale and Rye Pale Ale and oh dear goddess, don't make me choose) of my new home state.

But to the issue at hand... being an avid beer drinker and having lived in S. Carolina for the past twelve years... who the fuck is this upstart COAST!?* South Carolina beer is either Thomas Creek or Hunter-Gatherer and I refuse to hear otherwise. I might, might allow a mention of Palmetto if you're some stuck up snob from the lowcountry, but the above two breweries are the beginning and end of beer on the Palmetto state. Anyway, as the sign hanging over Green Street in Five Points reminds us, beer in South Carolina is and always shall be Natural Light country.

* actually, now that I've heard of them and am reading about them, they sound pretty cool and are on my list of places to visit next time I return to the Holy City.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:35 AM on February 3, 2011


Their soda map puts Ale-8-One in fucking Indiana. This tells me all I need to know about their research and analytical abilities.

When I saw that Coke wasn't in Georgia, I just closed the page and walked away.
posted by reductiondesign at 8:37 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Stone? Not Lagunitas, Drakes, Anchor Steam, Anderson Valley, Bear Republic or Lost Coast - We're like beer heaven over here and you choose *Stone* to represent one of the richest beer cultures on the planet !?

Grah.

*mutter* never been out of goddamn houston, i tell you what *mutter*
posted by iamabot at 8:39 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Kentucky, there were a number of breweries until about 30 years ago. The brand names included Sterling, Falls City, Oertles, and Fehr's. Falls City has been revived as a sort of microbrew, and I dont think Sterling ever went away.

Sterling for Kentucky, please.
posted by Billiken at 8:42 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, now! Stone is awesome. I mean, Bear Republic is okay, but you're really comparing Lagunitas and Anchor Steam to Stone? Lost Coast? Really?
posted by jabberjaw at 8:43 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


To everyone complaining about 'Gansett and recommending Trinity, Narragansett Porter and Bock ARE BREWED BY TRINITY.

As for Massachusetts, I can't imagine having a strong preference for Harpoon over Sam Adams. Both have hits (Sam Winter, Double Bock, Octoberfest, Old Fezziwig, Harpoon 100 Barrel series) and misses (UFO, all of their IPAs, Cranberry Lambic). My favorite Mass. brewery is definitely Cape Ann.
posted by mkb at 8:45 AM on February 3, 2011


Yep.
posted by iamabot at 8:45 AM on February 3, 2011


I should clarify, I don't specifically dislike Stone, but it's not at all what I would choose to represent beer from California, and they do make a decent beer. If anything this belongs to Sierra Nevada which pioneered much of the industry in California. I just don't understand the criteria where you do have some quality micros on the same page as MGD.
posted by iamabot at 8:50 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Woo Smuttynose! Good job, guys!

Man, I could go for a bottle of their Wheat Wine right about now.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:51 AM on February 3, 2011


I don't get the hating-on-Stone, but then, Arrogant Bastard Ale is one of my favorites. That said, Ruination IPA might be the only beer I've ever found a tiny bit hoppier than my tastes. (Still good, but my mouth still felt a bit puckered hours later). That said, California is a great place for beers, and many great options have been mentioned.

Sadly, Dogfish Head (which is incredibly over-rated and uses way-too-floral hops) is the obvious choice for my now-home-state of Delaware; the other Delaware beers are small and unknown outside the state.
posted by JMOZ at 8:51 AM on February 3, 2011


Stone makes great beer but it's not as iconic as Sierra Nevada (which I actually hate).

My problem is that it's a San Diego brewery and I think most of the state's craft breweries (especially the more well-known ones) are actually in NorCal.

I'd personally put Russian River Brewing Company on there instead of Stone.

MmmmPliny.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:51 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stone? Not Lagunitas, Drakes, Anchor Steam, Anderson Valley, Bear Republic or Lost Coast - We're like beer heaven over here and you choose *Stone* to represent one of the richest beer cultures on the planet !?

Grah.

*mutter* never been out of goddamn houston, i tell you what *mutter*


Drakes?!? You can honestly look me in the eye and tell me that you'd rather drink Drakes than Stone? I don't even like Stone all that much, and I feel like slapping you in the face with a glove.

If we're going by quality, Alesmith should win California, as it's the best brewery in the country, but the fact that it's nearly impossible to get your hands on keeps it off of a map like this.
posted by IjonTichy at 8:54 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is only one thing to be done now, call out sick to work and spend the rest of the day at Toronado and The Trappist.
posted by iamabot at 8:57 AM on February 3, 2011


Really, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale should have represented California. It's an icon. Although I have to say, despite the fact that Stone brews many gimmicky, undrinkably aggressive beers, their IPA does stand out as well balanced. Craft IPAs are too often over the top, like drinking rum-soaked wheaties and bubblegum.
posted by mubba at 8:58 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pistols at dawn.
posted by iamabot at 8:58 AM on February 3, 2011


Guys, guys! Come quick! Someone on the internet is wrong!

Minnesota deserves Surly, and anyone who says otherwise is cruisin' for a bruisin'.
posted by antonymous at 8:59 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


iamabot: "I should clarify, I don't specifically dislike Stone, but it's not at all what I would choose to represent beer from California, and they do make a decent beer. If anything this belongs to Sierra Nevada which pioneered much of the industry in California. I just don't understand the criteria where you do have some quality micros on the same page as MGD"

I would put up a fight for Anchor vs. Sierra Nevada.
posted by mkb at 9:00 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stupid shit ass maps like this drive me to drink.

Let's keep up the good work everyone!
posted by orme at 9:06 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would put up a fight for Anchor vs. Sierra Nevada.

Fair enough, I just kind of view Stone as an upstart...1996, a lot of other quality breweries laid the foundation way earlier.

Let's be friends and drink.
posted by iamabot at 9:07 AM on February 3, 2011


Pistols at dawn.

Surely a drinking contest would be more appropriate. Or, if you want to get fancy, a beer-brewing contest.
posted by IjonTichy at 9:08 AM on February 3, 2011


Alright, let's make this thread worthwhile. By quality, for the states I've lived in:

California: Alesmith Speedway Stout, no contest. Pliny the Younger gets the silver.
Illinois: Half Acre Daisy Cutter (a weird choice compared to the other beers I'm listing, maybe, but it's such a good, drinkable pale ale)
Indiana: Three Floyds Dark Lord

Chime in--let's do all 50. And damnit, have lived in a state if you're going to crown a beer king there.
posted by IjonTichy at 9:13 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


jackflaps: Troegs if you care about whether you're drinking something good, Yuengling or Lionshead if you don't. Also there's tons of good local beer around here but none of it distributes much beyond State College.

Nugget Nectar soon! Woooooo!

Also, re: Brooklyn Brewery, I managed to get my hands on two bottles of the 2010 Black Ops, out of only 11 cases to make it into the whole state of NJ without even really trying, so that's pretty cool. Also I think Brooklyn is a great "hey look beer can be not-shit" brewery, which is very useful, though they suffer in comparison to other NY brewers. Personally I'd pick Ithica: fresh Caskazilla or Flower Power is really fantastic.

Terrapin isn't Amazing Beer, but I enjoy their main line up pretty well, and their sometimes beers (like the mad scientist one) range up to very good. Never seen Sweetwater.

Re: the NJ beer, I've been to pretty much every 'good place to buy beer' in NJ and I've never noticed it. My local place has a shelf of just NJ beers, and they definitely don't have it. A quick look-up on RateBeer suggests that it may well be better than Flying Fish and River Horse, but I don't know where you'd find it.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:17 AM on February 3, 2011


Yeah Stone is great. Unfortunately the first time I saw one of their beers, and tried it on a whim, was in Colorado while traveling. It was one of the best beers I ever had, their Bitter Oatmeal Chocolate Stout. So first I can't get any more because they don't distribute to NC where I actually live, and then when do they do start distributing here I find out that that had been one of their special "anniversary" beers that they haven't produced since then! I guess I recommend it if you can ever find it.
posted by Who_Am_I at 9:20 AM on February 3, 2011


Stone is Ok. The gargoyle thing really draws more attention than the beers themselves, which is a Bad Thing, but they have made some very solid beers; any beer snob out there, go buy an Arrogant Bastard, drink it, and tell me you didn't enjoy it I dare you. Can't be done.

Sierra Nevada is pretty good, in my opinion, but I imagine if I lived near Chico you couldn't pay me to touch the stuff. Their APA is basically the ur-APA, and while it won't make the clouds part and the angels sing, it isn't swill. Celebration, Tornado and Kellerweisse are all very good beers, as are many of their one-offs.

If I was picking for CA, I would pick Russian River, but they may be too niche to be considered.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:25 AM on February 3, 2011


Cottrell for Connecticut is pretty iffy too

I've never even heard of that one.
posted by dabug at 9:30 AM on February 3, 2011


It's just an imbalanced map. Clearly subjective and not well thought out.

Take Colorado:

- Coors is the iconic beer from this state. I don't care how much you like Fat Tire, I think it's even more iconic for Colorado than Miller is for Wisconsin.

- Avery is the best craft brew in Colorado, and I'd argue one of the best craft companies in the U.S., but it's not on the list.

- New Belgium is a fantastic brewery, so I have no qualms seeing it on the list. But I'm still sore over the fact that I couldn't enter their contest to win that awesome bike because I live in California.

I mean, the same site has a "Soda Map," and RC Cola represents Georgia.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:31 AM on February 3, 2011


In Oregon, Deschutes is that beer that shows up in frat boy bars as "the microbrew" mixed in with the BudMillerCoors swill. It's almost as bad as Widmer. Given how many actual good brews there are all over the state (Rogue, Ninkasi, Double Mountain, Full Sail, among many others), this is a crime.

Deschutes and Widmer are both making great beers right now. At the last 3 or 4 beer festivals I have been to (not to mention various taphouses around town) I have consistently taken a sip of something really good and gone, "That's by Widmer?!"

Deschutes and Widmer are not beers, they are brewers, so they put out lots of different things. I think it's interesting you single these 2 out, because they have been very forward-thinking in the past few years and put out great high-end beers.

Aside from Double Mountain, the others you listed are very easily available in Portland (can't speak to the rest of Oregon) and can be found regularly at pretty much any given party.

In any case, all those breweries are making great things right now, and how ubiquitous any given brand is shouldn't be held against it. The West Coast is truly blessed, beer-wise, so I think we tend to take it for granted.

If I was picking for CA, I would pick Russian River, but they may be too niche to be considered.

One of my favorite CA brewers (at least of the ones I have tried so far), along with Firestone Walker. Now I need to find me some Damnation.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:43 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, people get defensive about beer. The Houston Press is the local free weekly. They must be delighted that this hastily thrown together half-assed map has gone viral.

Yeah, it seems like every single brewery mentioned has tweeted or posted it to Facebook.
posted by smackfu at 9:56 AM on February 3, 2011


Lists like these just present an opportunity for beer nerds to show how much they know about beer.

(I write as I finish my treatise on Oregon beers).
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:59 AM on February 3, 2011


Californians are deranged.

"Stone? Not Lagunitas, Drakes, Anchor Steam, Anderson Valley, Bear Republic or Lost Coast - We're like beer heaven over here and you choose *Stone* to represent one of the richest beer cultures on the planet !?"

Lagunitas is C+, Drakes I've never heard of, Anchor Steam is a solid B but pretty limited in what they do, Anderson Valley is balls, Bear Republic is third rate, Lost Coast likewise. Sierra Nevada's pretty good but since it's not the '90s anymore, it's not the only good indie beer you can get at a bar. Telegraph has made some amazing beers, as has Russian River, and Stone's surprisingly decent for being so gimmicky.

But really, California beer smugness is really not justified by the output, and calling it one of the "richest beer cultures on the planet" is pretty goony unless you don't mean "good" by "rich."

Both Michigan and Wisconsin have more great beers with less than a tenth of the people. I understand making Miller the emblematic beer of Wisconsin (if you asked folks on the street who aren't beer snobs to name a Wisconsin beer, it'd be that or Leinie's), but they got boned hard on that — everything from Capital to fucking Huber is better (and if you've had Trader Joe's "Simpler Times," you've had a Huber, though the best way to drink them is from a $8 case of long necks). Michigan at least got Bell's, which makes a whole slate of pretty damn fine beers (Oberon is overrated, but what can you do?), but MBC, Kraftbrau, New Holland, Arcadia and any number of town brews could whup the hell out of Lagunitas.

The Great Lakes States are, like, America's beer basin, with folks like Three Floyds, Great Lakes (their Edmund Fitz, tragically out of stock for most of my recent visit, is probably the best porter in the country and has a decent case for best American beer), Sprecher's firkins are generally fantastic and they make a pretty nice root beer too, and Illinois is just starting to get a real brew culture (sorry, Goose Island, your Honkers used to be head and shoulders above most ales, but everyone else got better and you didn't).
posted by klangklangston at 10:08 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


you could buy a case for $8

As a Canadian, I'm almost scared to ask what denomination this "case" is. I honeymooned in Hawaii last year, which is reputedly one of the more expensive states, and a box of 12 import beers was cheaper than it would cost for domestic beers in Vancouver by a pretty large margin (a cheap 6-pack is usually in the $10 range here, you don't even want to know what a case of 24 costs). It's the only time I've ever looked enviously at our neighbours to the South.
posted by Hoopo at 10:09 AM on February 3, 2011


Lagunitas is C+, Drakes I've never heard of, Anchor Steam is a solid B but pretty limited in what they do, Anderson Valley is balls, Bear Republic is third rate, Lost Coast likewise. Sierra Nevada's pretty good but since it's not the '90s anymore, it's not the only good indie beer you can get at a bar. Telegraph has made some amazing beers, as has Russian River, and Stone's surprisingly decent for being so gimmicky.

But really, California beer smugness is really not justified by the output, and calling it one of the "richest beer cultures on the planet" is pretty goony unless you don't mean "good" by "rich."


You left out Alesmith, Lost Abbey, The Bruery, Ballast Point, and New English, all of whom are better than Great Lakes.
posted by IjonTichy at 10:12 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hoopo.. I felt the same way while vacationing in Vegas but it was balanced by the fact that I could only get miller, coors, budweiser, heineken or corona. I went for the corona, but I would've gladly paid the "back home" prices for a good canadian beer.
posted by utsutsu at 10:18 AM on February 3, 2011


Next time you're in Vegas, check out the Freakin Frog. Surprisingly decent.
posted by IjonTichy at 10:30 AM on February 3, 2011


Growing up in the 80s in small town Virginia, the local Krogers had a beer aisle that was 95% domestic beers like Rolling Rock, Schlitz, Pabst, Strohs, etc... and 5% imported, or imported sounding beers like Lowenbrau, Fosters and Heineken. But, even the smallest Krogers always carried bottles of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout which is my favorite beer and is consistently judged one of the best beers in the world (it has this amazingly dry, mineral water finish and brilliant balance of flavors).

Now the beer aisle at my Krogers has easily 200 different brands of different craft and microbrewery brands but no Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. Pisses me off to no end.
posted by puny human at 10:33 AM on February 3, 2011


Fantastic. Not only is Maine saddled with an idiot for a governor, these yahoos are trying to saddle us with Allagash as our defining beer.
posted by that's candlepin at 10:50 AM on February 3, 2011


Poppycock.
posted by Pecinpah at 10:52 AM on February 3, 2011


you could buy a case for $8

As a Canadian, I'm almost scared to ask what denomination this "case" is


A case of 24 12 oz bottles. This was in the mid-eighties buying cases from a drive-thru beer distributer in central PA.
posted by octothorpe at 10:55 AM on February 3, 2011


"You left out Alesmith, Lost Abbey, The Bruery, Ballast Point, and New English, all of whom are better than Great Lakes."

Alesmith's Anvil is a decent session beer, but their Speedway Stout is weak. Lost Abbey has great design and names, but Belgians are played out. The Bruery is more Belgian nonsense, for people who like fruit and coriander over barley and hops. At Ballast Point, even you should know that you're just listing breweries close to you, not anything special. New English's ESB is pretty tasty, but really, again, you're just stanning for hometown brew.

Petition denied.
posted by klangklangston at 11:09 AM on February 3, 2011


"As a Canadian, I'm almost scared to ask what denomination this "case" is.

24 bottles in a heavy, fold-up cardboard box, like what Black Label used to come in before they stopped shipping long necks over the border. Huber, or the folks who make it (Minhas, I think), are better known for Rhinelander, a swill that inspires surprising devotion.
posted by klangklangston at 11:12 AM on February 3, 2011


A case of 24 12 oz bottles

24 bottles in a heavy, fold-up cardboard box,

I'll handle the Canadian translation...

They're taking about a two-four.
posted by utsutsu at 11:24 AM on February 3, 2011


Speedway Stout is weak

Belgians are played out

more Belgian nonsense

Ballast Point... not anything special.

Oh lord. At this point, I think the only proper response is pity.
posted by IjonTichy at 11:26 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


"They're taking about a two-four."

And better than Moosejaw from the duty free!

"One of my favorite CA brewers (at least of the ones I have tried so far), along with Firestone Walker."

They do Double Barrel firkins all over that are pretty decent session beers.

"Oh lord. At this point, I think the only proper response is pity."

It's OK, you like frou-frou beers and over-rate your hometown brews. I went through a La Fin du Mond phase too. You'll grow out of it.
posted by klangklangston at 11:32 AM on February 3, 2011


Ballast Point... not anything special.

Well someone obviously hasn't had Sculpin.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:33 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Alesmith's Anvil is a decent session beer, but their Speedway Stout is weak.

You are wrong.
posted by booknerd at 11:38 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, but I have had the Longfin, Pale Ale and the Black Marlin, and none were worth the premium.
posted by klangklangston at 11:41 AM on February 3, 2011


"You are wrong."

When I want coffee, I drink coffee. I've had it a couple times on tap, and it's always disappointingly one note and unbalanced.
posted by klangklangston at 11:45 AM on February 3, 2011


I did that Monty Python 'making love in a canoe' gag the other day and it was tha yanks who laughed loudest.

I think it may be time to explain the difference between "laughing with" and "laughing at." An Aussie, bagging on the entirety of American beer? Today? I'd have laughed my ass off too.
posted by rusty at 12:07 PM on February 3, 2011


It's OK, you like frou-frou beers and over-rate your hometown brews.

I live in Chicago, Captain Assumption.
posted by IjonTichy at 12:15 PM on February 3, 2011


And I went to college in Bloomington, but you don't see me singing the praises of Upland Brewery.
posted by IjonTichy at 12:16 PM on February 3, 2011


But Trinity brews Gansett...

That's only either the bock or porter, and I haven't tried either of those.

Regular Gansett is brewed by Genessee in New York.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:20 PM on February 3, 2011


Nevadabeerfag here.

Having been buying beer in Las Vegas for the last 5-6 years, I have to say the brands (other than the big 3) that are most often available are Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada and Stone.

Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale will prevent you from thinking about anything other than the incredible flavors in your mouth. The bragging on the label is damn near true.

I usually keep two kinds of beer - special beer and utility beer.

Utility beer is what I drink when I'm working in the yard or on a bike or something.

Special beer is for special occasions - football, Saturday, steak dinner, etc.

My current utility beer is Beck`s or Corona.

Specialty beer is currently Mirror Pond Pale Ale, SN Pale Ale and, until I couldn't get it any more, Flying Dog Tire-biter Ale.

Which brings me to:

Four Loko?

Didn't the FDA just outlaw that stuff?
posted by mmrtnt at 12:21 PM on February 3, 2011


Yuengling is not a craft beer, it's a large regional brewery that brews in Pennsylvania and in Florida and is distributed over most of the east coast. The price is usually in the same range as Bud or Coors and the quality is a bit better. Being from PA, it is my go to lager most of the time. Sometimes I switch off to some Warsteiner if I feel more hoppy.

I've tried nearly every craft beer available in the state but those cases get too expensive for a heavy drinker, heh.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:23 PM on February 3, 2011


I find myself wishing that they hadn't picked Budweiser for MO. Pretty much everyone I know has eschewed Bud since the InBev buyout, for Schlafly if they live in St. Louis, or Boulevard if they're on the western side of the state.
posted by honeybee413 at 12:34 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hah, I think it's cool we can have an argument about which craft brew company is better. To each his own, I'd take a mug of the craft brew you are offering, from any region, at any time. I'm just glad I'm not stuck in a world where I'm force to suffer down Natty Light or Old Style in order to enjoy ale.

Cheers!
posted by jabberjaw at 12:42 PM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


No! Stop! Fail! Narragansett isn't brewed in RI, and also, it's terrible. It's an old fashioned Lawnmower Lager - too sweet and the alcohol note is too sharp. It's cheaper than Budweiser, that should set off some warning bells.

Them's fighting words. OF COURSE Gansett is the beer of Rhode Island. It is one of the virtues of Rhode Island that a tall boy is $2, and still takes way better than Budweiser.

Seriously. I saw this map and was like HOT DAMN THEY GOT RI RIGHT. I don't understand how you could see it any differently.
posted by lunit at 12:46 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nattygansett specialties are brewed and canned in CT - Trinity just helps with the formulation.

Come to think of it, Trinity IPA is brewed and bottled in CT, too. Only the brewhouse stuff is made in-house (and I like the Coddington brewpub better, anyhow.)

So, yeah, Newport Storm.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:51 PM on February 3, 2011


meh, Texas has so many better brews... Jester King's Black Metal, St Arnolds, Independence, 512, Live Oak Hefe, Real Ale...
posted by jbelshaw at 12:52 PM on February 3, 2011


klangklangston wrote "The Great Lakes States are, like, America's beer basin"

Why do you think I live here? :)
posted by caution live frogs at 12:53 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hell yeah Narragansett! Yeah, it's brewed out of state, but it's still very prevalent. As far as cheap-ass beers go, it's darn good. Also, they do support a lot of local causes. I'm no fan of Newport Storm, I've never been happy with their product. Trinity is good, though I dislike their IPA (generally not a big fan of IPAs, so there's that) but if I had to pick anything to rival Gansett in its Rhode Islandness I'd pick Haffenreffer Private Stock. Besides, they've got really good rebus puzzles inside the caps, genuinely hard to figure out.
posted by Kattullus at 1:00 PM on February 3, 2011


That is possibly the worst beer list I have ever seen.
posted by Ber at 2:49 PM on February 3, 2011


Ugh, Olde Main is the Iowa choice? That stuff is an embarrassment to craft brewing.
posted by TrialByMedia at 3:48 PM on February 3, 2011


I'm OK with Bell's for Michigan, but I maintain that Vernors is a better choice than Faygo.

it is debatable unlike the coca-cola/georgia situation certainly
posted by theclaw at 3:58 PM on February 3, 2011


I much prefer Terrapin's offerings to Sweetwater's. Wkae n Bake is sublime.

Also, MGD 64 for Florida is ridiculous. Cigar City would have been a better choice for good beer, although they're still relatively new. The Florida beer scene is still relatively young, but it's growing.
posted by nulledge at 5:17 PM on February 3, 2011


that's candlepin: Fantastic. Not only is Maine saddled with an idiot for a governor, these yahoos are trying to saddle us with Allagash as our defining beer

wat

explain plz
posted by paisley henosis at 6:14 PM on February 3, 2011


Illinois is Goose Island?

OLD STYLE!


TheWhiteSkull, I'm a Sox fan too, but Old Style is brewed in Milwaukee. Goose Island is solid stuff -- though I'm definitely a fan of Half Acre, too.
posted by me3dia at 7:34 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Your Favorite Beer Sucks.
posted by jopreacher at 8:30 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll take Terrapin Rye over Sweetwater 420 any day. Also, Terrapins seasonal brews are better.
posted by PueExMachina at 8:33 PM on February 3, 2011


I would like to second this comment. I'm CaleeeforrniyAy born and raised, and moving to Michigan really opened my eyes to the beauty of the beers of the Great Lakes states. Not everything has to be Imperial, not everything needs 10000 IBUs. Bell's, Arbor Brewing, Great Lakes (hell yes on the Edmund Fitzgerald), Three Floyds, Founders....these are freaking amazing breweries. Bell's Two-Hearted has to be the best IPA in the states.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:18 PM on February 3, 2011


Bell's Two-Hearted has to be the best IPA in the states.

Quoted for Truth

And to the tasteless fucktards that made that list, I bought my last two six packs of Bells at a liquor store in Bismarck ND.
posted by Ber at 9:22 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


And also, can I get a Breckenridge for Colorado? Thanks.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:24 PM on February 3, 2011


Magic Hat as a choice from Vermont. Good but it would have been a hard choice for me. I mean VT has the highest number of breweries per capita certainly in the US but I also think in the world. Lots of nice beer making hippies still left in Vermont.
posted by koolkat at 3:41 AM on February 4, 2011


it is debatable unlike the coca-cola/georgia situation certainly

Although Coca-cola is a reasonable choice for Georgia, RC Cola was invented here too, and in parts of the state (rural, southern) the traditional workingman's lunch is a bag of salted peanuts poured into a bottle of RC, followed by a Moon Pie. So its not that outlandish.
posted by TedW at 6:12 AM on February 4, 2011


I'm CaleeeforrniyAy born and raised, and moving to Michigan really opened my eyes to the beauty of the beers of the Great Lakes states.

Of course most of these don't have very far distribution so it is almost as if they don't exist here on the East Coast. I think you are best off supporting your local brewers, because getting hung up on beers you can't get leads you to craziness.
posted by smackfu at 7:32 AM on February 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's really not fair to say Californians have a deranged sense of what a good beer is. Just because a lot of sub-par mainstream "craft" brewers come from California doesn't make California a bad beer state.

I'll list some great California breweries, and I'm not saying there aren't great breweries in Michigan, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, or wherever. For instance, Bear Republic has one great beer, and that's the Racer 5 IPA. I can't say any of their other beers are that great.

I love Stone. Their IPA is my "utility beer." Arrogant Bastard is great. Gimmicky, sure, but Stone really loves beer, and not just their own. My respect for them was increased when I visited their brewery / bistro, and found that they are not the type that serves only Stone brews; here's their current bottled beer list. They really understand and appreciate good beers, and I think you find that in their specialty batches.

Auburn Alehouse makes a brew that I've only ever run across once, at a little restaurant outside of Sacramento. I'll stand by their Gold Digger IPA.

Craftsman Brewery is a great and somewhat hard-to-find beer based out of Pasadena. .

The Bruery is a very experimental place out of Placentia. I think their beers are very hit-or-miss, but they are all very intentional in terms of their end product. When their beer is good, it's fucking fantastic.

There are more, and there are more everywhere, and in every state. I'd love to know what beer to get when I'm in Seattle, or Vancouver, or Chicago, or Memphis. We live in a world no longer run by Annheiser-Busch, and it's a better, sunnier, happier world.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:44 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


We finally settled on Bud Light for Kentucky as it's traditionally the most favored beer in beer cheese, a regional favorite.

Uh, wut? The Bluegrass Brewing Co makes fine beer.

Sterling for Kentucky, please.

Yes, please. In a bottle. When I was last there, I could still get it.

Stone?

Fuck off.


Yeah, California should be Anderson Valley or Bear Republic. Russian River is great, but pretty small, I think.

Stone makes fine beer too.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:27 PM on February 4, 2011


For instance, Bear Republic has one great beer, and that's the Racer 5 IPA. I can't say any of their other beers are that great.

I'd take Hop Rod Rye over Racer 5 any day of the week.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:17 PM on February 4, 2011


Hop Rod Rye sounds good. I'll give it another shot, I'm more than happy to have my mind changed, and hope that I do.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:37 PM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't like your state's designation on the beer map? Here's a second opinion: Good.is presents The United States of GOOD Beer.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:37 PM on February 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lagunitas? That's even worse! At least Stone is drinkable.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:27 PM on February 6, 2011


California has a shit ton of great craft beer, more than any other state in my opinion. Sierra Nevada should have won. It is the best known around the country, is truly top quality, and best represents the rest of the brewing industry there in my mind.

Just because Yuengling isn't close to the best beer in PA doesn't mean it isn't the best representative.

Stone is great, Lagunitas is great, Russian River is epic, Nectar Ales, Anchor Steam with a totally unique lager style...I could go on for an hour. It's a tough choice because there are a ton of great breweries, that is a GOOD thing.

Would you rather be Idaho and end up with *blank* on that map oneswellfoop just posted? (Laughing Dog is pretty damn good, would be an ant in Cali)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:10 PM on February 6, 2011


Good.is presents The United States of GOOD Beer.

Heh. Smuttynose is the NH choice for both lists, though the better map spelled it wrong.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:30 PM on February 6, 2011


I like the GOOD map less than the original just because it saddles NJ (which doesn't have any Very Good breweries) with Flying Fish instead of something else. They're definately the most visible NJ brewery, but their beer isn't really very good at all.
posted by paisley henosis at 4:58 AM on February 7, 2011


What is the best from Jersey? Flying Fish and Riverhorse have a couple decent beers, but not great.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:51 PM on February 7, 2011


furiousxgeorge: What is the best from Jersey? Flying Fish and Riverhorse have a couple decent beers, but not great

There's the rub. The River Horse one-off beers tend to be pretty good and I usually try them, but their regular line-up is not so great. Flying Fish has disappointed me every single time, and I won't buy their beers anymore.

I hate to say it, but the truth is pretty much the only time I drink NJ beers are if I'm at a brewpub or drinking homebrew.
posted by paisley henosis at 5:24 AM on February 8, 2011


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