🍻 What is the best beer city in the U.S.? 🍻
Pittsburgh is the best beer city in the U.S. Along with a high concentration of bars and breweries, Steel City has one of the most affordable beer scenes in the country.
America the brew-tiful: The United States has turned its amber waves of grain into a prized beer industry, with liquid gold flowing into bottles and cans from sea to shining sea.
Americans have strong opinions when it comes to the best beers in the U.S. Polling from YouGov found the best-known beers in the U.S. are Bud Light, Budweiser, and Corona, while the most-liked beer is Guinness.
But what is the best beer city? To answer that question, we conducted a data-driven analysis to rank the best beer scenes in America.
We scored the 50 largest metros in the U.S. on their beer scenes, weighting the criteria as follows:
- Breweries per capita (x4)
- Average price of beer (x3)
- Affordability of domestic beer (x3)
- Affordability of imported beer (x3)
- Average Yelp rating of breweries (x3)
- Average Yelp rating of bars (x3)
- Bars per capita (x2)
- “Beer passion” score based on Google Trends data (x2)
For more details on what went into the rankings, visit our methodology section at the bottom of the study.
Now that you’re tapped into our metrics, read on to see how your city compares to the best beer cities in the U.S.
Best Beer Cities Statistics 🍺
- Pittsburgh is the best beer city in the U.S. Steel City has more bars and breweries than the average city, high online search interest in beer, and low prices. Jump to section 👇
- Portland, Oregon, has the most breweries per capita, with 4.4 breweries per 100,000 people — more than triple the average city in our study (1.3 per 100,000). 👇
- New Orleans has the most bars per capita, with an intoxicating rate of 60 bars per 100,000 residents — 3x the average city (19 per 100,000). 👇
- Memphis, Tennessee, has the highest-rated breweries on Yelp, averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars.
- Las Vegas has the highest-rated bars on Yelp, scoring 4.35 stars on average.
- Detroit has the best beer prices, with the average beer costing $3.55 — about a dollar cheaper than the national average price ($4.78).
- New York City has the highest average beer price at $6.21.
- Residents of Oklahoma City have the most affordable beer scene, with a nightly domestic beer costing just 2.1% of the area’s average annual income. 👇
- Riverside, California, residents pay nearly 3x that much, with a nightly domestic beer costing 5.6% of the area’s typical income.
- Boston and Philadelphia are the most passionate beer cities, each scoring a perfect 100 in our Google Trends metric, which measures online search volume for beer-related terms.
- Ohio is the best state for beer, with two cities ranking in the top 20: No. 2 Cincinnati and No. 20 Columbus. 👇
- Missouri, the second-best beer state, is the only other state with two cities in the top 20: No. 17 Kansas City and No. 18 St. Louis.
- Los Angeles is the worst beer city overall. L.A. has the second-highest beer prices at $5.74 and just 0.3 breweries per 100,000 residents. 👇
The 50 Best Beer Cities, Ranked
The map below highlights the top beer cities in the U.S. Many of the best beer cities are in the Midwest, with the Ohio Valley containing five of the top 15 beer cities in the country.
Best Beer Cities Data - 2023
|Rank||City||Average Beer Price*||Breweries per 100,000 Residents||Bars per 100,000 Residents||% of Annual Income - Domestic Beer**||% of Annual Income - Imported Beer**||Average Brewery Yelp Rating||Average Bar Yelp Rating||Passion Score (Google Trends)|
|4||New Orleans, LA||$4.38||1.41||59.9||2.5%||3.8%||4.31||4.21||49.5|
|11||Oklahoma City, OK||$3.68||1.47||19.2||2.1%||4.9%||4.31||4.18||38.5|
|17||Kansas City, MO||$4.46||1.24||15.1||3.8%||4.1%||4.35||4.17||66.3|
|18||St. Louis, MO||$4.26||0.71||13.1||3.0%||3.6%||4.20||4.16||57.7|
|21||San Diego, CA||$5.49||2.52||23.2||4.1%||4.4%||4.27||4.24||69.2|
|22||San Antonio, TX||$4.12||0.89||17.5||3.5%||4.4%||4.46||4.08||54.8|
|24||San Francisco, CA||$5.42||1.00||23.4||2.1%||2.4%||4.10||4.14||53.1|
|28||Las Vegas, NV||$4.37||0.91||41.8||3.6%||5.3%||4.02||4.35||53.3|
|34||San Jose, CA||$5.64||1.07||17.9||2.6%||3.3%||4.14||4.01||53.1|
|37||New York, NY||$6.21||0.32||22.5||3.6%||4.4%||4.34||4.21||61.1|
|39||Salt Lake City, UT||$4.75||2.26||15.6||3.8%||4.4%||4.11||4.05||50.2|
|41||Virginia Beach, VA||$4.12||0.51||7.6||3.4%||4.6%||4.28||4.00||74.0|
|50||Los Angeles, CA||$5.74||0.26||8.4||4.2%||4.7%||4.09||4.11||49.9|
The 15 Best Beer Cities
1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
🔥 Keep Pitt Lit
It’s easy to keep the party going in Pittsburgh with 2.3 breweries per 100,000 residents — 77% more than the average city in our study (1.3).
Pittsburgh’s beer scene is the best in the U.S. In addition to boasting a bounty of breweries, the city is one of the most affordable places for beer enthusiasts. The average price for a beer is $4.40, compared to $4.78 in the typical city.
In fact, buying one domestic beer each night would cost the average resident just 2.3% of their annual income — cheaper than 47 of the 50 cities we ranked.
Pittsburgh also has a powerful passion for beer. The city scored a near-perfect 96 out of 100 in our Google Trends metric, which measures how often residents search the web for beer-related terms. That includes ranking No. 1 nationally for searches of “stout.”
Not only is Pittsburgh the beer capital of the U.S., but it also trounced its intrastate rival, with Philadelphia coming in at No. 29.
2. Cincinnati, Ohio
💰 Cin-sational Prices
Beer lovers in Bengals Country get great bang for their buck. The average price of a beer in Cincinnati is just $4.15 — compared to $4.78 in other cities we ranked.
Cincinnati has no shortage of spots to grab a brew, with 24 bars per 100,000 residents — 24% more than the average city we examined (19 per 100,000).
Cincinnati locals clearly have beer on the brain, considering their high volume of beer-related Google searches. The city earned a 79 out of 100 in our beer passion metric — 23% higher than the average city’s passion score (64). In particular, Cincinnati ranks No. 1 in the country for search volume of “lager.”
Overall, the Queen City is the king of Ohio’s beer scene, outperforming its Buckeye brethren, with Columbus at No. 20 and Cleveland at No. 38.
3. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
👑 The Mecca of Millertime
The home of the Miller Brewing Company has a staggering number of breweries throughout the city, with 3.2 per 100,000 residents — more than double the number in the average city (1.3 per 100,000).
It’s not just breweries — Milwaukee has about 38 bars per 100,000 residents, twice as many as the average city we examined (19 per 100,000).
Milwaukee has an unmistakable reputation as a beer metropolis. Even the city’s MLB team is named the Brewers. Fittingly, Milwaukee ranks highly in our beer passion metric, scoring an 88 out of 100 based on a high volume of online searches for beer-related terms.
Milwaukee locals have little trouble squeezing beer into their budget, with the average brew costing $4.41 — noticeably cheaper than the average city’s price ($4.78).
4. New Orleans, Louisiana
🍺 A Barrage of Bars
New Orleans has the most bars per capita in the U.S. with 60 per 100,000 residents — 3x the number in the average city in our study (19 per 100,000).
Some people prefer quality over quantity, but New Orleans has both. In addition to a high number of bars, the average New Orleans bar has 4.21 stars on Yelp — the 10th-best average out of all 50 cities in our analysis.
If that wasn’t enough to impress you, beer is also incredibly affordable in New Orleans. Buying one domestic beer each night for a year would cost just 2.5% of the typical resident’s annual income — 36% less than it would cost in the average city (3.4%).
Right now, the New Orleans beer scene is in full bloom, improving drastically since our previous ranking in 2021, when it ranked 48th overall.
5. Denver, Colorado
🚵♂️ Going off Coors
Coors and Blue Moon may be the area’s best-known beer-makers, but Denver has an abundance of other breweries, with 3.7 per 100,000 residents — second-most in the U.S. behind only Portland, Oregon.
Apart from a staggering number of breweries, Denver also has a mile-high concentration of bars per capita. The city has 29 bars per 100,000 residents — 53% more than the average city we reviewed (19 per 100,000).
Denver’s bars also have a strong reputation, with the average watering hole earning 4.23 stars on Yelp, the seventh-best average among the 50 cities we analyzed.
It’s no wonder Denverites are constantly searching the web for beer-related terms, scoring a 92 out of 100 in our Google Trends-based beer passion metric. That includes ranking No. 2 for searches of “stout” and “pale ale.”
6. Louisville, Kentucky
🏇 Jockeying for Position
The home of the Kentucky Derby is racing up our beer cities ranking, moving from 37th in 2021 to No. 6 in 2023.
Louisville has seriously improved its standing among beer cities, thanks, in part, to its bars.
Louisville has a rate of 24 bars per 100,000 residents — 26% more than the average city in our study (19 per 100,000). Plus, Louisville bars average 4.27 stars on Yelp, the third-highest score out of all 50 cities we ranked.
Derby City’s brewery scene also deserves a toast. The city has 2.8 breweries per 100,000 residents — more than double the national average (1.3 per 100,000). Those breweries earn an average of 4.36 stars on Yelp, ahead of the typical city’s rating of 4.24.
7. Indianapolis, Indiana
🏁 Lapping the Competition
Bars in Indianapolis are some of the best in the country, averaging 4.23 stars on Yelp. Only six of the 50 cities we reviewed can top that rating.
Along with great bars, Indianapolis beats most cities when it comes to affordable beer. Buying one beer in Indianapolis costs about $4.58, cheaper than the average of $4.78 in other cities.
Ordering one domestic beer each night for a year would cost the average Indianapolis resident 3.0% of their annual income. For one imported beer each night, it would cost 3.6% of the average annual income. Both are more affordable than in the average city on our list.
8. Nashville, Tennessee
🎵 Music to My Beers
Music City has some of America’s best breweries, with the average brew house earning 4.45 stars on Yelp — better than the national average of 4.24 stars.
Not only are Nashville’s breweries well regarded, but there are plenty to patronize. The city has 1.5 breweries per 100,000 residents, an edge over the average city in our study, which has 1.3 per 100,000.
The bar scene is just as good, with 25 bars per 100,000 residents — 31% more than the average city on our list (19 per 100,000).
Those are just some of the reasons why Nashville climbed into the top 10 after ranking No. 36 in our 2021 report. Nashville also bested its in-state competitor by a country mile, with Memphis ranking 46th on our list.
9. Charlotte, North Carolina
🐾 Panther Power
Charlotte’s stellar beer scene helped it overpower No. 33 Raleigh in our rankings. The average price of a beer in Charlotte is just $4.55 — cheaper than Raleigh’s $4.82.
Along with beating its in-state competition, Charlotte tops most cities when it comes to highly regarded breweries. The average Charlotte brewery has 4.34 stars on Yelp — the ninth-highest average in the country.
Overall, Charlotte has 1.9 breweries per 100,000 residents — 46% more than the average city in our ranking (1.3 per 100,000).
Charlotte’s beer drinkers also know how to keep it classy. According to Google Trends data, their favorite beer variety is saison, the European-style pale ale.
10. Minneapolis, Minnesota
⚔️ Fearless, Never Beerless
Braving Minnesota winters is a little easier when the beer is flowing, and Minneapolis has some of the country’s best prices. The average price of a beer is $4.39 — cheaper than the national average of $4.78.
In particular, Minneapolis is one of the best cities for affordable imported beer. Ordering one imported beer at a restaurant each day for a year would cost the average resident 3.3% of their annual income. That’s 27% cheaper than it is in the other cities on our list, where the average is 4.2%.
Minneapolis residents also show a measurable passion for beer through their online search activity. The city scored a 71 out of 100 in our Google Trends metric, based on how often residents search the web for beer-related terms. That’s 11% better than the average score in our study (64 out of 100).
11. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
😊 It’s Going to Be OK
With some of the best beer prices in the country, beer lovers in Oklahoma City have no need to worry. A beer in OKC costs an average of just $3.68 — more than a dollar cheaper than the national average ($4.78). That’s the second-cheapest price of any city, behind Detroit.
OKC’s low prices make it an incredibly affordable city for beer drinkers. Ordering one domestic beer at a restaurant each night would cost the average resident just 2.1% of their annual income. None of the other 49 cities we analyzed can top that.
Oklahoma City’s drinking establishments also have a solid reputation. Breweries in the city have an average Yelp rating of 4.31 stars out of 5, and bars have an average of 4.18 stars. Both marks rank in the top 15 in their respective categories.
It’s no surprise that OKC has made serious strides in our beer ranking, jumping from No. 40 in our 2021 list to No. 11 in this year’s rankings.
12. Jacksonville, Florida
☀️ Suds in the Sun
Looking for relief from Florida summers? Consider stopping by some of Jacksonville’s breweries, which average 4.42 stars on Yelp — the fifth-best average out of the 50 cities we reviewed.
If you prefer something simpler than a brewery, Jacksonville’s bar scene is just as strong. Bars in the city average 4.22 stars on Yelp, the ninth-best average in our analysis.
Plus, Jacksonville’s beer prices are better than most, with the average beer costing $4.42 — 8% cheaper than the national average of $4.78.
Affordable prices and impressive drinkeries explain why Jacksonville so thoroughly topped its in-state competitors, No. 23 Orlando, No. 40 Miami, and No. 48 Tampa.
13. Hartford, Connecticut
💵 Ensuring Great Prices
Known as the insurance capital of the world, it makes sense that Hartford residents get excellent brew value. The average beer in Hartford costs just $4.15 — 15% cheaper than the national average of $4.78.
It’s not hard to find a good deal in Hartford. Buying one domestic beer each day for a year would cost the average resident 2.4% of their salary — compared to an average of 3.4% across all cities. The same goes for imported beer. Ordering one a day would cost 3.3% of the average annual income — compared to 4.2% in other cities.
Hartford residents are clearly passionate about their beer. The city earned a 77 out of 100 in our Google Trends metric, based on how often residents are searching the web for terms related to beer.
14. Seattle, Washington
🏆 The Holy Grail of Pale Ale
Seattle residents search the web for pale ale more than residents of any other city, according to Google Trends data. They also rank second in search volume for pilsner.
Pale ale may be the star of the show, but Seattle residents regularly search the internet for a variety of beer-related terms, earning the city a passion score of 73 out of 100 in our Google Trends metric. That’s 14% better than the average city’s score of 64.
Seattleites have a lot of options to choose from when deciding where to get buzzed. The city has 2.2 breweries per 100,000 residents — 69% more than the average city in our analysis (1.3 per 100,000).
Seattle’s position as a port city also helps drive down prices. Buying an imported beer at a restaurant each night for a year would cost the average resident 3.6% of their income, better than the 4.2% it would cost in other cities on our list.
15. Buffalo, New York
🍻 Bars for Days
Buffalo residents don’t have to look far to find a good bar. The city has 28 bars per 100,000 people — 47% more than the average city on our list (19 per 100,000).
In addition to a large number of bars, Buffalo ranks seventh in breweries per capita. The city has 2.3 breweries per 100,000 residents — 77% more than the average city (1.3 per 100,000).
When they’re not out on the town, Buffalo residents can be found searching online for beer-related terms, earning the city a Google Trends-based passion score of 87 out of 100, the seventh-highest score out of the 50 cities we reviewed.
Buffalo’s beer fandom and the high number of places to grab a drink helped it top its in-state rival, No. 37 New York City, in our rankings.
Pouring With Potential: Honorable Mentions for the Best Beer Cities
Just because a city fell short of our top 15 doesn’t mean its beer scene is sour. Two cities, in particular, are worth highlighting before last call.
16. Portland, Oregon
It’s hard to stop by Portland without hearing about its craft beer culture — and for good reason. The city has 4.4 breweries per 100,000 residents, more than any other city and more than triple the national average of 1.3 per 100,000.
Unfortunately, those breweries tend to have worse reviews than breweries in other cities. They average 4.0 stars on Yelp, compared to 4.24 in the typical city we analyzed. High prices also hurt Rose City’s ranking. The average beer in Portland costs $4.83 — pricier than the national average of $4.78. Brew-tal.
39. Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City’s performance might be the biggest surprise of our study. The city has a reputation for teetotaling, which helps explain its last-place finish in our 2021 ranking.
Since then, the city has pulled off quite the turnaround. Salt Lake City has 2.3 breweries per 100,000 residents — the eighth-most of all 50 cities we analyzed. As a result, beer lovers in Salt Lake City can feel a little more hop-timistic.
Rankings by Beer Variety
Using Google Trends data, we examined which cities most often search the internet for certain beer varieties. Here’s how the results played out.
The 10 Worst Beer Cities
At the end of the day, some beer scenes simply fall flat. Although the cities below have some upsides, they were outperformed by other metros and were forced to tap out.
- Los Angeles, California
- Riverside, California
- Tampa, Florida
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Sacramento, California
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Washington, D.C.
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
Los Angeles might be a city of stars, but it’s certainly not a city for suds. Over-the-top beer prices are a big reason L.A. slipped in our ranking. One beer in Los Angeles costs an average of $5.74 — 20% more than it costs in the average city we reviewed ($4.78).
Additionally, Los Angeles doesn’t seem to have enough breweries to keep pace with its population. L.A. has a meager 0.3 breweries per 100,000 people — about a quarter of the rate found in other cities on our list (1.3 per 100,000).
Although Los Angeles’ beer scene may be at a low point, locals can still take pride in being named a top-10 weed city — truly a high honor.
The cities in this study are ranked according to eight different factors, which were independently weighted and combined to produce our final results. The factors are:
- Breweries per 100,000 people (17%)
- Average price of one beer across various sizes, including draft pints and 12 oz. bottles, both in restaurants and in markets (13%)
- Affordability of domestic beer: Percentage of the area’s average annual income required to afford one domestic beer (16 oz.) at a restaurant each day (13%)
- Affordability of imported beer: Percentage of the area’s average annual income required to afford one imported beer (12 oz.) at a restaurant each day (13%)
- Average Yelp rating of breweries in the city (13%)
- Average Yelp rating of bars in the city (13%)
- Bars per 100,000 people (9%)
- “Beer passion” score — a combination of Google search volume for 17 different beer-related terms, such as “microbrewery,” “lager,” and “pilsner” (9%)
Sources for this study include Yelp, Numbeo, Google Trends, the U.S. Census, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Are you a member of the media interested in learning more about our research? Feel free to reach out! Contact this article’s author here.
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Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Beer Cities
What is the best beer city in the U.S.?
Pittsburgh is the best beer city in the U.S. The city has a high number of breweries per capita, low prices, and high online search activity for beer. Learn more about Pittsburgh's beer scene.
What city has the most breweries?
Portland, Oregon, has the most breweries per capita, with 4.4 per 100,000 people — more than triple the national average of 1.3 per 100,000. Find out how Portland's beer scene stacks up against other cities.
What is the best beer in America?
The most well-liked beer in America is Guinness, with 54% of Americans having a positive opinion of the Irish beer, according to polling by YouGov. Learn more about the best beers and beer cities in the U.S.