Pittsburgh’s history may have been forged in steel furnaces, but its future is being brewed in the heart of its craft beer community.
A new report crowned Pittsburgh the best beer city in the U.S. for 2023, thanks in part to low prices and strong local passion. The findings come from Real Estate Witch, a real estate education platform that used data to rank the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. by the strength of their beer scenes.
The report’s rankings were based on factors including pricing data, Yelp ratings, Google search data, and the per-capita rate of local bars and breweries. Rust Belt cities performed the best overall, securing the top three spots on the list.
The Top 10 Beer Cities in America
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Denver, Colorado
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Real Estate Witch found Pittsburgh residents have a powerful passion for beer. The city scored a 96 out of 100 in the report’s Google Trends metric, which measures how often residents search for beer-related terms online. In particular, the city ranked No. 1 for searches of “stout.”
“Pittsburgh is a premier craft beverage destination,” said Jerad Bachar, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh. “We’re seeing a lot of innovation throughout Pittsburgh’s craft beer scene, too. From crisp lagers and creative sours to refreshing IPAs and flavorful stouts, visitors are bound to find the perfect pint in Pittsburgh.”
Not only is the passion palpable in Pittsburgh, but it’s also an affordable place to buy a round. The average price of a beer is $4.40, lower than the $4.78 average in other cities.
Beer drinkers who value variety can find it in Pittsburgh. The area is home to more breweries per capita (2.3 per 100,000 people) than the average American city (1.3 per 100,000 people).
“Our craft beer community, which is more than 50 breweries strong, is collaborative and welcoming, putting inclusivity at the forefront,” Bachar said. “You’ll see the community come together often, whether it’s to partner on a new beer or host a community-wide festival.”
Cincinnati is the star of Ohio’s bustling beer industry, ranking higher than No. 20 Columbus and No. 38 Cleveland. Cincinnati has some of the cheapest beer prices of any city in the report, with one beer costing $4.15 on average.
Cincinnati also has a high rate of bars per capita at 24 per 100,000 people — 26% more than the average city. In particular, the report showed Cincinnati residents have a love for lagers. No city’s residents search the web for the term “lager” more often than Cincinnati’s.
Home of the Brewers baseball franchise, beer is a core part of Milwaukee’s identity. In addition to the Miller Brewing Company, the city hosts 3.2 breweries per 100,000 people. That’s more than twice the concentration of breweries found in the average city (1.3 per 100,000).
Milwaukee placed high in the report’s beer passion metric, with a Google Trends score of 88 out of 100 based on the city’s volume of beer-related searches.
It’s not the first time Real Estate Witch has recognized Milwaukee’s affinity for alcohol. A 2022 study by the site found that Milwaukee is the “drunkest city” in America. That report noted the city’s cheap cocktail prices and its abundance of wine bars (2.7 per 100,000 residents).
Although it may be famous for its signature Hurricane cocktails, New Orleans is also a great place to be for beer drinkers. Buying one domestic beer each night for a year would cost 2.5% of the average resident’s income, making it more affordable than the average city, where it would cost 3.4%.
Visitors also have plenty of places to choose from when ordering their favorite brew in the Big Easy. With 60 bars per 100,000 residents, it has the most bars per capita of any city. The bars are also rated high in quality, with an average of 4.21 stars on Yelp.
The Denver area may be known as the headquarters of Coors and Blue Moon, but it’s also home to the second-most breweries per capita in the country — 3.7 per 100,000 residents. Plus, the city has an above-average rate of 29 bars per 100,000 residents.
According to their search history, Denver residents have a distinct passion for beer. The city scored a 92 out of 100 in the report’s Google Trends metric for beer-related web searches.
But beer isn’t the only recreational substance that’s popular in Denver. The same researchers recently ranked the Mile High City as the second-best weed city in the U.S.
More Notable Findings
Although it narrowly missed the top 10, the report found Portland, Oregon, has the most breweries per capita, with 4.4 breweries per 100,000 people. That’s more than three times the amount in the average city (1.3 per 100,000).
Also of note, the study found:
- Memphis, Tennessee, has the highest-rated breweries on Yelp, and Las Vegas has the highest-rated bars on Yelp.
- Oklahoma City has the most affordable beer scene, while New York City has the least affordable.
- Los Angeles was ranked as the worst beer city in the U.S., with the second-highest prices and a low number of breweries per capita (0.3 breweries per 100,000 residents).
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