Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Bizarre

If you remember this song, well, congratulations. I was obsessed with it when I was younger. I'm not sure why, but we'll just chalk it up to the 90's, I guess.

You're probably wondering what this has to do with anything.

Well, when I saw publishing an article about the best beer states, it seemed oddly apropos.

TheStreet lists it's Top10 Beer States of 2011. [ed note: keep in mind that TheStreet is a business publication, so it's looking primarily at best places for the business of beer].

10. Montana ("It [has] the third-best ratio of brewers to citizens in the U.S.")

9. Delaware (Dogfish Head, duh)

8. New Hampshire (Portsmouth, Smuttynose, RedHook, and the New England hub of ABInBev)

7. Wisconsin ("Why isn't Wisconsin ranked higher, then? Partly because of production that doesn't even crack the Top 10, but partly because of legislation passed this summer that protects Miller from A-B InBev encroachment that combines the brewer's permit and wholesale and retail licenses given out by municipalities into a single permit under state control and prohibits brewers from buying wholesale distributors. That's great for Miller, but just made life a whole lot more difficult for the more than 70 brewers in the state that aren't Miller who now have a much more difficult path to getting licenses and getting their product on shelves. Wisconsin's total beer output grew only 0.2% during the past decade. Making life harder for most of your brewers for the sake of one doesn't seem like the best way to create growth." [ed note: I couldn't have said it better myself])

6. New York (AB, Labatt's, and Genessee provide big production boosts; Brooklyn doesn't hurt, either)

5. Washington ("The Seattle-based brewer [Mike's Hard Lemonade] has turned its colorful, fruity malt beverages into a 1.2-million-barrel-producing beast last year after pushing out only 805,000 just four years earlier.")

4. Colorado ("With the fourth most breweries in America and the fourth best capita per brewery in the country, Colorado has plenty of IPA and witbier for the craft collective and enough Bud and Coors Light for the Tim Tebow jersey-wearing Broncos faithful.")

3. Oregon ([ed note: if Oregon is 3, Colorado is 4, and Wisconsin is 7, who the heck is 1 and 2?!?])

2. Vermont ([ed note: WTF?] "Its brewing culture ... is enormous.")

1. California ("Sierra Nevada [took] the lead by producing 786,000 barrels in its Chico headquarters alone last year. Brewers that have been household names to craft fans for years are finding bigger followings as well, with Escondido's Stone Brewing increasing production from 49,000 barrels in 2006 to 115,000 last year and Lagunitas-based Lagunitas Brewing jumping from 39,000 to 106,000 during the same span.")


  1. Having lived in Vermont, I'll second their choice. The state has a lot of excellent breweries for a population that's not only small but fairly compact compared with places like Montana. From the perspective of a brewer, its brewing community is also far more inclusive than ours. We have small cliques of brewers who hang out with each other, especially in the Madison area, but the statewide scene in Vermont feels like one big family. That feeling isn't lost on customers either.

  2. Surprised MI isn't on the list. Really though, the southern states shouldn't be overlooked for commercial value. As many states repeal old brewing laws...some of these less well popular brewing states have sure become "open for business".

  3. oops, edit...*less well know brewing states

  4. Washington? Really? Because of Mike's Hard?
    I also don't think Delaware deserves to be there just because of DFH, when Michigan has Bell's, Founders, Jolly Pumpkin etc. and some of the most hard core beer fans anywhere.


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