Serious Eats: "Which is the Best Beer City?"

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ONovoMexicano, Feb 27, 2014.

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  1. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Poo-Bah (2,831) Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    Serious eats is at it again with the craft beer talk and I'm seriously convinced they just cull BA threads for ideas on what to write about:

    I know there have been threads about this previously, so maybe it can just be rolled into something older, but I'll leave that to the moderators.

    There are some good argument and it's difficult for me to say which is the best without having been to Brusells, San Diego, and Portland, but I certainly agree with Northern Colorado and NYC. I'd even suggest Albuquerque if only we had better bars (although newcomers in the gastropub area like Stumbling Steer, B2B and others are shaking things up).
  2. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    Since when is Northern California a city? Not even going to address ABQ.
  3. tylerstravis

    tylerstravis Meyvn (1,051) Feb 14, 2014 Colorado

    Portland </thread>
  4. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Poo-Bah (2,831) Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    Probably haven't been here then, or if you have, you didn't go anywhere worth going. Northern COLORADO was thrown in there rather than Denver or Boulder, I'm sure, to avoid having to pick one city of the multitude up there brewing good beers. Not a city, I agree, but I can see why someone would suggest it.
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  5. digita7693

    digita7693 Devotee (404) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Brussels is great for visiting a couple of things, but best beer city? No way.
    I do not think any other city combines the accessibility, availability and diversity of craft beer that PDX does.
    Peter_Wolfe and tylerstravis like this.
  6. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    Lived in NM for several years, so yeah, been there, still visit. ABQ does not qualify, no matter what the paremeters are.

    My bad on the CO, misread that as CA. But the principal is the same. Why not lump Boston/NYC?

    Anyway, pretty sure this is a repeat article. Without parameters it's an impossible to debate point. What's more important? Number of breweries, top breweries, or best distro? That's a better question.
  7. NCMonte

    NCMonte Aspirant (248) Jan 28, 2014 North Carolina

    Any article like this that doesn't include Asheville, NC and the surrounding area in the discussion is off base. Um, in my opinion. Oh and Asheville > Portland. :wink:
    bcp5296d, surfcaster, king75 and 6 others like this.
  8. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 England

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  9. DaltonC

    DaltonC Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2013 Idaho

  10. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,689) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Northern Colorado seems to simply be the Ft. Collins/Loveland/Longmont metro area, which is definitely up there. If they simply listed Ft. Collins it could stand on its own. There are now 11 breweries within Ft. Collins proper, which is pretty amazing when you think about it.
    Still, I think Bamberg beats 'em all.
    spartan1979, ONovoMexicano and danfue like this.
  11. JDice20

    JDice20 Aspirant (201) Aug 14, 2013 Louisiana

    I will give Tampa, Fl a nomination
    Barhoppin13, rc51sport and pieman396 like this.
  12. lilsmizzul1225

    lilsmizzul1225 Devotee (439) Dec 27, 2012 Indiana

    Personally, I'd say Chicago. Growing up there, they have the best access to Founders, 3 Floyds, Bells, Revolution, Two Brothers, let's not forget Goose Island, but they also tend to get a lot of great import from around the country.

    If you're looking for some amazing eats with good beer; check out Kuma's Corner in Chicago: great/unique burgers & always good beer on tap. Last time I was there I had a burger named "Lair of the Minotaur" and enjoyed it with an amazing 3 Floyds Zombie Dust ON TAP!
  13. BeerAssassin

    BeerAssassin Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2012 Antarctica

    I'd go with Colorado Belgium or Michigan definitely not California.
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  14. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (8,303) Mar 6, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    Not cities.
  15. raulstotle12

    raulstotle12 Initiate (159) Feb 19, 2014 California

  16. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (8,303) Mar 6, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    Despite the weird beer laws of PA, Philadelphia should still be up there and considered.
  17. sisterthelonious

    sisterthelonious Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2013 Wisconsin

    It's San Diego. Hands down. World class beer, world class food at ALL levels, from taco trucks to ultra fine dining.
    Angst likes this.
  18. digita7693

    digita7693 Devotee (404) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Probably get the same argument for pdx + it's easier to get around:slight_smile:
  19. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,206) Feb 22, 2012 New York
    Society Trader

    As much as I love San Diego, and I drive down there every other month or so for Alpine, there's something about how damn spread out it is that makes for an exhausting beer day. If you want to hit all the really good breweries and pubs, you're going to spend a lot of time driving. It's far easier to get around Portland, NYC, and SF, although you're mostly going to hit great bars and pubs as opposed to breweries.
    ONovoMexicano and j47paco like this.
  20. JohnCassillo

    JohnCassillo Zealot (501) Mar 29, 2013 California

    They lumped Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins together for the same reason they use a blanket monicker like "San Diego" and "San Francisco" to describe those beer scenes. A lot of these are regions or greater metro areas, rather than simple cities.
  21. Spiral517

    Spiral517 Initiate (182) Sep 17, 2013 Maryland

    i can say for sure that the answer is not anywhere in maryland
  22. JohnCassillo

    JohnCassillo Zealot (501) Mar 29, 2013 California

    Anywhere with public transportation will offer better options for beer touring, agreed. Can't get to all the "best" in San Diego in reasonable time, but depending on what you pick, can still hit pockets of several great breweries and/or brewpubs in a short distance, I think.
    HRamz3 likes this.
  23. tylerstravis

    tylerstravis Meyvn (1,051) Feb 14, 2014 Colorado

  24. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (5,741) Nov 16, 2012 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Lots of hops (used very well, obviously), flat C&C bottles and 3 bars = San Diego is the best beer city in the world? I certainly agree that San Diego is an amazing city for beer, but these reasons he gives are hardly inspiring. The user comments do a much better job..
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  25. hopsputin

    hopsputin Poo-Bah (2,225) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    This is very true. I've hit Lost Abbey, Stone, Green Flash, and Alesmith all in one day. I bet if you really tried you could squeeze Alpine in there as well.

    And besides the breweries, downtown has tons of locations walkable from each other/a hotel. All with good food an drink
  26. Dreizhen

    Dreizhen Aspirant (286) Jun 6, 2013 District of Columbia

    Brussels is NOT the best beer city in the world. I might not even put it in the top five. It's absolutely amazing if you want Cantillon, Trappist beer, or the other big Belgian beers. Outside of that, the selection isn't great. Sometimes it can be downright shameful. Trying to show my European buddies good American beer in Brussels was neigh impossible, for example.

    EDIT: Okay, I checked Delirium's menu after posting and they've either added US beer or they didn't have what they advertised when I was there. Not as bad as I though, but still not amazing, especially outside this one bar.
    #26 Dreizhen, Feb 27, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
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  27. marquis

    marquis Champion (803) Nov 20, 2005 England

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  28. digita7693

    digita7693 Devotee (404) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Problem is you have to go to delirium:slight_frown:
  29. loafinaround

    loafinaround Aspirant (200) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    Not much experience w/ beer travel.... but I can tell you that my fantasy trip is to Chicago. Preferably in Nov.
    BubalooBrewMaster likes this.
  30. Dreizhen

    Dreizhen Aspirant (286) Jun 6, 2013 District of Columbia

    Yeah, this is true. I'd almost rather not count it, though. It's basically turned into a college bar of the trashy variety (I say that currently living in ground zero for trashy college bars). I was only in the city for a few months. Had it been much longer I would probably have given in and gone a bit more. Even then I would still probably miss a ton of stuff that they don't carry.
  31. JohnCassillo

    JohnCassillo Zealot (501) Mar 29, 2013 California

    Yup. San Diego may be "very spread out," but it's still very navigable if separated by area. Like you, did Stone, Green Flash and AleSmith in one day, and also stopped at Ballast Point, too (instead of Lost Abbey). And Downtown does have an endless supply of spots to check out.
  32. Donco

    Donco Devotee (470) Aug 12, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Haven't been to Portland but Ashville is a great place for food, beer and the arts!
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  33. Donco

    Donco Devotee (470) Aug 12, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Having never visited San Diego, I will be doing so at the end of October. It's no coincidence that I've booked first class on the way back from SD to Philly. Free baggage to pack my "purchases" back home:wink:
  34. TheeWalrusHunter

    TheeWalrusHunter Initiate (0) Aug 23, 2013 Oregon

    Portland?! Do they even have beer there? Gross.
    tylerstravis likes this.
  35. Cotchept

    Cotchept Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2013 Colorado

    Chicago deserves a nomination. I grew up there and it's really shaping up to be a great craft beer town.

    Since I now live in Denver and have finally experience a lot of the breweries I gotta say it's one of the best beer cities in america.
  36. DVMin98

    DVMin98 Poo-Bah (3,381) Nov 1, 2010 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    San Diego….no doubt
  37. scottbrew4u

    scottbrew4u Savant (917) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia best of the east!!!
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  38. sisterthelonious

    sisterthelonious Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2013 Wisconsin

    SD's beer scene is quite a bit stronger than Portland's, if only because the brewers have had a good 10-15 year head start (homebrewing/nanobrewing). I'm sure the food is about equal, but San Diego has the best Mexican food in the country... and better weather. :slight_smile: So I'll stick with SD. Although I'd love to take a beer week in Portland.
  39. slander

    slander Poo-Bah (2,222) Nov 5, 2001 New York
    Moderator Society

    As New Yorkers, we do back and forths with Boston over who's a better beer town.
    New York or Boston, Boston or New York.

    The answer is Philly.
    weltywm, mythaeus, nobeer4u and 9 others like this.
  40. chcfan

    chcfan Zealot (569) Oct 29, 2008 California

    I've been to both multiple times and Portland's beer scene impresses me more. Craft market share there is way higher than SD, and even though part of that is demographics, it's still a stifling number. Also, craft brewing goes every bit as far back in Portland, if not further, as it does in SD. That being said, I'd rather live in SD, but that's mostly because of weather.
    tylerstravis likes this.
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