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Durham among top cities for beer lovers

Posted April 26
Updated April 27

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Few things compare to the indulgence of a titillatingly complex, savory and frothy beer poured graciously from the tap. Sure, the recent merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller means about a third of the world's beer is mass produced. However, their generic formulas leave much to be desired when compared to the elixirs generated by an aggressively growing craft brewery scene.

According to Brewers Association, mid-year domestic craft beer production reached 12.2 million barrels in the first half of 2015 -- representing a 16 percent year-over-year rise in production. Despite the acquisition of once-craft breweries like Goose Island Beer Co. by the AB-InBev enterprise, the number of small-business lager lines is growing. We're on the cusp of outdoing the country's 1873 record of 4,131 open breweries, according to USA Today.

The team at FindTheHome wanted to see which American cities boast the best brewery scenes. To do this, we consulted 2016 Yelp data and American Community Survey data from 2014 to calculate a three-part brewery score for cities with more than five breweries and populations exceeding 200,000 people.

Their score takes into account quality, popularity and quantity of breweries by factoring in:

  • The number of breweries with four or more Yelp stars in the area, and at least 25 reviews.
  • The number of Yelp reviews per 10,000 residents in the area.
  • The number of breweries per 10,000 people.

If you consider climbing the ranks of Untappd a legitimate hobby, some states are deserving of a visit. California is a craft beer mecca, with three cities making the list. Oregon is also promising for beer lovers. We've ranked the list from lowest to highest brewery score.

#10. Durham, NC

Brewery Score: 79.03
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.25
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 51.94
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.38
Number of Breweries in Durham: 9

Population: 240,107

#9. Anaheim, CA

Brewery Score: 80.14
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.23
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 64.26
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.32
Number of Breweries in Anaheim: 11

Population: 342,973

#8. Tampa, FL

Brewery Score: 80.16
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.23
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 63.59
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.34
Number of Breweries in Tampa: 12

Population: 348,934

#7. Reno, NV

Brewery Score: 80.48
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.17
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 84.34
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.61
Number of Breweries in Reno: 14

Population: 231,103

#6. St. Louis, MO

Brewery Score: 81.63
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.38
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 71.38
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.60
Number of Breweries in St. Louis: 19

Population: 318,727

#5. San Francisco, CA

Brewery Score: 81.70
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.13
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 164.85
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.37
Number of Breweries in San Francisco: 31

Population: 829,072

#4. San Diego, CA

Brewery Score: 84.42
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.45
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 149.32
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.68
Number of Breweries in San Diego: 91

Population: 1,341,510

#3. Denver, CO

Brewery Score: 85.97
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.69
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 117.85
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 0.93
Number of Breweries in Denver: 59

Population: 633,777

#2. Seattle, WA

Brewery Score: 87.62
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.52
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 142.17
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 1.00
Number of Breweries in Seattle: 64

Population: 637,850

#1. Portland, OR

Brewery Score: 89.35
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breweries: 0.55
Number of Yelp Reviews Per 10K People: 222.78
Number of Breweries per 10K People: 1.44
Number of Breweries in Portland: 87

Population: 602,568

Compare Places on FindTheHome

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1 Comment

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  • Dale Heeks Apr 27, 2:02 p.m.
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    This is flawed, the top cities will not have yelp data because it's residents are drinking beer vs filling out reviews on yelp.