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25 US Cities with the Most Breweries Per Capita

In this article, we are going to discuss the 25 US cities with the most breweries per capita. You can skip our detailed analysis of the economic contribution of the American beer industry, the recent acquisition in the U.S. beer market, and the domestic production of Sapporo beers, and go directly to the 10 US Cities with the Most Breweries Per Capita

Breweries have become engines of economic development. They often do this by revitalizing old buildings that are no longer in use and usually in areas with cheaper real estate – all in an effort to minimize startup costs. However, this choice quickly becomes beneficial for all concerned. New businesses begin to surround these newly opened breweries to help take advantage of the increased foot traffic around the establishment. In many cases, one singular brewery has been the impetus for a whole town’s revival.

Economic Contributions of the Beer Industry:  

The U.S. has come a long way since Prohibition and with 28.2 gallons per capita, beer was the most consumed alcoholic drink in America in 2022. As we mentioned in our article – 25 Top-Selling Beers in America – the beer industry supported more than 2.4 million local jobs that year and contributed around $409 billion to the national economy – equivalent to 1.6% of GDP. The industry also paid more than $132 billion in wages and contributed $63.8 billion in taxes to the national exchequer. 

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America’s brewing industry has been flourishing for a few decades now and there were 9,709 breweries operating in the country in 2022 – the highest figures ever in history.

Recent Acquisition in the Beer Market: 

Tilray Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY) – a craft beer and cannabis company that was among the first to be licensed for medical cannabis in Canada – announced last year that it has agreed to acquire eight beer and beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) for an undisclosed amount. 

The deal includes the Shock Top, Blue Point, 10 Barrel, Breckenridge, Redhook, Widmer Brothers, Square Mile Cider, and HiBall Energy brands. With the satisfaction of customary closing conditions last October, combined with the pro forma sales revenue from the acquired businesses, Tilray Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY) is now expected to become the 5th largest craft beer business in the U.S. with a 5% market share. 

Tilray Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY) owns multiple beverage brands and is also counted among the Biggest Marijuana Companies in the World

The Domestic Production of Sapporo Beers: 

On June 23rd 2023, Stone Brewing shocked the craft beer biz by announcing that it was being acquired by the Japanese brewing giant Sapporo, and the $165 million deal closed quickly in August.

Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, Stone Brewing was one of the largest craft breweries in the United States at the time, but given that it is now owned by an international beer behemoth, it is no longer considered a true ‘craft brewery’, as per the definition by the Brewers Association. With this transition, Stone's well-known founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner are no longer in the picture. 

Under Sapporo’s management, Stone continues to operate breweries in Escondido, CA, and Richmond, VA, along with seven taproom and bistro locations. The Japanese company’s goal is to not only manage Stone’s growth in the United States, but also to harness the brewery’s considerable production resources to produce more Sapporo beers in America, where it is currently the #1 selling Asian beer brand. The Richmond Stone brewery will make about 40% of the company’s total domestic output, with the remaining 60% being made out of Stone’s California operations.  

The move by the company to make Sapporo beer at the Stone breweries is ironic given that Stone’s previous co-founder and co-owner, Greg Koch, famously mocked mass-produced lagers by global brewers as ‘fizzy yellow beer’. 

It is worth mentioning that Sapporo also acquired San Francisco-based Anchor Brewing in 2017 for $85 million, with plans of brewing its Asian offerings at Anchor’s production facility. However, the marriage didn’t exactly go to plan and America’s oldest craft brewery ended up permanently ceasing its operations in July last year.

State with the Most Craft Breweries per Capita:

With 15.6 breweries per 100,000 adults, Vermont is the state with the most craft breweries per capita in the United States. The 78 breweries in the Green Mountain State produced over 324,000 barrels of beer in 2022, or 20.1 gallons per every 21+ adult, the most for any state in America. 

Meanwhile, Switzerland is the country with the most breweries per capita, with 146 breweries per million inhabitants.

With that said, here are the U.S. Cities with the Highest Density of Breweries

25 US Cities with the Most Breweries Per Capita
25 US Cities with the Most Breweries Per Capita

A close-up on several cans of freshly brewed beer in a commercial brewery.

Methodology: 

To collect data for this article, we have referred to Real Estate Witch, looking for the Cities with the Most Breweries per Capita. The following cities have been ranked by their number of breweries per 100,000 residents, according to the data collected in 2023. To keep our list relevant, we have only included metros with populations of at least 100,000 or more. 

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25. Kansas City, MO

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.24

Kansas City's craft beer scene is brewing and the city has established itself into a burgeoning beer town since its humble beginnings in 1989. KC is als home to Boulevard Brewing Co. –  one of the Best Craft Breweries in America. Boulevard Brewing was acquired by the Duvel Moortgat Brewery in 2013, in a deal worth an estimated $100 million. 

24. Hartford, CT

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.25

Connecticut is a huge part of New England's renowned local craft beer scene and the city of Hartford has no shortage of breweries, serving up the best the Constitution State has to offer in hops, hazy IPA's, and old-factory-turned-chic-brewery ambiance.

23. Providence, RI

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.29

Rhode Island was once known as the rum capital of the world, home to more than 20 distilleries in Newport alone. But the Ocean State now also boasts a thriving brewing industry that has only seen an upward momentum in the last few years, even during the pandemic, surprisingly. 

At the end of 2019, RI had 27 breweries employing a total of 251 people. By the end of September 2021, the number of breweries had expanded to 34, with a workforce of 330. 

22. Sacramento, CA

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.31

With a staggering 957 breweries in 2022, California is the #1 state for craft beer in America. With a production volume of over 3.5 million barrels, these brewers had an economic impact of over $8.8 billion in the Golden State. With a rich history rooted in California's agricultural heritage, the city of Sacramento has also become a hotbed for innovative breweries pushing the boundaries of flavor and technique.

Sacramento sits among the Cities with the Most Breweries in the U.S. per Capita

21. New Orleans, LA

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.41

In New Orleans, the party hasn’t actually started in a long time simply because the party never ends and the bars never close. The city is home to a large number of 24/7 fine drinking establishments and breweries, placing it among the Drunkest Cities in America in 2023

20. Indianapolis, IN

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.43

The Sun King Brewery is the largest craft production facility in the state of Indiana, with several award-winning brews including the Afternoon Delight, crafted through a process of wood barrel aging. The brewery has become an entertainment hub in the city of Indianapolis. 

19. Cleveland, OH

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.47

For those unfamiliar with Cleveland's beer scene, the Ohio city is chalk full of incredible breweries. The first brewpub and microbrewery in the state of Ohio, Great Lakes Brewing has been noted as important to Cleveland’s local identity. Independent for over 30 years and employee-owned since 2018, Great Lakes serves 14 states and Washington D.C. with an award-winning selection of fresh, flavorful and innovative craft brews, like the Hazelcraft IPA, Dortmund Gold Lager, and numerous others. 

18. Oklahoma City, OK

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.47

Oklahoma City is at the heart of a thriving craft beer culture and home to a wide variety of breweries. The city’s breweries average an impressive rating of 4.31 out of 5 on Yelp, showcasing the exceptional quality and satisfaction that beer connoisseurs can expect.

Oklahoma City now sits among the Top American Cities for Beer Lovers

17. Minneapolis, MN

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.5

Minnesota has witnessed a 396% increase in its number of craft breweries since 2012, putting it among the States with the Most Craft Breweries. Surly, located in the city of Minneapolis, is a popular craft maker producing some very captivating beers in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, including Todd the Axe Man. 

16. Nashville, TN

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.53

Home to the best-selling American whiskey company on the planet, it’s no secret that Tennessee is renowned worldwide for its booze - but the Volunteer State’s success doesn’t end with barrel-aged spirit. Although it started only in 1994, the beer scene in Nashville is evolving so fast, in fact, that two of the best new breweries – Smith & Lentz and Southern Grist – don’t even have a set lineup and instead make an ever-changing variety of small-batch beers.

15. Austin, TX

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.57

Austin has been home to many craft brewery pioneers over the years, which have helped shape the city’s thriving craft scene and brought a wide variety of delicious, high-quality brews to the market. In fact, the state of Texas has become a top destination for craft beer lovers all over the country. The Lone Star State was home to 407 craft breweries in 2022, ranking it among the States that Produce the Most Craft Beer

Austin is counted among the Best Beer Cities in 2024

14. Columbus, OH

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.68

There are over 20 different breweries in Columbus and their beers can be found at over 100 restaurants, bars, and stores throughout the city. The beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) also has a presence in Ohio’s capital city. Its Columbus brewery resides on 138 acres and is one of only two breweries that brews non-alcohol beers.

AB InBev and the City of Columbus are launching the first ever city-wide program in the U.S. to understand and help reduce the harmful use of alcohol, as part of the beer giant’s Global Smart Drinking Goals initiative. 

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) is placed among the Best Alcohol Stocks to Own According to Hedge Funds

13. Raleigh, NC

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.69

Wake County, home to Raleigh, spent a combined total of $190.37 million on alcohol in 2021 – the highest figures in the Tar Heel State. The Guinness world-record winning Raleigh Beer Garden boasts three stories with a rooftop bar offering 350 beers on tap.

Raleigh is counted among the American Cities with the Most Breweries per Person

12. Cincinnati, OH

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.7

Much like the rest of America, Cincinnati has also been reaping the benefits of a booming craft beer scene. The city is home to one of the Largest Craft Breweries in the US by Volume – Rhinegeist. This 25,000 square foot active brewing facility is housed in the former bottling plant of Christian Moerlein Brewing Co., a formidable pre-Prohibition beer maker.

11. Charlotte, NC

Breweries per 100,000 Residents: 1.86

Charlotte shines among North Carolina's bustling beer scenes, with dozens of breweries and craft beer destinations. One of the top craft breweries in the city is Resident Culture. The brewing facility includes a custom-built coolship, and has also become a community space, hosting fundraisers, live music, and events for organizations like the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Charlotte ranks 11th in our list of Cities with the Most Breweries per Capita in America.

Click to continue reading and see the 10 US Cities with the Most Breweries Per Capita.

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Disclosure: None. 25 US Cities with the Most Breweries Per Capita is originally published on Insider Monkey.