The Steel City may just be one of the best places to grab a brew in the United States.
Pittsburgh has been dubbed the top beer city in the U.S. by SmartAsset, a FinTech company focused on financial advisement and modeling. To determine its annual ranking, SmartAsset used the same set of metrics to assess 366 cities for their beer-drinking status/environment/prowess: “total number breweries, breweries per 100,000 residents, average number of beers per brewery, bars per 100,000 residents, and the average price of a pint.” The report was published on Dec. 7.
As an ever-changing and fast-evolving industry, several interesting changes came up on this year’s top 10 list.
Jumping from the fifth place slot in 2020, Pittsburgh won the number one spot by scoring highly across all categories: 9.4 breweries per 100,000 residents (28 total), with a pint costing $4 on average. Other interesting moves include Cincinnati, falling from first in 2020 to fourth, and Bend, Ore., one of the smallest cities on the list, moving from seventh to second place.
The number of U.S. Breweries doubled between 2015 and 2020, reaching its highest number of breweries ever in 2021 with over 9,000 operating beer producers. Beer is undoubtedly a prominent part of the hospitality industry in many cities, but is also linked to the culture of its many communities. This list demonstrates the craft beer industry’s staying power and that American beer, despite its setbacks, has been embraced by cities of all sizes.
None of the cities on this list are in the top 10 largest cities in the United States. The largest on the 2021 list is Austin, Texas, a small city with a population of about 900 thousand, which came into seventh place.
This has been an incredibly tough year for the craft beer industry, with many reckonings in the culture surrounding it, shortages and supply-chain crises, but seeing how local breweries are impacting their communities across the states does provide a glimmering glass of hope.
SmartAsset’s 2021 List of the Top 10 Cities for Beer Drinkers
- 1. Pittsburgh, Pa.
- 2. Bend, Ore..
- 3. Milwaukee, Wis.
- 4. Cincinnati, Ohio.
- 5. Asheville, N.C.
- 6. Fort Collins, Colo.
- 7. Austin, Texas
- 8. New Orleans, La.
- 9. Portland, Ore.
- 10. Portland, Maine