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25 Best Beer Cities: #22 Grand Rapids, Michigan

25 Best Beer Cities: #22 Grand Rapids, Michigan

July 2, 2012 5

Grand Rapids, Michigan has less than a million people in the city and outlying areas, but has more breweries than the greater New York City area, which has upwards of 20 million people.  However, it was more than the number of breweries that edged the Big Apple off this list.  While this may not be the highest ranked American city on this list, Grand Rapids is certainly a city that is passionate about their beer.

While Portland (Oregon) and Asheville (North Carolina) were busy fighting each other for the title of “Beer City, USA” through an internet poll, Grand Rapids came in an made their presence known by creating an awkward tie for the 2012 title.  The poll is based on 40,000 votes, and does not take much criteria into account, other than the passion (and voting) of the people who believe a certain city should be number one.  But the title was enough for residents to shout it from the mountain tops, and is surely a title that everyone in the city is aware of.

The beers produced here have also received national acclaim and are ranked by many craft beer connoisseurs as some of the best beers in the country. (Beer Advocate and Rate Beer)

While they are already home to 14 breweries, and one of the top beer bars in the country (HopCat), it will be interesting to see what happens with their beer culture over the next few years.  They had already established themselves as a hot bead for hop heads, before this year.  Prior to the “Beer City, USA” voting, local breweries and bars had already received national acclaim.  But as with another small city on this list, their spark of recognition can lead to a fire of passion that only makes the beer scene stronger.

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5 Comments »

  1. Dube July 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Zane,

    you have not been to Grand Rapids, Michigan have you? I

  2. WesinID July 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    As a born Idahoan and current supporter of the Boise State Broncos, an Ohio State Buckeye fan who will forever be a detractor of anything Wolverine or Spartan. I must tip my hat (with the Bronco logo) to Grand Rapids, Michigan for making this list. I lived in Grand Haven for 4 years and often thought of Grand Rapids as the undeserved big brother. But now, I wish to return an partake of all the ales that big brother may have to offer.

  3. John Vavrek July 18, 2012 at 1:14 am - Reply

    No offense But the Tampa Bay Area Has More Brewery’s by far but has more beer festivals than anyone in the country. It should be on the list for sure.

  4. PT July 27, 2012 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Glad to see some national recognition for Grand Rapids, MI. It’s an awesome place to wonder around downtime through all of the breweries. Hopcat is by far one of the best!

  5. Mystrymeat October 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    maybe you can film an episode here some day. i want to challenge you guys to a 6 pack challenge here in GR.

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