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.
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.
Next City (Coming 7/3/12)