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What, no love for Baltimore (or DC)?

Where’s the best place in the United States to drink beer this week?

I’d vote for Baltimore, always an good choice but with Baltimore Beer Week in full swing a rather obvious one.

For some reason Baltimore — as well as Washington, D.C. — seems to have been neglected of late. I went looking through a variety of “best beer city lists” and no Baltimore. Asheville, N.C., makes two, but the closest Baltimore came was when Michael Jackson picked a top seven in 2000 and called Baltimore a “contender.”

He also made a point worth remembering the next time a little “best beer city” silliness breaks out. He wrote, “A great beer city needs to be big enough to create a market but sufficiently small to have a genuine local pride in its beers.”

With that in mind here are a few compilations of top-rated and “under-rated” cities.

Stephen Beaumont’s Unsung Destinations
From the Oct./Nov issue of Ale Street News
1. Western Michigan
2. Atlanta
3. Raleigh-Durham
4. Anchorage
5. Manhattan

AABM Under the Radar
(Mark Lisheron story in All About Beer magazine – alphabetical order)
Asheville, N.C.
Burlington, Vermont
Madison, Wisconsin
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Portland, Maine
Santa Rosa/Healdsburg

Men’s Journal’s Top U.S. Cities
1. San Diego
2. New York
3. Portland, Oregon
4. Philadelphia
5. Chicago

Examiner National Poll
16,000 votes
Tie – Portland, Oregon
Tie – Asheville, N.C.
3. Philadelphia
4. San Diego
5. St. Louis
6. San Francisco/Bay area
7. Seattle
8, Denver
9. Portland, Maine
10. Milwaukee
11. Fort Collins, Colorado

Ben McFarland’s World Best
From World’s Best Beers: One Thousand Craft Brews from Cask to Glass — review coming soon
1. Bamberg
2. Bruges
3. Munich
4. London
5. Boston
6. Portland
7. Prague
8. San Francisco
9. Brussels
10. Cologne

Michael Jackson’s Magnificent Seven
(from 2000, listed west to east)
San Francisco


7 Responses to What, no love for Baltimore (or DC)?

  1. Andy October 13, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    The DC-Baltimore Metro area always gets left off any beer lists. It makes me sad that other people don’t know about our wonderful beer culture, but also extremely happy I don’t have to share.

  2. Kelly Armstrong October 13, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    +1 for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area!

  3. Derrick October 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    Have to agree with you on Baltimore. After spending a week in the city last June, it compares quite well with the San Francisco Bay Area where I’m from, that makes most “Best Beer Cities Lists”.

  4. Joe S. October 14, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Ugh, I love/hate these lists. McFarland’s is interesting. Bruges #2, really? I’d rate London over it and Munich. Cologne makes the list, but I’d rather see Düsseldorf. And Boston, really?

  5. Boak October 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    London over Brussels and Prague? As a Londoner born and bred, I’d like to be proud of this but I don’t think it deserves such a high rating. Not on beer alone, or even on the quality of the pubs. There are much better beer towns in the UK (York for a picturesque example)

  6. SteveH October 15, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    Madison is under the radar? Not if you live within a 2 hour drive vicinity. Maybe that’s the reach of their signal strength?

  7. Greg Barbera October 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    Stan, just wanted to let you know I’m currently in Baltimore representin’…

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