The United States of Beer

Categories: Booze, Brew Blog

unitedstatesofbeersmall.jpg
Illustration by Monica Fuentes
Full-size image below.
You asked for it, we delivered.

Last week, while many of you were enjoying our map of the United States of Soft Drinks, just as many of you alcoholics were demanding a United States of Beer map instead. And so we hunkered down all weekend, doing the kind of brutal and difficult work that it takes to determine a fitting beer for every last one of our 50 states.

Texas, naturally, belongs to Shiner. Our rationale for this? Lone Star and Pearl are now brewed by Pabst (even though they're still brewed in Texas), so they're out. Saint Arnold, Real Ale, Independence, Southern Star and other Texas brews are all wonderful -- each and every one of them -- but none have the reach and recognition that Shiner has on a national scale. Plus, it tastes great with Gulf Coast oysters.

That logic applies to most of the other choices on the map, as well. Budweiser? Born in Missouri, known worldwide. Miller? Sorry, Leinenkugel, but it's arguably Wisconsin's biggest invention to date. Yuengling? You're awesome, Victory, but no other beer can compete with Yuengling's longevity.

Other states were more difficult to choose beers for, however.

Florida? South Dakota? Kentucky? These aren't places that one naturally associates with beer, as the map and our choices demonstrate. We finally settled on Bud Light for Kentucky as it's traditionally the most favored beer in beer cheese, a regional favorite. Florida gets saddled with MGD Light 64 because it's the beer we imagine bikini-clad Miami Beach babes drinking to stay slim.

And still other states have frustratingly outdated liquor laws, like Alabama and West Virginia. Those states were penalized by being "awarded" awful, low-ABV brews like Keystone Light and Natural Light, as these are some of the only beers that can lawfully be sold in these pitiful states. Mississippi, however, was rewarded for its persistence in fighting the man with breweries like Lazy Magnolia.

Did we leave off your favorite beer? Probably. With only 50 beers, it was bound to happen. But is the United States of Beer still our favorite food infographic to date? You bet your Venn diagram it is.

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221 comments
Lone Mountain Truck Leasing
Lone Mountain Truck Leasing

Drink beer, the world's population increasing rapidly, it is. Beer lovers make up only a small statistics. We found a variety of beer events travelers. We are consumers find new and interesting beer, various attempts. Who are we to do our own homes, it's beer breweries.

StoneFan
StoneFan

They got CA right with STONE!

Csenior10
Csenior10

Theres a lot of arguing here! I suggest that everyone pops a top of their favorite brew and chill!

ResearchYourFactsNextTime
ResearchYourFactsNextTime

Unfortunately, the "outdated" part of this article in reference to Alabama is the journalist's research. We have updated our laws, while still not perfect, and now have access to many, many high gravity beers...there's even a local store where you can take away Growlers full of draft.

Moamick
Moamick

Hmm... Wouldn't be a complete map of the United States of America if they HAD included The District of Columbia. Good work folks, good work.

Bigjonson311
Bigjonson311

Virginia-PBR...great beer, but Starr Hill Brewery from Charlottesville has to be the new state beer over PBRRRRG (which as you all know is a pirates favorite beer)

Ehchri01
Ehchri01

Nothing about the terrific beers and ales of New Mexico and Kentucky - especially Kentucky Ale

NNE rulz
NNE rulz

Northern New England is holding it down: Allagash, Smutty, Magic Hat and Sammy. Not too shabby!

M Skullhead
M Skullhead

Huh. I've never heard of Minneapolis Town Hall. Something like Summit, Schell, Surly, Flat Earth or even Grain Belt would go better in there.

Carla Jean
Carla Jean

Awesome concept, but disappointed to see Alabama stuck with Keystone. The ABV limits have been increased, and there is some amazing beer brewed here.

blairstapp
blairstapp

1. I love beer. I buy good beer.2. I live in Alabama. 3. I wear shoes.4. My state isn't pitiful.

Bnb19
Bnb19

Sierra Nevada ??? seriously I love Stone, but come on, and Massachusettes you must be joking.

Smezhir
Smezhir

New Belgium for CO? Yeah, I suppose if you live in TX, you'd call it that, but here on the front range, it's Oskar Blues, in Longmont...purveyors of Yella Pils, Dales Pale Ale, Gubna, and Old Chub...unfortunately for you, it's not available in 24 states. Check out the BeerAdvocate ratings of their fine line...Although NB has great range, and great beer, I would advise the next time you engage in this exercise, you actually get out of Houston, and drink the beers in the land that you're judging...CO has too many small, up and coming breweries to list, and with the exception of Upslope Brewing in Boulder, they all make world-class products that are better than anywhere on earth...I thank God everyday I wake up in CO, and paraphrase Ben Franklin when I say that beer is proof that God loves man, and he loves us in CO even more....

SirRon
SirRon

Oskar Blues is available in Texas. We are a pretty big beer market. For a lot of breweries, Texas is their biggest market. Maybe you should get out of CO a little... or just lay off the weed before hitting the blogs.

Prewit_l
Prewit_l

You are pitifully behind the times. Alabama is not limited in its beer choices to low-ABV brews. Gus's Fine Wine and Beer in Auburn sells craft beers, has a beer club, beer tastings, sells beer in growlers, and even had "beer floats" (actually porter floats) once. Do your research!

Maxhoecker225
Maxhoecker225

I would like to see Virginia as the Starr Hill state. I hate PBR, and Starr Hill Brewery is located in Crozet, VA.

Thompsont00
Thompsont00

Minneapolis town hall for minnesota? How about summit, mn's favorite micro brew instead of a weak downtown brew pub beer

Sarah
Sarah

right on with Montana and Michigan!

I'm from Michigan originally. I've never had Bell's but everyone I know from back home LOVES Bell's Oberon! (I'm partial to the Motor City Brewing Works [Detroit] or the Keweenaw Brewing Co. [Houghton] myself) but I think Bell's is a solid choice.

As far as Montana goes, I live in Missoula- home of 3 great breweries. Some would argue that Big Sky's Moose Drool takes the cake and I can't argue against it- it's a good, solid beer. Bayern's Dragon's Breath Dark Hefe Ale is also quality. But Kettlehouse has their Joe Bong Coffee Porter and dare I say it might actually be brewed in Heaven...

sandhillguy
sandhillguy

Bell's Amber is now available in Tucson. Yaaaay! (But Kiltlifter from our own Four Peaks is still mighty fine.)

Justcallmezach
Justcallmezach

Busch Light for South Dakota? You gotta be kidding me. If it's gotta be swill, I'll give you Natty Light at least.

And not having Grain Belt for Minnesota is borderline insulting.

Tuscaloosa Liver Police
Tuscaloosa Liver Police

I was curious about the abject ignorance regarding Alabama until I noticed this bit of hackery came from Houston, the only suburb or Berkeley in Texas.

Other then Austin, of course. If you can get your nose and pinkie out of the air long enough, come on over and I'll take you to a grocery store and buy a hefeweizen.

Huntsville maid service
Huntsville maid service

I'm afraid I don't drink beer or any alcohol for that matter. But I'm always curious why soo many people like the stuff. There's even a month dedicated to beer drinking.

Jay
Jay

Why not Landshark for Florida?

Jacque
Jacque

That map is awesome. However, the Epic logo is wrong. The logo you have is for the Epic Brewery in New Zealand. Epic in Utah only sells 22oz beer, no six-packs. Cheers!

akpete
akpete

Midnight Sun Brewing Company has been around A LOT longer than Denali, is at least as good of a name to describe Alaska (possibly even better because many people don't know that Denali is Mt. McKinley so Denali doesn't really mean anything) and is distributed to many more places(MSBC is think is in 13 states - Denali is local only). Google "Alaska Beer" and the Brewers Guild of Alaska is right on the first page. There are several better choices than Denali Brewing....say even ALASKAN BREWING CO....weird...it's right in the name!

Mutzter
Mutzter

Just a quick note to let you know that Alabama has changed it's beer laws 2 years ago and now allows high gravity beer in the state - THANK YOU LORD!!

David Langley
David Langley

For my friend and Beer lover Tim Wescott.....

Peter
Peter

may I please contend MN's Town Hall Brewery. I love it, but it is a brewhouse in MN = no distribution. SURLY, however...

London
London

Oh come ON, Abita for Louisiana? Blech, it's such a newcomer! What about Dixie? Gotta love some Dixie Blackened Voodoo!

Michael Croft
Michael Croft

both Dixie and Jax are gone, sadly. Dixie may come back, but Jax was sold to Pearl.

In my father's beer drinking days in the late 1950s in Austin, Dixie was considered of marginal quality. "Dixie beer: every can tastes different!"

SirRon
SirRon

I believe Dixie, the brewery, is closed. The beer is now contracted out.

dennis
dennis

How is four loko from Nevada? It's invented in Ohio, and it's not even beer....

Liz
Liz

Kentucky Ale for Kentucky, for sure! C'mon now! Bud Light because of beer cheese? That's just laziness!

Nowgohaveabeer
Nowgohaveabeer

Kentucky Ale may as well come out of a racehorse. There are far better beers from Bluegrass and Cumberland.

RickParrent
RickParrent

I think Kentucky should be marked by Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. Sure, not too many have heard of it outside the Commonwealth borders, but it is by far our best beer (plus it has flavoring from the real regional favorite-- bourbon!).

Seedub6
Seedub6

Who was the graphic designer on this project? A 10 year old? This is disappointing, both the list and the graphic. FFS I need a beer.

KK
KK

The beer pictured for Maryland is actually Dogfish Head (http://ratuagung.com/wp-conten... not Flying Dog. One would think if you went to all this trouble you would double check your details before publishing.

Rob
Rob

That's Delaware.

Jack
Jack

Minnesota should absolutely be Premium Grain Belt. I live there and I've never even heard of Minneapolis Town Hall.

Bill Plott
Bill Plott

Alabama has several excellent craft brewers such as Good People in Birmingham and Olde Towne and Straight to Ale in Huntsville. All have worthy brews. Keystone Light as Alabama's beer? Come on, even the cheap beer sales here go to Pabst and Milwaukee's Best Light,not a Coors knock off.

Bystander
Bystander

THIS MAP CLEARLY DISPLEASES ME AND HAS RUINED MY DAY, NAY, MY YEAR. I WEEP FOR MY COUNTRY FOR SUCH FOOLS LIVE WITHIN IT. People, shut the fuck up. All I see is whining. It's disgusting.

SirRon
SirRon

I can't wait for Shilcutt's racial stereotype map, although it may not get as many comments. :)

Nowgohaveabeer
Nowgohaveabeer

Sorry, this grossly uninformed map leads me to believe that you have absolutely no concept of what craft beer is about. This is an absolutely STUPID representation. What are the selection criteria? There is no consistency apparent in the selections. For Wisconsin, which along with Michigan has the greatest selection and diversity of craft beer in the upper Midwest, you chose Miller, yet Minnesota shows a growler from a fine brewpub, Town Hall, but a rather small producer. Why not a micro like Summit or a regional like Schell's for Minnesota? Although I can see some logic (even though I dislike the selection) to A-B for Missouri and Miller for Wisconsin), then why not follow suit and show Coors for Colorado instead of New Belgium. If a craft brewer the size of New Belgium is representative of Colorado and Bell's for Michigan, then it should be similarly large craft brewers such as Summit for Minnesota and New Glarus for Wisconsin, to suggest just a couple examples. Please make an effort to learn about the craft beer industry before you write any more worthless crap like this.

Jackson
Jackson

There's a lot of hate in these comments, but I would like to point out that Illinois and Louisiana are absolutely correct. Goose Island and Abita are without a doubt the best breweries from each state, respectively.

Joe Porter
Joe Porter

Definitely got indiana right.... Three Floyds FTW

Trevor
Trevor

How is it that Colorado got something awesome like New Belgium, but Missouri's Boulevard got kicked to the curb? Ever heard of Coors? If Bud is Missouri's beer, Coors should have been Colorado's. At least Coors is still locally owned, unlike the Belgium In-Bev owned Anheuser-Busch. Missouri's largest locally owned brewery? That would be Boulevard.

Btowns
Btowns

Oh yeah. Alabama. What they said.

Btowns
Btowns

Interesting concept and list of beers. But you missed a great opportunity to highlight an amazing brewery when you "saddled" Florida with MGD Light 64. Cigar City in Tampa is an award-winning brewery you will be hearing much more about soon.

Cheers,

Bob Townsend, editor Southern Brew News and Atlanta Journal-Constitution beer columnist

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