Why is California the Best Beer State?

Purple SunsetBecause it’s beautiful here!

Actually, that’s not a good enough reason. Obviously I’m biased because I live here, brew here, and drink here. Anytime I use an absolute quantifier word like “best” it’s bound to ruffle some feathers. But I’ve come prepared for the debate with the facts!

The Statistics

Number of breweries: 245
Capita per brewery: 152,057
Production in 2010: 22.2 million barrels
Consumed per capita in 2010: 18.4 gallons
via 10 Best Beer States of 2011 – TheStreet.

The Lists

California brewers make all the lists:
Alesmith, Russian River Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Stone Brewing, Bear Republic, Lagunitas, Kern River Brewing, etc. are included in everyone’s top beer lists. And not just California based beer bloggers either… I bet even your list of favorites has a California beer in there somewhere.

Here’s a short list of lists…

The Weather

We have great weather out here in California, (it’s no reason for us to be a better beer state), I just wanted to brag about how awesome California weather is. As you can see, at this point I’m just making up stuff to support the flawed hypothesis that California is the best beer state.

The Truth

Actually, I don’t really know who the best beer state is. Sure I’d be stoked if California were truly the “best”. I know which beers I like, and the majority of my favorites aren’t California beers. (But 3 of my top ten are, more on that list later.) But if you look at the top lists I mentioned above, there are lots of other states listed as well: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, etc. all get multiple mentions.

So the bottom line is that now is a great time to be involved in craft beer. The revolution is upon us and great beer is being brewed all across America. Even though 80% of what America is brewing overall is still that yellow fizzy stuff they advertise on television, with folks like you and me spreading the love of craft brew, we can tip the scales in our favor. If California is leading the way, then that’s great for me as it adds strength to my claim.

The real point of this article is that I’m fortunate enough to live near a lot of really great California breweries. I’m proud to have those beers readily available to me; either at the brewery, on tap at restaurants, bars, gastro-pubs, etc., and even in the local bottle shops. As part of the Beer Soaked team I plan to take full advantage of that and share my beer experiences on this blog. Hope you’ll check back from time to time as I blog my beer soaked thoughts.



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