State of California Among Craft Beer Havens Nationally

The work week may have just started, but that’s no reason to avoid looking forward to that first weekend pint.

For Californians, there’s no shortage of quality products to choose from, with 1,100 craft breweries located in the Golden State, per the California Craft Brewers Association.

Those operators were able to brew up a lot of revenue for the state’s bottom line, contributing more than $9 billion to the state’s economy and north of 54,000 jobs statewide, per the association’s website.

With National Beer Day arriving on April 7, we decided to take a break from California sports betting and look at the best states to celebrate in if you are a big fan of beer. When it comes to determining the best, we looked quality, quantity and affordability. utilized three combined data points to develop the ranking of the 50 US States from best to worst states for beer lovers. We utilized to get the average rating of beers brewed in the state (ratings given out of 5), to get the amount of breweries per capita (per 100,000 residents) and for the average price of a 24-pack per state. Once acquiring that information, we averaged out the ranking of the states to get our final rankings.

Best States For Beer Lovers

Overall RankStateQuality Ranking Quantity RankingAffordability RankingTotal Average
T6New York1230315
T8Rhode Island2222416
T8North Carolina2318716
15New Hampshire3481318.3

Where California Beer Lovers Rank Nationally

Between nationally recognized breweries like Chico’s Sierra Nevada, Pasos Robles-based Firestone Walker and San Diego’s Stone Brewing and niche brands like Lost Coast and Modern Times, there’s no shortage of beer options for Californians.

The state’s abundance of beer brands propels California to the fifth spot in terms of national quality rankings, but is tempered by a lack of quantity (31st nationally) and affordability (18th), resulting in the state ranking 14th nationally.

On the national leaderboard, California finished between Massachusetts and New Hampshire and behind national leaders, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado and Missouri.

California wound up eight spots above Michigan, in terms of the state’s total average of 18, and six points behind Iowa (12), while Illinois (13.3), Colorado (14) and Missouri (14.6) all led the state by varying margins.

Perhaps Californians should look at the bright side, that being that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

With one of the first craft breweries in the U.S. (Anchor Steam of San Francisco, founded in 1896) and perhaps the first purveyor of the modern craft era (Sierra Nevada, founded in 1980), California can lay claim to being at the bleeding edge of the Great Beer Boom in America.

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Christopher Boan
Reporter / Journalist

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at, specializing in sports betting issues in the western United States. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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