(NEXSTAR) – Beer tourism. It’s one thing.
Beer aficionados around the world are probably familiar with the concept of a “beercation”, or a planned excursion with the intention (at least in part) to visit the local breweries or taprooms. In fact, interest in “beercations” has become so widespread that Travelocity debuted a “Beer Tourism Index” in 2019 after a survey of just over 1,000 users found that more than three-quarters expressed an interest in booking a trip that included local beer tasting or brewery tours.
Recognizing this growing trend, the analysts at HomeToGo, a vacation rental platform, sought to determine America’s top “beer towns” using a “Beer Lovers Index” based on the number of brewpubs, breweries, and top-rated bars, as well as the average beer prices and the average cost of overnight stays for travelers looking to spend a few nights in the city.
After researching hundreds of cities, HomeToGo came up with a ranking of the top 17 destinations for beer lovers looking for a quick, boozy getaway.
At the top of HomeToGo’s rankings is Chicago, Illinois, a city that ranks highly for its abundance of breweries and well-rated bars, as well as affordability of pints and overnight stays.
“The brewing scene has taken off in recent decades with the opening of Goose Island Beer Company in 1988,” writes HomeToGo, noting that Chicago has 50 breweries. “Other local brewers such as Two Brothers, Half Acre Beer Company and Metropolitan Brewing have also become extremely popular over the years.”
Rounding out the top five was Portland, Oregon, with 52 breweries; Milwaukee, which received a perfect score for affordable accommodations; Denver, where the annual Great American Beer Festival is held; and Seattle, whose oldest brewery dates back to 1854, HomeToGo noted.
The full list of the best “beer towns,” according to HomeToGo, is ranked as follows:
- Portland, Oregon
- New York City
- Asheville, North Carolina
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- San Diego
- Daytona Beach, Florida
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Portland, Maine
- Key West, Florida
In surveying each city, HomeToGo used data from the Brewers Association. Open Brewery DB, Rate Beer, Numbeo, and HomeToGo, the latter offering average nightly rates for vacation rentals.
More information, including category-specific scores for each top-rated city, can be found on HomeToGo.
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