Grain, hops, yeast and water. Four simple ingredients that when brewed to perfection, give us one of the most popular beverages of all time – beer. But in the U.S. today, beer is much more than just a beverage. Americans consume about 26.5 gallons of beer and cider per person per year. And craft beer has become a culture of its own. Of the 7,450 U.S. breweries in operation in 2018, 7,346 were craft breweries (a significant increase from the 3,814 craft breweries in operation just five years before).
More breweries means more brewery tours, tasting opportunities, ale trails and festivals. And the explosion of the craft beer movement has also introduced a new phenomenon known as the “beercation,” a vacation centered around beer tourism that usually involves visiting local breweries and learning more about how beer is produced from farm to pint. When it comes to choosing the perfect destination, however, some cities have a beer culture that stands out from the rest. Scroll through the slideshow to see our top ten picks for best craft beer cities in the U.S.
10. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Coming in at No. 10 on our list is Grand Rapids, Michigan. Home to over 40 breweries, Grand Rapids earns the nickname of “Beer City.” The city also hosts several brewery tours and a variety of beer-related events all year round, including a Winter Beer Festival, Founders Fest and Beer Month GR.
Grand Rapids even has its own Beer City Ale Trail, a network of over 50 breweries, cideries, meaderies and distilleries in and around the downtown area. Visitors can collect stamps on their Beer City Passport to earn the official title of “Beer City Brewsader.”