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Old 05-30-2009, 05:06 AM   #1
slyinky
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Default Best Beer Map of America



Despite the quip about American beer being like making love in a canoe, the US produces a multitude and a variety of brews that belie the homogenised tastes of the most popular brands. At its annual Great American Beer Festival, the Brewers Association awards gold, silver and bronze medals to the best beers produced by the hundreds of breweriers in the US, from the largest to the micro-est.

Compiled by veteran drinks journalist (1) Rick Lyke and his son-in-law Mike Wirth (2), this map charts all the gold, silver and bronze presented by the Brewers Association since 1987. “Looking at the pages of medal winners from the past does not give quite as clear a picture as the state map showing where the winners come from,” says Mr Lyke (on this page of his blog, lyke2drink). “Clearly, beer fans in California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Oregon and Pennsylvania enjoy some of the best beers in the land.”

Top 10 medal-winning states are:

1. California – 474
2. Colorado – 322
3. Wisconsin – 232
4. Oregon – 170
5. Pennsylvania – 162
6. Texas – 133
7. Washington – 114
8. New York – 98
9. Missouri -90
10. Massachusetts – 76

Of course, this does not take into account the population size of the states listed here. The top 10, reshuffled to reflect the number of medals per million of inhabitants, looks quite different, reflecting a dominance by states with a strong micro-brewing tradition:

1. Colorado – 64.4
2. Oregon – 42.5
3. Wisconsin – 38.6
4. Washington – 16.2
5. Missouri – 15
6. Pennsylvania – 13.5
7. Massachusetts – 12.6
8. California – 12.8
9. Texas – 5.6
10. New York – 5.1

Reversing the map slogan, the “worst beer in America” is brewed in the states with the least medals, i.e. West Virginia (0), North Dakota, Oklahoma (both just 1), Alabama, Rhode Island, DC (2 each), South Dakota, Nebraska, Louisiana (4 each) and Connecticut (5).

Most highly decorated beer in America is the Alaskan Smoked Porter (15 medals; 6 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze), followed by the New Belgium Abbey Belgian Style Ale (10 medals; 6 gold, 4 bronze) and the Genesee Cream Ale (10 medals; 2 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze).

Even though these and most other decorated beers are produced by small “craft” breweries, it’s still the large brewing conglomerates that rake in the highest number of medals among them: Anheuser-Busch (65), Miller (55) and Pabst (50).

Many thanks to Mike Wirth for sending in this map.

(1) presumably a veteran of drinks journalism, and not a journalist of veteran drinks
(2) In its orginial German, Wirt (these days without -h) rather fortuitously means “innkeeper”.

http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/200...ap-of-america/
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:34 AM   #2
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Man, I miss New Belgium's Abbey Ale. Their Fat Tire gets all the hype, but the Abbey is by far the better beer; one of the best I've had.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:45 AM   #3
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Alaskan Smoked Porter is fine but I think Stone Brewery produces far better product with their Smoked Peat Porter.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:22 AM   #4
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Genesee Cream Ale? Seriously? That must be a misprint.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:28 AM   #5
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Genesee Cream Ale? Seriously? That must be a misprint.
Remember the story doesn't say when and what categories they won in. Genesee might have been against Miller, Coors, etc in large brewery American Ale section. The might have the best of the worse. (Yes it still suck though)
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:30 AM   #6
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Genesee might have been against Miller, Coors, etc in large brewery American Ale section. The might have the best of the worse.
Good point, you're probably right.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:43 AM   #7
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Colorado Rocks!!! No if's and's or but's about it.
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:16 AM   #8
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I love drinking beer and microbrew beers but to me the worst popular beer in my opinion is fattire. It has a funky tootsie roll after taste that is horrible.
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:25 AM   #9
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Hah. Another opportunity, golden one would say, to promote my favorite Colorado beer: Golden City Red Ale.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Man, I miss New Belgium's Abbey Ale. Their Fat Tire gets all the hype, but the Abbey is by far the better beer; one of the best I've had.
Fat Tire was great before they got big (over ten years ago). I really loved that stuff. Then it seems like they changed the recipe or something sometime along the way. Or maybe just the location changed where they were brewing.. Anyone else notice this?
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Fat Tire was great before they got big (over ten years ago). I really loved that stuff. Then it seems like they changed the recipe or something sometime along the way. Or maybe just the location changed where they were brewing.. Anyone else notice this?
I agree totally. I went to CSU in the early 90's and you could only get FT in a keg or a bomber. It seemed to be so much better. I do believe my taste has become much more sophisticated, but I have to believe that something had to have changed.

I fondly remember Fat Tire Tuesday at Old Chicago's and paying 50 cents for a 20 ounce glass.....good times.
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casson View Post
Fat Tire was great before they got big (over ten years ago). I really loved that stuff. Then it seems like they changed the recipe or something sometime along the way. Or maybe just the location changed where they were brewing.. Anyone else notice this?
I am sure they ramped up the production and started outsourcing to other mid size regional breweries to produce the beer. When that happens quality usual goes down and the brew master losing contact with his product.
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:12 PM   #13
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In Crested Butte Co. there is the Red Lady Ale. A really good beer.
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:32 PM   #14
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In Crested Butte Co. there is the Red Lady Ale. A really good beer.
According to Beeradvocate this is no longer brewed. True?

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/15634/35622
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:34 PM   #15
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Remember the story doesn't say when and what categories they won in. Genesee might have been against Miller, Coors, etc in large brewery American Ale section. The might have the best of the worse. (Yes it still suck though)
Still, no way it beats out those beers....Genesee Cream Ale is about the bottom of the barrel, undrinkable unless you wanna lose 5 lbs. in a hurry.

Personally, I wouldn't advise anyone to touch it because I myself have pissed in that lake they use to brew it several times........drink up.
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:48 PM   #16
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According to Beeradvocate this is no longer brewed. True?

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/15634/35622
That's the one I was referring too.

I didn't know it was retired. The last time I had one was probably 12 to 15 years ago. I was introduced to the Red Lady on a visit to my brother who at the time live down the road from CB in Gunnison. It had a great taste out of the tap but when it came more readily available at the local liquor store it lost some of it's flavor.

Sad to hear it has been retired. I will be seeing my brother next week near Jackson Hole and will ask him why it was retired.

Thanks, TonyR.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:06 PM   #17
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I am OK with my State coming in #2. Go Oregon!
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:10 PM   #18
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...Fat Tire...
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:28 PM   #19
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Why are you guys so down on FT? That's good stuff.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:33 AM   #20
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Why are you guys so down on FT? That's good stuff.
Because it has a terrible aftertaste and is way overrated. I'd rather drink OLY.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:37 AM   #21
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Why are you guys so down on FT? That's good stuff.
I'm drinking Fat Tire right now. First thing I bought when I got back to Denver from New England.
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:38 AM   #22
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Why are you guys so down on FT? That's good stuff.
I just think it has changed.

Funny story about FT.

I moved to AZ after I graduated from CSU in 95. FT was not here yet and I missed it.

In about 2000 or so, my wife and I were in a bar in Pinetop in eastern AZ. The FT reps came in with a bunch of glasses, hats, and other gear. They started asking the patrons trivia questions about New Belgium. We just cleaned house on them. Literally, nobody else got anything. At the end, they said they had a tough question and asked what the significance of 1554 was. My wife made an educated guess knowing it is a black ale and the monks in Belgium brewed it. She correctly said it was the year black ale was invented.
We eventually told them why we knew so much and shared our loot with others at the bar.

O'dell's is now in AZ too. I am really excited about 90 Schilling and Easy Street being here, as of the last few months. I just hope they do not slip too.

I found out about O'dell's when I went to my local liquor store and their rep was there. He and I spoke for awhile and I explained 90 was my favorite and I went to CSU. He too hooked me up with 6 pint glasses, a hat, and a shirt. I was pretty cool too.
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:50 AM   #23
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I just think it has changed.

Funny story about FT.

I moved to AZ after I graduated from CSU in 95. FT was not here yet and I missed it.

In about 2000 or so, my wife and I were in a bar in Pinetop in eastern AZ. The FT reps came in with a bunch of glasses, hats, and other gear. They started asking the patrons trivia questions about New Belgium. We just cleaned house on them. Literally, nobody else got anything. At the end, they said they had a tough question and asked what the significance of 1554 was. My wife made an educated guess knowing it is a black ale and the monks in Belgium brewed it. She correctly said it was the year black ale was invented.
We eventually told them why we knew so much and shared our loot with others at the bar.

O'dell's is now in AZ too. I am really excited about 90 Schilling and Easy Street being here, as of the last few months. I just hope they do not slip too.

I found out about O'dell's when I went to my local liquor store and their rep was there. He and I spoke for awhile and I explained 90 was my favorite and I went to CSU. He too hooked me up with 6 pint glasses, a hat, and a shirt. I was pretty cool too.

Do you like four peaks brewery beer Dempsey? I like their beer especially the 8th street pale ale and there food is top notch for a bar/brewery.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:18 AM   #24
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Do you like four peaks brewery beer Dempsey? I like their beer especially the 8th street pale ale and there food is top notch for a bar/brewery.
I agree on all counts. Four Peaks is pretty good and I like their Kilt Lifter Scottish ale quite a bit. They are the best in AZ. The brew pub in Tempe is great and you are right about the food, it is pretty tasty too.

If you have not seen it on PBS, there is a show about micro-breweries that is airing currently. One of the ones they profile is Four Peaks. Another one they look at is Dogfish Head out of Maryland, which makes some fantastic beer. They are pretty experimental and cutting edge with some of their art. They have made some wooden casks out of a really hard wood from South America and have some IPAs that 20% alcohol!

http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits...minute-ipa.htm
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:33 AM   #25
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Shiner = yum
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