Thursday, January 14, 2016

Beer, Again

As previously noted, Rochester has fully embraced the craft beer trend.  Since moving here in 2010, at least 11 new breweries have opened, not including preexisting breweries that have opened a brew house (Genesee), preexisting restaurants that have begun brewing their own beer (Stoneyard), breweries that are planned but not yet open, or the immense number of breweries that might not be considered in the immediate Rochester area (i.e. the more eastern Finger Lakes).  At some point, this dedication to brewing has to be recognized, and it appears that the recognition is now arriving. recently studied 296 of the largest cities in the U.S. with the goal of identifying the Top 25 Best Cities for Beer Drinkers.  The analysis took into account the total and per capita number of microbreweries and brewpubs in each city (with the average Yelp star rating for such establishments), the number of bars per capita, and the average price for a pint of domestic beer.  Based on this methodology, Rochester earned the label as the 13th best city for beer drinkers in the country.

Not that the availability of high quality beer defines a region, but it definitely doesn't hurt.  Rochester's ranking places it in the company of well-branded cities such as Portland, ME; Asheville, NC; Portland, OR; Denver, CO; Seattle, WA; Pittsburgh, PA; Austin, TX; Grand Rapids, MI; San Francisco, CA; Madison, WI; and Boulder, CO.  Which warrants the question: when will Rochester's brand catch up with reality?


  1. This ranking doesn’t even consider that Rochester is the home to North American Breweries and Constellation Brands. North American Breweries has brands like Genesee, Dundee, Labatt, Magic Hat, Portland Brewing, Pyramid, and Seagram’s Escapes. Constellation Brands owns Ballast Point and it owns Mexican beers sold in the US market. Their brands include the #1 imported beer (Corona Extra), the #2 imported beer (Modelo Especial) and other brands like Pacifico and Victoria. Rochester has a much wider variety of beer industry assets than many cities on this list. I know I’m a more knowledgeable beer drinker due to this. If they factored this in their formula, we would rank even higher!

    1. That is a great point. With North American Breweries, Constellation Brands, AND the microbrewery/bar scene, Rochester is a beer powerhouse (quietly as usual.)