Now that cans have become craft beer’s coolest packaging, I find myself buying a lot of aluminum. Just last Thursday, I was hauling my latest purchases down to the cellar when I heard a pretty serious pop. One of the cans in my right hand, a hazy IPA, had burst at the seam of the lid, sending about a third of a can’s worth of beer from the ceiling to the floor.
Choosing the best city in America for microbreweries is, like judging the best beer, very subjective. The most obvious metric to look at is the total number of small brewers in a city, but that doesn’t tell you anything about quality. You can look at online ratings, but those, by their inherent nature, are entirely subjective—and even then, one or two good breweries doth not a best city make. Heck, even the definition of “city,” can be debated.
Where once American beer drinkers looked to Belgium for craft brews, today, America leads the world in craft beer, with the largest number of diverse breweries than any other country in the world. Over the past few decades, however, a handful of breweries have led the way toward building, reviving, shocking, and expanding the European craft beer scene.