Food & Culture

Seattle Has More Breweries Than Any Other City in America

Count 'em up. Our beery supremacy is real.

By Michael Rietmulder May 8, 2017


Well, it’s official. Seattle is Beertown, U.S.A.

Emerald City beer geeks, with IPA coursing through their veins, have known it all along. But finally, math and some guys with a website have bestowed us with the crown we knew we deserved. Kinda.

In effort to determine where in America craft beer is “most popular,” the number geeks at market research website Datafiniti looked at the cities that have the highest concentration of craft breweries. Turns out, Seattle is number one.

The greater Seattle-Tacoma metro boasts a whopping 174 breweries, 16 more than runner-up Chicagoland, which has more than double our population. Even more satisfying, we edged out beer meccas Denver and Portland, third and fourth respectively.

In chronicling our beery supremacy, the website used its own official-sounding “business data” and info from the Brewers Association. The study, released last week, was first spotted by Washington Beer Blog.

Fittingly, the list-y affirmation comes as Seattle Beer Week is in full swing. Scores of daily events celebrating Seattle beer (and really, beer in general) are spread around local breweries and beer bars through May 14.

Of course, whether sheer volume of breweries is a legit indicator of where craft beer is “most popular” is highly debatable. We could play fun police and point out how simple data tweaks call our beery kingship into question. Adjusting for population size, Seattle plummets to tenth in Datafiniti’s breweries per capita ranking, topped by Boulder, Colo., and Bend, Ore.

Or we could pull back to the state level, and see that Washington has only the sixth most breweries per 100,000 people, behind Vermont, Montana and Colorado, in that order (our beer-happy neighbors in Oregon bested us at No. 5).

But we won’t spoil the party. Cherry-picking the stats that make us look the awesomest is way more fun.

So, dial up an extra Manny’s at happy hour this week and toast to Seattle’s prolific beer scene. It’s a celebration.

Join The Must List

Seattle's best events delivered to your inbox

Follow Us

Pastry: An Affair to Remember

Pastry: An Affair to Remember

Chef Ewald Notter of Dote Coffee Bar makes it easy to fall in love with pastry and chocolate

Most romances unfold in predictable ways. An invitation for lunch, where you share sandwiches in a loud café, silently wishing your bread was crisper, but never giving up on the idea that one day it might be. An awkward laugh as your fingers touch while you both reach across the table for sugar in that…

Mix It Up. Try old-school cocktails this holiday season

Mix It Up. Try old-school cocktails this holiday season

These 10 drinks may not be on the menu at your local bar, but all pack a punch as well as some colorful history

Editor’s note: A version of this story previously appeared in “Seattle” magazine. Impress your guests this holiday season with these 10 concoctions from a vintage bar guide from Glenn Shaw Creations – supposedly from the 1950s – found in an antique shop in Olympia a few years back. Keep in mind that these drinks may…

Sip, Slurp, Celebrate at Frank's Oyster House

Sip, Slurp, Celebrate at Frank’s Oyster House

Let’s be Frank about Champagne

The best bubbles in Washington state may very well be found at an East Coast-style restaurant in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood. That, at least, is the opinion of The Champagne Bureau, USA, which has named Frank’s Oyster House and Champagne Parlor as one of the top 10 bars and restaurants in the nation for the quality…

Seattle Buildings Just Let It Bee

Seattle Buildings Just Let It Bee

There’s a buzz happening throughout the region

You know the Smith Tower as Seattle’s original skyscraper. You know that the 108-year-old, 38-floor tower was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi.   You may not be aware that the 22nd floor is now home to an apiary containing a thriving colony of thousands of honeybees. It is one of several apiaries located…