Recently USA Today published its list of the “10 best craft brew states in America.” Not surprisingly, the West Coast owns it, but Texas sneaks in toward the back of the line. In a pretty uncontroversial move, the newspaper doled out accolades for quantity, with California leading at a whopping 268 craft breweries — nearly double No. 2 Washington’s 136.
It’s hard to argue that California isn’t top in quality as well, with some heavy hitters like Firestone Walker, Sierra Nevada and plenty more. Of course, No. 3 Colorado (130 breweries) and No. 4 Oregon (124) are no slouches either, with breweries like Left Hand and Avery from Colorado and Deschutes and Full Sail from the Pacific Northwest.
Michigan slides in at No. 5 as the last state with triple-digit breweries. Its Founders Brewery is making its way to Texas slowly but surely. Behind Michigan is Pennsylvania, home to Sly Fox Brewing, which makes the greatest cans of all time, followed by Wisconsin and New York.
Finally, Texas lands at No. 9, with 59 craft breweries. Illinois rounds out the top 10, with 54.
About Texas USA Today writes:
From St. Arnold, the oldest brewery in Texas, to the new microbreweries popping up in Austin every other day, Texas is quickly becoming a beer heaven. It’s also one of the fastest growing states when it comes to craft beer, so expect the Lone Star State to be moving up the list in years to come.”
We think Spoetzl Brewery down in Shiner is older than St. Arnold, but maybe USA Today doesn’t consider it a craft brewery because Gambrinus Co. owns it. Regardless, it’s nice to see out-of-towners notice the state’s growth.
We still have a ways to go to catch up to California. But at the rate we’re going, Texas should surpass New York’s 72 breweries any day now.