San Francisco Is The #1 Beer City In The US, Study Shows

Jamie Ferrell Jamie Ferrell

San Francisco Is The #1 Beer City In The US, Study Shows

Cheers, SF!

Real estate data company Clever recently evaluated 50 of the United States’ most populous cities in terms of their beer. San Francisco came in first, followed by Indianapolis and Chicago! Two other California cities ranked in the top 10: Los Angeles at #5, and San Diego at #10.

Clever evaluated the cities across 4 metrics:

  • The number of breweries within each metro area
  • The density of breweries per 100 square miles
  • The number of beers per brewery
  • The number of beer styles per brewery

Six of the 50 metro areas ranked are in California – they are San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Sacramento, and San Jose. There is a total of 423 breweries across these cities, which makes 13% of the total breweries on the list.

San Francisco ranked #1 for having 144 total breweries, an average of 19 beers per brewery, and an average of 11 different beer styles per brewery. Multiple cities in the top 10 had more beers and beer styles than San Francisco, but SF’s brewery density bumped it up in the rankings. In fact, it has an average of 6 breweries per 100 square miles, which is double that of runner-up Indianapolis.

Screenshot from Clever Real Estate

Clever also shouted out San Francisco’s own Anchor Brewing, which kicked off the nation’s craft beer movement with their legendary Anchor Steam beer. This is the first style of beer to originate in the U.S., and its origins go back to 1896. According to Anchor Brewing’s website, the “steam” name likely comes from the “original practice of fermenting the beer on San Francisco’s rooftops in a cool climate.” In lieu of ice during primitive conditions on the west coast, the foggy Bay Area air cooled the beer naturally. Now, the amber-colored beer is crafted with lager yeast in open-air fermenters.


Other notable Bay Area breweries mentioned in the study include Freewheel, Alpha Acid, Clandestine Brewing, Laughing Monk, Almanac, and Original Pattern. Check out our list of 10 great local breweries to see if your favorite made the cut!


[Featured Image: @barebottle via Instagram]

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