In recent decades, breweries have sprung up all over America – in towns big and small – evolving the art and science of brewing while enhancing the city’s livability. With this in mind, has named Grand Rapids a Best Beer City, 2014. says Grand Rapids offers innovative and award-winning breweries, residents who consume beer at higher rates than the average American, sophisticated beer tastes and a high-quality of life for beer lovers.

Their editors looked at both sides of the beer equation: production and consumption. For the production side, they took into account the number of award-winning breweries and beers the town has crafted in recent years according to the Great American Beer Festival. On the consumption side, they used data from Esri to find cities where people were drinking more craft and high-end beers than average, and less macro-brews than average.

In addition, their editors considered the number of liquor stores per capita. They also weighed in the city’s reputation as a beer town, its overall livability, and a shot of their editor’s own experiences with the towns and their brews.
“Being a great beer city has positive implications for attracting talent, fostering business and drawing in tourists,” says Livability editor Matt Carmichael. “But most importantly, it means you have great beer."

Here is what said: "Grand Rapids, MI is home to more than 15 breweries, quenching the thirst residents have for premium, sophisticated brews. Beer critics near and far continually point to local Founders Brewing Co. as one of the best breweries in the country. Mitten Brewing Co. and Harmony Brewing Co. represent the growing, smaller up-and-coming breweries that seem to keep popping up in and around Grand Rapids."

10 Best Beer Cities 2014
1. Bend, OR
2. Denver, CO
3. San Diego, CA
4. Albuquerque, NM
5. Tampa, FL
6. Grand Rapids, MI
7. St. Louis, MO
8. Bellingham, WA
9. Hershey, PA
10. Billings, MT
What is Easy. explores what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit. They examine issues related to livability such as walkability, cultural amenities, transportation, urban planning, and sustainability through exclusive research and discussions on their blog. is a division of Journal Communications, Inc.

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