The Craft Beer Guide to Millennial America
In a recent profile in The Atlantic of Jim Koch, the founder of the Boston Beer Company, James Fallows wrote that craft brewers are "important markers of cities that are attracting the young and ambitious." He believes that "a town with a craft brewery has a sense of the 'local,' plus entrepreneurs who start the businesses, plus mainly young customers who spend time and money there."
Assuming craft beer is a useful guide to prosperous cities in Millennial America, I set out to chart the growth of hip suds in every major city in America. BreweryDB's data gives an excellent snapshot within city limits. Not counted are the chain breweries, such as Gordon Biersch, or the places under planning (of which there are many).
Perhaps more interesting are the number of craft breweries per capita. The west coast still has the lead, but cities like Richmond and Salt Lake City also appear to have a strong concentration. It's this list that's perhaps more telling, showing surprising places where young people may be starting to have a larger influence on culture than many may imagine.
In the meantime, millennials remain at the head of the craft beer phenomenon, generating community and a culture of entrepreneurship along the way.