The Brewers Association blog craftbeer.com has published the results of its annual Great American Beer Bars survey, where its readers both nominate and vote for their favorite establishments and where only one bar from each state can be called the best place for independent beer.
This year over 7,700 votes were cast from a pool of beer lovers that is likely larger than it has ever been. With last year’s total said to be over 7,000, that would put the voter growth rate between 2017 and 2018 at around 10 percent. In comparison, the growth rate of total breweries in the U.S. over the same relative time period was around 15 percent.
Noteworthy from the 2018 results is that a full 41 percent of the top vote getters from each state are repeat winners. Publisher of CraftBeer.com Julia Herz said in a press release statement that the consecutive placements are “a sign that craft beer bars, now more than ever, are committed to their patrons and ensuring the best overall experience.”
For beer lovers who don’t find their favorite watering holes and for bar owners who don’t find their babies on the list this year, it should be comforting to know that conducting an online poll is a highly unreliable way to scientifically gauge the actual feelings of the general public. For instance, have you ever compared a post-debate poll on FoxNews.com to one on MSNBC.com following the same debate? For those who agree with the list, you’re probably in great company — craftbeer.com is completely devoted to promoting independent beer, and ratings from other sites match fairly well with the selections.
You wouldn’t be bad off if your main takeaway is this: there are a lot of fantastic places to drink craft beer these days, and that gets patrons really excited. This list and others like it may not be technically accurate, and your bar with the 90 taps, an attached homebrew supply shop and fully certified staff may have been objectively snubbed from the nominating process. But at least that small-town joint who wouldn’t have been recognized otherwise got a statewide shout-out for making local beer nerds some of the happiest people on Earth.
You can see the whole list of winners here.