Best Beer State Poll Results

Click for a bigger version of the poll results.

Well the votes have slowed to a trickle and we think it’s time to call this thing. We’ll leave the poll open for a while just to see what happens, but it seems to be out of steam.

We’ve come to the conclusion that this probably isn’t the most accurate representation of how craft beer fans feel about these states, but there were a few lessons learned.

First, as you can see above, Pennsylvania was the big winner here.  This is more a reflection of Victory Brewing’s ability to motivate their very supportive fan base through Facebook than a mandate from beer nerds around the country.  There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s actually a very healthy sign of how much folks love them – but it did skew the numbers a bit. But that’s okay, cause my pick was PA, so I declare victory! (thanks to Victory).

You can see all the write in votes here.

We also learned that at least one guy takes the Washington State beer scene very seriously and thinks we should, too. But looking at the write in votes, he might be the only guy.  Vermont, on the other hand, had 7 write ins and probably should’ve made the list.  Sorry Vermont – you got hosed.

Finally, we want to thank everyone who voted both  here and on Facebook. All told, we had nearly 500 votes, which is pretty good for something we weren’t planning to do (this started as a conversation in the comments that grew too big for its britches).  It seems everyone has an opinion about beer, as it should be.

This was fun for us to do, and it’s probably something we’ll try again in the future.  Maybe our next poll will be “Who do you like better, Don or Jim?”

I wonder how our wives would vote?


Categories: Beer, Official Business


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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22 Comments on “Best Beer State Poll Results”

  1. May 28, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    This is rigged. PA bought this poll!

    • Don
      May 28, 2010 at 9:49 am #

      We never said it was scientific. There are some peculiarities however. Most of the voters for PA were from the state of PA. The Ca voters (anecdotally since we can’t actually tell where each vote came from) seemed to have support from voters all over, and less within the state. This is just how Californians are. They know things are good, and they can afford to be a little apathetic when it comes to things like polls and sports teams!

    • May 28, 2010 at 9:55 am #

      Easy there, big fella! While I agree that this poll was manipulated by social media, I don’t like the words “rigged” or “bought” because they imply Don and I sold out to a state. Which is impossible – states don’t have any money these days! Besides, we wouldn’t sell out opinions or our polls. We’ve always been nothing but transparent when it comes to what we love and why.

      When PA started taking off, I went to the Facebook pages of major brewers in California (Stone, Sierra, Lagunitas, etc.) to let them know PA had hijacked the poll. In the end, the only major craft brewer who did anything to fight back was Dogfish Head, who did a twitter blast. That’s why Delaware wound up in 6th place- otherwise they’d be at the bottom.

      But, as I said in the wrap up, the poll probably doesn’t really reflect reality. On that we can agree.

  2. Don
    May 28, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    Well Jim, I can assure you you would have at least one vote in your proposed “Favorite Brother Poll”. Kathy would definitely vote for you! 😉

    • May 28, 2010 at 10:07 am #

      Thanks, Don, I appreciate every vote I get.

  3. May 28, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I’m a bit disappointed in Michigan’s ranking. Pennsylvania has merely Victory to offer, as opposed to Founders, Bells, Arcadia, Shorts, Dragonmead, and a whole host of others in MI. Not only that, Victory alone surely can’t overwhelm the negative presence of Yuengling, can it?

    • May 28, 2010 at 11:30 am #

      I was kind of impressed with Michigan’s performance, actually. For a while it looked like California, Oregon and Colorado would triumph. In the end, Michigan prevailed over these well-established beer meccas. This was due in part to Dave Bardallis over at, who mentioned the poll in his “This Week in Beer” column. It was good for a few votes.

      Anyway, I love Michigan beers. I went to high school in Romeo, MI (Kid Rock was in my class) but was out of there before the whole craft beer explosion hit, so I missed out on the local scene.

      The funny thing about the poll is that the top 2 is a pretty good reflection of which states get the bulk of my beer money. PA wins because my wife loves Victory Storm King and I like a lot of the offerings from Weyerbacher and Troegs. But Michigan is a close second, as I’m a huge Dragon’s Milk fan (actually bought a case on bombers) and love anything by Founders. And I wish we got Bell’s out here, but we don’t.

    • Don
      May 28, 2010 at 11:32 am #

      Well Brian, don’t forget PA also had Troegs, Yards, and Weyerbacher as some of the better ones.

      • May 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

        A couple of weeks ago, I wouldn’t put Yards on that list. But I’ve had a couple of selections from Yards lately, and have to say they make really nice session beers. Lots of flavor and complexity for lower ABV beers and very pleasant to drink (I guess I’d call them very drinkable).

        I’ve had their Pale Ale which was just right for a lawnmower-style beer; sweet and light, but still quite beery (that one’s for Scott’s wife). I also had their ESA, which is a darker beer with a full malt flavor and a nice balance of hop spice. Very satisfying and under 6% ABV. Both have crossed my mind this week as something I’d like to have again, so I guess that tells the story right there.

  4. Brandon
    May 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I live about 5 miles from the Delaware border in Maryland. I was born and raised in PA. I still support PA brewers. Alot of good beers come from my home state. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good beers from other states as well….I drink alot of Dogfish Head, Magic Hat, Samuel Smith’s (which isn’t even American). Beer is just good for the soul. Some of these beers you are mentioning from Cali and Michigan I don’t think I’ve ever even seen in my local beer store. Unfortunately they only have one “craft beer” aisle, and it isn’t even very big. And I’m out in the middle of nowhere. I guess I’ll have to look up the closest place to here where I would have a much better selection. WILL DRIVE FOR GOOD BEER! That’s all I got…except one thing…PA RULES! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • May 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

      There’s always the internet. Bruisin Ales seems pretty popular.

      But I’ll drive for beer, too. I drive a turbocharged station wagon, too, so I can haul as much as the Snowman and get home faster than the Bandit.

      Glad you enjoyed the outcome. I love PA beers, too.

  5. Ha ha ha. This is great 😀
    The good news here is that just about anywhere you go in the United States you’ll find great beer. We truly are living in the Golden Age of Craft Beer and the greatest beneficiaries are all of us who love it.

    Our defense of PA (and Victory’s ability to skew this poll) is that we see blogs/polls/facebook/twitter as a great way to engage our fans and potential fans to find out what really matters when it comes to their beer experience. While the debate of who objectively has the best beer will rage on for eternity (and that’s not a bad thing), what polls like this will hopefully do will demonstrate who’s engaged in the conversation.

    Victory applauds the great work that Jim and Don and so many other beer bloggers are doing to bring the great beer debate to the world. We all benefit when they do.


    • May 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

      I agree that this poll mostly shows that you guys are out there engaging and motivating beer lovers. We tried to get Stone and Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues and Rogue and some others riled up as well to make it a fair fight, but they didn’t respond. You hustle, you win, especially on the internet.

      The fact that Victory has an Online Marketing Manager position that is all about engaging and nurturing an online audience says a lot about how you guys see the future. I think it’s smart, but then again I’m in marketing, I’m addicted to the Internet and love great beer, so what else would I think?

      Thanks for sharing our poll and some of our other stuff with your fans. Now dontcha think it’s time to mosey over to the bottling line and ask Kevin if he knows where the pigtail is? 🙂

  6. May 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Polls like this remind me why I want to leave North Dakota. We have jack squat. The only thing we have are a few excellent breweries over 300 miles away and a team of a couple of people trying to fight the local legislation so they can open a craft brew pub.

    Thanks for the info guys. Looks like the Poll was a success!

    Mike’s Brew Review

  7. May 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    Good job guys!

    I think you should morph into one brotherly entity called “Jion” or “Doim” so we don’t have to choose between the two of you.

    • May 30, 2010 at 1:00 am #

      Lol. All hail Jion!!

      • Don
        June 1, 2010 at 9:40 am #

        Whats wrong with Doim?

        • June 1, 2010 at 10:55 am #

          It’s just not as quasi religious and authoritarian as Jion. “All hail Jion!” has a ring to it, that’s all.

          Doim sounds like a guy who snips something off of you at a bris.

  8. terry
    May 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    I had the 8-4-1 expedition by Redhook over the weekend. Very good, liked it a lot, lotta subtleties kinda sneak up on you in a good way.
    Friend brought over the Perseus Porter by Elysian, good, but not really for me, kinda too “syrupy” or “molasses-y” I think, have’t really gotten into it.

    • Don
      June 1, 2010 at 9:39 am #

      Porters can be a tough sell Terry. Sometimes when they are good like Black Butte XXI they are amazing, and sometimes when they are bad like Bobo’s Porter from Big Sky, they are really bad! I’ll have to give the Red Hook a try. They are a good value and if there is a good one it is always worth a try to see if it might be a go to brew.

      • Evan
        June 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

        hey Don, if you want some washington brews to try, shoot me an email and I’ll get you some


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