I just wanted to declare that Milwaukee is now officially the best beer city. My declaration is based on a scientific measure that took years to develop. This is in no way a measure that I came up with in 10 minutes over lunch. Margin for error: .000123% Here are the measurement criteria:
*5 points for having a giant brewery (St. Louis has to be the only 5 point score for this one, but Mil and Den can get 4 and other cities with large craft breweries can get a couple)
*5 points for having quality micro-brews
*5 points for having a strong beer history
*5 points for having a strong current beer identity
*5 points for # of award winning beers at the Great American Beer Festival
*5 points for # of bars per capita
I started by comparing 9 major cities I think of when I think of beer drinking:
Milwaukee (26 – 4,3,5,5,4,5), Denver area (24 – 4,5,3,4,4,4), Chicago (assuming theft of Pabst legit – 23 – 3,3,4,4,4,5), St. Louis (23-5,3,5,4,2,3), Philly (21 – 2,4,5,4,4,4), St. Paul/Minneapolis (21 – 2,4,5,3,3,4), Portland (20), Seattle (20), Boston (20). Places like Detroit were left out because their present culture is weak (used to be decent), and places like Las Vegas and New Orleans were left out because they really only have high marks for beer culture and maybe # of bars. I thought of some college towns too, but in trial phases of the testing, none could score over 19.
Please feel free to send in any other candidates that may be worthy of consideration. Or, feel free to apply this incredible scientific measure to figure out where your recommended city would fall.
UPDATE: Steve writes: We may have to include San Antonio now, as it is the oddly-out-of-place home of Pabst.