Check out this article from USAToday. In it, the author talks about Philly being the best beer city and leaves the reader with the impression that this is a new established fact or something. Actually, this claim is based on the incredibly biased belief of one beer drinker named Don Russell, who just happens to live and drink – in Philadelphia. The only other support for Philly’s apparent beer city prowess comes from anonymous “beer aficionados” translation: drunk people the author talked to in Philly pubs.
Now, I don’t want to totally discredit Philly’s beer claims because they do have a nice history and there are some very tasty beers that come from there (Dogfish Head comes to mind). But in a way, this would be no different than me, Packergeeks blogger, declaring that Milwaukee is the best beer city in the country, (which, by the way, it is). It’s funny that Don tried to take a crack at Milwaukee’s reputation because Miller is here – as though that somehow detracts from a city’s credential as a top beer city. Not only is Miller’s presence a supporting credential, but there are many micro-brews that are quality (Sprecher, Lakefront, Milwaukee Ale House, Waterstreet, Delafield) and also craft brews that are doing quite well nationally like Leinies, New Glarus and Capital Brewery (New Glarus and Capital can be thrown in there if the author includes Yuengling for Philly, based on the author’s apparent 75-mile rule).
I just took a look at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival awards and noted that 13 awards were given to Wisconsin breweries (11 of which are Milwaukee Breweries) and 12 to Pennsylvania breweries (no more than 10 of which are Philly Breweries). In fact, after painstaking research, I learned that Wisconsin sits at #3 for most award winning beers from a state. On top is California, which doesn’t count because it’s like it’s own continent and Colorado. Keep in mind that while these states may have more 2007 award winning brews, it is likely that zero or at least very few cities in these states can match Milwaukee’s claim to 11 awards. (Illinois actually sits at #3 and Wisconsin #4 but 4 of the beers credited to Illinois are Pabst products. If not for this FIB-ish theft, Wisconsin would be #3. Also, not sure why Pabst products are credited to Illinois when the Pabst headquarters is in San Antonio and the mailing address on the can is still a Milwaukee P.O.)
Anyway, I think what Don Russell may have meant to say is that Philly is “the most belligerent beer city”.