June 24 2013
Everyone knows Wisconsin and beer go hand in hand. So, how did the state fare in a lineup of the country’s craft breweries?
A new, interactive map from the New Yorker illustrates America's craft-beer industry by ranking production, total number of breweries and new breweries in each state. Across the board, Wisconsin placed ninth.
This placement might come as a disappointing surprise. We just got honorable mention when we should have gotten gold.
Milwaukee is beer city—just ask Laverne and Shirley, or the Brewers who play at Miller Park. Some of the country’s largest breweries started here, boosted the local economy and employed generations of workers. But our dedication to draft may be exactly why Wisconsin, particularly Milwaukee is lacking craft breweries. Perhaps it’s time to put down the classic lagers we’ve grown to love. Of course, that doesn’t mean abandoning our roots, it just means creating a more robust palate.
Despite the initial shock to Wisconsin’s ninth-place rank, it’s important to remember the state did make it to the top 10. Milwaukee’s own Lakefront was recognized as one of the 50 fastest growing breweries in the country. And, while the number of microbreweries has room to grow, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and brewing clubs around the city ready to share the secrets of craft, which means the breweries won’t be far behind.
Two undeniable facts are the beauty of craft beer and Wisconsin’s uncanny ability to brew. It’s time to recognize the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship.