GQ just named its favorite cities to sip suds: Los Angeles, Denver, Philly, Cleveland, and San Francisco.
Clearly, the bizarre alchemy of Internet list-making is at play here, since dissing the likes of San Diego and Asheville, NC—not to mention Portland and its 60-plus craft breweries—is sure to get some beer-drinker knickers in a twist. But rather than hate, we’ll pass that off as innocent rabble-rousing and instead enjoy an introduction to the two surprise entries in the top five: L.A. and Cleveland.
The Great American Ale Trail author Christian Debenedetti breaks down the joys of drinking in the City of Angels, pointing to some pedigreed bars, great food, and the fact that you can pair good German lagers with hot chicks at the Standard hotel. No mention of how hard it is to drive around (particularly when you are too sauced to get behind a wheel), but the last point is pretty convincing.
Meanwhile, William Bostwick sings the praises of Cleveland, which he calls “a welcome respite from snootier beer meccas on the coasts.” It’s a town of lagers and brown ales rather than bourbon-barrel aged stouts, and its hard-drinking heritage is a good enough reason for us to justify a bender.
Ultimately, the fact that so many cities can now vie for the crown of the nation’s best beer destination is a testament to the strength of the craft movement. Case in point: Somewhere in our fine nation, a major city either is hosting or close to hosting a beer week. D.C. wrapped theirs up in August; San Diego is gearing up to run one in early November; and next February, NorCal will see back-to-back weeks from San Francisco, then Sacramento.