Perhaps you saw this cute and well-designed map from The Atlantic titled “The Geography of Craft Beer” in your various Google Reader feeds/Facebook reblogs/general Internet browsings. Through electoral map-centric shadings, it goes through each of our 50 states to find out which have the most craft breweries within their borders. The findings are not so surprisingly West Coast-centric:
- Michigan takes 5th place, with 102 breweries
- Oregon is 4th, with 121
- Colorado is 3rd, with 127
- Washington is 2nd, with 134
And by far outpacing the rest of the pack, nearly doubling second place, is:
- Our own California, with 261
However, as the piece is quick to point out, this doesn’t necessarily mean the citizens of California are more lushful than the rest — the results have to be weighted a bit considering the respective populations, seeing as California has an extra 12 million people over the second most-populous state. So, accounting for how many breweries there are per 100,000 people, the rankings shift dramatically:
- 3rd place: Oregon
- 2nd place: Montana
- 1st place: Vermont
California, meanwhile? Not even on the top ten.
1 - Icebreaking
Everyone knows that the world’s most reliable social lubricant is booze. This is not up for discussion. And at a beer garden, you can talk about the interesting kinds of beers if you know about them, and ask about the interesting kinds of beers if you don’t. You can also practice saying danke schön to each other which I think means “you look stunning in the moonlight” in German. Somebody google it.