Top 10 States to Enjoy Craft Breweries

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The American craft beer movement has made its way from sea to shining sea, though few locations in the country have been as impacted by quality suds as the Tar Heel State.  

Between being the regional hub for national craft breweries like New Belgium Brewing and Sierra Nevada and the plethora of in-state brews hand-crafted from the shores of the Atlantic west towards Appalachia, North Carolina beer is in a league of its own.  

That unique relationship is one of the main reasons North Carolina finished atop our survey of the best craft brewing states, with a total score of 119 points to beat out Colorado’s total of 116 points nationally.  

Summertime is a great time to go out and explore local craft breweries in your area. At, we took a quick break from North Carolina sports betting updates to see what states are best for craft beer lovers. We factored in the number of craft breweries per capita, barrels of craft beer produced, and the average cost of a case of craft beer to see what states come out on top for beer lovers.  

Best Craft Brewery States



Total Score 

North Carolina 























Also check out: The Best States for Beer Lovers.

How North Carolina Got Here

North Carolina’s top spot nationally when it comes to craft brewing has a lot to do with the sheer amount of beer that’s brewed here, with the eighth most barrels of craft beer produced per year nationally (892,627) and the 10th largest economic impact of any state ($2.096 billion), according to the Craft Brewer’s Association.  

Throw in the fact that N.C. has the 19th most breweries per capita (5.1) and the 17th most gallons produced per adults aged 21 or older (3.5) and the fact that the Tar Heel State has the second cheapest beer prices in America ($17.30 per case) according to and you have the full rationale behind the state’s place nationally.  

In the grand scheme, North Carolina brewing finished ahead of Colorado, while Virginia (110 points), Michigan and Vermont (109 points each) were the next closest and Minnesota (108 points), Wisconsin (105 points), Illinois (104 points), California (102 points) and Connecticut (101 points) rounded out the top 10 nationally.  

Still, none of those beer barons could top the Tar Heel State, with North Carolinians basking in the glory of having a wholesome bounty of locally sourced craft beer at their disposal.  

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Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at specializing in covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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