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One brewery actually appeared on the list for three different cities.

Mike Pomranz
October 29, 2018

Back in the day, a brewery was mainly just a place that made beer. Maybe they had a tour where you looked at a bunch of large metal tanks pretending not to be bored in the hope that the whole thing might conclude with a free tasting. But now, brewery taprooms are all the rage; in plenty of cities across the country, drinkers are choosing to hit up their local brewer over their local bar.

But which big city breweries are bringing in the liveliest crowds? Though there’s no cut and dry answer, one indicator could be trips made via ride-hailing apps. Granted, many cities have solid public transportation, and plenty of taprooms are in areas that get a lot of foot traffic. But if you want to sample all of brewery’s wares, you definitely want to leave the car behind, so we asked Lyft to pull some data for us on which taprooms were their drivers’ top destinations.

Similar to when Lyft provided us with the top late-night food joints, the ride-hailing service looked at the ride volume in seven cities—New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Austin, Denver, San Diego, and Los Angeles—and let us know the top three brewery destinations in each one. If you’re familiar with the beer scene in these cities, the results are probably similar to what you might expect, though they did come with one extremely interesting result: It wasn’t always “local” breweries that landed on each list. Some of the most popular taprooms were outposts from a brand headquartered in another part of the country.

For instance, the San Diego-based Ballast Point actually appeared in the top three of three different cities… not just San Diego. These findings certainly help support the idea that opening taprooms in different areas can be an effective way to appeal to the local beer crowd.

New York

1) Threes Brewing
2) Other Half Brewing Company
3) Brooklyn Brewery

Philadelphia

1) Yard Brewing Company
2) Manayunk Brewing Company
3) Love City Brewing

Chicago

1) Revolution Brewing
2) Ballast Point Brewing—Chicago
3) Piece Brewery

Austin

1) Lazarus Brewing Company
2) The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company
3) Pinthouse Pizza

Denver

1) Wynkoop Brewing Company
2) 10 Barrel Brewing Company - Denver
3) Epic Brewing Company

San Diego

1) Ballast Point Brewing—Little Italy
2) Karl Strauss Brewing Company
3) Half Door Brewing Company

Los Angeles

1) Angel City Brewery
2) Ballast Point Brewing—Long Beach
3) Arts District Brewing Company

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