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Grand Rapids ranks among 'Best Beer Cities' in US

December 8, 2014
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GR Beer Week fills calendar
Founders Brewing Co. beers take over taps at Big Bob’s Pizza in East Grand Rapids during GR Beer Week. Photo via

Grand Rapids’ preference for “high-end beer” is one reason it’s considered one of the “10 Best Beer Cities” in the nation.

Livability, a website that rates small-to-medium-size cities, said today that it has named Grand Rapids to its annual ranking of the “10 Best Beer Cities.”

“Being a great beer city has positive implications for attracting talent, fostering business and drawing in tourists,” said Matt Carmichael, editor, Livability. “But most importantly, it means you have great beer."

Demand for “sophisticated brews”

Grand Rapids places No. 6 on the ranking, behind several notable beer cities, such as Bend, Ore., Denver, Colo. and San Diego.

Livability said that Grand Rapids “offers innovative and award-winning breweries, residents who consume beer at higher rates than the average American, sophisticated beer tastes and a high quality of life for beer lovers.”

The area features “more than 15 breweries, quenching the thirst residents have for premium, sophisticated brews over mass-produced domestic beers,” the site’s post on the ranking says.

The post also highlights Founders Brewing Co. as a brewery respected internationally and Mitten Brewing Co. and Harmony Brewing Co. as examples of growing smaller breweries.

Earlier this year, Grand Rapids was voted the nation’s “Best Beer Town,” according to the readers of, a division of USA Today.

2014 “10 Best Beer Cities”

1.   Bend, Ore.
2.   Denver, Colo.
3.   San Diego
4.   Albuquerque, N.M.
5.   Tampa, Fla.
6.   Grand Rapids
7.   St. Louis
8.   Bellingham, Wash.
9.   Hershey, Pa.
10. Billings, Mont.

Source: Livability, 2014

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