Photo by Max Cooper
After a four year winning streak, Asheville lost its title of ‘Beer City USA’ to Grand Rapids, Mich., according to poll results released May 13.
Conducted by craft beer guru Charlie Papazian, the unscientific online poll showed Grand Rapids winning decisively with 27,005 votes. Kalamazoo, Mich. came in second with 11,150 votes and Asheville placed third, with 10,075. Last year, Asheville tied Grand Rapids for first place.
Since Asheville’s tie for first in 2009 with Portland, Ore. the title has helped attract national attention to the area for its thriving craft beer scene.
The local industry continues to boom, with New Belgium and Sierra Nevada brewing companies in the process of building major production facilities and several smaller breweries slated to open in coming months. However, Asheville garnered significantly less votes in this year’s poll than it did in 2012. Here’s the list of the top ten craft beer cities that registered in the polls:
2013 votes (2012 votes)
1. Grand Rapids, MI 27,005 (2012:17,849 tie for 1st)
2. Kalamazoo, MI 11,150 (2012: none)
3. Asheville, NC 10,075 (2012:17,849 tie for 1st)
4. Ann Arbor, MI 847 (2012:581)
5. Tampa, FL 846 (2012: none)
6. Richmond, VA 614 (2012: none)
7. Jacksonville, FL 472 (2012: 379)
8. Portland, OR 372 (2012: 2,014)
9. Phoenix-Tempe-Scottsdale, AZ 351 (2012: 596)
10. Denver, CO 328 (2012: 809)
For more on the poll, see Papazian’s article for the Examiner.com.