Portland is the top city for beer drinkers in America, according to the financial services website SmartAsset.

Maine’s largest city edged out Asheville, North Carolina, which took the No. 2 spot, and the other Portland on the West Coast, which came in third.

SmartAsset examined data on microbreweries, brew pubs and bars for 296 large U.S. cities. They looked at the total and per capita number of microbreweries and brew pubs in each city. They also considered Yelp ratings, the number of bars per capita and the average price for a pint of domestic beer.

Portland, according to the analysis, has 17 microbreweries, which is one for every 4,000 residents. The average price of a pint here is $3.75, compared with San Francisco, which serves the most expensive beer at $6 per pint.

Rounding out the top 10 on the SmartAsset list are Billings, Montana; Denver; Seattle; Wilmington, North Carolina; Missoula, Montana; Pittsburgh; and Cincinnati.

It comes as no surprise to Greg Norton, owner of the Bier Cellar on Forest Avenue, that Portland landed the top spot.

“We get a lot of visitors from out of state and they always remark on just how many breweries there seem to be,” he said.

Norton said local breweries such as Geary’s and Gritty McDuff’s led the way for all the newcomers, providing young beer lovers options other than Budweiser or Coors when they reached legal drinking age. Some of those young fans eventually started their own microbreweries in Maine.

“I think it also goes hand in hand with the food scene,” Norton said. “People obviously have a little more advanced palates around here.”


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