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Chicago Is Now the Beer Capital of America

The city now has more breweries than any other U.S. city

Bixi Beer was among the new breweries that opened in Chicago in 2018.
Barry Brechesien/Eater Chicago
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Chicago is now the city with the most breweries in the U.S., outranking beer havens including Denver, Seattle, Portland, and San Diego, according to the Brewers Association. Chicago counts 167 breweries within city limits, and counting Northwest Indiana, up to Wisconsin, and down to Aurora and Joliet.

It’s been quite a five-year surge for Chicago, with the city seeing 102 new breweries from 2013 to 2018, growing from 62 breweries, as the Tribune’s Josh Noel pointed out.

Across the country, America is on pace for a 20-percent increase in breweries this year, according to the association. Chicago’s growth outpaces that quite a bit. The association distills its finding into noting that breweries are opening where more people live. Thus, more breweries are opening in urban areas.

Prepare to see more breweries open in 2019, with projects in Englewood, Logan Square, and the Near West Side. Maverick Brewing is on its way to 2137 W. Walnut Street, according to Block Club Chicago.

For those scoring at home, LA has 146 breweries, and New York has 141. Not that anyone would compare Chicago to those cities. Check out the list of the cities with the most breweries in America below:

  1. Chicago (167)
  2. Denver (158)
  3. Seattle (153)
  4. San Diego (150)
  5. Los Angeles (146)