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Seattle snubbed in best beer city rankings

CNN doesn't even mention Seattle in a new ranking of America's best for brews. (AP Photo)

When it comes to the best cities for beer, you have to include Seattle at the top of the list, right? Not according to CNN, which doesn't even mention Seattle in a new ranking of the top eight cities in America for beer explorers.

Portland tops the list with its 52 breweries, more than any other in the world. The rankings also give our neighbor to the south high marks for the number of brew pubs and bars serving craft beers, along with all of its beer-centric events like the Oregon Brewer's Festival and the Portland International Beer Festival.

It's tough to argue against, but how can the list omit Seattle altogether? It doesn't say, instead picking San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Denver, Philadelphia, Bend, Ore., and Asheville, N.C. over the Emerald City.

Suffice it to say, a number of beer lovers are hopping mad.

"Flawed list. The boom took off in the early 80's and Seattle was at the forefront with Redhook and Grant's, followed closely by a long list of micro-breweries before they were 'cool,'" said one commenter responding to the list. "The Seattle area to this day has a longer list of quality breweries than half of these cities and a history that tops all but San Francisco, and that is solely because of Anchor Steam."

"Who compiled this list? How anyone could leave Seattle off the list of best beer is beyond me!" said another. "I've lived in Portland, San Diego, and Seattle and I would put Seattle and Portland right next to each other, but San Diego would be much further down the list."

The head of the Washington Beer Commission is more diplomatic. Eric Radovich says he's baffled as well, given Seattle has at least 40 breweries and counting.

"I took a walking tour of the Ballard neighborhood this past Saturday and they have nine breweries in Ballard alone," he said. "They were all fantastic making very creative artisan beers."

While he agreed many of those on the list deserve praise, clearly whoever compiled the list didn't do their homework, or a whole lot of tasting.

"Most of them don't compare to what we've developed here in the greater Seattle area and the state as a whole now has 173 craft breweries and it's still growing."

The author of the list said history, breweries, bars and events were the criteria she used to come up with the top brew towns.

About the Author

Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news.

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