Beer is in a renaissance, and the craft brew scene has become sophisticated enough to wedge its way onto wine lists of even the finest restaurants. And while I mean no offense to a patriot like Samuel Adams, for the average U.S. citizen, it’s the first time in our nation’s history that we don’t need to champion imports over the beer we’re brewing in our backyards.
To celebrate, Pop Chart Lab has created this limited edition print of the 1,000(ish) breweries in the U.S. And as elegant as this 39" x 27" archival print may look now, the work behind it was tremendous, and the first draft was filled with oversight.
"We spent a solid four weeks compiling and charting the data only to discover upon launching the product that due to a misunderstood filter in our process we actually excluded a ton of famous breweries. It was
kinda crushing to see the flood of emails, tweets, and comments pointing out omissions like Stone, Three Floyds, and other giants of the craft brew scene," Pop Chart Labs tells us. They should note, especially, that Three Floyds and Stone may be this writer’s two favorite breweries. "But the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and the hopheads of the Internet were incredibly helpful in pointing out breweries that needed to be added to the print. So we pulled the file back from the printer, pulled an all-nighter, and got the changes made. We always hope that our charts serve a passionate audience, and in this case beer fans did not disappoint."
The team also had to overcome a very practical limitation in designing the map. Some cities have thriving brew scenes that outpace the map’s real estate. How could they fit each brewery’s name in such a condensed space? "Because breweries cluster in certain ‘beervanas’ like Portland, we decided to use insets to show detail," the team explains. "The insets also worked to cover up those sad areas of the country without breweries."
Eventually, Pop Chart Lab ended up with the print you see here, a glorious map of America’s most sudsy accomplishments. If there was ever an allegation to be made that God really has blessed America, you’re looking right at it.