A few weeks ago Houston Press food blogger extraordinaire Katharine Shilcutt wittingly dropped a proverbial deuce on the American beer drinker. In her post titled The United States of Beer, Katharine rather subjectively assigned each state an official beer. Her intentions were relatively innocuous, but her uneven attempt to rush the post's publication by peppering the U.S. map with whimsical selections energized the nation's beer drinking pantywadders (200+ comments!).

This was not the first time the food blog published a half-hearted post and then hid behind guise of just "having a laugh." I wonder if their editor would be as supportive of a post that jacked around with where to find good Mongolian hot pot? If the Houston Texans decided to play without cleats for a quarter, how do you think that would go over with their fans? If Nicholas Cage stopped caring about the movies he agreed to make, then what? I'm just saying, our big stick, Mr. Smokeypants, doesn't let us get away with weak journalism
our site, and I've never seen a dime from the blog.

We at The Ferm are not
asserting that blogs, and more specifically The Houston Press' food blog Eating Our Words, must be serious all the time. We are only suggesting that if you are getting paid to publish your work, that it be well thought out, researched, and written as if you even care that your name is on the piece. (I hope EOW blogger Kevin Shalin doesn't mind me stealing his words in that previous sentence, but there is a pretty good chance all Houston Press people stopped reading in the second paragraph anyway.)

Speaking of serious, if you are aware of someone who takes drinking more seriously than we do, I would sincerely like to know. We also
tend to look at the world through practical glasses, so we understand an accurate beer map of the United States probably looks more like an election map.

"That looks about right. Print it!" - Mr. Smokeypants
Apologies to my beer nerds, but let's get really real. The craft beer segment represents only about 5% of the total U.S. beer market. What does that mean? It means Budweiser is truly the King, or President if you will, of beers. Budweiser, Miller Lite, or Coors may pick up a few electoral votes, but Bud Light is probably every state's official beer. But where is the fun in that map?

"Yes, that one looks right. Print it!" - Mr. Smokeypants
After some hard core brainstorming, we have come up with a concept that falls somewhere in between the schizophrenic Houston Press beer map and the monotony of the factual map. Katharine's idea was actually kind of ingenious, however it was executed by a foodie/journalist/musician-type instead of a lawyer/engineer/rocket scientist-type.

That is where we can contribute. What Katharine's map project needed was some rules. Some formulae. Some science. That kind of concept is right in our wheelhouse.

  • Pronouncement: Katharine's list muddled beers and breweries. We will assign breweries to a state. It is reasonable to assume that a brewery's flagship beer would be the de facto beer representative for the state.
  • Rule #1: For any state, the brewery representative must be brewed in said state. Rule #1b: If a brewery makes beer in more than one state, the brewery can only be named representative of one state.
  • Example Formula: y = 29.936ln(x) How do you like them apples? (I don't trust the Internets enough to give out all our brewery ranking secrets.)
  • Science: Wikipedia says science is an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world. Yeah, we got that.
Budweiser is overwhelmingly the people's popular choice for a national brewery. Don't be angry at us. You elected them without checking their proof of residence first. This post hereby kicks off The Ferm's own United States of Beer project. We will be rolling out each of the states' representatives over the next several weeks months. Stay thirsty tuned my friends.

Click map to jump to post with the states' selections

  1. Katharine February 7, 2011 at 3:06 PM  

    Can I suggest Miller Lite for all the states? Because THAT would be the ultimate troll of a map.

  2. Anonymous February 7, 2011 at 3:28 PM  

    I think the United States of "Craft" Beer may be a worthy project as well.

    That said, I look forward to your results. And what the heck do you do with Shiner - since most of it is made out of state now?

  3. SirRon February 7, 2011 at 3:52 PM  


    I agree about wanting craft beers to shine. However, this project is only to improve on Katharine's idea :)

    I tip my hat to successful big breweries... I just don't drink their products. For example, if you don't pick Coors for Colorado, then how can you justify the selection process? My formula gives the small, newer brewer a chance, but it's a tougher path.

  4. J.R. Ewing February 7, 2011 at 5:55 PM  

    I know the first state you're probably going to unveil. Obvious. It's Montana. Let me ask that you hold off, I have a correspondent (brother) who lives there and let me make sure he gives a locals opinion before we rush to judgment.

  5. J.R. Ewing February 7, 2011 at 6:05 PM  

    And as for Texas, let's look a little historically and not dismiss Lone Star (the National beer of Texas) or Pearl (who made J.R. Ewing Beer). Honorable mention to "Alamo Beer" favorite of Hank Hill (and the alley where he drinks which I own via the 14th overall pick in The Ferm 1st annual Mock Draught). Of course I also own Saint Arnold (via the 2nd overall pick in the 2nd annual TheFerm Mock Draught. So I'm torn.

  6. SirRon February 8, 2011 at 4:41 PM  

    By the way JR, best nostalgic beers seems right up in your wheelhouse.