Gainesville Ranks 67 in Top Cities for Beer

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Swamp Head Brewery in Gainesville is one of the few breweries located in North Central Florida. The tasting room allows customers to try the different craft beers the brewery has to offer. Scott St. Lifer / WUFT News
Swamp Head Brewery in Gainesville is one of the few breweries located in North Central Florida. The tasting room allows customers to try the different craft beers the brewery has to offer. Scott St. Lifer / WUFT News

Gainesville’s craft brew scene is on the national radar.

Livability.com ranked the city 67 on its Top 99 cities for craft beer.

The website publishes monthly and annual lists showcasing cities and the positive aspects associated with them. The lists also aim to retain businesses and residents.

“The craft beer movement has helped bring a return to downtowns, a return to main streets with a focus on the community and walkability,” said Livability Editor Matt Carmichael. “It really adds, in our case, to the visibility to cities on the list.”

Cities were selected based on three requirements: members of the community consumed craft beer, the city produces the best beer around and it had to be considered a good place to live.

Carmichael views the list of beers as not only delicious beverages, but also as a way to help local communities’ economies grow and thrive.

When researching beer, Carmicahael reached out to Ratebeer.com Executive Director Joseph Tucker for the analytics of what brew were the most popular in cities across the nation. RateBeer is dedicated to providing unbiased information about beer and breweries to enhance the appreciation of the industry, according to the company’s website.

Like Carmichael, Tucker has a process in determining what beers are worthwhile and those that aren’t. When conducting a RateBeer taste test, he looks at a beer’s appearance, smell, taste and finish.

“What we found is that small producers almost always produce the very best beers in the world,” Tucker said.

Nathan DiPietro, assistant tasting room manager at Swamp Head brewery, has worked for the company for three years. The demand for the brewery’s Midnight Oil Oatmeal Coffee has increased among customers, DiPietro said. He doesn’t believe the beer itself is causing the demand, but the rise of the craft beer industry.

“People just care about locally made products that are made with care and love,” DiPietro said.

According to the Brewers Association,  2,863 craft breweries were reported in the United States in 2013, and 3,418 in 2014. Currently, Florida has 111 breweries, which collectively produce 1,128,089 barrels of craft beer per year.

“Obviously your Budweisers and your Millers are vastly out selling craft beers, but with that said, I think that people enjoy a craft beer,” Carmichael said. “They enjoy that it is often local and comes in a variety.”

 

About Edwin Exaus

Edwin is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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