Toast a glass of your beverage of choice to the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, which recently researched the distribution of breweries and wine makers in America to create this nifty map of beer country versus wine country.
Some of the results are unsurprising; after all, wine grows successfully in some regions more easily than in others. (Napa and Sonoma wineries aren’t geographic accidents.) Breweries, on the other hand, can exist relatively anywhere that consumer demand sustains them.
What is interesting is not the areas of high concentration—you say there’s beer in Colorado, eh?—but the regions on the fringes. Areas of the northern U.S., which include the Dakotas and Montana, have significantly more pockets of breweries than of wine makers. Ditto Florida’s eastern coast. And small regional wineries exist in nearly every state, including a strong cluster in Missouri and northern Michigan.
I wish the map also included the non-continental U.S.: Hawaii and Alaska. Yes, there are numerous wineries and breweries in Alaska and Hawaii. Next up, we taste The Wonkblog with overlaying the entire map with data points for average annual temperature and lowest airline fares. Vacation, ahoy.