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Studies: Bellingham full of beer snobs, coffee shops

Workers from Northwest Canning can beer at the Kulshan Brewery in Bellingham in honor of Bellingham Beer Week in September 2013. Bellingham was named the snobbiest place in America when it comes to beer, according to an unscientific survey from Priceonmics posted July 10, 2015.
Workers from Northwest Canning can beer at the Kulshan Brewery in Bellingham in honor of Bellingham Beer Week in September 2013. Bellingham was named the snobbiest place in America when it comes to beer, according to an unscientific survey from Priceonmics posted July 10, 2015. The Bellingham Herald

Local residents won’t be surprised, but two newly released lists show coffee and craft beer are a big deal in Whatcom County.

In a post about the state of beer in the U.S., Priceonmics ranked the Bellingham metro area as the snobbiest place when it comes to beer. Using data from BeerMenus.com, the company ranked cities based on the number of drinking establishments that didn’t serve Bud Light, Miller Lite or Coors Light. Bellingham came in at a whopping 92 percent, finishing ahead of Oakland, Calif., which had 89 percent.

It’s by no means a comprehensive list, but it does provide a snapshot to make an interesting list, said Scott Pelton, who operates the local beer blog Bellingham Tap Trail. Pelton said he was excited when he saw the article.

“While most people (and communities) don’t like being called ‘snobs,’ it certainly hints at the amazing beers and breweries we do have,” Pelton said. “When Bellingham friends say, ‘Let’s grab a pint,’ a huge majority of them aren’t referring to a pint of Budweiser. They are referring to going to a locally owned brewery or taphouse that puts care into those pints.”

The post from Priceonomics has several other beer-related tidbits, including beer most likely to be on the menu in each state (Washington’s topper is Redmond’s Mac and Jack’s African Amber).

Bellingham also ranked high when it comes to coffee offerings. According to a study put together by InfoGroup, Bellingham has 3.9 shops per 10,000 people, one metric that ranked Bellingham 10th highest out of 728 cities when it comes to coffee drinking.

Bellingham also was high on the list as a “Green Adopter” for businesses, ranking ninth in the U.S. That category identifies companies that are most likely to adopt eco-friendly measures.

It may also come as no surprise that six out of the top 10 cities for coffee drinkers were in Washington. Redmond ranked second with 4.9 shops per 10,000 people, while Everett was third. Santa Monica, Calif. topped the list with 5.1 coffee shops per 10,000 people.

Reach Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com.

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