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Mmmm, beer: Arizona 35th best state for breweries

PHOENIX — In a list that will definitely cause debate among connoisseurs, Arizona has been voted the 35th best state for beer.

Thrillist, an entertainment and “foodie” site, compiled a list ranking each of the 50 states according to their breweries. Quantity and quality were the main criteria; however, quality just edged out quantity for importance. The site also “gave a boost to states who played a historical role in American beer as we know it today.”

Arizona came in No. 35 — which also means it is technically the 16th worst state for beer. The list only offered this “explanation” for ranking it where it did:

Stick to iced tea! What’s that? Arizona Iced Tea isn’t even made in Arizona? Fine. You know what is? Actually some decent beers (Four Peaks, SanTan), but, hey, things are getting competitive.

Is “getting competitive” a good thing or a bad thing, in this instance? Is Thrillist worried about oversaturation or were they saying that, starting with Arizona, the list starts to get serious beer-wise? They’re not exactly clear, but you know what is?

Arizona has some award-winning beers.

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company, Gilbert: RateBeer.com voted the brewery the best new brewery in the entire world for 2014. The world! What now, Colorado?

Four Peaks Brewing Company, Tempe: The World Beer Cup has awarded gold medals to the brewery’s Sunbru Kolsch Style and Hop Knot India Pale Ale. The 8th St. English Style Ale and Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale have also won bronze. Not to mention Pumpkin Porter is coming out soon. We repeat, Pumpkin Porter is coming out soon.

Lumberyard Brewing Company, Flagstaff: This company’s IPA was awarded the gold medal at the AmeriCAN Craft Beer Festival two years in a row.

Mother Road Brewing Co., Flagstaff: Trip Advisor’s FlipKey travel site voted this brewery as the best brewery in Arizona.

Oak Creek Brewing Co., Sedona: These brewers have consistently won gold medals from both the North American Brewers’ Association and the Great American Beer Festival.

SanTan Brewing Co., Chandler: MensHealth magazine named SanTan the best Arizona beer in a series called “32 Teams, 32 Beers,” which highlighted the best beer for each state with an NFL team. It also released its tasty Oktoberfest beer Monday.

Mississippi ranked last on the list, because the state has very few breweries. Oregon topped the list for both density and quality.

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