TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The largest city in northern Michigan was named as one of the 10 "Favorite Small Town for Craft Beer."

Traverse City finished seventh in one of the USA Today contests for the 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards for 2021.

Traverse City was selected by a panel of judges as one of the 20 finalists for the award. Readers could vote once a day in the four-week online contest, which ended March 16.

The top 10 was announced on March 26.

"That's exciting that we're a top 10 city," Right Brain Brewery brewmaster Russell Springsteen said in a release. "We deserve it. We have several breweries that are making great beer."

"The brewers in the region are highly regarded," Traverse City Tourism President Trevor Tkach said in the release. "The craft beer scene is one of many draws to the region.

"We hear countless times from our visitors that after enjoying all that northern Michigan has to offer, a perfect cap to the day is enjoying a local brew with friends."

Avondale Estates, Georgia took the top spot in the Best Readers' Choice Award for "Favorite Small Town for Craft Beer."

A suburb of Atlanta, Avondale Estates has a population of more than 3,000 people.

The complete top 10 were:

  1. Avondale Estates, Georgia
  2. Maple Shade, New Jersey
  3. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  4. Berlin, Maryland
  5. Derby, Connecticut
  6. Hammonton, New Jersey
  7. Traverse City
  8. Boone, North Carolina
  9. Hood River, Oregon
  10. Taos, New Mexico

While Springsteen said placing seventh was a nice accolade for Traverse City, he said the city could finish on top if nominated for a similar contest.

"We have the breweries to do this," Springsteen said.

The "Favorite Small Town for Craft Beer" was one of several USA Today 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards for 2021 contests relating to brewed adult beverages.

Grand Rapids was named "Best Beer City."

"Winner of two past Best Beer Scene titles, Michigan's second-largest city sports the state's strongest beer scene, thanks largely to the presence of the world-renowned Founders Brewing Co.," the USA Today announcement said. "Not to be outdone, there are several other brewing operations around town, most notably the Belgian-inspired Brewery Vivant.

"The city's official 'Beer City Ale Trail' lists more than 80 breweries in the surrounding area, and the local calendar is constantly filled with beer festivals, events and promotions. Throw in exceptional beer stores such as Siciliano's Market, and it's easy to see why Grand Rapids proudly stakes its claim as 'Beer City USA.'"

A complete list of the winners in the recent USA Today 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards for 2021 contests is available at


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