Sometimes I get strange little obsessions about weird stuff.
Today’s little trip down the rabbit-hole that is my brain involves state flags (did you know the study of flags is called “vexillology”?).
I’d always felt that Colorado had an awesome flag, so decided to research who else has cool flags in the U.S. As it turns out, not that many states have terribly memorable or even artful ones. But in the interest of proving a point that honestly makes no sense (even to me), I’ve decided to rank the best flags according to how good the beer is in its respective state.
Yeah…I think I need some sleep.
You’ll notice that several states known for beer aren’t listed here. That’s because their flags suck (seriously, Oregon…get on the ball).
So. Which state flag makes you think “Great Beer”? This is for bragging rights, people.
Maryland has a really neat looking flag that reminds me of something that should be hanging off the end of a knight’s jousting pole. It’s bold, attractive and unique…but it also doesn’t make any sense to anyone who doesn’t know the history behind it. It’s also not very iconic — how many times have you seen this flag anywhere outside of Maryland?
As for beer…well, aside from Flying Dog I haven’t seen any of their beers nationally, so I’m gonna rank them at the bottom of this list.
Alaska’s flag is simple and pretty. They’ve also got some pretty decent beers. But if you were to ask anyone to name more than one brewery in their state, I doubt many people could do it.
Arizona’s flag is gorgeous. In many ways it’s perhaps the best design in the country. But outside of the state, who is familiar with their beer? Four Peaks Brewing in Tempe, AZ is absolutely fantastic, but they still have no distribution outside the area. I’ve also heard good things about Nimbus in Tucson. Still, no one is gonna confuse Arizona with being a beer state.
Few state flags are is iconic and well-known as the one for Texas. I’d swear half of their desire to secede is based on the fact that their flag could rightfully designate a sovereign nation. They’ve also got some famous beer: Shiner Bock is great and everyone knows Lone Star even if it is cheap, adjunct beer. Nonetheless, Texas is not synonymous with craft beer.
3. New Mexico
I love this flag. Utilizing native American art and bold colors, it’s simply gorgeous. If this “contest” was based on flag beauty alone, New Mexico would probably win.
Recently establishing itself as a genuine up-and-comer in the craft beer scene, and with breweries such as Marble and Santa Fe Brewing helping bring attention to what the Land of Enchantment has to offer, New Mexico has much to be proud of, beer-wise. But they still have a long way to go before people start planning any major beer tours there.
Their flag is awesome. Everybody recognizes it (and with its own name on the thing, how couldn’t someone?), and it’s pretty damned iconic. As far as flags go, it’s one of the most beloved out there.
In the realm of beer, California is, in terms of shear numbers, unmatched. Over 300 breweries call the Sunshine State home. Many of the most popular and beloved brands come from here, too: Stone, Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam…the list is endless.
Call me biased, but c’mon: Colorado’s flag is bad-ass and it’s practically synonymous with beer. That sucker up there looks like a beer label (and it is one for Steamwork’s Colorado Kolsch). I look at that thing and I don’t think of mountains or John Elway first: I think of beer.
In terms of sheer inability to separate an image from an idea, our flag is the beeriest of them all.
Combine the beautiful, iconic and simple graphics of our flag with the goliath that is our craft beer industry and the choice is clear: Colorado is the winner of bragging rights you weren’t even aware were something you could brag about: Best Beer Flag in America.