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America’s 10 Best Brewery Visits

America’s 10 Best Brewery Visits

A coast-to-coast guide to the country’s top cities for suds

Some of America's best craft breweries are destinations in their own right.

Spirited travelers, take heart. Vineyard vacations, those storied but staid trips filled with incomprehensible tasting notes and pricey takeaways, are not the only option. These days, some of the hottest trips for thirsty travelers are decidedly closer to home.

Click here to see America’s 10 Best Brewery Visits Slideshow!

Welcome to Beer Country, USA. From Ommegang’s all-star beer game in upstate New York to sustainable brews and bikes in Portland, Ore., the country’s best craft breweries are bringing elevated taste to beer. Following up on our list of 50 Beers in 50 States, we traverse the country while highlighting some of the best breweries to visit.

These trips might not be Robert Parker-approved, but will rank highly on any culinary traveler’s radar. Depending on where you visit, you can take a tour, frequent nearby food trucks, catch a concert, play a game of pool, or take home a few liquid souvenirs. Many offer family friendly visits, too. So, leave your passport at home. We’re headed on a coast-to-coast tour of America’s best craft beer scenes.

Top 10 Beers of Each Style

The variety of beers available today can be overwhelming. Beer coolers are filled with a lot of dark beers, countless ales, and far more light beers than ever before. It can be too much and it's hard to decide which to bring home. In these moments, it's often best to go back to the basics!

Whether you are just beginning to explore the world of beer or are already a seasoned beer snob, these are brews that you should know. In no particular order, this list is comprised of beers that:

  • Are solid representatives of their respective styles
  • Seem to have a decent market saturation so you will have a chance of finding them
  • Covers a spectrum of beer styles

Once you get a taste of these brews, you can use the experience to guide you to the styles you like best. Since they are considered the best—or most popular, at least—of their respective categories, they offer a good idea of what you can expect from similar beers.

America’s 10 Best Brewery Visits - Recipes

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The Homebrew Academy

So you have finally made the decision that you want to start making beer…. AWESOME! This is such a good move on your part. Now where do you begin? Do we start with a easy setup like a Homebrew Kit, or maybe and Ingredients Kit?

This is the usual course of events that transpire in the minds of many eager and energetic homebrewers. Homebrew Academy offers the much-needed guidance that all homebrewers need.

Like most things in the world, people need to learn about before jumping into it with both feet. Helpful tips are included for new homebrewers to guide them prior to making their first batch of delicious homebrew.

Homebrew Academy also offers advice to homebrewers who have reached that next phase of their hobby. Advanced homebrewers are always looking for guidance to take their process of making beer to the next level.

Is moving from extract brewing to all-grain brewing right for me right now? Is there a recipe out there for a thirst-quenching Pale Ale?

Really dedicated and passionate home-brewers can follow along with The Homebrew Challenge here. Brewing all 99 BJCP beer styles in 99 weeks.

Beer education is paramount when it comes to homebrewing. From learning the language of home brewing, to techniques, to knowing why American brewers call their latest Kolsch a Kolsch-style is a part of the beer education at Homebrew Academy. Taking a look throughout time and different cultures, we find one commonality, beer.

Beer was discovered, not invented.

It has been a staple since the beginning of time. This beer making education that so many of us are interested in has shaped us as the brewers we are today.

Looking at it from a much smaller, more localized scale, beer education is prominent in even ordinary things such as the hops, yeast, and malt that we all use in our beers. Becoming familiar with the lineage of a specific hop can lead to a really awesome beer. Learning about the similarities of a certain hop leads us to pairing it with another hop that complements is flavor and aroma.

How to brew Beer at home education is always evolving and changing. And that is a good thing.

Training to become a professional beer judge also really helps dial in your own brewing techniques.

The 101 Best Beers in America

It’s taken us a while to get here, but no matter where in these United States of America you may find yourself, there is now simply no set of circumstances under which you should be forced to drink bad beer. You see, finding the best beers in the country isn’t that hard.

The 50 Best Whiskeys in the World

From minor league baseball stadiums to world-famous sporting arenas from backyard BBQs to high-end restaurants from dive bars to state-of-the-art breweries convenience stores, gas stations, supermarkets, car washes… craft beer is all around us, and not just in the fancy coastal regions. Instead of slugging back a six-pack of some bland light beer, these creative brews make you stop and savor.

20 Breweries That Grow Their Own Hops

There’s not a state in the union where you’d have to resort to drinking the swill that was shoved down our throat for the better part of the 20th century.

Here, find our picks for the best beers in each of our nation’s states—from Alabama’s Dragoon IPA (Tuscon’s most popular beer) to Wyoming’s Zonker Stout (unofficially the best après-ski warm-me-up).

The 27 Best Brews You Can Actually Buy at a Local Grocery Store

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The freshest ingredients, true-to-style recipes, conveniently packaged at an affordable price - that’s the Brewer’s Best® story. We are the nation’s most widely distributed brand of kits and equipment for today’s home craft brewer. Our story began over 25 years ago when the home brewing industry was in its early stages. Today, we rely on that experience and know-how to create more than 50 varieties of craft beer ingredient kits offered through our Classic, Premium, Limited Release, Seasonal and One Gallon lines, and tasty varieties of craft cider through our Cider House Select® line.

Everything you need to craft your best brew is here. We start with fresh ingredients packaged to maintain flavor as well as easy-to-follow recipes measured to perfection.

If you are brewing an easy-drinking Cream Ale or Continental Pilsner, Brewer’s Best® uses the lightest malt extract available. Pouring over a Russian Imperial Stout? Brewer’s Best® uses dark malt and roasted specialty grains for a rich, toasty flavor. All of our recipes are perfectly formulated to maintain the integrity of the beer style you choose to brew.

Brewer’s Best® is offered through an international network of select retailers – those who carry the best products in the industry and are knowledgeable resources for today’s homebrewer. Be sure to consult with your retailer in choosing any Brewer’s Best® products.

We Asked 12 Brewers: What Brewery Makes the Best Hazy IPAs?

We’re talking, of course, about hazy IPAs, which continue to keep beer lovers waiting and salivating in line (at least before the coronavirus pandemic), in hopes of securing the latest rare releases.

Interestingly, fans of hazy IPAs, also known as New England-style IPAs or simply NEIPAs, far more often find their admiration for breweries that specialize in these highly popular beers rather than for particular examples — this due to many being made in limited quantities, and without broad distribution. (No doubt, scarcity contributes to the NEIPA’s appeal.)

Every Beer Lover Needs This Hop Aroma Poster

So, with that in mind, we asked the brewers themselves which craft breweries they believe have demonstrated great proficiency in the uniquely American beer style. Below, 12 beer producers from across the country opine on the best purveyor of hazy IPAs.

The Best Hazy IPA Breweries, Recommended by Brewers:

  • Tired Hands Brewing Company, Ardmore, Pa.
  • Other Half Brewing Company, Brooklyn
  • Great Notion Brewing, Portland, Ore.
  • Humble Sea Brewing Co., Santa Cruz, Calif.
  • Root + Branch Brewing, Copiague, N.Y.
  • Cellarmaker Brewing Co., San Francisco
  • Triple Crossing Beer, Richmond, Va.
  • The Alchemist Brewery, Stowe, Vt.
  • Hudson Valley Brewery, Beacon, N.Y.
  • Mountains Walking Brewery, Bozeman, Mont.
  • Hop Butcher for the World, Darien, Ill.

Keep reading for details about all the recommended bottles!

“Wow. What a loaded question. The first brewer or brewery that popped into my head was Jean Broillet and Tired Hands. I just like Jean’s approach to beer in general. Trends are changing so quickly, and everyone wants the next hype beer style, but I like to rely on breweries that I know will create a consistently good and balanced product regardless. With hazy IPAs, so many examples are pushed out too quickly and get spicy. But I can have an IPA, or any beer, from Tired Hands weeks, even months, later, and they taste the same. (Full attenuation is key!) I’ve never been disappointed in a hazy IPA, or a pilsner, or an experimental potato something from Jean, and I don’t imagine I will be anytime soon.” — Erika Tessier, Co-owner and Assistant Brewer, Origin Beer Project, Cranston, R.I.

“I’ve been a big fan of Other Half, and the brewery’s IPAs are some of the best in the game, the continuous hype well deserved. They carry explosive aroma, mouthfeel, and flavor profile that checks all the right boxes. DDH Broccoli is still one of my all-time favorite IPAs, and the All Together initiative was not only a great beer, but a great campaign to support all these small business and communities during the coronavirus pandemic. The only downside is that I don’t have the opportunity to drink Other Half here in rural Iowa as often as I’d like!” — Eric Hild, Lead Brewer, Toppling Goliath Brewing Co., Decorah, Iowa

“Great Notion was the first brewer in Portland to start making hazy IPAs, and now there’s not one producer who doesn’t include at least one example in their lineup. What’s great about the city’s brewing community is that we openly share ideas we’ve learned a lot about this style from each other. The most impressive part of Great Notion’s hazy IPAs is consistency. In particular, the all-Citra Ripe represents the style well, showcasing a silky body, balanced malt, and juicy hop expression.” — Shaun Kalis, Co-founder, Ruse Brewing Company, Portland, Ore.

“My choice for the best hazy IPA brewery isn’t from New England, but from a kooky town by the Pacific. I’ve been stoked on Humble Sea for a while and will always stop for a ‘Foggy’ IPA when in Santa Cruz. The brewery has been cranking out a ton of sick hazies since opening a few years ago, each more radical than the last. I think the Humble Sea team really nailed it with Socks & Sandals. Classic West Coast aromatics and flavor with that soft, creamy mouthfeel of a NEIPA it really hit that sweet spot for me. It’s like East Coast meets West (Best) Coast.” — Justin Carter, Cellar Lead, Drake’s Brewing Co., San Leandro, Calif.

“Anthony Sorice of Root + Branch is one of a small handful of brewers that can really make a hazy IPA shine. His beers are well thought out, meticulous, and patiently executed. Root + Branch does a great job of keeping the style well balanced. Examples are bright, clean, and show the right amount of restraint, which is very rare these days. I had the pleasure to work alongside Anthony for a period of time and it was clear from the start that he had an excellent grasp on what makes a New England-style IPA work. There’s a very good reason why his beers sell out so fast, and it’s not just hype. The care, quality, and love is obvious.” — Stjepan Pavich, Lead Brewer, Other Half Brewing, Brooklyn

“Tim Sciascia at Cellarmaker makes amazingly crushable hazy IPAs that are consistently imbued with aromatic notes of Citra hops and tropical fruit. This adds to the drinkability of his beers, and shows off his amazing ability to find and select the best hops out in the market.” — Brian Rauso, Co-founder and CEO, Green Cheek Beer Co., Orange, Calif.

“Anytime I have a Triple Crossing hazy IPA, I end up staring at the glass after each sip. I’m half wondering how the Virginia brewery did it, and half hoping the consumed beer will magically replenish itself. That ‘it’ is being able to layer expressive yeast character, water chemistry, and hop aromatics in a way that makes its hazy IPAs truly stand out from the crowd. The single-hop Triangles series really showcases Triple Crossing’s chops with only a single hop variety, the team achieves an envying amount of structure and complexity. Simcoe Triangles was the last one I had. It’s fresh-cut grapefruit bliss, summertime melon, and dank citrus wrapped up in a velvety smooth mouthfeel.” — Turner Humphries, Head Brewer, Hoptown Brewing Company, Mooresville, N.C.

“In my opinion, The Alchemist is one of the best producers of hazy IPAs. Everything the brewery makes in the style is nicely balanced in terms of aromatics and bitterness, and it’s based in Vermont, which has excellent water sources. Some of my personal favorite IPAs are Heady Topper and Focal Banger. Heady is probably Alchemist’s most famous beer. However, Focal Banger to me seems to be a more dialed-in recipe. I’m more of a malt gal myself, and I enjoy its malt sweetness. Not only does John Kimmich and team produce delicious hazy bois, but they’re also involved in community outreach, aspiring to educate and involve the community around them. The most recent involvement is an anti-racism action plan.” — Haley Ann Warren, Head Brewer, Sparge Brewing, Wellington, Colo.

“Hudson Valley Brewery consistently puts out great, more straightforward hazy, hoppy beer that flies under the radar because of all the attention — and rightly so — its innovative sour IPAs get. Though not an IPA, the hazy pale ale Diadem was one of the best hoppy beers I’ve had this year. The thing that excites me the most about what the Hudson Valley crew does, and where they seem to consistently differentiate themselves, is in blending capabilities. Their ability to skillfully arrange different fermentation profiles can really take hazy, hoppy beers to a place that is perfect for the modern drinker’s flavor and aroma wheelhouse.” — Ben Clayton, Founder and Brewer, The Test Brewery, Brooklyn

“The funky folks at Mountains Walking are making my go-to hazy IPAs these days, in particular the rotating Oat Whip series, which feature single hop varieties without changing the notion of a cloudy, juicy, hoppy beer. They make great companions at the end of a long trail hike or sitting on the side of a stream after a day of fly fishing. We were one of the first to produce hazy IPAs in the wilderness state, and we called them ‘frontier style’ because no one here really knew what a New England IPA was at that time. So we made up that term, since I had brewed in New Mexico and Pennsylvania prior to coming to Montana, where hazy IPAs had been around a lot longer. I’m glad to see other breweries taking the reins on this category that shines brightest on the local level, and making cloudy suds regularly available in Montana.” — Luke Steadman, Brewmaster and Janitor, Smelter City Brewing, Anaconda, Mont.

“I’ve always loved Other Half’s hazy IPAs. Along with a few others, Other Half paved the way for the style. The team is always pushing boundaries and I appreciate that. Right now, I’m really digging the brewery’s double dry-hopped session IPA, [DDH] Baby Diamonds. I love how well Amarillo and Galaxy play together, and it’s easy drinking.” — Maria Cabre, Head Brewer, J. Wakefield Brewing, Miami

“Hop Butcher is knocking it out of the park with the hazy IPAs right now. No two are alike, but they’re consistent with quality, pleasing mouthfeel, and exploding with flavor. The extensive range of hop profiles is incredible. A few of my favorites are Tavern Cut, Neon Green Relish, and Blazed Orange. I’m always excited to see what the brewery is going to put out next.” — Rachel Leiby, Head Brewer, Geneseo Brewing Co., Geneseo, Ill.

Best state in America: Oregon, for craft beer

Beer samples at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Ore. (James Jaggard/Visit Bend)

Reid Wilson is the author of Read In, The Post’s morning tipsheet on politics. If you have a candidate for best state, e-mail [email protected]

Americans are becoming beer snobs. For the first time, craft breweries produced more barrels of beer than Budweiser did, according to figures for 2013 published by Beer Marketer’s Insights and reported by the Wall Street Journal.

So forget the mega-breweries in Missouri and Wisconsin and Colorado. Although tastes and preferences differ, no state has better access to small local craft beers than Oregon, where tipplers can knock back a Rogue Dead Guy Ale or a Widmer Hefeweizen.

Oregon is home to more than 180 craft breweries, defined as companies that produce less than 6 million barrels of beer annually. That’s fewer breweries than its West Coast neighbors, California and Washington, but Oregon has more breweries per capita than any other state.

Washington produces almost three-quarters of the hops grown in the United States, while Oregon and Idaho together account for 24 percent, according to the Hop Growers of America. Good local hops lead to good local beers.

The state’s craft breweries generate almost $1.3 billion in economic activity — $449 for every Oregonian age 21 and older — which is more per capita than every other state. And Oregonians are loyal to their state. Oregon Craft Beer, the industry’s association, reports that 53 percent of all draft beers poured within the state’s borders come from in-state breweries.

By more subjective measures, Oregon still comes out on top. Thrillist, an online magazine dedicated to food, travel and drink, ranked Oregon beers the best in the country, beating out California and Colorado.

Craft brewing is even catching on in states without a long tradition of beer making. Mississippi and North Dakota, the two states with the fewest breweries, have seen their industries double and triple, respectively, in size over the past two years. Mississippi now has four, and North Dakota has six.

And having surpassed Budweiser, the industry still has room to grow. Craft brewers accounted for about 8 percent of the U.S. beer market in 2013, according to the Brewers Association, an industry trade group. Larger domestic producers accounted for 10 times that amount.

As other states seek to tap that lucrative market, new brewers should look to Oregon’s booming industry for recipes, ingredients — and samples. Cheers to Oregon!

Craft Beer Near Me

One of the great things about the independent beer scene is the variety of craft beer options you can enjoy. Whether it’s a brew pub down the street, a microbrewery that’s getting a lot of buzz, or a nano brewery that just opened, there is always a new craft brewery to try, and we want to make finding those places easy. We’ve given you the option to search by state, click on the “breweries near me” button or search for a brewery or brew pub by name, city or state. Not only will you get directions to craft breweries, but also the ability to connect with the brewery itself to learn more. Rather than keep looking for "craft breweries near me" on a search engine, seek them out quickly and easily here!

Watch the video: Ζυθοποιία Πηνειού - LOLA BEER (October 2021).