From Daily Meal, survey of 15,000.
Nice discussion point, regional breweries making the top25 include Great Lakes at 24, Bell's at 8, Founder's at 4. Not a bad showing.
Dogfish (Yay somewhat local!) is #1, Stone #2.
From Daily Meal, survey of 15,000.
Nice discussion point, regional breweries making the top25 include Great Lakes at 24, Bell's at 8, Founder's at 4. Not a bad showing.
Dogfish (Yay somewhat local!) is #1, Stone #2.
Founders should be #1.
I would never argue with Frito anyway, but in this case I agree with him 100%.
A couple local (to me) individual beer choices:
Atwater VooDoo Vader and Vanilla Java Porter (that's for the ladies)
I just tried Vanilla Java Porter the other day and it is delicious, as are most java ports and stouts. I know of no reason that it would be "for the ladies", though.
I've been to 106 (of 125+) breweries in Michigan, not counting the ones that have closed (cool starry bra). I haven't actually tried to write out a list, but Founders is #1 to me.
We are SO lucky to live in this great beer state. Perrin is moving up the charts very quickly and is near the top. Wolverine is damn good too, right in AA (Stadium). Greenbush, Kuhnhenn (sp), Pike 51, Bell's, Rochester Mills, and on and on.
Best growler price I've seen is $4.50 on Tuesdays (today!) at CJs in Commerce. Need not be a mug club member, and Vat 33 IPA is very tasty.
outside of Michigan?
You can't beat Founders when it comes to Michigan Brewers, but thats not to say that nobody's trying. I'd estimate that I've been to about 3 dozen or so Michigan Brewpubs (the majority of them in one of these 3 areas: SW Michigan, Greater Grand Rapids area, and Ann Arbor area, and my favorites (other than Founders and The Livery) are Darkhorse (Marshall) and Greenbush (Sawyer). Arbor Brewing in Ann Arbor and Perrins in GR are a couple that I've only visited once apiece but have really impressed me, too.
Of those I listed above, neither Perrins nor The Livery bottle their stuff yet; Perrins plans to soon from what I've read, but The Livery seems to be content to stay small---last time I was in there a couple months ago, they still had no plans to start bottling. I never leave The Livery without a growler or two, though.
I'm a Benton Harborite and Livery mugger. News is they will start bottling more now that there's a new head brewer. They do a small bottling for muggers a couple times a year but that's it so far.
Despite greenbush also close, they've lost me due to QA issues. They sell it all no matter the quality. Sad.
Livery and Dark Horse of course! Can't even list all the ones we like. Cranker's near the Ferris State Campus in Big Rapids is also on our favorites list.
Talking about Perrin...the original plan was for CANS, not bottles. Not just cans though, but cans with the old style top that you have to PUNCH open. I'm sure some of you are old enough to remember the punched-out triangles in the top of your pop can...one to sip out of and the other to vent.
According to one of the bartenders, they still plan on this, but maybe other options too.
if for nothing other than their daring/unique recipes.
I can get these at the liquor store, out of a bottle, and Bell's, Founder's, etc all taste pretty good.
But getting a growler or a pint from some top notch Marquette breweries (Ore Dock or Black Rocks) taste far better IMO, if not just because of the freshness.
Black Rocks will begin bottling soon so watch out for their beers to hit the market. Ore Dock (my favorite) is planning on bottling next year. Look out for the yooper breweries!
I don't get the Sierra Nevada hype, and for someone that really likes Amber beer, Fat Tire is very overrated. I've had Rogue (don't really remember it) and enjoyed Devil's Backbone a bit. I just bought a Victory variety pack last night, looking forward to trying it.
What's great about SN is that they're NOT particularly hyped, at least not in the beer geek community; they're consistently one of the least expensive craft 6ers out there, and many of their beers are really good ones in their styles.
I've heard that Sierra Nevada on tap is much different than in the bottle. I'd assume that makes a big difference.
Fat Tire is overrated, but I'm fine with that, because the reason that it is overrated is that so many non-beer snobs enjoy it. It's like Oberon in that respect. Anything that gets people away from macrobrews and shandies is OK in my book.
I was going to declare your statement about Fat Tire being very over-rated as being completely FALSE!, but upon further reflection I would agree it's a little over-rated and therefore your statement is what I find to be a mere exagerration. Then again, I started with Fat Tire when I went to college in Colorado and will probably never judge it objectively.
Sorry, but with only one brewery from the state of Oregon, and none from the state of Washington, this list is simply incomplete.
To me Widmer Bros. & Bridgeport are very good craft beers. Too many others to mention in Oregon & Washington. Sounds like the list is as much marketing and name recognition as it is about the actual beer.
I never really got the big deal about them or Deschutes. They are all decent brews, but having tried most of the ones on this list, I'd rank them all consistently above the breweries you mentioned.
I love Rogue (was at their Newport location 2 weeks ago) and I've toured Stone Brewery. Both are great. But there are just so many great brews in the northwest. I'm befuddled that Rogue was the only representative.
For what it's worth, my personal favorites:
Widmer Heffe is good summer drinking but I haven't tried any of their others
Widmer is partially owned by Anheuser-Busch, I believe, thus eliminating them from contention. I would rank Bridgeport and Deschutes above them anyway. For my dollar I would go with Double Mountain and Walking Man before any of the NW heavyweights. But that's just one man's opinion.
Forgot about that one. That was one of if not the best of the pubs I went to in the NW.
Hard to argue with Dogfish at number 1. their 120 and 90 minute IPAs are hard to beat. Love founders, but they and Bells could flip spots. Also, no Saranac on that list?
I'm not a huge Saranac fan. Dogfish has some good beers, but I would put Bell's higher simply for Oberon and THA. The list is not loading for me, but I hope Lagunitas is on there. They are very good too, Brown Shugga, Lil Sumptin, Censored, their IPA, and they had a seasonal Vanilla Porter. My favorite brewery by far.
Hopslam should probably move them up a few spots alone.
I absolutely love Hopslam!
Dogfishhead gets a lot of press and love for going to extremes and trying whacky stuff, but I don't find their beers particularly enjoyable other than the "gotta try it once" factor.
Delaware doesn't have much to hang their hat on, let them have this one. As of now they have
I think they need this one
Lowest highest point of any state.
is so overrated.
Actually a Sierra Nevada or a dogfish head probably would be the transition...
I know you must not have been referring to me. Bud Light? Child Please.
It is a matter of taste, and you're right. Dogfish would appeal to a liquor drinker. How does it compare, in your opinion to the West Coast IPAs? I just prefer beer, not whiskey...and there are some super strong Imperial IPAs that are far better than Dogfish...again, only IMHO.
.... But I can think of 3 IPAs in Montana alone that are better than Dogfish
At their brewpubs on the east coast, they serve black and tans made with 90 minute IPA and chicory stout. Those will change your mind.
While they are often known for their "gimmicky" stuff, I wouldn't say they're significantly overrated. Their standard offerings (like 60 and 90 minute) are legitimately excellent, and even their gimmicky stuff is usually good to very good. And I'm glad somebody out thre is wacky enough to try some of the things that they do - to me experimentation is the greatest thing about the rise of so many craft breweries.
I want variety and something new almost every time. I do buy some things over and over again (Sixpoint Resin I'm looking at you), but I like a good variety and to try new things. Craft beer gives me so many options that I am never bored.
Kentucky Breakfast Stout before I can render judgment.
You've never had KBS?
You need to fix that.
Ask your beer store if they have a presale and get on the list. Thats the best way to get some. It gets pretty crazy in West Michigan on KBS release day.
has left me in a quandary: to drink, or not to drink?
I have two bottles left in my beer cellar out of a 4-pack I acquired on 2012 KBS Day. I haven't had one to drink since last December and plan to consume these last 2 sometime between now and the end of the coming CFB season. So many upcoming big Michigan football games, and so few KBS Stouts to enjoy in celebration...
Have fun fighting the masses. It sells out within minutes unless you're on a preorder list. I luckily called a place and they said they were getting some in the next day, and I got the first two bottles out of the pack, by the time I left it was gone.
Dogfish #1? Meh. They do some interesting stuff, but I find a lot of their beers to be not very drinkable.
Breweries rated too high - Dogfish Head, New Belgium
Breweries rated too low - Founders, Avery, Three Floyds
New Belgium rides the hype train with very little standout product to show for it, a lot like Sierra Nevada.
I truly just don't like Sam Calagione's persona, which to me means this list is crap.
Agree in part - New Belgium makes solid, not great beers. I've never had one of their beers and not liked it, but I've also never been blown away. I'll have a 1554 any day, but my mindset picking up a six pack is "here's something I know I / my guests will like", not "this sounds awesome!".
In any case, ranking them above Lagunitas is a travesty.
Deschutes really needs to be on this list - Black Butte Porter is fantastic, and they make some excellent special beers in bombers.
Jolly Pumpkin ought to be here too. They're a bit of a niche, but damn do they own that niche.
I'd also consider Great Divide, North Coast, and Russian River ahead of some of the breweries on this list.
Note that I've seen all of these in multiple states, so the distribution argument is valid but overblown.
Fat Tire is a good standard flagship and definitely fills the roll of guests will like it, but IMO 1554 and Trippel are in the WOW category The rest of the beers they do are good, but I would rather go with the Bell's version in nearly every case. Oberon > Rolle Bolle especially.
The trippel is probably one of the better "grocery store" beer in that style, so I'll give it that.
And I like 1554, but I'd rather have a Deschutes Black Butte Porter, or a Bell's porter or Best Brown when I'm in the "quaffable dark beer" mode.
Founder's should be #1. Dogfish Head adds too much sugar and other junk to their beers in order to get high stats like ABV. I haven't heard of Boulevard.
Haven't had a lot of those. Have had (that I can recall):
Anchor, Great Lakes, New Glarus, Boston (Sam Adams), Victory, Rogue, Sierra Nevada, Bell's, New Belgium, and Dogfish.
New Belgium is probably my favorite brewer on the list that's easily available. You can never go wrong with the 1554 black ale or the Abbey-style ale.
Rogue is my favorite overall.
IMO, Green Flash is better than Stone.
I tend to agree with you on most days, but I do sometimes like the heavy floral kick i get from Stone, because some of the Green Flash beers can be SO dry.
You actually nailed it on the reason why i prefer Green Flash over Stone.
I do enjoy some of the "Stone Collaboration" that they do. They did a holiday ale with Jolly Pumpkin that was really good.
Have you had the Wootstout? That's not even my style of beer, but it was amazing!! Holy lord. try it.
mostly always true. Stone has some special brews that aren't widely available that are better than Greenflash, but otherwise GF is much preferred in this household.
What about AleSmith?
I guess it is considered a barleywine, but i thought Numbskull from AleSmith was pretty damn good.
New Belgium is overrated; Fat Tire and Ranger are both meh.
Suprised Russian River isn't on there, but then again, it has such a limited distribution that not as many people have partook. I think that's why you see Boston Brewing, New Belgium, and yeah, even Dogfish where they are ranked, distribution.
I've only had a couple of Founders (didn't really get big until after I left Michigan)...KBS, holy cow, packed a punch. I had Double Trouble out at Churchkey in DC; excellent, especially when their stock of Hopslam ran dry.
I'm a Bell's guy, both from nostalgia (Solsun, anyone?) and have drank most of their line.
Russian River is indeed on there, it is just too low. Also I don't understand all the hate for Sierra Nevada. All of their standard beers (stout, porter, pale ale, torpedo) are excellent. I'm not familiar with their smaller batch releases, but they definitely put out a great product. Granted I would not have it so high, but probably in the top 10.
I will echo what others have said in that Dogfish head should be probably somewhere in the middle of this list and new belgium toward the bottom, if on the list at all.
I like Ommegang too, but they don't brew a very diverse set of beers so I suppose that ranking might be just. Plus I think it's stupid that they have apparently teamed with Game of Thrones and released a beer together.
I'm going to defend New Belgium. The Fat Tire and Ranger are not anything too special these days, but they have some very quality brews. I absolutely love the black ale and the belgian abbey-style ale. Those are both winners, in my book, as far as major craft brews go. I don't see how you can judge an entire brand based on one or two of their products.
I actually think Fat Heads offers some that are just as good. They don't really distribute well outside of Cleveland and Pitt, but they're solid.
available anywhere in MI?? We will be there next week, and I have been wanting to try that!
I don't think they distribute much. They've been all over Cleveland when I've been there, but I haven't seen them much outside of there.
I know you can get Fat Head's in Northern Indiana.
available anywhere in MI?? We will be there next week, and I have been wanting to try that!
I don't mind dumbing down my tastes on a Bud Light or Labattes, but I prefer going the craft route. I think Bumble Berry is the first craft beer the future wife has actually really liked rather than the really commercial beers of the world. So Bumble Berry has really helped me out in that regard, though I myself wouldn't get it often.
Cigar City and Founders are overrated on that list
drink beers that are brewed in Michigan.
you should expand..it would make you happy
I think Bells makes better beer, both in the pub and bottled, problem is I never care for going to there pub, always over crowded, parking sucks...and the cash only thing is a pain. they just need to open a new brewpub twice the size outside of downtown. they have the name to pull people and would make twice as much money.
just look at founders as an example, not really arround anything, but huge brewpub great snacks/sammiches. and enough parking. still crowded as hell though lol.
Bell's is a fine establishment in my opinion. I've only been there in the summer when outdoor seating was an option, so maybe that helped. Their food does suck, that should be fixed. The parking lot fills up, but there's plenty of reasonable street parking since there is pretty much nothing else in the immediate vicinity.
maybe i'm just jelous of founders. everytime I go up to visit my brother we go there. mug club is nice, and just a better atmosphere to chill.
That is all.
Three Floyds way too low. #12? Joke list.
Man I miss Boulevard. Glad to see it at #3.
Definitely in the top 5 things I miss the most about leaving Kansas City.
There's a little brewery down here in St Louis near where I live...maybe you all have heard of it. Its lack of presence on this list is very disturbing. Its quite popular and has a big following, served all over the place around here. I know you will all agree when I say that Schlfafly really should be included.
What. What did you think I was going to say?
Has gotten so widely popularized that it's easy to shoot down (a bit of a contrarian vein runs through most snobs, beer or otherwise). But I'll agree with the 90 and I'd say--60. Phenomenal beers. In fact, most of Dogfish's beers range somewhere between awesome and uniquely interesting. Wasn't too impressed with the 120, though. I felt it wasn't the intensified version of the 90, like the 90 was for the 60; just sort of everything and the old tire thrown in.
But that's a go-to brewer. Love 'em. Rogue, Stone, Bell's. Stone had a 10th Anniversary Ruination that was quite good. Also, 10th Anniversary Lucky Bastard (combination of Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant, and Double Bastard) was awesome. Heck, I've enjoyed Arrogant and Dogfish 60 on tap for too long. Life is good.
Joe Short makes some damn fine beer up in Elk Rapids, MI.
Agreed -- Shorts needs to be on that list. If they distributed outside MI I am confident it would be. They just have so many awesome and creative brews.
Btw, the original brewery and pub is in Bellaire, MI. Commercial brewing and bottling facility moved to Elk Rapids a few years back.
I actually met Joe Short last summer, on a tour of the Elk Rapids compound. He said they have no plans to distribute outside of Michigan and that's not likely to change. They want it to be great Michigan beer that stays in Michigan. Pretty cool.
I have heard the same from folks at the pub.
i agree very nice - I like the pub in Bellaire too - try Bellaire Brown
The Spruce Pilsner is pretty tasty as well.
Short's has bottling issues. Almost every 6-pack I've gotten is flat. They're great out of the keg though.
That is strange. I have been buying Shorts ever since they started bottling several years ago and never had that issue.
If you like a lot of those microbrews check out the new world of beer in Ann Arbor. So many good beers from across the country.
A few of my craft favorites are spread out all over. I, too, like Ommegang and Three Floyds.
But a few others I haven't seen mentioned:
Coney Island (Albino Python....mmmm)
North Coat Brewing (god, Brother Thelonious is just incredible!)
5 Rabbit, which is brewed here Chicago (anything from them is awesome)
And, for all of you in the Grand Rapids area, you need to check out Brewery Vivant. This is my new favorite.....I just love the Zaison, and the Solitude.
Okay.....I drink a lot of beer...that doesn't seem to be a problem to me!
I have a friend that works at vivant and brings me growlers, awesome.. Also a new small brewery down the road from them, harmony isn't bad and they have great pizzas
Toppling Goliath out of Iowa will be on that list soon.
I'm just not a fan of Dogfish. I guess its a personal preference. I also think Stone is solid, but clearly there are better. The thing about Stone is that they're best stuff is not as widely distributed. The last few "Enjoy By" batches have been so good, and Ruin Ten is standing out for me too, but otherwise, I prefer the smaller places. My all time favorite is Alpine Beer Co. which you can only get in Southern CA for the most part.
I can't claim to be an expert at all, as there are many I haven't tried, and I'm partial to IPA's above anything else, so I'm not well rounded at all. So, while these lists provide something to discuss/debate, I can't take them seriously. But what I will say is that when I travel outside of CA, I am constantly disappointed with the beer. I like the one from Missouri (Double Wide?) and I like a lot of what I've had from Colorado. As for this list, I can't figure out their criteria. Is it the beer itself? or the brewpubs? Or the amount of really good beer across styles? I went to Lagunitas recently, and as a brewery, and brew pub it was awesome. Great grounds and great stuff on tap, but overall I really only enjoy a couple of their beers (Lil Sumpin is standard in our house). On the other hand, Russian River had a overcrowded, uninteresting brew pub, and not much interesting there--BUT they do make Pliney the Elder and Pliney the Younger. I won't stand in line for the Younger like most of the younger beer geeks, but I have had it a few times, and it is probably the single best beer (IMO) I've had, with the exception of the Alpine IPAs.
Anyhow...my 2 cents. If you all have tried Pliney, Enjoy By (Stone) or even Green Flash, do you really prefer Dogfish?
It's a survey; nothing scientific.
I've had Greenflash Palatewrecker on tap, and prefer Dogfish 90 Minute. ABV similar, but Dogfish was a more balanced, drinkable bite from the alcohol versus the bitterness from the hops.
Russian River and some of the more limited edition Stones are harder to find on the East Coast.
Darkhorse should be on that list... hopefuly some day
I agree. Darkhorse is one of my faves. As far as Michigan goes, Kuhnhenn is my #1 with DRIPA being my all time favorite beer, then probably a tie for #2 between Darkhorse and Founders. Bells and Jolly Pumpkin after that, but Bells has dropped for me after the last two years of Hopslam batches went down hill.
I'd drop Rogue, Green Flash, Anchor, and Sierra Nevada. Even though Boston is more or less not craft anymore, I think it does a really nice job. Deschute's (Oregon) deserves a spot on the list.
I actually had a Blue Moon last night at a baseball game and immediately remembered why I don't drink stuff from the mainstream breweries anymore. It either tastes stale (Budweiser) or just bad (Blue Moon). It's like being exposed to good wine and then switching back to Franzia.
I actually remembered Blue Moon as tasting okay, but I could barely choke it down last night. Maybe I got a bad glass or something.
Either a bad glass of Blue Moon or your palate/tastes have changed over time. Blue Moon is a nice light Belgian white. Slightly more citrusy than what you may be used to, which may be the cause of your distaste for it.
I wouldn't go as far as to say Blue Moon is bad, but I'd never order it if I had a choice.
Schnicklefritz. Very good beer.
It kind of blows my mind that Firestone-Walker and Deschutes aren't on that list.
Of the ones I have been to I would have 1.Three Floyd's 2. Bells 3. Founders. I have never been to Stone but I am a huge fan of their product
One brewery that I really like that isn't on the list is Upland. It's in Bloomington IN. I wouldn't really expect to see it on here but they have very good beer and a great restaurant that is definitely worth the visit if you are in the area.
I think Upland is beyond terrible, I've tried a multitude of their beers and always come away disappointed.
Really? I'm not saying its amazing but I think it's pretty solid. Some of their beers do get a little sweet
Wouldn't say it's terrible, just not a whole lot going on there, though I thought their Nut Hugger Brown Ale was decent. People's out of Lafayette is a better Indiana beer IMO.
I haven't had it. The best Indiana beer is Three Floyd's in my opinion. The fact that they make so little does make it annoying at times.
Flat 12 and Triton are two I get when I'm down there. However I am sure they are too local to get much attention in a national survey.
One thing Indiana does have is quite a few options though. All states are really growing in micros, so it's nice that if people have different tastes there are tons of options pretty much anywhere you go now.
Ommegang is way underrated in my opinion and I do not even like Belgium beers in general. They had a good selection and by far the coolest brewery I have ever seen. So glad to see Boulevard in the top 5 as they have the best wheat beer I have ever had.
I am disappointed that Clipper City (Heavy Seas) out of Maryland is not on the list.
Holy Sheet - mahogany ale in brandy barrel, Siren Noire - chocolate stout in bourbon barrel, Winter Storm - nice ESB; and even their standards, Loose Cannon, Peg Leg Stout and Small Craft Warning, are great beers.
Sierra Nevada, contrary to some, deserves to be on the list for items like Celebration and Ruthless Rye.
Bell's, Founders, Stone, Boston - all great breweries. I need a beer now just thinking about them.
I hear everyone in here mentioning different types of beer however i'm not a beer drinker i HATE the taste ,is there any kind of beer that doesn't have that bitter taste to it ?? Mind you i have only tried the store brands ..
If you find the big breweries to be "bitter", then much of the craft beer scene will not be to your liking. Hops make beer bitter (and add a ton of flavor). Big breweries only use a smidgen because they are pricy. So your comment is kind of like saying, "can someone recommend me a sports car I'd like? I've only driven a 90s Buick LeSabre, which I found far too fast and nimble."
That said, to ease into brewed beverages, I'd suggest hard cider (angry orchard is my favorite of the widely available) or Belgian ales (look for a "tripel" style). These are fruity and yeasty without a lot of bitterness.
For good beer that's not too bitter but still tastes like traditional beer, try an amber ale like fat tire, or a red or Scottish ale. These tend to be much more malt heavy with less assertive hopping.
Sour ales are expensive and tend to be hard to find, but are a good way to get into beer drinking for someone who doesn't like beer initially(I have great confidence that you will learn).
If you're in Michigan, go to Jolly Pumpkin and try a glass of La Roja. I've definitely gotten people who "totally hate beer" to admit to liking that (and some people who love beer to say they hate it).
Lots of Hamms. When that gets old switch over to Busch Light.
Being from Kalamazoo and working at Bell's for a few years I'm surprised that its only 8. Now I have no problem with Founders being higher (seriously can you get some unique cover art please) but I figured both of our states top brewery's would be in the top 5.
I think Bells and Founders really excel at making the more standard IPAs, stouts, etc. However, they don't really make many sours, Belgians, etc, whereas other breweries really kick ass at making some of those styles and still make great more regular beer styles.
Deschutes and Firestone-Walker not being on this list is strange. I also have no idea how Russian River is outside the top 3. Everything that brewery makes is phenomenal.
New Belgium isn't even top 3 in the city of Fort Collins, let alone top 25.
I don't think they were worthy of being in the top 25, at least right now, but I do love me some New Holland Brews.
Dragon's milk might be my favorite beer.
Two Hearted Ale FTW. Seriously could only drink that and my life would be complete
But makes world-class beers. Most have heard of Spotted Cow, but their Black Top and Moon Man are tops in my book. I really like Founders (Double Trouble is one of my favorites) but it can be difficult to find in eastern Iowa.
Fat Tire's rep is built on something it's not really anymore. Back in the day, when New Belgium had three beers -- Fat Tire, Sunshine Wheat and Old Cherry, all in bombers -- there'd be a little bit of yeast in the bottom of the bottle. It's still plenty drinkable though, and there's a lot more to New Belgium than just Fat Tire anyway (or just beer; there's much to appreciate about the way the company is run imo). I drink a lot of Shift in the summer.
Upslope in Boulder is a good newer brewery. Their take on Biere de Noel last winter was killer.
Fat Tire is disgusting. Some of their other beers are decent though. I personally wouldn't put them in the top 25.
Living in CO, I think Oskar Blues is pretty overrated -- or maybe I just don't get the fancy beer in a can gimmick. Odell could be higher IMO, and Lefthand should be on there, if only for the Milk Stout.
Left Hand's Twin Sister DIPA is a pretty good beer. If you get a chance to pick one up I would recommend it.
I'll have to try Bell's and Founder's when I come up for The Game. Do they serve it at local restaurants?
Lists are silly, so here is another one. Here are some decent breweries that are not mentioned in that short list of 25 -
There are good beers just about everywhere I go now. I have all these great breweries to be thankful for all their hard work and sacrifice for that.
They always get dissed. They even told Nickleback they couldn't drink their beer or use it in a shitty Muzak video. My kinda place.
The Bruery is another good one left off, make some top notch beers.
Cigar City that high? Really? Haven't ever been overly impressed.
Oskar Blues is far too low on the list.
Lists like these are always debatable as beer tastes are purely subjective. However, I do believe that sites like Beer Advocate which crowdsource beer ratings from beer drinkers across the world, tend to get closer to the truth about who is making the best beer. Which I suppose begs the question does best brewer = people brewing best beer? I think that's what really matters.
The beer landscape is changing rapidly. Old guard craft brewers like Boston Brewing and Sierra Nevada are sentimental choices, but frankly have been surpassed by many, many new brewers. Even the next wave that displaced them, looking at you New Belgium and Dogfish Head, are not really in the top tier IMO.
What I really like about craft brew industry is how someone can seemingly come out of nowhere and brew some mindblowing beer that's light years beyond what most are brewing. Looking at you Toppling Goliath.
Brewers not mentioned on the list that I would include:
- Hill Farmstead (perhaps best brewer in the world)
- The Alchemist (if you only brew one beer, why not go for #1 rated beer in the world)
- Firestone Walker
- Toppling Goliath
IMHO, the best on that list are:
- Three Floyds
- Russian River
- Cigar City
- Boston Beer
- Dogfish Head
- New Belgium (although they have a decent sour program)
- Sierra Nevada
- Devils Backbone
Pensacola Bay Brewery. But I do live in Pensacola, so I am biased. Good beer though. I'll once again extend the offer to any MGoBloggers that visit the are, fist round is on me.
fan of Bell's and Founder's, but the lack of Short's on the list is shameful, IMHO. Huma, Pandemonium, Nicie Spicy and Controversiale should put it up there. (Figures my 500th mgo point would be about beer...)
A few I like not on the list:
Fitgers Brewhouse, Duluth MN
Schells, New Ulm MN
Caldera Brewing Company, Ashland OR
Lazy Magnolia, Kiln MS
Lb. Brewing Company, Hays KS
So many beers, so little time.
Short's needs to be on that list.
reminds me of Las Vegas billboards. 'Voted Best Surf and Turf on the Strip!' They neglect to say it was the venue's owner who voted it that way.
I really don't have much constructive to say here other than I've had many beers in many places all over the country and the fact that 75% of this list isn't comprised of OR, WA and CA beers is ridiculous.
Sadly, many of the west coast beers on the list are not worthy of being among the 75% mark I suggest. I didn't read all the responses but did not see Ninkasi mentioned which is a bit surprising albeit they're somewhat new.
At least the beers east of the extreme west have been getting better over the years. I remember taking a 6mo road trip back in '99 from OR back to Michigan, down to the SE and back across the southern states and up into CO... it was around this time that I had my first fat tire. I was so excited to find a beer that might not be equivalent to American Pilsner Water for the first time in a while, but I was sadly disappointed. And that brewery is ON THIS SAD LIST.
Truly, beer preferences are subjective, but this list has New Belgium brewing in the top 10. All credibility gone.
Anyway... some western craft brewers I'd recommend if you can find them:
Ninkasi, Burnside, Gigantic, North Coast...
Also, Deschutes may be pretty big for a craft brewery and I don't like the owners politics, but they make consistently really damn good beer across most standard categories... IPA, Pale, Porter and ESB in particular.
Only one Wisconsin craft representative? I'd like to invite everyone to Milwaukee to any of the dozen craft beer festivals, especially Ms. Marcy Franklin (author of this article).
by Stone Mountain Brewery is delicious.