The craft beer revolution is in full swing, and it’s about time we tell you about which beers rank amongs the best. Each state has it’s own unique brew culture, so we compiled a list of the 50 best craft beers from each state.
Good People Brewing in Birmingham is the best source of brews in the Yellowhammer State. Their Snakehandler IPA has 10% ABV and has hints of pineapple, paired with a strong caramel overtone. Yum.
Alaskans tend to stick to stouts because of their heavier kick and warm undertones. Check out Midnight Sun Brewing Company’s Berserker Imperial Stout, an opaque, vicious black stout with a huge alcohol-by-volume percentage.
Out in the desert beer drinkers get thirsty. Four Peaks Brewing has several beers that can quench that thirst, best among them is their light-bodied Peach Ale.
Ozark Beer Company is an up-and-coming brewery that puts together some tasty beers. Try their Cream Stout, which is full of notes of oak, dark chocolate, and goes well with that southern barbeque.
The Golden State is awash in high-quality craft beers, so picking the best among them is difficult, so I am going to go with the most unique. 21st Amendment Brewing in San Francisco has a beer called Hell Or High Watermelon, a seasonal watermelon-flavored wheat beer that is perfect in summer. But we have to shout out to Lagunitas, to Sierra Nevada, to Anchor Brewing… well, you get the picture.
Colorado is covered in beers, literally– their baseball stadium is named for a major brewer. For this recommendation, I am going to point out one available almost everywhere: New Belgium Brewing’s Ranger IPA. It’s hop-heavy and flavorful and just plain awesome.
Old Burnside Brewing in East Hartford has a Scottish Ale that’s delicious. Called the Ten Penny Ale, it’s as balanced a beer as you can find in ole CT.
Delaware beer is made up of two words – Dogfish Head. A brewery known for it’s various IPA’s, try the 60-Minute IPA, the 90-Minute IPA, the 120-Minute IPA, or the 75-Minute IPA… they’re all great, really.
Funky Buddha Brewing took a very unique idea for a beer and ran with it – Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. It’s a whole breakfast in a glass, and is sweet, salty, creamy, and much more.
Red Hare Brewing in Marietta takes the cake in the Peach State. If you happen upon it, grab their Long Day Lager, a golden lager with a citrusy aroma.
Kona Brewing is a mainstay of any craft beer enthusiast’s repertoire. Their Fire Rock Pale Ale is a coppery ale with a citrus finish, and is one of my personal favorites.
Selkirk Abbey Brewing Company bends the lines of traditional brewing guidelines. For example, their St. Thomas Black Saison is a combination of coffee and malt notes with a light crisp finish that makes it good in either the summer or winter.
I once wandered into a grocery store in Aurora, Illinois, with a friend and happened upon Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout. My friend immediately bought all of the Bourbon County Stout they had. He later sold some of it for a profit. With a huge 14.2% alcohol content, this brew is aged in old oak whiskey barrels and released yearly. This one is a unicorn of beers, so to speak.
Three Floyd’s Brewing in Munster, Indiana is a bastion of delicious craft beers. For this list, I have to go with their Dark Lord Imperial Stout, which has its own festival called Dark Lord Day. From their Web site, it “has a reverse cascading head that starts blowing out… like the Dark Lord rising from the black primordial beginnings.” Wow.
The Midwest must be full of cult-ish beers. People take road trips to Toppling Goliath Brewing, which once brewed their beers a half a barrel. Try the ZeeLander IPA, whic focuses on hops from New Zealand.
Tallgrass Brewing is a hard-working make of specialty tallboy beers that have beautiful artwork on their cans. Try their 8-Bit American Pale Ale, a tropical tasting beer that has Pac-Man on the can.
Against the Grain Brewing in Louisville is pretty great. Try the Citra Ass Down American IPA, brewed with Citra hops, a variety of hops introduced in 2008.
Abita Brewing is the go-to in this French-tinged state. You might still be able to find some of their Christmas Ale. Grab it if you do, it’s great.
Allagash Brewing in Portland, Maine, is at the foremost here. Grab the Allagash White, which is brewed with coriander and orange peels.
Flying Dog has some very unique brews. My personal favorite is their UnderDog Atlantic Lager, a light, bitter beer, that just tastes like the Atlantic Ocean. It’s great.
Massachusetts is known for Sam Adams, but I am going to point out Clown Shoes Brewing, specifically their Pecan Pie Porter. If you happen upon this one, grab it.
Michigan is a great state for craft beers. While Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids is great, I have to give it to Bell’s Brewing. Bell’s Two Hearted is a delicious IPA that is a staple in the Midwest. Get it while it’s hot.
Dangerous Man Brewing is the place to go in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. This is one of those destination breweries, so while you’re there, grab a growler of the Rooibos Red Ale.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a great brewery out here. But if you stumble across it, try the Devil’s Harvest American Pale Ale from Southern Prohibition Brewing.
Perennial Artisan Ales takes the cake in the Show-Me State. If you can manage to win their lottery (not joking), you earn the right to take home a bottle of their Barrel-Aged Abaxas, a year-aged Imperial Stout that includes the flavors of both ancho chilies and cinnamon sticks.
Big Sky Brewing boasts Moose Drool Ale, a superbly drinkable brown ale that uses four different malts. It’s a great one with a fairly wide distribution area.
If you happen to be in Omaha, stop by Krug Brewery, the oldest brewery in the state, and grab a drink. They’ve got a great food menu at the taproom, as well.
Great Basin Brewing in Reno is the place to be. Their Bitchin’ Berry is made with real raspberries and will do well to quench your desert thirst.
Smuttynose Brewing has a good line-up of beers. Grab their Bouncy House IPA, perfectly well-balanced and bursting with flavor.
Atlantic Highlands, a Prohibition-era staple of alcohol, boasts Carton Brewing. If you are on your way to the casinos, grab a Boat Beer, which hangs on some grapefruit and mossy notes.
Santa Fe Brewing Company is the largest craft beer company in the state. Grab their Black IPA if you get a chance. A chocolatey IPA, it’s a unique concept.
Ommegang Brewing functions in cross-branding and brewing with their Game of Thrones beers. Valar Margulis is supposed to taste like “sweet revenge.” Grab it, if you are so inclined.
Foothills Brewing wins the award for most arousing beer name with its Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout. A seasonal bourbon-barrel-aged beer, this one is just right, especially when shared.
North Dakota is known for Fargo, both the movie and the brewing company. Grab their Sodbuster Porter, a smoky, thick beer meant to get your through the winter.
Ohio has a wide selection of craft beers to choose from but you should grab something from the Hoppin’ Frog Brewing, with beers that focus on alliteration in their naming. Maybe the D.O.R.I.S., the Destroyer Oatmeal Stout, will suffice.
Prairie Artisan Ales gives Oklahoma some legit street cred. Tip back a Wine Barrel Noir, an imperial stout uniquely aged in wine barrels. The diverse brewing history gives it a mosaic of flavors.
Oregon is speckled with delicious craft brews. Sticking to just one, I have to recommend Deschutes. They have a huge distribution area, so you can probably find the River Ale in your area.
They have a ton of small craft brewies in the Keystone State, but I have to shout out to Yuengling, which, if I could get it in Chicago, would be my personal everyday beer. It’s from the oldest brewing in America and is just perfectly simple.
Narragansett Beer boasts some great tall boys. Grab an Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout and take your time sippin’. It’s great.
Most South Carolina beers stay within its borders. But if you happen to be in the state, sit down at Holy City Brewery in Charleston and ask the bartender to take care of ya, and then enjoy that southern hospitality.
Crow Peak Brewing is the place to be in South Dakota. Pour out an 11th Hour IPA, which is flavored with pine and citrus notes.
Nashville has Yazoo Brewing and their perfect Sly Rye Porter. Grab it and its spicy undertones if you can.
Shiner Brewing in Shiner, Texas, has a great selection. Try Shiner Bock, which was originally a seasonal, but became a year-round beer because of the demand.
Epic Brewing is proud to boast the best beers in the state. Their Spiral Jetty IPA is the most aggressive of a series of five IPA’s Epic brews. Grab it and enjoy.
Magic Hat Brewing is the winner in the Green Mountain State. With a wide distribution area, you can find their #9 almost anywhere. It’s a “not-quite-pale ale.” So mysterious.
Devil’s Backbone Brewing is the place to go here. Grab their Pear Lager for a unique fruit twist on a solid beer.
Red Hook Brewery is the place to be out west. Their Pumpkin Porter actually contains pureed pumpkin, as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. This has got to be the best pumpkin-flavored beer around.
The Mountaineers of the University of West Virginia know all about Morgantown Brewing Company. The Nutty Blonde Peanutbutter Ale ale is unique and creamy and just for you.
New Glarus’s Spotted Cow is a perfect beer sold ONLY in the state of Wisconsin. It’s no joke that, when passing through, Midwesterners make sure they pick up a case.
If you are in Jackson Hole, make sure to grab a Mommy’s Little Monster IPA, the only beer on this list named after a Social Distortion song.
Featured photo credit: Thomas Hawk via flickr.com