Find out the best breweries in the US
The best breweries in the US have been identified by publicans, drinks directors and buyers from top venues. Which ones made the list? Find out here.
The top 30 list, which has been compiled by Vinepair, asked the people in the know who make the decisions to buy in the best beer that they know will hit the spot for beer fans across America. Here’s a shortened version of that compilation, giving a nod to the styles that most turned people’s heads, giving everyone a go-to selection of breweries and each of their most highly-rated beers that are available to discover and taste.
North Park Beer Company
San Diego, California
Bottlecraft beer buyer Gene Fielden, who is based in San Diego, said that the brewery “makes flawless IPAs of all stripes, as well as delightfully clean lagers and decadent barrel-aged imperial stouts”.
Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe co-owner Amanda King, who is located in Florida’s St. Petersburg said that Arkane “nail it with every style they make, whether it’s iconic and classic or iconoclastic” and are “probably best known for their sours” but one of the favourites is the brewery’s “Largo Gold”.
Masthead Brewing Company
Dayton, Ohio’s The Barrel House co-owner Sara Levin said: “Masthead’s core lineup is fantastic” and noted that a favourite was its “West Coast-style IPA, simply called IPA” but added that the brewery also makes “phenomenal lagers, stouts, and barrel-aged beers”.
Florida-based brewpub Redlight Redlight owner and brewer Brent Hernandez revealed that his current favourite beer is OEC’s Coolship Lager and explained how it’s created in a coolship and then open fermented. Hernandez remembers it as “very rustic and reminiscent of the beers I had in small breweries in Czechia”. He explained that “OEC also produces some clean beers in foeders”.
The Daily Beer Bar owner John Paradiso, whose venue is Durham, said that Halfway Crooks “quickly became one of the country’s best lager breweries but they also happen to release a variety of incredible traditional European beers like Belgian IPAs, mixed-fermentation farmhouse ales, and more”.
Schilling Beer Co.
Littleton, New Hampshire
Rich Spoehr, manager at Burgundian based in Attleboro, Massachusetts said that his favourites from Schilling include “the Czech-style pilsner Alexandr and the Belgian tripel Erastus”.
Ghost Town Brewing
San Francisco-based tavern The Monk’s Kettle owner Christian Albertson said that he and his team has “increasingly been incredibly impressed by Ghost Town” Firstly with its IPAs and other offerings “like Monkey’s Paw and Wraith”. Albertson also noted that the brewery’s “lagers, especially West Coast pilsners” are “top notch” and, more recently, its “sour lineup, including the dark-smoked Tomb Spawn” was so good it “blew the staff away”.
Birmingham District Brewing Co.
Jake Herron, package beer manager at Hop City Beer & Wine based in Birmingham said the brewery has an “impressive variety of styles” from “excellently balanced fruited sour ales, to the best cold IPAs around”. He advised: “Do not miss the Birmingham Pilsner.”
Light the Lamp Brewery
Chicago-based beer cafe Beermiscuous co-owner and buyer Austin Harvey highlighted how the brewery’s beer Idiot Sandwich IPA and the American stout Bad Finale are well worth your time and insisted that people needed to take note of how Light the Lamp is “one of those diamonds in the suburbs that deserves a bit more attention”.
Suarez Family Brewery
Hudson, New York
Colin Pratt, co-owner, Delaware Supply in Albany, New York said that their reason for turning heads had something to do with “their attention to English-style beers” and offering that includes “proper cask-conditioned old ale”.
Good Word Brewing & Public House
Jason Glunt, owner, Salud Beer Shop in Charlotte pointed out that the brewery offers “a wide range of beers including classic English styles” along with a selection of “amazing cask”.
Offset Bier Co
Park City, Utah
Mark Alston, owner, The Bayou based in Salt Lake City said: “While Offset makes some absolutely amazing IPAs, it’s their beer-flavoured beer that really warms my soul.” Alston added that its “amazing beers like the North American Brewers Association gold-medal-winner Altbier and silver-medal-winning dark lager Tmavé Pivo” are certainly the ones to try.
Jackie O’s Brewery
Speaking about Jackie O’s, Jeff McKay, owner of Summit Beer Station based in Huntington, said: “This is a brewery that refuses to cut corners and produces world-class beer in a wide variety of styles. From monster barley wines like BBA Brick Kiln to crispy lagers like Uptown Pils, they knock everything out of the park.”
Oxbow Brewing Company
Brooklyn based venue BierWax owner Chris Maestro said that, essentially, “terroir is queen” at Oxbow which is evident in its “superb mixed- and spontaneously fermented ales” and “barrel-aged farmhouse delights”. Maestro highly recommends “Farmhouse Pale Ale, Crossfade, and Effloresce, to name a few” but added that it’s the brewery’s “annual grand cru release, Liquid Swords” that is really special.
Drekker Brewing Company
Fargo, North Dakota
Mike Williams, general manager at Craft Brew Underground based in Auburn, Maine, said: “The big, fruity, smoothie sours are a huge hit, to the point that if we post anything about them on our socials, people show up looking for them.” Williams hinted that “the Chonk series, in particular, is the most sought after”.
IMBĪB Custom Brews
Rose Signor, owner of The Silver Stamp in Las Vegas, said that some of the bar’s favourites include any of IMBĪB’s “Belgian-influenced sours aged in foeders, German lagers, and smoked beers”.
Allagash Brewing Company
Ailish Gilligan, co-owner of The Publick House in Massachusetts, assured: “Whether enjoying their flagship witbier, Allagash White, or savouring one of their mixed-fermentation or spontaneously fermented beers, you will not be disappointed.”
New Heights Brewing Company
Lindsay Hanson, manager at Hops & Crafts bar venue in Nashville said: “Outside of IPAs, New Heights always has a unique variety ranging from light beers to sours, dark and malty to wild specialties.”
Fountain Porter venue co-owner Evan Clancy in Philadelphia has suggested looking out for “Wayne’s Pale Ale” and pointed out that Brewery ARS is a brewery whose beer could land on the top of any list of favourites, even if liquid was the only determining factor, but noted that it is “the fact that ego isn’t an adjunct in their process and that pretension is nowhere to be found in the brewery” which serves to remind that “only good people can make truly good beer” and added that “the people at ARS make truly good beer”.
Michael Black, beer buyer at The King’s Head in Portland revealed that his favourite IPA is “Tropic Dancer, a hazy IPA that is smooth and sweet and has notes of papaya and mango” but also noted how the “the double IPA Summit Sipper” is also worth your time.
Nat Pellman, general manager at Brouwer’s Cafe in Seattle said that the team at Structures Brewing “are wizards with hazy IPAs” and revealed how Brouwer’s Cafe had done “multiple collabs with them, including Loam Temple, with proceeds going to PNW trail work, and Fresh Wave, highlighting fresh hops”.
Jester King Brewery
Speaking about Jester King, Stuart Anderson, owner of Ghost Whale based in London said: “From their astonishing ‘Spon’ range of Lambic-style beers — which are more than good enough to stand toe-to-toe with the best in Belgium — through to their fruited saisons and everything in between, I am constantly in awe of what they produce as are our customers.”
Bottle Logic Brewing
Shibli Haddad, owner of Replicant: Shell, based in Pasadena pointed out that Bottle Logic has “long been recognised as the House of Stouts” but admitted that in recent years, the brewery has become so much more due to its “innovation and constant development of other interesting beer styles”.
Gezellig Brewing Company
Marty Duffy, owner of The Cellar Peanut Pub based in Iowa said that the venue’s current favourite Gezellig beers are “Magic Carpet Ride” which is “a dank, citrusy, and fruity double IPA, as well as their flagship beer” along with the lager “Liquid Hug” which Duffy admitted is the pub’s bestseller.
Alyson LesPucci, general manager and beer buyer at Degrees Plato based in Oakland said that ones to look out for are “beers like Shock G Forever Golden Ale and Bomba Nights, a coquito-inspired stout” and added that the staff favourite is Hella Coastal’s “Ice City, a take on cold IPA featuring Nectaron, Citra, and Mosaic”.
Fox Farm Brewery
Lukasz Nowakowski, manager at Blind Tiger Ale House based in New York City, named “Scatter Brown Ale, Annata Farmhouse, and Wile IPA” as crowd and staff favourites. But admitted that “if Gather, a German-style pils, was the only beer I could drink for the rest of my life, I’d die a happy man.”
Inner Voice Brewing
Explaining more about Inner Voice Brewing, Neil Callaghan, beer director at Brick Store Pub based in Georgia said: “They’ve made a name for themselves as a premier IPA brewery in the state, but Power Nap, their Czech-style dark lager, is my favourite of their beers. It’s got an incredible depth of malt complexity for a low-ABV beer and just enough Czech hop flavour and bitterness to balance it out.”
Speaking about Forager Brewery, Jonas Kobberø, owner of Peders Craft Beer in Copenhagen revealed that the brewery is “known for massive imperial stouts” but highlighted how “that is not the only style they excel in” and named the “lagers, IPAs, wild ales, and even fruited sours” as well worth a taste because “it’s all awesome”.
Tactical Brewing Co.
Mark Tuchman, owner of the taproom and bottle shop 99 Bottles based in Sarasota, said: that Tactical makes “lagers, hazy IPAs, sours [and] seasonals” both on draught and in cans. Tuchman revealed that “Melancholy, a gluten-free watermelon sour ale, has been a fan favourite since it became available” and “most recently, Night Shift, a gluten-free caramel apple sour ale” had “amazing flavours”.
Jordan White, general manager at Chuck’s Hop Shop based in Seattle said that Stoup makes “something for everyone: a robust porter; a crispy Citra-hopped IPA; a perfectly balanced Northwest red ale; clean, well-made lagers; and hazy, juicy IPAs”.