With more than 2,000 craft breweries in the U.S. today, it seems like it might be hard to walk more than 100 feet without running into one. While that’s not quite the case just yet, you can find a great craft brewery in every state of the union — including the U.S. capital.
The term "craft beer" is a relatively new one in American beer history. In the years following Prohibition, which shut down the traditional local breweries around the country, beer became boring, and it was hard to find full-flavored, high-quality beers in the U.S. until about the mid-'70s.
At that time, beer lovers were getting sick of the beer status quo that consisted of light lagers like Coors Light, Bud Light, Natty Light... you get the picture. A grassroots movement took shape, as home brewers began creating their own beers with better ingredients and more flavor. Fritz Maytag had also purchased the Anchor Brewing Company in 1965 and started adopting some of the traditional brewing techniques, producing high-quality beer that many drinkers had not tasted for years.
In the wake of Fritz Maytag’s Anchor Brewing, breweries like Sierra Nevada, Boston Beer Company, and many others set up shop and brewed what have become known as craft beers. It wouldn’t take long for these beers to gain popularity and the spirit of the craft beer movement to sweep across the country, resulting in the birth of many beloved craft breweries.
Of course, just like there’s state pride, there’s also local brewery pride. Beer lovers across the country have their favorite local bar — and local brewery. For that reason, it can be hard to pinpoint the very best craft brewery in each state. So we picked out those breweries that are not only crafting delicious beer but are also representing their state across the country as one of the more well-known breweries from their area.
Click through to see the 51 breweries and beers we’ve chosen to represent the 50 states and Washington, D.C.