It’s that time of year — American Craft Beer Week — when we head to our favorite craft brewery and toast to just how good we have it here in the good ol’ U.S. A. With more than 2,300 operating craft breweries in the country (as of March 2013) and more opening every day, it’s the golden age of craft brewing — which is why we get particularly excited when we see a new brewery explode onto the scene.
In 2012, 409 brewpubs and microbreweries opened their doors, the fastest growth in the beer industry since Prohibition. And when you take a look back at the best-selling breweries of 2012, you’ll find most of the top dogs opened in the 1980s and 1990s. In many ways, the craft breweries opening today owe their success to the granddaddies of craft brewing before them.
While we hate to pick our favorites out from the rest — after all, there’s more than enough great craft breweries in each of the 50 states — we’ve found eight newly opened breweries that have blown away expectations. Growing as a craft brewery is no small feat, yet these guys have figured out how to stand out in a sea of well, beer. With awards under their belts and expansions underway, these little (soon to be big) beers will no doubt soon end up in hands from coast to coast.
Click ahead to find eight craft breweries to watch in 2013 — the ones that are making waves this year, and we expect will continue to do so for years to come.