Last year, you helped us compile a list of the 25 Best Craft Breweries in America. While that list was wonderful — the breweries were selected by a panel of experts, and then voted on by craft beer lovers far and wide — too many excellent breweries didn’t reap the recognition they deserve. That’s why this year, we want to double our pleasure, and double our delicious brewery fun: we are calling upon you, dear readers, to help us determine the 50 Best Craft Breweries in America.
As we noted last year, there are plenty of ways to determine who makes a great craft beer: you can narrow it down by the most medals won, or the most beers sold, but excellent craft beer is, at its heart, more than just numbers and accolades. It's a commitment to quality, of course — that can't be ignored. But we also believe that a great craft brewery is part of a community; it’s the kind of company that people want to share with their friends. When a brewery produces the kind of beer that gets people excited to hail from the same town or state, that says a lot about them.
Whether you enjoy slurping your craft brew at your favorite baseball stadium or you prefer to sip your cerveza at a beer-geek-friendly bar, the best craft breweries will engage both the "craft beer curious" and connoisseurs, and their options will satisfy every palate.
But of course, while we have our own ideas of who the leaders are in craft brewing, we want to know what your picks are — what are the craft breweries you love so much that you’re always tempted to order their products at the bar? We asked some of the country's top craft beer experts to share with us who they think are the craft breweries making waves. Some (we won't tell you which ones) were nominated over and over again, and other breweries were hometown favorites that our panelists themselves admitted were obscure. But no matter how big or small, these are the craft breweries our panel of experts believe should be recognized.
Over the past week, over two dozen authorities in the craft beer space have assisted us in nominating the best craft breweries in the country. Out of 118 breweries, we are asking YOU to cast your vote and decide what you believe to be the best craft brewery in America. You can select your five favorites among the nominees, and in one week, we will unveil who you chose as America’s Best Craft Brewery.
Our pool of breweries hail from all over the United States — including Alaska and Hawaii — was full of winners to begin with. But we want you readers to weigh in and tell us: which are your favorite craft breweries?
Click here to take the survey and tell us which breweries deserve to be recognized, because we want to acknowledge the craft breweries you think are the best.
Voting closes at noon on Wednesday, July 16.
Jess Novak is the Drink Editor of The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @jesstothenovak
Read on to learn more about our wonderful craft beer panelists.
Correction: Odell Brewing is actually located in Colorado. We enjoy both states' beer, but Odell belongs out West.
A huge thank you to our craft beer experts who helped narrow down the 2,000-plus operating craft breweries in America to just 118 — cheers to all!