50 Beers From 50 States Slideshow
March 5, 2013
Alabama: Good People Brewing Company
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
What started out as a couple of home brewers in a garage turned into Alabama-based business — and a popular one, at that — in 2007. With eight year-round brews and another eight seasonals, what really gets people in the door is the tap room and constant music lineup.
Beer to Try: The locals’ favorite is the flagship American Pale Ale, the "bring your lunch pale to work" kind of beer made with Cascade hops and a balance of malts.
Alaska: Alaska Brewing
Location: Juneau, Alaska
The first brewery to open in Juneau since Prohibition ended, Alaskan Brewing Company carries on traditions from the gold rush era. Their first beer ever, the Alaska Amber, was based off a 100-year old, gold rush-era brew recipe the founders found from the Douglas City Brewing Co.
Beer to Try: Their Smoked Porter, a beer based on old German brewing traditions (smoke-flavored beers weren’t introduced in the U.S. until the Alaskan Brewing Company’s first in 1988), is well known around the country as one of the best of its kind. The perennial winner at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup, the Smoked Porter’s big robust flavors only get better with age, much like a fine wine.
Arizona: Four Peaks Brewing
Location: Tempe and Scottsdale, Ariz.
The building where Four Peaks [cg1] is located dates back about 120 years but the brewery didn’t open until 1996. Over the last 17 years, they’ve been dedicated to brewing high-quality beers, and have expanded to two locations — making it Arizona’s largest brewery.
Beer to Try: The Sunbru Kölsch is a World Beer Championship winner and a style perfectly suited to the heat of Arizona. A less-hoppy Kölsch-style pilsner with a chardonnay aroma, it’s the drink of Arizona.
Arkansas: Diamond Bear Brewery
Location: Little Rock, Ark.
Arkansas is the only state with a diamond mine, which is what inspired the brewery’s name — that and their once large bear population. The brewery follows the German Purity Law, which requires that beer be made with only water (in this case from Arkansas’ Lake Winona and Lake Maumelle, which are known for their purity), hops, yeast, and barley.
Beer to Try: Because of its German background, you know you’re getting the most standard beer around — so the classic English Pale Ale, a GABF and World Beer Cup winner, is an obvious choice.
California: Sierra Nevada
Location: Chico, Calif.
If Anchor Brewing led the way for craft brewers, Sierra Nevada reinvented the industry. Founded in 1979, amid early stirrings of the craft beer movement, Sierra Nevada still brews great beers.
Beer to Try: While their Pale Ale is a classic, they have a wide portfolio of impressive beers to share. An unforgettable hoppy brew? The Torpedo Extra IPA, made by dry-hopping its four different varieties of hops.
Colorado: Wynkoop Brewing
Location: Denver, Colo.
Colorado has an age-old reputation for being a home to great beer — even up in the Capitol. The now governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, was the man to launch Wynkoop Brewing, a brewery that has taken Denver by storm.
Beer to Try: Although the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is a buzzy one, we personally like the Belgorado, a Belgian-style India pale ale that breaks all the rules of a traditional IPA and Belgians (plus, its hops and barley come from local Colorado farmers).
Connecticut: New England Brewing Co.
Location: Woodbridge, Conn.
It all started for New England Brewing in 1989 when the brewery first came about. Over the last 20 years, they’ve gained some ground with their unique brews, like Gandhi-Bot Double IPA and the accompanying artwork.
Beer to Try: The flagship Atlantic Amber is steam-brewed, giving it a rich, slightly sweeter flavor.
Delaware: Dogfish Head Craft Ales
Location: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
When it comes to brewing in Delaware (and the country), Dogfish Head is king. While the brewery is probably best known for their 60 Minute IPA, brewmaster Sam Calagione continues innovating with unusual brews like their Ancient Ales series, an effort to revive old brewing traditions, with beers like Midas Touch.
Beer to Try: The Raison D’Etre Belgian-style ale literally gives us reason to live.
Florida: Cigar City Brewing
Location: Tampa, Fla.
In 2008, when Cigar City opened, Florida was a craft beer wasteland; craft breweries were few and far between in the Sunshine State. Cigar City has turned the tide, establishing themselves as amazing brewers. They’ve even led the way for new breweries, like Bold City Brewery in Jacksonville and St. Somewhere Brewing in Tarpon Springs.
Beer to Try: Everyone loves the Jai Alai IPA, but the white oak-aged Jai Alai IPA adds a bit of vanilla and dill to a powerful IPA.
Georgia: SweetWater Brewing Company
SweetWater may not have started in Georgia, but the state has adopted them as their own. When Boulder, Colo., natives Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney arrived in Atlanta, they found a demand for West Coast-style brewing, so they opened their brewery and gave Atlanta what they wanted — beers like their 420 Extra Pale Ale.
Beer to Try: Yep, the 420 Extra Pale Ale is that good – the award-winning beer is a West Coast style pale ale.
Hawaii: Maui Brewing Co.
Location: Lahaina, Hawaii
Maui’s only microbrewery, Maui Brewing, launched in 2005 and they’ve been proving their talents ever since. Not just a popular brewery, they are Hawaii’s fastest growing company.
Beer to Try: The brewery is best known for their Big Swell IPA, a perennial winning IPA that’s dry-hopped with four different types of hops.
Idaho: Laughing Dog Brewing
Location: Ponderay, Idaho
Home brewer Fred Colby began brewing with nothing more but a desire for tasty beer. Since opening Laughing Dog in 2005, the brewery has grown too big for its facilities — twice. Their popular brews, like the Dogfather Imperial Stout, have fans all over Idaho and from coast to coast.
Beer to Try: This year's Dogfather Imperial Stout was aged in charred bourbon barrels, making it an even more complex beer.
Illinois: Goose Island Beer Co.
While no longer a craft brewery (according to the Brewers Association definition), Goose Island makes some of the best craft beers in Illinois. In fact, they took home a Great American Beer Festival gold medal for their IPA last October.
Beer to Try: The brewery is continuing to change the face of craft beer with their Vintage Ales series.
Indiana: Three Floyds Brewing Company
Location: Munster, Ind.
A family operation, Three Floyds is run by Nick, Simon, and Mike Floyd. The team opened the brewery with the hopes of creating a better craft brew scene in Indiana — and they’ve certainly achieved that.
Beer to Try: Their famed Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout has become a favorite of beer lovers nationwide.
Iowa: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Location: Decorah, Iowa
What began quietly as a Decorah-based small-batch brewery in 2009 has grown into a substantial brewery with an ongoing dedication to experimentation. Today, they plan to add a bottling line to their facility, allowing them to bottle up their 14 or so regular and seasonal beers for their fans.
Beer to Try: The Brown Sugar Pale Ale is a fan-favorite that grew from a small tap room-only batch into a year-round beer. With toasted almonds and hints of chocolate from a big, robust body, it’s a sure-fire brown ale.
Kansas: Tall Grass Brewing Co.
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
A product of one couple’s passion for great beer, Tall Grass brewed their first beers in 2007. And due to the brewery’s eco-conscious practices, all their beers are canned and easily recyclable.
Beer to Try: The Belgian Tripel ale, the Velvet Rooster, is legendary, thanks to its champagne-like bubbles, fruity notes, and smooth finish.
Kentucky: Bluegrass Brewing Company
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Dating back to 1993, Bluegrass Brewing was inspired by the great craft beers of the West Coast. The brewery has grown exponentially since then and has even become a neighborhood landmark. Their innovative beers, like the Dark Star Porter and the Charlie Strong Ale, have made them popular with beer lovers.
Beer to Try: It’s hard to pick just one but we particularly like the Rye 75 IPA , a big malty beer that’s made with additional rye malts for a sweet and spicy beer.
Louisiana: Abita Brewing Company
Location: Abita Springs, La.
Located just north of New Orleans, Abita has been around since 1986 crafting a wide variety of beers with eco-friendly brewing methods.
Beer to Try: Their raspberry-brewed Purple Haze is probably their most well-known beer, but true beer lovers are more likely to order the Turbodog brown ale.
Maine: Allagash Brewing Co.
Location: Portland, Maine
The brewery is best known for their Belgian-style "white" beer, Allagash White. But having been around since 1995, there’s more to this brewery than one beer. With inspiration from Belgian beers as a whole, Allagash has created seven year-round beers and many other specialty beers, including their farmhouse-style ale Interlude.
Beer to Try: Allagash Four Ale is a numbers kind of beer — four types of malts, four types of hops, fermented four times with four different yeast strains. The result? A complex beer with hints of raisins, candied fruit, and plums.
Maryland: Flying Dog Brewery
Location: Frederick, Md.
After conquering the second-highest mountain in the world, George Stranahan founded the original Flying Dog Brewpub in Aspen, Colo. With partner Richard McIntyre, the brewery moved to Denver then Maryland. They are loved not only for the amazing Ralph Steadman label artwork but also their delicious brews, like Snake Dog IPA.
Beer to Try: The In-Heat Hefeweizen is a classic German-style hef, with a lighter clove and banana profile.
Massachusetts: The Boston Beer Company & Samuel Adams
In the wake of breweries like Anchor Brewing and Sierra Nevada, Jim Koch picked up a family tradition of brewing and conceived Boston Brewing Company in 1985, debuting Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The impact this brewery has had is undeniable. Today, they are by far the largest craft brewery in the U.S.
Beer to Try: We may be a bit bias toward the 10-year-old aged Utopias brew, but we do love the Sam Adams Brewmasters and Seasonals lineup, including the Cherry Wheat and the "Spring Thaw" collection of seasonals.
Michigan: Founders Brewing Company
Location: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers left their day jobs to start Founders Brewing in 1997 and have since made a name for themselves, brewing creative beers. BeerAdvocate.com has ranked the brewery’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout and its counterpart Canadian Breakfast Stout as top 10 beers.
Beer to Try: The All-Day IPA is a sessionable beer that keeps hop-heads happy.
Minnesota: Surly Brewing Co.
It could be argued that Surly was born when owner Omar Ansari attended Munich’s Oktoberfest as a teenager and tried his first beer. Of course, the brick-and-mortar brewery wouldn’t start brewing favorites like the hoppy Furious until 2005 after Ansari had been home brewing for more than 10 years.
Beer to Try: We can’t get enough of coffee-infused beer, and the Coffee Bender is just another one to add to the list. Unlike the winter-friendly coffee beers, this brew goes through a cold extraction process to make it taste more like an iced coffee.
Mississippi: Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co.
Location: Kiln, Miss.
Mississippi’s first brewery, Lazy Magnolia, has brewed craft beer for Southern sensibilities since 2003. Many of their beers are sessionable with low alcohol by volume. Even their Southern Hops’pitality IPA only has a 6 percent ABV. Regardless, the beers are easy to enjoy and in the tradition of the South.
Beer to Try: Lazy Magnolia’s Southern Gold is brewed with locally produced honey for a light-bodied, crisp beer.
Missouri: Boulevard Brewing Co.
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Boulevard opened in 1989 with a mission to make full-flavored beers and has become the Midwest’s largest specialty brewer. A vintage Bavarian brew house produces the brewery’s many beers, including their award-winning Unfiltered Wheat Beer.
Beer to Try: It’s spring, so why not try the Irish Ale? The seasonal red ale has a toasted malt flavor balanced with a bit of hop bitterness.
Montana: Big Sky Brewing Co.
Location: Missoula, Mont.
When founders Neal Leathers, Bjorn Nabozney and Brad Robinson started Big Sky Brewing in 1995, they were looking to provide ales to a city in need of some beer diversity. Their first beer was Whistle Pig Red Ale, but they’ve gained a following for their Moose Drool Brown Ale.
Beer to Try: Yeah, we can’t get over the Moose Drool name — or the fact that is a brown ale that's very drinkable and goes with most food.
Nebraska: Nebraska Brewing Company
Location: Papillion, Neb.
Well known for their Reserve Series of beers, Nebraska Brewing began brewing in 2007. The brewery has maintained a following for their year-round brews, such as EOS Hefeweizen but it’s their Chardonnay French Oak Melange A Trois has been winning them awards over the last few years.
Beer to Try: The Melange A Trois’ Belgian style ale, combined with the aging of a chardonnay and oak tannins, is a complex ale that can’t be compared to anything else.
Nevada: Tenaya Creek Brewery
Location: Las Vegas
What started as a fine dining establishment (and brewery) in 1999, became a full-fledged and dedicated brewery in 2008. The Tenaya Creek restaurant still serves up delicious food, but the brewery has grown to distribute their beers on draught and in bottles across Nevada and other areas as well.
Beer to Try: The Red Ryder Ale is unlike any other red ale you’ll try — hints of caramel, a spicy peppery flavor, balanced with Magnum hops, and a clean citrus finish, this is one beer that’s unforgettable.
New Hampshire: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Location: Portsmouth, N.H.
The name for the brewery has an unlikely origin: Smuttynose is the third largest of the archipelago islands off the coast of New Hampshire. It’s also the site of a gruesome 1873 murder. But the brewery is better known for the great beers, like Old Dog Brown Ale, that they’ve been brewing since 1994.
Beer to Try: The Star Island Single is a Belgian-style pale ale that has immediately become a classic.
New Jersey: Flying Fish Brewing Company
Location: Cherry Hill, N.J.
In 1995, Flying Fish was the first virtual brewery with nothing but a website and a dedication to brewing great beer. Eventually, though, founder Gene Muller would open the first microbrewery in Southern New Jersey.
Beer to Try: A series of beers is dedicated to Jersey Turnpike exits, including Exit 4, a Belgian Abbey-style Trippel ale.
New Mexico: Santa Fe Brewing
Location: Santa Fe, N.M.
Santa Fe Brewing began with used equipment acquired from the defunct Boulder Brewing. The first beer brewed in 1988 was their Pale Ale, which remains a flagship today. Times have changed, but the brewery continues to innovate, even adding a Black IPA to their portfolio in recent years.
Beer to Try: The limited-edition Kickin’ Chicken Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barley Wine is aged in Wild Turkey 101 barrels for a sour ale taste, but with a pronounced bourbon flavor on the back of the tongue. This is one innovative brew.
New York: Brooklyn Brewery
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y>
Brooklyn, N.Y., was once home to more than 40 breweries, but by the mid-1970s, there were no breweries left. That changed when Steve Hindy and Tom Potter came along and opened Brooklyn Brewery in 1988. As the brewery continues to make increasingly innovative beers, other craft breweries have joined them in the borough.
Beer to Try: The Brooklyn Lager will always be a classic, but we think their seasonals, like the Brooklyn Summer Ale, are instant classics among New York beer lovers.
North Carolina: Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Location: Farmville, N.C.
Founder Paul Philippon was a philosophy professor who admired the duck-rabbit diagram, an image that either looked like a duck or a rabbit depending on how you looked at it. In 2004, it became the inspiration behind his brewery and his many beers, such as the beloved Duck-Rabbit Porter.
Beer to Try: The brewery calls itself the "dark beer specialist," so we’re excited for its lineup of the dark brown brews. The Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout is brewed with lactose for a subtle sweetness and a black color.
North Dakota: Fargo Brewing
Location: Fargo, N.D.
Founded by four men who call Fargo their hometown, Fargo Brewing is dedicated to handcrafted and high-quality beers. Chris Anderson is the brewing expert who traveled to the Pacific Northwest to hone his expertise. The team started brewing beers like the Wood Chipper IPA in 2011.
Beer to Try: The Wood Chipper IPA has a citrus aroma and flavor profile that’s unlike any other.
Ohio: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Cleveland was another city that was once crawling with local breweries. But those were gone by the 1980s. Great Lakes would bring back the city’s brewing tradition in 1988 and become Ohio’s first craft brewery. Their beers are named for historic figures, like their Eliot Ness Amber Lager.
Beer to Try: The Eliot Ness Amber Lager is a frequent medal-winner for its malt flavors and crisp, noble hops.
Oklahoma: Marshall Brewing
Location: Tulsa, Okla.
Born and raised in Tulsa, founder and brewmaster Eric Marshall travelled to Munich to learn the art of making beer. He returned home in 2007 to create Marshall Brewing, Tulsa’s first production craft brewery. Marshall began operations in 2008, crafting high-quality beers like the Atlas IPA.
Beer to Try: The Old Pavilion Pilsner pays homage to Marshall’s time in Germany, with a memorable American and German hop profile with a crisp finish.
Oregon: Deschutes Brewery
Location: Bend, Ore.
Over the last few decades, Oregon has earned notoriety as a craft beer-friendly state and Deschutes is likely one of the state’s most popular breweries. After opening in 1988, the brewery began brewing challenging beers, like their Black Butte Porter, with delicious results.
Beer to Try: The Green Lakes Organic Ale is between the ambers and pale ales on the market; and it’s one of the few true organic beers made with 100 percent all organic hops. It’s also a four-time medal winner from various craft beer festivals.
Pennsylvania: Victory Brewing Company
Location: Downingtown, Pa.
Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski met in fifth grade, not knowing that 23 years later they would launch Victory Brewing. Since 1996, the brewery has added a restaurant that seats 300. Golden Monkey ale and Prima Pils are just two of the delicious year-round brews to come out of the brewery.
Beer to Try: The Swing Session Saison is spiced with peppercorns, orange peel, and fresh lemon juice for a spicy kick into summer.
Rhode Island: Newport Storm Brewery
Location: Newport, R.I.
Four college graduates who’d studied science together for four years built the Newport Storm Brewery (originally known as Coastal Extreme Brewing) in 1999, brewing their first beer, the Hurricane Amber Ale. They are best known for their limited-release beers and pioneering canned beer back in 2004.
Beer to Try: The Rhode Island Blueberry Beer is made with real blueberries and fermented at a colder temperature to preserve the fruit’s flavor.
South Carolina: Holy City Brewing
Location: Charleston, S.C.
While still a young brewery, Holy City has already become a local favorite among Charleston’s beer lovers. The brewery opened in 2011 and immediately started brewing unique beers, including a bacon porter. Their Pluff Mud Porter even brought home a gold medal from the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.
Beer to try: The Pecan Dream is made with roasted pecans for this American brown ale, with a memorable nutty nose.
South Dakota: Crow Peak Brewing
Location: Spearfish, S.D.
The Spearfish-based brewery began with a small five-barrel system in 2007 but has grown to a 30-barrel system today. Their hoppy brews, such as the 11th Hour IPA and Pile o’ Dirt Porter can be found throughout the state.
Beer to Try: The Pile o’ Dirt Porter’s roasted malt flavor and mild hop bitterness makes this a favorite.
Tennessee: Yazoo Brewing Co.
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Like many of the nation’s craft breweries, Yazoo began with home brewing. Founder Linus Hall educated himself in the brewing business and opened Yazoo in 2003. Eventually, the brewery became so popular it had to be moved to a larger facility.
Beer to Try: Yazoo’s Hop Project IPA has gained its share of fans, thanks to its ever-changing blend of hops.
Texas: Saint Arnold Brewing Company
When most beer drinkers think of Texas, they think of Shiner Bock, which is a tasty beer. But Saint Arnold is the state’s oldest and largest craft brewery. Founded in 1994, the brewery is located in a building that dates back to 1914.
Beer to Try: The Endeavor IPA, a double IPA with a citrus and peach finish, is one of their more popular brews.
Utah: Uinta Brewing
Location: Salt Lake City
The first Uinta craft beers showed up in 1993. Since then, the demand for their full-flavor brews has grown to such a degree that Uinta has had to move to a 26,000-square-foot facility. Today, their Crooked Line series has gained them great respect from beer lovers.
Beer to Try: Part of its Crooked Line Series, the Birthday Suit Cherry Sour Ale was made to celebrate the brewery’s 19th birthday — and no wonder it’s a favorite. The cherries bring out a new flavor in the sour ale.
Vermont: Long Trail Brewing Co.
Location: Bridgewater Corners, Vt.
Founder Andy Pherson began professionally brewing in a basement in 1989. The brewery was then known as Mountain Brewers but was renamed Long Trail later that year with the brewing of the first batch of Long Trail Ale.
Beer to Try: The flagship Long Trail Ale has been the state’s best-selling amber ale since 1990.
Virginia: Blue Mountain
Location: Afton, Va.
Taylor Smack had an impressive brewing resume, including Goose Island and South Street Brewery, before he opened Blue Mountain Brewing in 2007.
Beer to Try: The Kölsh 151 is the lightest beer on tap, but its German and Vienna malts make it a complex brew.
Washington: Redhook Ale Brewery
Location: Woodinville, Wash.
Another early bloomer, Redhook first brewed craft ales in 1981. The brewery has earned recognition for their well-crafted beers, like the well-known ESB. By 1996, they saw such a demand for their beers from coast to coast, they opened an East Coast brewery in Portsmouth, N.H.
Beer to Try: The newest release, the Audible Ale, is in the brewery’s terms a "crushable" beer — a beer that’s easy to sip throughout your football and basketball games.
West Virginia: Mountain State Brewing Co.
Location: Thomas, W. Va.
The children of home brewers and later home brewers themselves, Willie Lehmann and Brian Arnett founded Mountain State Brewing to craft easy-drinking beers in 2005. They’ve earned a following with beer drinkers throughout the state with their well-rounded brews.
Beer to Try: The Almost Heaven Amber Ale is, well, almost heaven: with Willamette hops and a caramel finish, it goes down easy.
Wisconsin: New Glarus Brewing Company
Location: New Glarus, Wisc.
Deborah Carey was the first woman in the U.S. to found a brewery, with husband and co-founder, Dan Carey, when New Glarus opened in 1993. The brewery has been recognized as one of the top in the world at two World Brewery Championships, with beers like the Spotted Cow Farmhouse Ale.
Beer to Try: The Two Women lager is a collaboration between New Glarus and Weyermann Malting (both led by women). The result? A crisp lager that’s a toast to what women can do in the craft beer industry.
Wyoming: Snake River Brewery
Location: Jackson, Wyo.
In 1994, Joni and Albert Upsher founded the brewery and went on to earn the title of "Small Brewery of the Year" at the Great American Beer Festival in 2000 and 2001. In 2007, they retired and sold the business to Ted and Noa Staryk, who continue to produce high-quality beers like the Alpine Fest Lager.
Beer to Try: The Firehole Steam is a take on the traditional Californian steam lager, a style made popular during the gold rush. The Firehole Steam uses the same strain of yeast the Californians used, and is named after the nearby Firehole River.
Washington, D.C.: DC Brau Brewing Company
Location: Washington, D.C.
It had been more than 60 years since the nation's capital had its own brewery. But in 2009, DC Brau co-founders Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock brought their expertise together to create hand-crafted beers, like Your Favorite Foreign Movie, a Belgian-style ale that earned silver at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.
Beer to Try: The Citizen Belgian Ale uses the same Abbey yeast strain, with lots of malts and hops to produce the Noble hop spiciness common to Trippel styles.