Sometimes, it feels like the conversations about craft beer in America are centered around just a handful of states. And yes, Michigan, California, Vermont, and Maine really do contain many of the world’s best beers and the most high-profile breweries in America, but as craft beer continues to gain popularity, each and every state in the union has incredible, unique brews that locals go crazy for and in-the-know beer fans will travel for.
So, we decided to give Alabama, South Dakota, and even Utah some love by finding out what beer reigns supreme in the less talked about areas of the country. And when it comes to those juggernaut states, we had to do a battle royal to see what beer truly is the best in every state.
To determine the best beer in every state (and Washington, D.C.), we first consulted our own rankings of the best beers in America and the best beers in the world. If an American brew can stand up to the beers from Belgium, it’s probably the best in its state. Then, we consulted beer ranking and rating sites such as Beer Advocate, Untappd, and RateBeer to see what locals are loving. Finally, we took our own editorial staff into account and tapped into their knowledge and love of craft beer around the country.
The result is a good portrait of beers across America. This list is dominated by beer geek favorite styles like imperial stouts, double IPAs, and porters, but you’ll also find classic American IPAs, sour ales, and even a smoked beer or two. You never know what the best beer in your home state is if you don’t read on to find out.