What's The Best Craft Brewery In America? You Tell Us

What was once just a trend is now a full-blown, happening movement that's swept the country: craft beer. Ask just about anyone with an of-age license and taste buds, and people will have an opinion about who makes the best beer around. And despite the fact that craft beer still makes up just less than 7 percent of the total beer market in the U.S., the number of craft breweries has imploded in just the past decade: now at 2,360 operating breweries in 2012, according to the Brewer's Association.

Which is why we want to know: what is America's best craft brewery? You can narrow it down by the most medals won, or the most beers sold, but a great craft brewery is more than that. It's a commitment to quality, of course — that can't be ignored. But we at The Daily Meal think a great craft brewery "taps" into its hometown roots and delivers a beer that brings people together. Whether it's your classic lager or your favorite summer seasonal, the best craft breweries will engage both the "craft beer curious" and the connoisseurs and satiate everyone's palates. 

YOU TELL US: What's the Best Craft Brewery in America? Take The Daily Meal's Survey! 

But of course, while we have our own ideas of who the leaders are in craft brewing, we want to know who your picks are — what are the craft breweries that you'll order no matter what 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 breweries (we won't tell you which ones) were nominated over and over again, and some breweries were hometown favorites that our panelists themselves admitted were obscure. But no matter how big (Sierra Nevada) or small (Chicago's Piece Pizzeria and Brewery) they are, these craft breweries our panelists believe should be recognized. 

Over the past week, dozens of authorities in the craft beer space have assisted us in nominating the best craft breweries in the country. Now whittled down to the top 25, we are asking YOU to cast your vote and decide what, you feel, is 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.

Each one of these 72 breweries, from 21 different states from coast to coast, is already a winner — and we know it's difficult to choose just one favorite. (One panelist noted that choosing a favorite American craft brewery is as hard as choosing a favorite film, or a favorite Beatles song — nearly impossible.) But we want you readers to weigh in and tell us: what is your favorite craft brewery? 

Click here to take the survey and tell us which breweries deserve to be recognized (American Idol-style), because we want to recognize who we think is the best. 

A huge thanks to our craft beer experts who helped narrow down the 2,000-plus operating craft breweries in America to just 72 — virtual cheers to all!

Click here to take the survey and tell us you think is America's best craft brewery! 

Michael Agnew, certified ciccerone and blogger for A Perfect Pint

Brian Aldrich, Seacoast Beverage Lab

Rick Armon, staff writer (and beer blogger) for Akron Beacon Journal

Don Ayres, writer at San Diego Craft Beer Examiner

Michael Atwood, editor at Hoosier Beer Geek 

Bob Barnes, regional correspondent for Celebrator Beer News and editorial director of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional

Tom Bedell, freelance writer

Evan Benn, staff writer at the Miami-Herald

Tom Bobak, editor-in-chief at <American Craft Beer LLC

Marc Bona, writer at The Plain Dealer

Joe Bonwich, food critic at the St. Louis Dispatch

William Bostwick, writer at GQ

Nick Brennan, writer at Chicago Craft Beer Examiner

Lou Bustamante, contributor to SF Weekly

Dave Butler, owner and writer of Fermentedly Challenged

Lew Bryson, blogger at Seen Through a Glass

Bryan Carey, writer at Houston Craft Beer Examiner

Jim Clarke, beer and wine writer and wine director at Armani Ristorante

Bill DeBaun, co-editor at DC Beer

Christian DeBenedetti, editorial director at the Weekly Pint

Niko DeMordaunt, San Francisco craft beer writer

Karla Dudley, editor-in-chief of Taps "The Beer Magazine"

Mat Falco, founder and publisher of Philly Beer Scene

Megan Flynn, publisher and editor-in-chief of Beer West Mag

Liz Garibay, blogger at Tales, Taverns & Towns

Clare Goggin Sivits, writer and editor at BeerGoggins.com

Justin Grant, writer for the Tampa Bay Times, Barfly, and The Beer Chronicles

Chuck Hallett, blogger at Barley Mowat

Markus Haas, director of publishing systems for the San Antonio Express-News

Lee Heidel, editor at Brew/Drink/Run

Maggie Hoffman, drinks editor at Serious Eats

Tim Hynds, visuals editor and beer writer for the Sioux City Journal

Ezra Johnson-Greenough, founder of The New School 

Kendall Jones, writer for the Washington Beer Blog

Geoff Kaiser, Seattle correspondent & tasting panel organizer for the Northwest Brewing News

Peter LaFrance, author of Beer Basics and Cooking & Eating with Beer

John Liberty, entertainment reporter for the Kalamazoo Gazette/MLive Media Group

Terry Lozoff, writer for Drink Insider 

Jason Morgan, editor and founding partner of Craft Brewing Business

Sean Nordquist, writer at Beer for the Daddy

Derrick Peterman, writer at Ramblings of a Beer Runner

Stephen Rich, writer at Definition Ale

Tom Rotunno, senior editor and assignment desk manager for CNBC TV and writer of the business of beer for CNBC.com.

Josh Rubin, business reporter for the Toronto Star

Lucy Saunders, author of five cookbooks about craft beer and editor at beercook.com

Em Sauter, writer for Pints and Panels

Luke Sykora, senior editor for Wine and Spirits magazine

Mike Sweeney, writer for STL Hops

John Thompson, beer blogger at the Baltimore Post-Examiner

Tom Thornton, food & drink editor at Austinist

Bob Townsend, editor at Southern Brew News

Chris Van Ordern, co-editor at DC Beer

John Verive, writer at Beer of Tomorrow 

Gerard Walen, editor at Road Trips for Beer 

Tom Wilmes, writer at Boulder Beer Guy

Marc Wisdom, writer at The Jax Beer Guy 

Xania Woodman, senior editor at Vegas Seven Magazine and contributing editor at Vegas Rated Magazine