At the peak of the recent craft beer boom, about three new breweries popped up every day across the U.S. As more than 4,000 craft breweries appeared nationwide and big dogs like Anheuser-Busch started scooping up indie players like Elysian Brewing and Goose Island for huge sums of money, the industry grew to a $55 billion monolith that employs 424,000 people, NPR reported.
Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Black Warrior Brewing Company
Best Deal: 16-ounce drafts starting at $5
The winner of AL.com’s best downtown brewery title in 2017, Black Warrior is known for its small-batch beer and brewers who are happy to chat you up about the brewing process. Of course, that conversation will happen over one of their many ales, fruit beers or IPAs, some of which use Columbus, Willamette and Cascade hops.
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Juneau, Alaska — Alaskan Brewing Co.
Best Deal: Hop or malt flight, including four 4-ounce glasses, starting at $8
Juneau’s Alaska Brewing Co. was into craft beer before it was cool. In business since 1986, the brewery’s classic Alaskan Amber is always joined by a rotating selection of seasonal and Pilot Series brews. Variety is key here, which is why Alaskan Brewing offers no fewer than five different flight combinations, ranging from $8 to $11 for four small beers.
Flagstaff, Ariz. — Dark Sky Brewing Co.
Best Deal: A taster board of five 5-ounce beers for $12; $3 pints on Tuesday
To date, Dark Sky Brewing Co. has concocted more than 200 recipes — their lofty goal is to introduce at least one new beer each week. This crazy ambition could be what prompted AZ Central to call them the kings of “small batches brewed by mad beer scientists.” When you visit their tiny Flagstaff location, don’t forget the $2 tacos every Tuesday. Stop by Dark Sky Brewing in February — It’s the cheapest time to visit Arizona.
Fayetteville, Ark. — Apple Blossom Brewing Company
Best Deal: The always-on-tap Fayetteweisse American lager at $4 for 12 ounces
Billed as “craft beer in the natural state,” Apple Blossom’s combination of beer, spirits, entrees and baked goods all wrapped up in a rustic, woodsy atmosphere encourages you to stay and sip awhile. Part of the Fayetteville Ale Trail, this brewery specializes in ales and uses in-state ingredients at every opportunity.
Escondido, Calif. — Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens
Best Deal: $5 for a tour with four 4-ounce samples (including a special release beer) and a souvenir tasting glass
California is known far and wide as a foodie state, but it’s pretty darn beer-y, too. Stone Brewing is a big name in indie, and its impressive Escondido taproom — complete with massive glass walls, wood fixtures and even indoor trees and ponds — shows it. The highlight here is enjoying your brews in a taproom that lets nature in, or lounging outside among waterfalls and leafy shade. Be sure to make a reservation.
Denver — Black Project Spontaneous and Wild Ales
Best Deal: Any 4-ounce pour for $4; bottle pours for the same price
In 2014 and 2015, Black Project pulled down two American Beer Festival medals in the categories of Wild Ales and Experimental beers, and those two categories really sum up the essence of this sleek, modern Denver brewery. Their unique focus on fermenting with microbes from the Denver environment and putting foraged ingredients to use won them the title of “brewery of the year” from the Denver Post in 2016.
Bloomfield, Conn. — Back East Brewing Company
Best Deal: Draft ales and IPAs starting at $5 for 16 ounces
In its Best of Connecticut 2017 feature, Connecticut Magazine named Back East Brewing Company the best in the state, and Draft magazine ranked three of Back East’s IPAs (Rakautra, Ice Cream Man, and Intergalactic Lupulinary) among the top 50 in America. The brewery specializes in low-bitterness IPAs. And at $5 for a 16-ounce draft, you can still go out without going broke.
Milton, Del. — Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Best Deals: Free tours, including four free samples
A perennially popular name in indie brewing, Dogfish Head is still ticking in Milton. True to form, this quirky company’s brewery sports a steampunk-style tree house, outdoor fermenters, bocce and cornhole. Bunyan’s Lunchbox helps you soak up those IPAs, ales and stouts with brats and chips.
Tampa, Fla. — Cigar City Brewing
Best Deal: 12-ounce drafts as low as $4.50; $8 tours with beer sampling throughout
Tampa is known for its cigars, and now it’s known for Cigar City Brewing, too. After surveying local beer experts, Thrillist ranked Cigar City as the very best brewery in the Sunshine State. Those brew pros particularly recommend the ale-inspired Jai Alai IPA and the Florida Cracker Belgian White Ale with hints of coriander and orange peel.
Atlanta — Eventide Brewing
Best Deal: All core styles are $3 every Monday
Eventide boasts the slogan, “Great doesn’t have to be complicated.” The brewery specializes in unpretentious craft beer done well — including a Nitro Dry Irish Stout that Access Atlanta praised for its super roasty tones and creamy mouthfeel — and fostering a sense of community by hosting monthly Curiosity Club meetings featuring workshops with local artisans. All proceeds for the club go to The Homestead Atlanta.
Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii: Kohola Brewery
Best Deal: $10 tours, including samples and a souvenir glass
In this industrial-style taproom in historic Lahaina town, you’ll find refreshing brews infused with local produce like pineapple, guava and passion fruit. Keep an eye out for deals on food and beer pairings, the proceeds of which are often donated to charitable causes. And don’t miss happy hour from 5-7 p.m. In 2017, Travel + Leisure named Kohola among the best local breweries in the U.S.
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Victor, Idaho — Grand Teton Brewing Company
Best Deal: Free brewery tour and tastings Monday through Friday
Could there possibly be a better combination than Grand Teton National Park and handcrafted beers? The Grand Teton Brewing Company in scenic Victor, Idaho, doesn’t think so. The beer is made using water from glacial runoff filtered for up to 500 years by Teton mountain stone.
Evanston, Ill. — Temperance Beer Co.
Best Deal: $10 tours with beer samples and a souvenir pint glass
When Eater Chicago ranked Temperance Beer Company No. 1 among 20 of Chicago’s best breweries in 2017, the site also recommended Restless Years Pale Ale, a crisp, tropical pale ale with a sharp rye finish. The $10 tour doesn’t just net you beer samples and a glass to take home — you’ll also get a 10 percent discount on all merchandise from the on-site store that day.
Indianapolis — Bier Brewery and Taproom
Best Deal: $8 growler fills on Tuesday; $4 pints every Wednesday
When you hit Bier Brewery and Taproom, you’ll be greeted with nine of its 130 varieties of brew on a rotating tap, plus a friendly dog or two — since this is a dog-friendly taproom. It’s not just the dogs that like Bier — it holds two gold medals from the World Beer Cup and three from the Indiana Brewers’ Cup for its Dunkles Weissbier, English Barleywine and Belgian Strong Ale.
Decorah, Iowa — Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.
Best Deal: Draft beers start at $4.50
In 2015, beer-scoring sites like RateBeer and BeerAdvocate determined that the second-best brewery in the entire world was Decorah, Iowa’s Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. If that’s not enough, RateBeer named Goliath’s Kentucky Brunch the single best beer in the world, and BeerAdvocate said the brewery made seven of the top 100 beers on earth. No wonder people travel thousands of miles to check it out. You can, too, as part of a cross-country road trip vacation.
Wichita, Kan. — Wichita Brewing Company
Best Deal: Two different four-beer flights for only $5; beer cocktails for $6
In Kansas, your ales, stouts and IPAs are served with wood-fired pizzas at the Wichita Brewing Company. Two brewpubs in Wichita serve an alternating selection of 19 beers, including the pine, ginger and toffee flavors of What Winter? Ale, named among the best Christmas beers by Draft magazine.
Lexington, Ky. — Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.
Best Deal: The brewery and distillery tour with four sample beers costs $11
Kentucky has a surprisingly rich selection of craft breweries. But in a state known worldwide for its bourbon, it’s worth visiting a brewery known for its whiskey barrel-aged Kentucky Ale, with delicious notes of oak and vanilla. What’s more, the mid-sized, state-of-the-art facility offers six different types of tours.
New Orleans — Second Line Brewing
Best Deal: “Everyday beers” like Batture Blonde Ale and a floral IPA cost $5 for a 16-ounce draft
New Orleans knows how to party, so you should probably trust NOLA.com readers when they call Second Line the third-best brewery in the state. True to the NOLA vibe, this mid-city brewery exudes a casual, family atmosphere complete with pets, a beer garden and regularly appearing food trucks. New Orleans is a great drinking city. Known as the birthplace of the cocktail, check out the Museum of the American Cocktail and cross it off your bucket list.
Portland, Maine — Allagash Brewing Company
Best Deal: Free brewery tour includes four 3-ounce curated samples
If you’ve ever shopped at a store that stocks craft beer, you’ve probably seen Allagash bottles. Next time you’re in Maine, see where that nationwide recognition comes from. Hint: It probably has something to do with their signature, mega-hoppy, Belgian-inspired table beers.
Salisbury, Md. — Evolution Craft Brewing Company
Best Deal: $2 off growler fills from 3-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Evolution produces a wide variety of beers, but the brewery is best known for its Lot No. 3 IPA, which is aggressively hopped with over 2 pounds of hops per barrel of beer. The attached public house and restaurant serves lunch and dinner, plus brunch on Sunday. Stop by for a Maryland crab cake sandwich, and pair it with a Primal Pale Ale.
Boston — Trillium Brewing Company
Best Deal: 32-ounce pale ale growler fills for $8 at the Boston location
When Boston.com named Trillium Brewing Company the second-best brewery in Massachusetts (right after Tree House Brewing in Monson), they noted that the brewery’s IPAs have “a dedicated fanbase among the most discerning beer drinkers.” Discern for yourself in Boston or the new taproom in Canton.
Grand Rapids, Mich. — Grand Rapids Brewing Company
Best Deal: Join the Mug Club for $65 a year and get steep discounts on beer and food
Grand Rapids is the epicenter of craft brewing in Michigan, and the Grand Rapids Brewing Company is one of the region’s foundational breweries. Established in 2012, the brewery makes a wide range of beers, including one featuring a quintessential Michigan product — sweet and tart cherries.
New Ulm, Minn. — Schell’s Brewery
Best Deal: $5 for a tour of the second-oldest brewery in America
Way before “craft beer” was even a phrase, August Schell was brewing German beers in New Ulm — the brewery was founded in 1860. He’d certainly be proud to be called the best brewery in Minnesota by viewers of local TV station WCCO 157 years later. If you can’t make it to the city’s epic Oktoberfest celebration, the malty, straw-colored Deer Brand American Lager is available year-round, based on an ever-developing 150-year brewing history.
Kiln, Miss. — Lazy Magnolia Brewery
Best Deal: $10 tours, which include a flight
According to the crowd-powered rating system at TripAdvisor, Lazy Magnolia in Kiln is the very best brewery in the state of Mississippi. At Mississippi’s oldest brewery, sip wheats, stouts, porters, IPAs and ryes among the shady Magnolia trees lining the Jourdan River at a taproom known as The Porch.
St. Louis — 2nd Shift Brewing
Best Deal: 12-ounce 2nd Shift drafts start at $5; 16-ounce guest taps start as low as $3
St. Louis’ craft beer scene refuses to cower in the shadows of Anheuser-Busch’s Midwest campus. Among the indies, HopCulture honored 2nd Shift Brewing as one of the top eight craft beer breweries in town, praising the Art of Neurosis IPA, Katy Brett Saison and Liquid Spiritual Delight Imperial Stout.
Helena, Mont. — Lewis & Clark Brewing Company
Best Deal: 12-ounce drafts start at $3.50
With glasses on tap for $3.50 — including award-winners like Miner’s Gold Hefeweizen and Tumbleweed IPA — Lewis & Clark is one of the most wallet-friendly brewers on this list. Men’s Journal calls the Prickly Pear Pale Ale one of the best beers in Montana, singing the praises of its “spicy, citrus hop flavors with a little extra fruit that blends in perfectly.”
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Lincoln, Neb. — Empyrean Brewing Co.
Best Deal: Free monthly beer school includes a pint of limited-cask beer
Since 1990, Empyrean has brewed up more than 45 distinct beers, focusing on “unfiltered, unpasteurized and uncompromised” IPAs, ESBs and porters. Catch a seasonal brew on tap, like a quirky blueberry ale, strawberry lager, barrel-aged watermelon trippel, bourbon barleywine or chai brown. Every month, line up for a free beer school to hone your own brewing skills — only the first 150 guests are admitted.
Las Vegas — Big Dog’s Brewing Company
Best Deal: Monday through Friday Hoppy Hour from 3-6 p.m. offers half-off all beer, wine and cocktails
Big Dog’s has been keeping Vegas’ thirst quenched since 1993, with seven signature brews available year round, plus two or three seasonal beers at a time. The signature suds alone should appeal to just about any palate, including the Leglifter Light Lager, Tailwagger Wheat and Red Hydrant Ale. True Vegas insiders know where to get the best deals on craft beer.
Canterbury, N.H. — Canterbury Aleworks
Best Deal: Flights of four for $6 or eight for $12, served in 4-ounce glasses
Winner of a 2016 WMUR viewers’ choice award honoring the best craft breweries in New Hampshire, Canterbury Aleworks calls itself “a little out of the way, a lot out of the ordinary.” At this nano-brewery, that “out of the ordinary” comes into play with beers like the African espresso-infused Granite Ledge Stout or the wonderfully named Coddiwomple dark and mild brew with English toffee.
Middlesex, N.J. — Demented Brewing Co.
Best Deal: All 10-ounce drafts are $6
This summer, the New Jersey brewing scene saw a bit of an upset when the upstart underdogs at Demented Brewing Co. beat Kane Brewing Co., Cape May Brewing Co. and Twin Elephant Brewing Co. for the title of NJ.com’s best craft brewery in the state. But you don’t have to be crazy to enjoy its IPA brewed with mango and habanero, or its hefeweizen brewed with banana and clove, among about a dozen others on tap at the Middlesex tasting room.
Albuquerque, N.M. — Marble Brewery
Best Deal: Free brewery tour with samples every Saturday at 2 p.m.
Marble Brewery revels in the funky, the eclectic and non-conformist — just like the town of Albuquerque itself. If you’re not convinced, just take a look at its ever-rotating selection of specials, like the Cuvee Rouge Red Ale, aged for years in French oak barrels and made with chocolate malts, or the Brett IPA, aged in chardonnay barrels and spiked with Brettanomyces yeast.
Brooklyn, N.Y. — Brooklyn Brewery
Best Deal: The $15 Small Batch Tour includes four tastings and a free Brooklyn Spiegelau Saison glass
If you expect a tight-pants-wearing, ironic-mustached brewery, you’ll be surprised by what you find at Brooklyn Brewery. This old warehouse has been a small-batch workhorse in Williamsburg since 1984, racking up James Beard Awards along the way. The go-to beer here is the unpretentious Brooklyn Lager.
Wilmington, N.C. — Broomtail Craft Brewery
Best Deal: Keep an eye out for specials, which can start as low as $3 for on-tap beers
Broomtail started out in a barn in 2004, but now the equine-inspired craft brewery serves up its very indie beer at a cozy spot on Amsterdam Way in Wilmington. VisitNC.com said Broomtail is “elevating the beer scene” locally, and recommended the dark Rappe Imperial Stout and the sweet, malty, slightly floral Elysium Biere de Garde.
Fargo, N.D. — Drekker Brewing Co.
Best Deal: Free “Grains-to-Glass” tours every Saturday at noon and 4 p.m. include four beer samples
Drekker aims to bring out the Viking in everyone, offering flights, pints and growlers among local art, local acoustic music and charcuterie plates. The free weekend tours will ask you for a donation, but it’s for a good reason: Every month, Drekker decides on a new cause to give to under its UnPillage charity banner.
Akron, Ohio — Hoppin’ Frog Brewery
Best Deal: Every weekday Hoppy Hour offers a different special, from $1 off all pints to 20 percent off guest-bottled beers
You didn’t know Ohio was known for its frogs until now, did you? Okay, so maybe it’s not, but it is true that Hoppin’ Frog Brewery has been listed as one of the top 100 brewers in the world for 10 years running at RateBeer. Check out the tasting room in Akron to see why, and you’ll find an intense focus on the darker side of beers like imperial stouts, red ales, coffee porters, scotch ales and doppelbock lagers.
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Stillwater, Okla. — Iron Monk Brewing Company
Best Deal: Grab a 64-ounce growler for $17 and refill it for $10
Monks have been brewing beer since the ninth century, and the small-batch Iron Monks of Stillwater honor that tradition in name. Enjoy PurdyQ barbecue from a food truck every Wednesday and Friday as you take in selections like the signature Milk Stout, bittersweet Payne County Imperial IPA, or lemony citrus Stilly Wheat White Ale.
Hood River, Ore. — pFriem Family Brewers
Best Deal: 12-ounce tasting room beers start at $4.50
When OregonLive named pFriem among the very best brewers in Oregon in 2016, it did so for what it called “some of the best Belgian-style beers west of the Mississippi.” Get here early, as the two-story riverfront brewery and tasting room in Waterfront Park is almost always busy. As you gaze over the Columbia River with a Belgian ale, don’t forget to also sample the abbey beers, witbiers and barrel-aged sours.
Bethlehem, Pa. — Bonn Place Brewing Company
Best Deal: Happy hour from 4:07 p.m. to 5:33 p.m. (seriously) every day knocks $1 off all pints and house beers
Suds like the Tarte Priya Chai Sour Ale and The Delusionist Cascadian Dark Ale at the Bonn Place nano-brewery in Bethlehem come recommended by Food & Wine. On the seven taps, you’ll often find an ale-heavy selection, including tart summer ales, pale ales and New England pales ales, but Bonn dips into everything from bitters to porters.
Pawtucket, R.I. — Foolproof Brewing Company
Best Deal: $5 for a weekend brewery tour comes with four 4-ounce beer samples
Featured on the Providence Journal’s 2015 list of unmissable Rhode Island breweries, Foolproof is an IPA-heavy brewery that’s aware of its roots, with labels like its signature spicy Backyahd and maltier King of the Yahd. The Journal recommended the well-stocked gift shop, too, which even features beer soap. On Saturdays, the taproom sometimes offers tastings of brand new creations that have yet to hit the market.
Greenville, S.C. — Quest Brewing Co.
Best Deal: $10 for one hour of yoga and one pint
Greenville’s Quest Brewing Co. says its mission is to “produce unique, quality beers” in an “ethical and environmentally friendly” facility. It has got the unique part down pat — you can find flavors that range from smoke to coffee to pecan or lavender on the ever-rotating taproom menu. Quest keeps it lively, too, with weekly events like live music, trivia nights, tours and yoga.
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Spearfish, S.D. — Crow Peak Brewing Company
Best Deal: 16-ounce big-batch beers start at $4.50; small-batch beers start at $5
At South Dakota’s largest brewery, the taproom serves brews distributed throughout the state and beyond, plus an of-the-moment selection of exclusive small batches. The latter gets wild and opulent with notes like tart cherries, honey, chocolate and grapefruit puree across its stouts, ales and sours. The beer critics at Uproxx most enjoy the “rich, dark and flavorful” Pile O’ Dirt Porter and the “hoppy yet balanced” 11th Hour IPA.
Nashville, Tenn. — Tennessee Brew Works
Best Deal: Every Saturday, $7 brewery tours leave you with lots of history and a 16-ounce pint
Ranked the No. 2 best brewery in the South in 2017 by Southern Living, this Nashville staple earns its glowing reputation. With green brewing methods and locally sourced ingredients, Tennessee Brew Works proudly boasts the first Meura Micro Mash Filter system in the U.S., which keeps things eco-friendly while keeping extract losses at a minimum for more flavorful beers.
It’s better to buy beer at the brewery — getting a beer at a restaurant is one of the most insane restaurant markups.
Austin, Texas — Jester King Brewery
Best Deal: Jester King’s signature Le Petit Prince farmhouse table beer is $5 for a 16-ounce draft
Also on Southern Living’s list of best breweries in the South at No. 7, Jester King isn’t content with its tasting room lineup of over a dozen farmhouse-inspired table beers, ales, saisons and stouts. This Austin establishment’s menu is downright massive, featuring guest beers on draft, ciders and wines, local cold-brew coffee and hundreds of different craft beer bottles to go.
Salt Lake City, Utah — Red Rock Brewing Co.
Best Deal: A pitcher of craft beer for $12.50
At Red Rock Brewing Co. in Salt Lake City, the pub food is almost as important as the beers on tap. Items like daily beer crackers and the pizza of the day are joined by street-food-inspired tacos, beer-battered pickle chips and lamb sliders. To wash down all that grub and keep the communal vibe flowing, Red Rock is one of the few craft breweries to offer pitchers — and reasonably priced ones, too.
Bristol, Vt. — Bobcat Cafe and Brewery
Best Deal: House beer pints are a modest $4.50
Recommended by Travel + Leisure, Bristol’s own Bobcat expertly combines handcrafted brews and distinctly contemporary comfort food. In the former category, you’ll find eight house beers — from a light-bodied blonde to a chewy double stout — and six guest beers. The latter features mouth-waterers like venison and chorizo meatloaf, seared duck breast and coriander bistro steak with chimichurri yogurt sauce. In other words, you’ll have plenty to pair with.
Crozet, Va. — Starr Hill Brewery
Best Deal: A Saturday evening beer class includes an in-depth tour, guided tasting and a pint for $12
Ranked No. 6 on Southern Living’s list of best Southern breweries, Starr Hill in Crozet has been mixing live music and craft beer since 1999. Founded in a music hall, this brewer has 22 medals from the Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup and Great British Beer Festival. Starr Hill distributes throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, but fresh suds in the taproom are always your best bet.
Seattle — Urban Family Brewing Co.
Best Deal: If you don’t have time to spare, bottles to go start at $5
Eater Seattle said that Urban Family Brewing was making some of the best beer in Seattle, ranking it fifth overall on a list of the beer-friendly city’s top breweries in 2016. Urban focuses on Pacific Northwest ingredients and farmhouse brews, which they pour in a modern-looking tasting room in the Magnolia neighborhood. Also, they have free pretzels.
Maxwelton, W.V. — Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company
Best Deal: $8 brewery tours with tastings, by appointment
Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company is full of easygoing Southern charm. This state-of-the-art brewery belies an uber-casual taproom with barrel tables, live music, cornhole, Jenga, Wii games, darts, foosball, chess and checkers. The taproom may be all fun and games, but the small-batch beers feature serious ingredients like Kolsch yeast and Denali, Galaxy and Citra hops.
Milwaukee — Third Space Brewing
Best Deal: $10 Saturday brewery tours include a pint glass and two beers
When it comes to recommending a brewery in Wisconsin, the ridiculous wealth of choices means you’re bound to start a fight with the locals. So let’s just trust RateBeer when they call Third Space Brewing the best new brewer in the state for 2016. With an easygoing vibe that includes food trucks aplenty, a kid- and dog-friendly beer garden and a changing tap of ebullient brews like Happy Place Midwest Pale Ale and Unbridled Enthusiasm Double IPA, it’s hard to argue with that choice too much.
Ten Sleep, Wyo. — Ten Sleep Brewing Co.
Best Deal: Pints are $3 during happy hour every Thursday
With a population of about 250 people, you might not think there’s much reason to visit the sleepy village of Ten Sleep. But then there’s Ten Sleep Brewing Co. This little slice of magic is located in a family barn at the foot of the stunning Signal Cliff. So settle in and watch the horses graze and the climbers climb as you savor the suds of the fan-favorite Speed Goat Golden Ale for just a few bucks.
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