There are over 4,000 breweries in the United States—and that number is growing. With so many outlets producing beer and such a rabid beer fanbase here in the States, it doesn’t take long for the best of the best to get noticed by the aficionados. But that information doesn’t always trickle down to the masses all that quickly. That’s why we’re here to tip you off. These are some of the best breweries you’ve never heard of. Each has some next level suds waiting to be poured just for you.
For a while, any beercation in Vermont centered around finding beer from a few select breweries: Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, and, to some extent, Fiddlehead. Now there’s another name to add to the list: Foam Brewers. Located in busy Burlington, Foam Brewers opened earlier this year right near the waterfront. They offer a rotating selection of about eight beers along with 750ml bottles to go. The stuff is on par with the heavy hitters in The Green Mountain State. Link
Beer to Try: Built to Spill
Søle Artisan Ales
Emmaus, PA (Sort Of)
You won’t find Søle Artisan Ales on a map, because, well, they don’t have a brewery. That’s right, Søle is a gypsy brewery, meaning they brew their beer at other breweries. But don’t mistake their lack of a home for a lack of brewing expertise. Søle Artisan Ales is pumping out some of the finest, hoppiest beverages around. So how do you get their beer if there’s no brewery to visit? Well, they do distribute kegs to a small area, and if cans are what you’re after, they have a nice little partnership with Susquehanna Brewing Co. (Pittston, PA), which seems to be the spot they set up shop at on release days. Link
Beer to Try: Simcoe Nerd
Suarez Family Brewery
After three years at Hill Farmstead—yes, as in the best brewery in America—Dan Suarez finally felt it was time to do his own thing. His own thing is Suarez Family Brewery, a brewery in Livingston, New York, which is a little outside Massachusetts. Only recently opening his doors, Suarez brings the know-how he gained at Hill Farmstead to his own joint, where he’s brewing wild ales, soft pale ales, and (as of now) no IPAs. While the lack of the quintessential American beer may be surprising, Suarez has the chops to run a brewery that can survive without any hoppy monsters. Link
Beer to Try: Hecto
Phantom Carriage Brewery
Phantom Carriage is part funky beer factory and part haunted house. If that’s not enough of a reason to pay them a visit, just consider they produce some of the finest sours and wild beers you’ve never had. If you’re looking for hoppy Double IPAs, look elsewhere. If you want a 100% brett blonde with guava and other juicy fruit, head to the macabre taproom in Carson, California. Link
Beer to Try: Lugosi
J. Wakefield Brewery
As a homebrewer, John Wakefield brewed a beer that would become one of RateBeer‘s 10 best beers in the world. Such things will get you noticed. That hype turned into an ultra-successful crowdfunding campaign to start J. Wakefield Brewery. Since opening its doors last year, the Miami-based brewery has churned out some really interesting, delicious stuff. A lemon sage Berliner weisse. A beer that tastes like an orange creamsicle. A chocolate caramel sea salt stout. Don’t let the playfulness trick you into thinking these are gimmick beers—they’re almost all incredible. Link
Beer to Try: Dragon Fruit Passion Fruit Berliner
Aslin Beer Company
The juicy, soft IPA has become a favored choice of many beer drinkers, championed by the likes of Hill Farmstead, Tree House, Tired Hands, and the like. With the opening of Aslin Beer Company, the DMV has their own brewery churning out extremely delicious, hazy, palatable brews. Aslin Beer Company, which is located in Herndon, Virginia, which is located in Fairfax County, will fill you a crowler of some next level hops. If you live in the area, we’d recommend getting your name on the waiting list for their Mug Club so you can get access to beers before they kick. Link
Beer to Try: Master of Karate
Sand City Brewing Co.
Located in historic Northport, New York, Sand City Brewing gets its name from the history of the town it’s in. Northport was once home to a collection of sand mines, and in the late 1800s the sand from those mies was used to construct a great many things across Manhattan. Sand City Brewing also delivers something great to the state of New York: sweet, sweet beer. While they still only distribute to a handful of watering holes, their beers are worth the hike. Their IPAs are right up there with the best of the best. Link
Beer to Try: Fade to Jade
The Veil Brewing Co.
Too often a homebrewer with enough cash will start a brewery all willy-nilly, without any proper commercial training. Some times this works; often times it doesn’t. This is why we’re fans of The Veil Brewing Co., which is located in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. Here’s where Matt Tarpey, head brewer and co-owner of The Veil, cut his teeth: Cantillon, Portsmouth, The Alchemist, and Hill Farmstead. Yeah. Not a bad list. You don’t brew at those places without being good and without learning a thing or two. Now Tarpey has brought his know-how to his own place, The Veil, where he’s churning out crazy good hoppy oddities (IdonteverwanttoBU is a Double IPA with no bitterness) and easy drinking saisons (Savage clocks in at just 2.7% ABV). Cans go fast and kegs kick quickly but the beer is worth the hunt. Link
Beer to Try: Master Shredder
Bottle Logic Brewing
Bottle Logic has been around for a couple of years now, setting up shop in Anaheim back in 2013. If you don’t live in SoCal, however, there’s a good chance their concoctions have never slipped passed your lips. That’s a shame. What Bottle Logic is brewing is something special. Take for example Fundamental Observation, their Imperial Stout that’s blended with Madagascar vanilla beans. It’s otherworldly. To pry a bottle from an owner’s hands, you’d have to offer up your first born. Even then, you may have to toss in another child. Link
Beer to Try: Fundamental Observation
Forest & Main Brewing Co.
When traveling through the outskirts of Philly, Tired Hands is the obvious stop for a pour or two. But if you think your travels should end after you’ve had your fill of HopHands and SaisonHands, you’re mistaken. A quick trip over to Ambler, Pennsylvania, should always be in order because there you’ll find the brewery/beautiful home that is Forest & Main. What makes the brewery so unique is its focus. The taplist is split into two sections: British inspired brews, and Belgian inspired brews. That means you’ll find classic bitters, cellar temperature offerings, and low ABV sippers on half, and funky saisons on the other. Both sides are equally good. Occasionally there will be bottles for sale, so try to time your trip right. Link
Beer to Try: Saison Lunaire