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The 99%: America’s Top-Rated Breweries

The 99%: America’s Top-Rated Breweries

12. La Cumbre Brewing Co.

It’s always nice to see a place that’s not located in a beer hot spot like California or Vermont rise up and make a name for themselves. You might not be planning a brewcation in New Mexico, but if you happen to find yourself near Albuquerque, a trip to La Cumbre is in order. Jeff Erway and his wife Laura are not in it for global brewery domination, they’re in it for the love of beer, and you can taste that in their award-winning Elevated IPA and many others. Link

11. Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom

If you love funky, you’ll love Crooked Stave. Sticking primarily with saisons and wild ales, Crooked Stave brews up gems like Nightmare on Brett, L’Brett D’Or, and many others. If you like to dance with brettanomyces, they’ve got plenty of partners for you. Link
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10. Jester King Brewing

Jester King draws inspiration from traditional farmhouse breweries that used local ingredients while crafting spontaneously fermented beer. We recommend Le Petit Prince as a nice intro to what they’re doing, and once you’ve sampled their basic table beer, move on to gems like Atrial Rubicite and Das Wunderkind! (a personal favorite). Link

9. Trillium Brewing Company

It was at this year’s Extreme Beer Fest when we first heard the buzz about this Boston-based brewery. With great places to visit while in town like Jack’s Abby and Night Shift, the one people were talking about the most was Trillium. And boy did it not disappoint. Their locally-inspired brews were fantastic, and any beer trip to Boston is no longer complete without a stop. Link

8. Surly Brewing Company

With heavy-hitters like Darkness, Abrasive, and Bender, Surly has a strong stable of sought-after brews. As is often the case, the story began with a homebrew kit that Omar Ansari received as a gift which sparked his love for creating beer. Now, 20 years later, Surly is one of the most respected breweries in the country. Link

7. Cellarmaker Brewing Co.

It’s hard to pick one or two beers you should try from Cellarmaker because they rotate their tap list with new offerings all the time, but we will tell you that you won’t go wrong with just about anything they pour. The San Fran brewery leans heavy on hops, so if a West Coast IPA is your cup of tea (or pint of beer) it’s a must visit. Link


6. New England Brewing Co.

Right outside New Haven, CT is a small craft brewery that makes one of our favorite beers. The beer is Gandhi-Bot, and the brewery is New England Brewing Company. And while the canned DIPA is sensational, the brewery isn’t a one-trick pony. With a handful of highly rated brews (many of which are canned for your home enjoyment), New England Brewing Co. is finds themselves comfortably within the top breweries in the United States. Link

5. Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

Speaking of breweries you’ll be hearing more about soon, Toppling Goliath should be popping up in more publications in the not too distant future. Since 2009, the little brewery has been staying under the radar (probably how fans would like to keep it) while producing small batches of insanely tasty pale ales and IPAs. But, just like any hidden gem, the secret will slowly seep out and reach the masses. So snag a pint of PseudoSue or one of their other killer brews before it gets too nuts over there. Link

4. Cycle Brewing

In the town of Gulfort, Florida you’ll find a little restaurant called Peg’s Cantina that serves up small Spanish-inspired dishes. The unassuming joint was home to a little start-up known as Cycle Brewing which brewed up beers for the diners. The brainchild of Peg’s son Doug, Cycle Brewing is now growing, and growing fast, out in Saint Petersburg. Doug Dozark took the knowledge he gained over at Cigar City to craft some of his own killer IPAs, stouts, and others for his own audience. You’ll be hearing more about them in the near future. Link

3. Maine Beer Company

Ever since we first tasted a beer contained in one of Maine Beer Company’s minimally designed bottles, we were hooked. That first beer was Another One, and since then we’ve gone on to taste almost everything they’ve ever brewed and have been blown away by every single one of them. Seriously, Lunch and Dinner made us question whether they were using some sort of beer sorcery to brew their IPAs. Besides making world-class beer, they also donate 1% of their gross sales to environmental non-profits, so you’re actually kind of a dick if you don’t drink their beer. Link

2. Tree House Brewing Company

Bad news: It’s not actually located in a tree house. Good news: The beer at the little barn-looking building in Monson, MA is nothing short of stellar. Julius will give any IPA in the country a run for its money, and the quiet surroundings are reminiscent of the number one brewery on this list. Over the last year, they’ve quickly become one of our absolute favorite breweries in the country. Link
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1. Hill Farmstead Brewery

Shaun Hill was never destined to be the next great beer celebrity like Sam Calagione or Jim Koch. He’s just a guy who lives on his family’s quiet land in Vermont, who happens to care about his ancestry, Wilco, and crafting great beer. Whether he wanted it or not, his brewery, Hill Farmstead, has become a sort of beer Mecca over the last few years. While other breweries offer bold and aggressive brews, Shaun’s are soft and elegant like a silky smooth prize fighter. Not only have we never had a bad beer from Hill Farmstead, we’ve never had a mediocre one, or even one that was pretty good one, they’ve all been near perfection. Abner might be our favorite beer of all time. Link
Image courtesy of Michael Donk of