Despite the considerable financial dangers of starting up your own microbrewery, new and original craft beers are appearing all over the country – and the current trend is every beer-lovers wet dream!
According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sales went up by 17.6% in 2014 and craft beers amount to 11% of all the beer drunk in the U.S. With more than 3,000 microbreweries, the U.S. can proudly say that it has the best selection of craft beers in the world. But with so many beers on the market it’s hard to tell which is best.
With the help of the Brewers Association and our local beer connoisseur we bring you the 5 best microbreweries in the U.S. with some of the best craft beers you will ever taste:
1. 5 Rabbit Cervecería – Bedford Park, Illinois
Located just outside of Chicago, this is the first Latin-American brewery in the nation. It was inspired by Aztec mythology and their beers are all named in connection with the Aztec calendar.
“We wanted to make beers that were influenced by our cultures and make beers that no one has made before,” says co-founder Isaac Showaki.
The owners wish to honor Latin ingredients and create something special and complex which everyone will enjoy. And their brews are truly unique with Latin infused flavors such as piloncillo cane sugar, ancho chili, hoja santé, dulce de leche and many other uniquely Latin flavors.
What to drink: Try their take on classic golden beer – 5 Rabbit Golden Ale – you won’t regret it.
2. Amplified Aleworks – San Diego, California
San Diego is packed with microbreweries but Amplified Aleworks stands out for more than one reason.
What began as a casual fast food restaurant called California Kebab & Beer Garden expanded into a restaurant/microbrewery with a focus on creating great craft beers, serving some delicious food and creating magic for people to mingle, drink, eat and have a great time.
The owners are truly passionate about what they do, and they try to make every beer count. They specialize in West Coast style ales, seasonable ales, and if you’re the adventurous type, they always have an experimental batch with crazy new variations across all styles.
What to drink: Pig Nose Pale Ale is the pick of the staff and it’s our pick too!
Bonus: They have a gluten-reduced beer so all of you who are gluten sensitive can also enjoy their beers.
3. Bridgeport Brewery – Portland, Oregon
Portland is turning into a real land of opportunity for fast food vendors and microbrewers. It boasts on more than 70 brewpubs and microbreweries, while craft beer makes up 45% of all the beer drunk in Portland!
Bridgeport Brewery was one of the pioneers who have started it all (founded in 1984), and they have the tradition and the beer selection to be number 3 on our list. Currently, with more than 100,000 barrels produced per year they can’t really be considered a microbrewery, but they sure do make some great-tasting beer.
What to drink: If you ever decide to pop up at Bridgeport’s bustling brewpub in the Pearl district be sure to try the Smooth Ryed Ale – they say it’s a beer with a lot of character and a distinct taste, so savor every sip.
4. Russian River Brewing Co. – Santa Rosa, California
In the sleepy town of Santa Rosa there is something brewing, it is not a witch’s potion it is a beer worth pursuing!usa
February every year these guys release their triple IPA, Pliny The Younger, and when they do every hotel in the county is fully booked, and lines of people wait just to get their shot of deliciousness. And we’re not joking, this is every beer-lovers yearly pilgrimage.
The owners Vinnie Cilurzo and his wife Natalie boldly went into the brewing business and they have made a name for themselves. The brewery focuses on “traditional aggressively hopped California style ales, barrel aged beers, and Belgian inspired ales”.
What to drink: If you can’t make it to the release of the Pliny The Younger, have a Blind Pig IPA, it’s just as good and it’s an all-year round beer.
5. Boston Beer Company – Boston, Massachusetts
Number one on our list and another pioneer of craft beers, the Boston Beer Company, was founded in 1984 and their flagship beer Samuel Adams Boston Lager is one of the best beers out there – simple, yet elegant, with a taste that will delight every beer lovers taste buds.
Jim Koch left his corporate job in 1984, went through his old family beer archives that were lying around in the attic, found the old family recipe and decided to make Bostonians happy for the rest of their lives. And bless him for that.
It all sounds easy enough, but here’s the hard part – Jim had to convince farmers to start cultivating the Hallertau Mittelfrueh Noble hops which are extremely fragile and were close to being extinct. Without the hop, the recipe was worthless. Lucky for us, Jim succeeded and today we can all enjoy his great quality beer.
What to drink: Besides the Samuel Adams Boston Lager why not try the seasonal Samuel Adams Pumpkin Batch.