It wasn’t long ago that the beer scene in Columbus was dominated by the local Anheuser-Busch brewery on the north side of the city. But while only two craft breweries in the city date back more than 20 years, Columbus is at the heart of the state’s current craft beer boom.
Slowly, but very surely, Akron is coming into its own as a beer town, with more establishments offering craft beers and Akron’s own breweries starting to emerge. It’s also worth noting—with appropriate irony—that Akron is the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Over the past year, tens of thousands of BeerAdvocate.com members have been casting opinions on spending their hard-earned cash on their favorite (and not so favorite) beers, breweries and places to grab a brew. We bring you our annual “Best of BeerAdvocate”—the magazine edition.
Houston’s thirsty guests will find a thriving beer scene with multiple breweries, each with a distinct personality and guest experience. Five new breweries opened up over a three-month period in summer 2016 alone.
Brewers guilds must educate, protect and promote. It’s taken the craft brewing industry some 35 years to be able to produce 12 percent of the beer bought in America. No one accomplished that feat alone. There is strength in numbers.
Milwaukee owes its brewing heritage to beer barons like Miller, Pabst and Schlitz. And while Miller is still extremely popular, the big beers that were once working-class favorites have given way to a vibrant craft beer scene.
Alpine Beer Company looks like you might imagine a small brewery in a small mountain town might look. The location is unassuming, snuggled in tight next to a quaint bookstore. The scenery is Southern California in all its glory. This was a dream location when McIlhenny opened it in 2002.
This year, nanobreweries proved they’re here to stay, while “gypsy” brewers continued to produce some of the best beer in the market. New breweries capitalized on the session beer movement. And in a saturated market, some plucky startups opened on the strength of a niche concept, like Bière de Champagne.
The Portsmouth Brewery and it sister brewery Smuttynose just a few miles away already made Portsmouth, N.H. a craft beer destination, but the scene has improved even more in the past few years. More adventurous tap lists also lie just across the river in Kittery, Maine.
Visitors find a walkable college town with crisp, fresh air and a vibe that’s simultaneously urbane and outdoorsy—more hippie than yuppie. So it’s no surprise that Flagstaff is a big beer town, with a scene that’s still on the rise.
As brewers at the GABF continue to experiment and push the definitions of beer and the boundaries of the drinking public, it’ll be interesting to see what results in the tug of war between the American and British brewing models in another 25 years.
A couple decades of explosive expansion have left a tall, gleaming downtown, a few up-and-coming post-industrial warehouse districts, booming suburbs and a cultural infrastructure still growing into all that growth. Hence, most of the excellent local taps you’ll find in town come from out of town. That’s changing.
Crisp, divinely flavored with coriander and orange peels, spicy and fruity. Typically made with unmalted wheat and perhaps oats, it is left unfiltered to produce a hazy, pale color with a billowing white cloud of foam.
This place is a steaming melting pot of Spanish, French, African and Caribbean influences, a magnet for artists, musicians, misfits and criminals, a charmingly seedy town united by its distaste for authority and its mighty thirst.
The end of cardboard beer coasters?; Atlantic Brewing acquires Bar Harbor Brewing; Kirin seeks to acquire Lion Nathan’s; Maine’s changing growler laws; A beery economic stimulus; Dogfish Head begins expansion process; and Red Stripe to can.
Chefs around the world are taking the concept of pairing the two a step further by treating beer as a core ingredient when cooking. The result is a growing culinary passion for cuisine that offers layers of depth that only beer can bring to the table.
Whether you’re a first-time brewer or a pro honing your chops, there’s always more to learn. Here’s how to go from the back of the bar to the head of the class, from a round-up of top brewing schools, to books for learning more about beer and some tips for becoming a better beer advocate.