PASTE: The 50 Best American Breweries of the 2010s

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by M-Fox24, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. M-Fox24

    M-Fox24 Savant (976) Mar 17, 2013 New Jersey

    50. Ballast Point Brewing Co. (Constellation Brands)
    49. Rhinegeist Brewery
    48. Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
    47. Deschutes Brewery
    46. SweetWater Brewing Co.
    45. Great Notion Brewing Co.
    44. Funky Buddha Brewery (Constellation Brands)
    43. Tired Hands Brewing Co.
    42. Wicked Weed (AB-InBev)
    41. Founders Brewing Co. (Mahou San Miguel)
    40. Jack’s Abby
    39. Westbrook Brewing Co.
    38. Bell’s Brewery
    37. Dogfish Head (Boston Beer Co.)
    36. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
    35. WeldWerks Brewing Co.
    34. Revolution Brewing Co.
    33. Other Half Brewing Co.
    32. pFriem Family Brewers
    31. Live Oak Brewing Co.
    30. Perennial Artisan Ales
    29. Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
    28. Oskar Blues Brewery (CANarchy)
    27. Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.
    26. Modern Times Beer
    25. The Bruery
    24. Grimm Artisanal Ales
    23. Burial Beer Co.
    22. de Garde Brewing
    21. 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
    20. Cigar City Brewing Co. (CANarchy)
    19. Breakside Brewery
    18. Half Acre Beer Co.
    17. Prairie Artisan Ales
    16. Triple Crossing Beer
    15. Trillium Brewing Co.
    14. Russian River Brewing Co.
    13. Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.
    12. The Rare Barrel
    11. Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
    10. The Alchemist
    9. Hill Farmstead Brewery
    8. Maine Beer Co.
    7. Side Project Brewing
    6. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
    5. Jester King
    4. Allagash Brewing Co.
    3. Fremont Brewing
    2. Tree House Brewing Co.
    1. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (Duvel Moortgat)

    Criteria Used:
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  2. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (852) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    In what world does Grimm outrank OH, especially given the fact that although neither have been going a full decade, Grimm have only had a dedicated brewery for a little over a year.

    More importantly why is HF not number one?

    But to be fair though, there are a lot of hitters on this list
    #2 rozzom, Nov 12, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  3. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (214) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Fascinating list, clearly meant to spur conversation (and yes outrage) on sites just like this. Jack Abbey and Founders are brutally low for their impacts, but other than that I can see how they took a holistic approach. I've become a fan of Paste Magazine due to all their beer lists, they seem to do a pretty great job especially on their blind tastes. Hoping they do a top 50 beers of the decade, for that I feel will be much more contentious.
  4. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,627) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    It's a list that has some good breweries on it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  5. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (332) Apr 2, 2011 Maine

    Yeah having HF at 9 was a bit of a head scratcher, and having SARA at 36 with Rare Barrel at 12 is borderline criminal--those should be flipped. But interesting list overall.
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  6. errantnight

    errantnight Meyvn (1,214) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia
    Society Trader

    Possible reasons:
    OH is inconsistent.
    OH concentrates on a narrower range of styles.
    They're not knocking Grimm for having been an itinerant brewery, just the quality of the beer.
    Grimm is better, overall.

    This would track with my personal experience and my buddies in NYC who are into such things. None of this is a knock on Grimm and I realize simply by virtue of OH being a hype brewery this qualifies as a Hot Take, but would align.

    But I suspect it's simpler than that. From The Article:

    "we’ve sampled comparatively fewer of Other Half’s beers than most of the other breweries on this list"


    "Few breweries ever went on such a pronounced hot streak in Paste blind tastings as Grimm, which once landed three different IPAs within the top 26 of a blind tasting of 247...
    So too have they taken home multiple GABF medals for their Double Negative imperial stout,"

    So they think they brew better hazy beer than OH and better other beers, generally, and they put that all in the article, and gave some solid reasoning behind it.

    Not exactly a mystery for the ages.
  7. errantnight

    errantnight Meyvn (1,214) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia
    Society Trader

    re: HF

    "We’ve still never had a chance to taste quite as many of them as we’d like, but we’ve had enough to possess a deep respect for everything Hill Farmstead has done to elevate the genre."
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  8. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (852) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    Wasn’t being deadly serious - was more just taking the opportunity to be the first to rant at the latest Paste list

    my serious take on OH vs Grimm is that I can totally appreciate why people would prefer Grimm, but a significant part of the criteria seems to be the extent to which a brewery has influenced their local beer community and the broader craft sphere, and had an influence on styles.

    living in NYC it would take a pretty compelling argument to change my mind that OH tops Grimm in that regard - OH appear to me to be significantly more ingrained in the local beer culture and general improvement in the (previously very lacking) local beer scene.
    #8 rozzom, Nov 12, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  9. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (523) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Grimm's place on this list is insane. I'll be honest, I've never even heard of Austin Beer Garden and I'm a big pilsner drinker. But Maine Beer, which has very limited range stylistically and was passed by Bissell Bros as the "it" brewery in Maine several years ago, being ahead of Hill Farmstead is criminal.

    And Oscar Blues is only on this list because they were earlier than most to start canning, right?
  10. errantnight

    errantnight Meyvn (1,214) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia
    Society Trader

    Paste agrees with you. Again, from the article:

    "Today, they are rightly considered one of the East Coast’s finest producers of hazy IPA, with a singular focus on the style that is perhaps slightly limiting, but common in this day and age. There’s no denying that they make immaculate hazies, if that’s what you’re in the market for, but the brewery’s greatest accomplishment is likely the way it pushed so many of the other NYC brewers to up their games in the process."
  11. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (852) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    I take it back then

    flawless list Paste team. keep up the good work
  12. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Crusader (708) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    I would rank Grimm's hoppy beers over OHs, but just personal preference. I think the rating nod in the article was because of Grimm's success in diverse styles- hoppy, sour, and stout.
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  13. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (332) Apr 2, 2011 Maine

    Ranking better breweries lower than worse breweries just because you don’t have as much access to the better breweries seems like an odd approach. Maybe try getting raters with broader tasting experiences rather than artificially bumping worse breweries up in the rankings.
  14. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,119) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Tackling the top 50 breweries was probably hard enough given the 7000ish breweries in the country.

    I feel like a top 50 beers of the decade list would be impossible. They already ran into issues with this list not having enough beers from a brewery, and having to rank it lower (Hill Farmstead).

    They're the "other" lager brewery in Austin that's not Live Oak. I found out about them after I left Texas. I was pissed because I've heard they're just as good, if not better than Live Oak.

    I recall that their Pils is at least better than Live Oak's. Probably not the Hefeweizen though.

    @JackHorzempa and @hopfenunmaltz have been to Austin a few times before I think. Maybe they can chime in.

    If I had to guess it's simply because they've had a bunch of beers from Maine Beer Co. And because MBC's beers rate highly in their blind tastings.

    I'm not sure I've ever seen a Bissell beer on their lists (not because they're not good, they just didn't acquire them), and as has already been stated, they haven't had too much from Hill Farmstead either.

    But Bissell should absolutely be ahead of MBC on this list. Their IPAs are better, and they do a wider range of styles now. Their Helles is actually really good. I don't think MBC even makes a lager.

    And Bissell alone arguably made Portland a beer destination and sparked a surge in breweries in that area.

    Perhaps the other factor is that MBC has been around since 2009, and Bissell since 2013. But the fact that MBC's prices are as high as they are and they STILL don't can in 2019 (not only that, they're still selling 16.9 oz. single bottles), should be enough to push them down the list.

    At least they got Allagash right on this list.
  15. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (852) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    yeah Allagash @ 4 was their most solid decision
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  16. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,356) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

  17. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (214) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I think the internet would be mature enough to understand they can't try every single beer....... LMAO JUST KIDDING PEOPLE WOULD FREAK!
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  18. joerooster

    joerooster Initiate (46) May 15, 2018 Virginia

    Kind of surprised but good to see Triple Crossing is on the list, they seem much smaller and less known than most/all the others.
  19. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,356) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    "Importance" was one of their criteria, and out of the 80+ breweries listed and given honorable mention, they failed to include what is easily one of the most important breweries of the decade: Goose Island.

    Certainly even Paste considers them important since they mentioned them at least four times in the article. :slight_smile:

    But wait, here's a quote from a different Paste article:

  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,251) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I have had the pleasure of drinking beers from the majority of the breweries on that list. All of the beers from those breweries have been quality beers.

    Another good list from Paste Magazine in my opinion.

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  21. errantnight

    errantnight Meyvn (1,214) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia
    Society Trader

    I mean, fair, but the number of people with broader tasting experiences that don’t also largely conform to groupthink is small enough that you could get the same result by doing a simple survey of conventional wisdom.
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,251) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I have read a number of posts by Jeff (@hopfenunmaltz) where he has discussed how he enjoys the beers of Austin Beer Garden.

    I used to travel to Austin (5+ years ago) to visit family and during those visits I was unaware of Austin Beer Garden (but I did indeed enjoy the beers of Live Oak). Over the past 5-ish years my family members moved to New Braunfels (outside of San Antonio) and I have never seen Austin Beer Garden beers during those visits. I am guessing they have a limited distribution area?


    Edit: The craft beer scene of Texas (Hill Country) is continually expanding. During my recent visit I enjoyed drinking a Kolsch from Aldstadt Brewing while eating lunch in Fredericksburg. Aldstadt is a new brewery (opened 2018) and it looks quite impressive from the road (unfortunately I did not have the time to visit).
    #22 JackHorzempa, Nov 12, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  23. PatKorn

    PatKorn Initiate (141) Aug 30, 2007 Texas

    ABGB is legit. If they were in an area that was known to be more beercentric they would get way more attention on this site. Pretty sure they do not distribute but I may be wrong.

    The Hill Country is killing it with breweries. Alstadt, Family Business, Jester King, Roughhouse, Acopon, Last Chance and the under appreciated Real Ale all within an hours drive from each other.
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  24. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,356) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Following up:
    I'm sure some are thinking that "importance" doesn't equal "best," but since Paste is heavily using the results of their blind tastings to determine this, surely they'd recall Goose Island was #5 in their 2017 barrel aged stout list with the following description:

    It seems to me like being "among the very best" over the stretch of many years is exactly what this list was aiming for.
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,251) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Needless to say but I agree with you here. On my recent visit I had the chance to drink a beer from a new brewery (well, new to me) of Pinthouse Pizza Electric Jellyfish which is a 'NEIPA'. That beer was of high quality and now Pinthouse Pizza beers are 'on my radar'.

    My understanding is that this beer was brewed in Austin.

    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  26. oldmankoch

    oldmankoch Disciple (321) Jan 1, 2014 Tennessee

    I'm taking a shot in the dark that the author is from the greater ATX area? To have both ABGB and Jester King so highly rated reeks of recency/local bias.
    tobelerone likes this.
  27. M-Fox24

    M-Fox24 Savant (976) Mar 17, 2013 New Jersey

  28. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Crusader (708) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    LMAO, this pretty much sums it up for me. I had no idea I'd ever been to Austin Beer Garden, that shows you how much cred it had for me, but when I went to their site I remember going there two years ago with some Austin friends (memorable for the friends apparently not for the beer or name). And best beer I had in Texas was Electric Jellyfish at a bar in Austin.
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  29. NWer

    NWer Crusader (784) Mar 10, 2009 Washington

    All I know is Fremont Brewing is my hometown brewery and I'm happy. Seattle breweries usually fly under the radar so I'm surprised they are rated as high as they are even though they deserve it.
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  30. Junior

    Junior Defender (634) May 23, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Hard for me to judge the list too much I’ve only had 6 of the top 25 and 17 total from the list (29 if you count the honorable mention). I would guess that there is an error margin of about 12.5.
  31. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,597) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    As a huge Pilsner fan as well and as someone who has been to Austin Beer Garden, that placing surprised me as well. Liked them but never looked at them at that level, personally.
    dukeandduke likes this.
  32. PatKorn

    PatKorn Initiate (141) Aug 30, 2007 Texas

    This is false. Believe the writer is from Florida and Paste is based in Atlanta. Maybe read the content to see why they have them on this list. It is only one list from one publication and as they say in their preamble the list is just their opinion based on their tasting the beers and at times visiting the breweries. Cheers.
  33. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,631) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

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  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,251) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I have never had the pleasure of drinking Austin Beer Works beers but I took note from the article:

    “From 2016-2018, in a three-year span, ABGB won gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival in no fewer than four categories. Those categories were as follows: German Pilsner, Czech Pilsner, American-Style Pilsner, and Munich Helles.

    You shouldn’t need to know anything more than that to realize that you are dealing with a brewery whose grasp over German lager-making is on an entirely different level. To achieve one gold medal in a classic style like German pilsner is an achievement that most brewers strive for over the course of their entire careers. Brian “Swifty” Peters and Amos Lowe of ABGB made the best pilsner across three different pilsner substyles, plus a bonus gold in helles, and did it in only three years of entering the competition. What more could you possibly even achieve?”

    So, the appreciation of the beers of Austin Beer Works is not just a Paste Magazine thing.


    P.S. And yes the beers at GABF are judged blind as well.
  35. NativeCObuyer76

    NativeCObuyer76 Initiate (0) Sep 13, 2019

    Weldwerks would be cool if you could find them ANYWHERE in Colorado. deuces. (same with like half of the breweries on this list, looks like I gotta move to Vermont.)
    dukeandduke likes this.
  36. TheInsomniac

    TheInsomniac Aspirant (268) Jan 11, 2015 New Mexico

    Absolutely. It's not a valid list without them on it, regardless of how you feel about the changes in their ownership.

    With much less of an impact, but easily makes a best list for me, is Jolly Pumpkin. When it comes to sours I always have them in the conversation with breweries like Jester King. And given that JP was founded in 2004, and JK not until 2010, the math tells you which had a bigger influence on where beer has gone.
  37. DrederickTatum

    DrederickTatum Initiate (194) Dec 13, 2016 New Jersey

    It’s Paste. Probably should just be glad half the list isn’t obscure Atlanta area breweries that few outside the state have ever heard of.
  38. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,473) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I enjoy ABGB and Live Oak. We get an AirB&B about a half mile from ABGB, so we can imbibe more there.

    ABGB was the GABF large brewpub 3 years running for a reason.
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  39. itracy63

    itracy63 Devotee (407) Apr 20, 2013 Washington

    Anchorage Brewing didn’t even get an honorable mention?
  40. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Zealot (554) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    Yeah my peak with them was pretty early in the 2010s with the availability of a very good stout in Ten Fidy, and for a solid couple years during the high IBU movement I scooped up G'Knight whenever it was fresh on the shelves. I haven't really sought them out in awhile and to compare them to similar-reaching national brands, to be ahead of Dogfish, Bell's and Founders is crazy to me.
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