Headquarters: Escondido, Calif.
Our Favorite Beers: Ruination, Vertical Epic ales
We’d be tired of Stone’s “our beer’s too good for you” marketing if they didn’t back it up with big taste. They do this mostly with huge hops, like the almost ridiculous Ruination double IPA.
Headquarters: Dexter, Mich.
Our Favorite Beers: Noel De Calabaza, Bam Noire
One of the younger and smaller breweries on this list, Jolly Pumpkin ages all their beers in wine barrels to lovely effect and know their way around farmhouse ales and winter brews as well as any American brewer. And they’ve set the standard in America for Bière de Garde, a French farmhouse style ale.
Headquarters: Fort Collins, Colo.
Our Favorite Beer: 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
One of the most environmentally friendly breweries, New Belgium was founded after Jeff Lebesch’s bicycling tour of Europe, and uses wind to power its brewery. Bicycling remains a huge part of their culture, both in their logo and events. Leesch retired and 2001, and his wife Kim Jordan keeps adding to a line-up goes well beyond Fat Tire, with the Lips of Faith series and a trio of collaborations with Elysian Brewing Company.
Headquarters: New Glarus, Wisc.
Our Favorite Beer: Raspberry Tart
In 1993, Deborah Carey became one of the first American women to start her own brewery when she lauched it with her brewmaster and husband Dan. Their Raspberry Tart is reason enough to visit the state of Wisconsin, the only place where the beer is readily available.
Headquarters: Lyons, Colo.
Our Favorite Beer: Gordon aged in Stranahans Whiskey Barrels
Since the craft-brew renaissance began in the 1980s, the idea of beer in a can was like wine in a box—something for the masses. But Oskar Blues changed that by demolishing the myth that cans affected the taste. It was just that no one had ever tried putting good beer in a can. Plus, the brewery had the good sense to slap our Paste logo on a few million of those cans of Dale’s Pale Ale to promote the Dale’s Downlow’d Club, where you can go grab a bunch of free music. Seriously, go download some free music. We’ll still be here when you get back.