Coming together over craft beer.
You can’t have a love of beer and not develop an affinity for certain breweries. Sometimes it is purely because they brew a great line-up, sometimes it is their brand, story or marketing, and sometimes it is just some experience that makes you look fondly upon that particular company’s beer.
This is my top five breweries, or as I call it my ‘brewery crushes’ as of right now. I change this page as the list changes.
Southern Tier Brewing Co, Lakewood, NY: What hooked me on this brewery is their pumpkin beer, Pumking. It is insanely good, and lest I think I am crazy, I have never mentioned this beer to someone who has had it with out their reaction being the same as mine. Since then I have tried many of their offerings, including unique ones like Plum Noir and Creme Brule, and while I of course like some more than others, I have never been disappointed. Website: http://www.stbcbeer.com/
Yards Brewing, Philadelphia, PA: I went on a tour here a little over a year ago and had a great time, which cemented the brand in my brain, but not on this list. It wasn’t until later that I had a few Brawlers at a friends house and realized how good it was. There pale ale is excellent, and their Love Stout is one of my favorites. Website: http://www.yardsbrewing.com/
Terrapin Beer Co., Athens, GA: Along with Southern Tier, this brewery also has a beer on my top all time list, and it is their Oaked Big Hoppy Monster. Also, their Rye Pale all is hands down a favorite easy drinker for me. More than that, they have a cool brand and neat story, and an excellent social media campaign. I remember tweeting to them after trying the excellent 2012 ‘So Fresh, So Green’ asking what types of hops they used, and getting a response back before I was finished the pint (A: 100% Citra hops). Website: http://terrapinbeer.com/
Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI: This is the biggest brewery on my list by far, but they manage to remain unique and interesting enough to keep me really interested. And the quality is superb, but not just in the usual styles. They make one of the best wee heavy’s around with their Dirty Bastard and their session IPA, All Day IPA, is welcomed break from the ‘bigger the better’ west coast mentality. Website: http://foundersbrewing.com/
Carton Brewing Co., Atlantic Highlands, NJ: First of all, they gain points from being from Jersey. Second, I have been there and the place, for a truly small set-up, is amazing. Finally, their offerings are almost all ‘off-style’ and truly unique. Even their flagship, Boat Beer, has a very unique hop character that creates the impression the beer was infused with grapefruit juice. Website: http://cartonbrewing.com/
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