Since the dawn of craft beer, bars have played a pivotal role in the boom of American brewing. Nowhere is this more true than at the more specialized spots: the beer bars, as we know them, with their thoughtful selections across tap lines and bottle lists, and their dedication to service, atmosphere, and education. The best ones are learning institutions —places of discovery and retention, from the emerging trends to the established tastes. Quite simply, they treat beer serious AF. They espouse the industry’s creativity and flavor-first focus to their thirsty disciples, spreading the gospel of great liquid and the passionate people behind it. And, like the breweries they champion, many are must-visit destinations for beer diehards.
So, as the year comes to a close, we surveyed these informed professionals about the beer producers hitting right right now. We assembled a similar list at the end of 2022, but these past 12 months have been nothing if not a sobering time for craft brewers. Sales have slowed. Competition has increased, especially in the broader alcohol market. The cost of all inputs has gone up and stayed up. Lately, brewery closures seem to occur on the daily, no size or stature spared. There’s a palpable sense of uneasiness and worry about what else is to come.
Yet, at the same time, nearly 10,000 breweries are currently operating in the U.S. — an all-time high. Great beer is being made everywhere now, from rural pockets to large metropolises, and it’s easier than ever to access (even at gas stations, as you’ll read below).
So, what breweries are defining the moment, however uncertain that moment may be? We consulted publicans, beverage directors, and buyers from some of the country’s top beer pubs. Their answers, gathered below, showcase both new and well-established names and, within this group, present a wide range of focuses and specialities.
North Park Beer Company
San Diego, Calif.
“When North Park Beer Company was recognized as Brewery of the Year for its size category at last year’s Great American Beer Festival, it merely confirmed to the outside world what locals had grasped long beforehand. Set in the eponymous neighborhood — a hub of craft-beer culture in San Diego and home to a dozen fully fledged production facilities or satellite taprooms — founder Kelsey McNair’s brainchild brewery makes flawless IPAs of all stripes, as well as delightfully clean lagers and decadent barrel-aged imperial stouts. A willingness to tinker with recipes (beloved flagship Hop-Fu! has seen dozens of iterations) and embrace new-wave hop additions has ensured ongoing relevance and innovation in the crowded IPA landscape. The brewing trio of Tyson Dennis, John Peacock, and Zachary Donald are not only supremely talented in their art, but also our friends and neighbors, while the taproom staff consistently displays the highest forms of professionalism and hospitality. It’s a daily solace to gaze out the window of Bottlecraft North Park at the brewhouse across the street and know that a place of respite and camaraderie lies just steps away.” —Gene Fielden, beer buyer, Bottlecraft, San Diego
“The beer scene in the Tampa Bay area has never been more dynamic and entertaining to be a part of than it is right now, and we are incredibly fortunate to have access to so many breweries that are able to pump out beers so hyped they create a gravitational pull to our taps and coolers. But the one brewery that makes us want to write poems while we braid its hair, the razzle with the most dazzle, is the all-hits-and-no-misses Arkane Aleworks out of Largo. Owners and longtime friends of ours Joe Scheibelhut and Dan Graston carefully infuse every single beer they brew with, in their own words, ‘science and stuff,’ and these dudes absolutely f*cking nail it with every style they make, whether it’s iconic and classic or iconoclastic. Arkane is probably best known for their sours and we’ve made three with them, the most popular of these collaborations being the Biggie Smalls-inspired Enough to Feed the Needy, made with peanut butter and jelly to make all your dreams come true. Yet one of my favorites is their Largo Gold, a California Common that’s easy like Sunday morning. Founded in 2016 and on our shelves since the day we opened in 2017, Arkane is doing it right, and we’re looking forward to fawning over their beers for many more years.” —Amanda King, co-owner, Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Masthead Brewing Company
“Masthead’s core lineup is fantastic, a personal favorite being their West Coast-style IPA, simply called IPA. But they also make phenomenal lagers, stouts, and barrel-aged beers. From the light and crushies to the decadent dessert beers, they really don’t make a beer I haven’t loved. We always keep at least a few in stock, including limited-release and rotating seasonals.” —Sara Levin, co-owner, The Barrel House, Dayton, Ohio
“We just had OEC’s Oktoberfest on, but my current favorite beer is its Coolship Lager. It’s cooled in a coolship and then open fermented. Very rustic and reminiscent of the beers I had in small breweries in Czechia. OEC also produces some clean beers in foeders, and they helped inspire us to convert our foeder from mixed-culture use to clean lagers and some British-style ales on our brewery side.“ —Brent Hernandez, owner and brewer, Redlight Redlight, Orlando, Fla.
“Common sense suggests that hazy IPAs and fruited sours will usually be the most popular beers on a tap list. But one of our early surprises here at The Daily was a realization that our lighter offerings — lagers, kölsch, and low-ABV saisons — actually move very quickly. As a pilsner evangelist, I’m thrilled that we get to keep a steady supply of excellent lagers on tap. And I’m doubly thrilled that Halfway Crooks is regularly distributed to North Carolina. I’ve been familiar with Halfway Crooks for several years, having initially been won over by their excellent branding and design. But the skill and craft of founders Joran Van Ginderachter and Shawn Bainbridge keep me coming back for more. They quickly became one of the country’s best lager breweries but they also happen to release a variety of incredible traditional European beers like Belgian IPAs, mixed-fermentation farmhouse ales, and more. It’s this combination of breadth and depth that confirms Halfway Crooks as one of the country’s best craft breweries. Basically, if there’s a Halfway Crooks keg on the distro sheet, I’m buying it.” —John Paradiso, owner, The Daily Beer Bar, Durham, N.C.
Schilling Beer Co.
“Schilling, out of Littleton, N.H. — the quintessential ‘cute little New England town,’ as I like to call it — makes some excellent Northern and Central European-style beers, including some of the best lagers in the entire country. At the beginning of 2023, we hosted a beer dinner featuring the brewery, and we learned that when they opened in 2013, they were told that they would never make it because they didn’t place a heavier focus on IPAs (they didn’t even have any). Now I do enjoy IPAs, but I’ve seen many breweries cave in to market pressures wherein they open their doors with a plan to focus on more traditional European styles, only to find that their tap list gradually evolves into a hop lover’s paradise. Ten years later, Schilling is still putting out the same traditional world-class beers while sticking to their guns. My personal favorites from them include the Czech-style pilsner Alexandr and the Belgian tripel Erastus. As a beer buyer for a bar that focuses on food, beer, and other drinks with an international focus, I know that I can always find an excellent option from Schilling’s portfolio.” —Rich Spoehr, manager, Burgundian, Attleboro, Mass.
Ghost Town Brewing
“So, with the caveat that we work alongside some world-class breweries without which we’d be nothing, and that at various points of our 16-year history we’d answer this question with any number of them, including Moonlight, Russian River, and Cellarmaker, I’d have to say that the last couple of years we’ve increasingly been incredibly impressed by Ghost Town in Oakland. First it was their IPAs. We always have several on tap, rotating frequently, and the staff will unofficially decide what beer wins the week, and Ghost Town slowly moved up the ranks on that front with offerings like Monkey’s Paw and Wraith. Then we started using their lagers, especially West Coast pilsners, in our rotation, which are top notch and raised eyebrows. And more recently, we sampled their sour lineup, including the dark-smoked Tomb Spawn, which blew the staff away and are featured more frequently in our rotation as a result. We love a brewery that can hit on all points (and there are many), and Ghost Town has solidified its place on that list.” —Christian Albertson, owner, The Monk’s Kettle, San Francisco
Birmingham District Brewing Co.
“To say you won’t find a bad beer at the small but much beloved Birmingham District is an understatement. Brewmaster Jimmy Sumpter has developed an impressive variety of styles that he brews deftly, from excellently balanced fruited sour ales, to the best cold IPAs around. Production remains small, as the brewery rests in a relatively tiny footprint behind arguably the best fried chicken shop in town. But the word is definitely out among locals. Do not miss the Birmingham Pilsner. It is crisp, clean, and hits a really great balance of German and American takes on the classic style.” —Jake Herron, package beer manager, Hop City Beer & Wine, Birmingham, Ala.
Light the Lamp Brewery
“The sign of an excellent brewery, to me, is the ability to innovate and thrive in a variety of styles. Light the Lamp and head brewer Dan Ray are able to do this with hoppy, dark, sour, and light brews. Their Idiot Sandwich IPA uses dip-hopping to marry hazy and West Coast proclivities in a remarkably drinkable and flavorful brew. Bad Finale, meanwhile, is a lovely throwback: a hoppy, roasty American stout that doesn’t need to lean on adjuncts or barrel aging; it’s a marriage of malt and bitterness that exists perfectly on its own. Chicagoland has no shortage of excellent brewery options, and we believe that Light the Lamp is one of those diamonds in the suburbs that deserves a bit more attention.” —Austin Harvey, co-owner and buyer, Beermiscuous, Chicago
Suarez Family Brewery
“For many reasons, Suarez Family Brewery will forever be a favorite of ours here at the bar. Lately, what really has us excited is their attention to English-style beers. Proper cask-conditioned old ale served on a beer engine with a sparkler attachment is just the kind of experience that got Lauren [Slezak, co-owner] and I excited about beer in the first place.” —Colin Pratt, co-owner, Delaware Supply, Albany, N.Y.
Good Word Brewing & Public House
“There are so many great breweries it’s hard to choose just one. One of my favorite events that our brewery, Salud Cerveceria, gets to pour at every year is Little Beer Fest in downtown Duluth, put on by Todd DiMatteo and the team at Good Word Brewing & Public House. Whenever their beers come to our market we love to feature them as Todd brews a wide range of beers including classic English styles along with an amazing cask program. These are the types of people and breweries we love to feature at the Salud Beer Shop downstairs from our brewery, putting out the product they love to drink and not just brewing whatever is the hottest trend. If you brew what you love to drink, I truly believe that comes through in the product. Whenever you are in or near Atlanta, stop at Good Word. You won’t be disappointed.“ —Jason Glunt, owner, Salud Beer Shop, Charlotte, N.C.
Offset Bier Co
Park City, Utah
“As a beer-bar owner whose menu features well over 400 beers from 21 different countries, I am asked what my favorite beer is quite regularly. It’s easy to fall into the trap of recency bias and replying that a new arrival is my latest favorite. But when I stop to think, it’s those beers I order when I can’t decide, the beer that brings comfort and consistent enjoyment without fail, that are my actual favorites. For the last few years these beers that I go to regularly have all come from Offset Bier in Park City. While Offset makes some absolutely amazing IPAs, it’s their beer-flavored beer that really warms my soul. Founded by Conor Brown and Patrick Bourque back in 2021 and hidden away in an industrial park area, Offset never ceases to impress. Both founders were avid homebrewers and Patrick actually worked at our sister homebrew shop, the Beer Nut, for many years before and while being a professional brewer at different breweries in Salt Lake City. Their passion combined with incredible skill and focus has blessed us with amazing beers like the North American Brewers Association gold-medal-winner Altbier and silver-medal-winning dark lager Tmavé Pivo. It’s these two beers that I find myself drinking more than any other on our menu and that’s saying something as a self-proclaimed Belgian beer nerd.” —Mark Alston, owner, The Bayou, Salt Lake City
Jackie O’s Brewery
“One brewery immediately comes to mind: Jackie O’s. This is a brewery that refuses to cut corners and produces world-class beer in a wide variety of styles. From monster barleywines like BBA Brick Kiln to crispy lagers like Uptown Pils, they knock everything out of the park. When Jackie O’s entered the West Virginia market shortly before Summit’s ninth anniversary, I immediately made up my mind that we would feature them for our anniversary celebration. I reached out to their director of sales, Kevin Coffield, and he agreed without hesitation. Being that they just entered the market, I assumed they would want to focus only on core brands. Nope! In addition to their core brands, they sent us about two dozen different beers, including kegs of Appervation, Prodigality, and their fantastic Italian-style pilsner, Piazza. They’ve had a permanent place on our draft and bottle/can lists ever since. Art Oestrike and his crew at Jackie O’s just do it right. World-class beer from world-class people.” —Jeff McKay, owner, Summit Beer Station, Huntington, W.Va.
Oxbow Brewing Company
“If there’s one brewery we’ve consistently sought to occupy our farmhouse draft line, it’s Oxbow, the small brewery located roughly an hour northeast from Portland. Oxbow’s name is inspired by its nearby winding rivers, with all beer brewed using the soft spring water pulled from an artesian well on the property. The forest and farmlands provide a perfect backdrop for a day at the brewery, but more importantly play a central role in the superb quality of Oxbow’s beer. Terroir is queen, evident in their superb mixed- and spontaneously fermented ales. Many of their barrel-aged farmhouse delights can only be enjoyed in Maine, at one of their two locations. But I highly recommend any sent past state lines: Farmhouse Pale Ale, Crossfade, and Effloresce, to name a few. However, it’s their annual grand cru release, Liquid Swords, that I most look forward to. If you see Liquid Swords on draft at your favorite bar, you’ll certainly be a genius to grab a pour.” —Chris Maestro, owner, BierWax, Brooklyn
Drekker Brewing Company
“I would have to give the nod to Drekker. We haven’t had access to their stuff for terribly long, but in the short time we have they have become all the rage with our patrons. The big, fruity, smoothie sours are a huge hit, to the point that if we post anything about them on our socials, people show up looking for them. The Chonk series, in particular, is the most sought after. If I were to pick one Chonk, which is nearly impossible, I’d maybe go back to the peanut butter and jelly version we had several months ago. Currently, we have the Birthday Cake and Strawberry & White Chocolate versions. We even sing songs with ‘Chonk’ inserted into the lyrics. It’s become a whole thing now!” —Mike Williams, general manager, Craft Brew Underground, Auburn, Maine
IMBĪB Custom Brews
“In the rural state of Nevada we can proudly say some of our favorite beer in the country is brewing and barrel aging right in our own backyard at IMBĪB Custom Brews. It’s pretty incredible the range of different styles they make and execute flawlessly out of their small space. Some of our favorites include any of their Belgian-influenced sours aged in foeders, German lagers, and smoked beers. These really speak to us as our beer list is heavily European-focused. Owners and brewers Matt Johnson and Jason Green are the real deal. They’re down to earth, thoughtful, passionate people, which makes loving the beer an easy choice.” —Rose Signor, owner, The Silver Stamp, Las Vegas
Allagash Brewing Company
“Throughout the 21-year history of The Publick House, we have always admired and respected
the creative talents of Rob Todd and his team at Allagash. Their beers are mainstays in our beer program. Whether enjoying their flagship witbier, Allagash White, or savoring one of their mixed-fermentation or spontaneously fermented beers, you will not be disappointed. Great thought and effort shine through the presentation and tasting notes of their beer. They are always complex yet remain balanced and transformative, and pay homage to their Belgian counterparts perfectly. Allagash continues to grow and pivot its brewing portfolio with the addition of new beer styles often developed from suggestions made by their talented team members. There is a style for every beer drinker and for every season at Allagash. From a wheat beer to a barrel-aged triple to a stout, all are created with great attention to detail and quality. As we approach winter, my chosen beer would be Triple, a Belgian-style golden ale. It has that classic Belgian yeast aroma at first followed by spice notes of clove, pepper, and more subtle notes of caramel, banana, and passion fruit. It’s complex yet smooth and refreshingly dry, a soothing beer for the changing seasons upon us. Not to be left out is the company culture of Allagash, revered by many. Their commitment to supporting the Maine community by brewing primarily with Maine-grown grain and investing in clean water conservation, as well as minimizing their carbon footprint, is admirable. There is a family feel to their brewery and always a knowledgeable and friendly team member to help guide your beer choice. Allagash is made up of an amazing group of creative individuals whose focus is to brew the highest-quality craft beer possible with innovative strategies while remaining true to their vision. It is not difficult to see why Allagash has won so many awards and has accomplished so much.” —Ailish Gilligan, co-owner, The Publick House, Brookline, Mass.
New Heights Brewing Company
“We love local brews at Hops & Crafts, and New Heights is just around the corner from us. We frequently rotate local, high-quality craft beers and New Heights fits the mold perfectly. Primarily specializing in IPAs, New Heights brews our house hazy IPA, Damguday. Owner Jeff Fountain got his start at Mission Brewing in San Diego so his West Coast influence makes his IPAs dry and hoppy. However, you still get the citrusy, floral bits that everybody loves in hazy IPAs. Outside of IPAs, New Heights always has a unique variety ranging from light beers to sours, dark and malty to wild specialties. We usually have a couple New Heights beers at any given time and can’t wait to see what they come out with next!” —Lindsay Hanson, manager, Hops & Crafts, Nashville
“Good beer is pretty ubiquitous these days. To differentiate between the quality of the liquid can at times require more consideration for nuance than a pint should warrant. Deciding if you like a beer shouldn’t require any thought really. You like it or you don’t. Get a second or switch it up. When thinking about our ‘favorite’ current brewery, Cassie Cameron (our beer buyer) and myself immediately zoomed in close to home here in Philly. Provincial pride may have helped narrow our focus but the old cliched story about relationships and knowing who is behind your beer is more impactful today than it’s ever been. Brewery ARS is a brewery here in South Philly whose beer, especially their Wayne’s Pale Ale, could land on the top of any list of favorites, even if liquid was the only determining factor. Add in the fact that ego isn’t an adjunct in their process and that pretension is nowhere to be found in the brewery and you have a special recipe. The brewery is in a real-deal neighborhood and it fits right in. Only good people can make truly good beer. The people at ARS make truly good beer.” —Evan Clancy, co-owner, Fountain Porter, Philadelphia
“Fluvial is one of those breweries that you stumble upon every once in a while and think, ‘Wow, this place gets it.’ They make approachable beers that are consistent from the first sip to the last. They are located in a rural part of Maine that is almost exactly one hour from Portland. Their brewery is welcoming and encompasses all the things I love about a brewery. It is medium-sized, has small snacks including a charcuterie option, and a yurt onsite that you can cozy up in, in the colder months. But what I love most are the owners Shaun and Lisa Graham. They have gone above and beyond to make Fluvial not only a destination brewery due to the beauty of the brewery itself, but a destination brewery for the beers they produce. Fluvial offers a few different styles, but the style that I enjoy the most is their IPAs. In a landscape where every brewery has a flagship IPA or at least one IPA on their menu, Fluvial has been able to not only produce IPAs that stand out, but ones that are truly flavorful and carefully thought out. My favorite IPA of theirs is Tropic Dancer, a hazy IPA that is smooth and sweet and has notes of papaya and mango, truly an easy drinker. Or there is the double IPA Summit Sipper, using a majority of Maine-grown malts and dry hopped with five different varieties. It’s somehow still subtle and smooth and you would never guess it clocked in at 8.3 percent ABV. In an extremely competitive market in Maine, Fluvial has separated themselves by doing what they enjoy, in a community they love, and the passion shows in every facet of their operation. So much so that we run their beer on a consistent line at our Queens Head location and usually have one of their offerings at Kings Head on a weekly basis. I will add as someone who has been doing beer buying for the last three years, and been in the craft beer scene for the last 15, I don’t normally get impressed by a lot of breweries. But Fluvial is one of the exceptions. Truly great people, making great product.” —Michael Black, beer buyer, The King’s Head, Portland, Maine
“Being in the Seattle area we have almost too many breweries to choose from. (Not complaining!) Some of my favorites don’t have much draft availability, though. There are a few I try to always have on draft. Structures is one of them, because owners James Alexander and Bryan Cardwell are wizards with hazy IPAs. We’ve done multiple collabs with them, including Loam Temple, with proceeds going to PNW trail work, and Fresh Wave, highlighting fresh hops.” —Nat Pellman, general manager, Brouwer’s Cafe, Seattle
Jester King Brewery
“In Ghost Whale’s seven-year history, we have stocked a huge range of incredible American breweries. But the availability is inconsistent and once a brand has sold out, we may not see another shipment arrive for six months or more. (An honorable mention goes out to San Francisco’s Laughing Monk, which proudly produces Belgian-influenced beer styles to sit alongside an incredible range of hoppy beers. We love them as a brewery and as people.) However, our pick of the U.S. breweries has to go to the mighty Jester King. Jester King is the only American brewery Ghost Whale has been able to keep constantly in stock since I opened the store. From their astonishing ‘Spon’ range of Lambic-style beers — which are more than good enough to stand toe-to-toe with the best in Belgium — through to their fruited saisons and everything in between, I am constantly in awe of what they produce as are our customers. We always have a range of Jester King bottles in stock and often will have a keg pouring, too. As a final accolade that shouldn’t go unmentioned, any American brewery who is prepared to make a farmhouse version of a classic British mild and call it Commercial Suicide deserves a medal. Long live the King!” —Stuart Anderson, owner, Ghost Whale, London
Bottle Logic Brewing
“I’ve got very little space at the shop, which means I sell through more than half my shelf stock every single week. This requires me to constantly rotate new product and different breweries through my inventory. But, Bottle Logic always finds a spot. They’ve long been recognized as the House of Stouts, but in recent years, they’ve become so much more with their innovation and constant development of other interesting beer styles. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying their barrel-aged, cocktail-inspired Lightning in a Bottle lineup and their Old World-style lagers informed by their research trips to Germany. Bottle Logic has always held an extremely high standard for their beers, and seeing the amount of R&D they put into their craft is astounding. They hold true to their motto of ‘Always Exploring!’” —Shibli Haddad, owner, Replicant: Shell, Pasadena, Calif.
Gezellig Brewing Company
“Gezellig Brewing Company, based in Newton, Iowa, is our current favorite brewery. ‘Gezellig’ is a word that means a cozy feeling in Dutch and boy, are their beers cozy. The brewery is located just 30 minutes from us, which makes it our most local, and their beers hit every single time. Gezellig is 100 percent female-owned, and, double bonus, their head brewer Joe is like a beer wizard and is a longtime award-winning brewer in the Iowa brewing scene. Our current favorite Gezellig beers are Magic Carpet Ride, a dank, citrusy, and fruity double IPA, as well as their flagship beer, Liquid Hug, a lager that is consistently our best seller. Cheers to great Iowa beer!” —Marty Duffy, owner, The Cellar Peanut Pub, Pella and Newton, Iowa
”We adore Hella Coastal not just for their great liquid, but also for their significant role as the only black-owned brewery in Oakland. They are beacons of light for the diversity and inclusion we hope to see continue to grow and expand in beer, especially in the production and ownership space. Chaz Hubbard and Mario Benjamin are truly part of our local community, going from homebrewing and talking about their brewery ambitions sitting at our bar, to having their beer be among our best sellers. They started out collaborating with the likes of Rare Barrel, Henhouse, Humble Sea, and Cellarmaker, and now they’ve moved into their own production, putting out beers like Shock G Forever Golden Ale and Bomba Nights, a coquito-inspired stout. The staff favorite is for sure their Ice City, a take on cold IPA featuring Nectaron, Citra, and Mosaic. Crispy and delicious. They are still relatively small but we are absolutely ecstatic to watch them grow.” —Alyson LesPucci, general manager and beer buyer, Degrees Plato, Oakland, Calif.
Fox Farm Brewery
“Hyperbole or not, there isn’t enough battery life in my laptop to describe how incredible Fox Farm is. Anything they throw in the tanks is absolutely world class. It almost seems like it’s impossible for them to miss on any creation. Regardless of style, any time their beers are available they will end up on our board. Scatter Brown Ale, Annata Farmhouse, and Wile IPA are crowd and staff favorites. But if Gather, a German-style pils, was the only beer I could drink for the rest of my life, I’d die a happy man. Delightful humans and incredible beer. It’s their world, we’re just lucky enough to live in it.” —Lukasz Nowakowski, manager, Blind Tiger Ale House, New York City
Inner Voice Brewing
“Inner Voice Brewing in Decatur has become one of my favorite breweries over their two-plus years of operation. Josh Johnson and Rhett Caseman, the folks behind Inner Voice, have been part of the Georgia beer scene for many years and their brewing and industry acumen shines in everything they do. There’s authenticity in their branding and serious talent behind their beer, no matter the style. They’ve made a name for themselves as a premier IPA brewery in the state, but Power Nap, their Czech-style dark lager, is my favorite of their beers. It’s got an incredible depth of malt complexity for a low-ABV beer and just enough Czech hop flavor and bitterness to balance it out. Their taproom is one of the coolest spaces to drink beer in Atlanta, and it’s made even better with a slice of Glide Pizza from the kitchen inside the taproom. You’ll see these guys at the occasional national beer festival but do yourself a favor and enjoy a pint of their exceptional beer down here in Decatur.” —Neil Callaghan, beer director, Brick Store Pub, Decatur, Ga.
“Austin Jevne and the entire Forager crew are not only some of the best beer makers in the U.S., they are also some of the nicest people. Obviously they are known for massive imperial stouts. But that is not the only style they excel in. Lagers, IPAs, wild ales, and even fruited sours, it’s all awesome. They also seem to be a favorite among all the great guests at Peders, as they of course should be. Not all hop juice, not all BA stouts, not all funky wild ales. Pretty much all of the above.” —Jonas Kobberø, owner, Peders Craft Beer, Copenhagen
Tactical Brewing Co.
“Tactical Brewing from Orlando is really impressing me recently. With all of the beer available these days, I find it difficult to be impressed by the same brewery on a consistent basis. But, Tactical has been doing just that. In my opinion, they aren’t overly hyped, not often talked about. But the beer ends up wowing me, my co-workers, and our guests. We have had a variety of their offerings at 99 Bottles — lagers, hazy IPAs, sours, seasonals — on draft and in cans. Melancholy, a gluten-free watermelon sour ale, has been a fan favorite since it became available; we have had it on draft multiple times. Most recently, Night Shift, a gluten-free caramel apple sour ale, blew my socks off with its amazing flavors and fun light green color. Their label art and beer names are great, too.” —Mark Tuchman, owner, 99 Bottles, Sarasota, Fla.
“One brewery who has become an integral part of our three shops is Stoup. They are one of our favorites because they aren’t hyper niche in the styles of beer they produce. They make something for everyone: a robust porter; a crispy Citra-hopped IPA; a perfectly balanced Northwest red ale; clean, well-made lagers; and hazy, juicy IPAs. You will nearly always find their cans on our shelves, and their drafts pouring at our bars.” —Jordan White, general manager, Chuck’s Hop Shop, Seattle