With the beer scene growing at its current rate, it can be hard to stay up-to-speed on whose wares are worth tasting & who can remain in the middle of the pack. No worries! We’ve compiled a listicle of the top 5 breweries for the serious beer enthusiast to watch.
Pearls Before Swine Artisanal Fermentarium
, Gilead, Maine
Owner/founder/brewcrafter Trent Moyer has made “happy accidents” his raison d’etre at this tiny farmhouse brewery in rural New England. After brewing his first batch of wort, Moyer called it a day & went to bed, only to awaken a few hours later & realize that he’d forgotten to pitch the yeast! Panicked, he shot out of bed, hit his head on a beam in the barn loft, & fell into a coma. Upon emerging two years later, he tasted the beer & found it delightfully tart, earthy, & rustic, with a house character approaching enteric. Moyer jokes that his farmhouse brewery is “more like an outhouse brewery”. We get the sense that he’s only kind of kidding. If you’re into small-batch, wild, artisanal beers in bottles that stuff smeared on them, check out Pearls Before Swine’s funky saison-style ale, Solipsism
; wild-fermented table beer En Flusikc Lthdiklks
; or the experimental Urge, Urge, Ever the Procreant Urge of the World
River Dog Mountain Brewing
, Greeley, Colorado
This innovative microbrewery is rocking craft beer to its foundation, with handmade libations that take balance to new extremes while capturing the essence of outdoor living! Tear into their wickedly inoffensive Upstream Blonde
; their aggressively moderate Gone Fishin’ Amber;
or their Paddle Harder Copper
, with just the right amount of both malt & hops. As if these boldly subtle ales weren’t distinct enough, River Dog Mountain’s eye-catching labels, with hand-painted scenes of waterfalls, rocks, & various North American wildlife, are sure to make them stand head & shoulders above the fray.
Aggro Necktat Brewing
, Chula Vista, California
Duck & cover, dweebs, because Aggro Knuckle is gonna bust you in the jaw with alpha acid! This in-your-face, IBU-heavy, verbally abusive brewery started as a fight club, & now wants to take the brawl to your taste buds! Be prepared to cry “Uncle!” when you get a face-load of the 100% Zeus-hopped DIPA Hop Proctologist;
the 50/50 malt extract/hop extract blend Curb Hopped
; or their triple IPA, No Pussies Allowed,
brewed with real sweat & blood instead of strike water. You won’t know what hit you!
Beaver Patrol Brewing
, Lubbock, Texas
What would craft beer be without a dose of ribald humor? No one would accuse the crew at Beaver Patrol of taking themselves too seriously, & they pour some of that playful, low brow, crypto-misogynist spirit into every bottle. Take a gander at their Udderly Full-Bodied Milk Stout
; leer at their Master Bator’s Doppelbock;
& get ready to salivate over their tart plum ale, Prune-Tang.
And if you think the names are full of double-entendre fun, just wait til you get a load of the label illustrations. Wink!
, Chicago, Illinois
These guys really cut to the chase, brewing only beer that makes hardcore beer geeks lose their shit. Every bottle is numbered, limited, & can only be obtained through sharing in line at a release for a slightly less-hyped beer. The names are all acronyms &, to be honest, we don’t know what they stand for. We’ve heard good things about CYRY
& hope to someday try it (though, apparently, the coconut fades, so maybe the “C” stands for coconut); a buddy of ours has some HWTCB
coming, which is supposed to be amazing, but you really need to lay it down for a few years; & to really one-up your friends with “generosity” at that next epic bottle share, whip out EGK
& its variants FREGK, UREGK,
for a side-by-side tasting. #walezbro is also known for its strict quantity-control measures: every bottle that goes untraded after 48 hours must be drain-poured. Beer porn ahead!
So don’t get left behind, folks – start seeking out these exciting new breweries that are really going places. There’s still plenty of room in the pool!