Serious Eats

It's a great time to love beer—there are craft breweries in every state across the nation nowadays, churning out fresh ales and lagers for hopheads and saison supporters alike.

We've long daydreamed of a road trip to visit favorites from Jester King in Texas to Surly in Minnesota to the Alchemist in Vermont—there's good beer to be had from Florida to Alaska and in every state in between. (Now, that's a lot of drinking.)

This map celebrates beers we love in every state—a beer we'd be certain to pick up at every stop on that road trip of our dreams. Some are cultworthy favorites that require camping out at the release party, while others are really well made porch sippers that you can pick up at your local store. Some evoke happy memories, while others are showstoppers that grab your whole attention.

Grab a pint and drink your way through the USA with us!

—The Serious Drinks Crew


Let the debate begin!

Which brews would you include on your U.S. beer map? Which would you leave out?
Add your opinion to the comments section here.




Good People Brewing Company


Good People Brewing's IPA is rich and malty, with a bitter cut of hops. (They use the whole shebang: Columbus, Willamette, Cascade, Simcoe, and Citra.) It's a rich, caramelly beer with an earthy core that finishes dry. Somewhere between a marzen style and IPA, this is the kind of beer that can see you through any season where there's a chill in the air. If you're looking for something with a touch more sweetness (to go with, say, barbecue) go with their Snake Handler Double IPA.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Midnight Sun Brewing Company

Monk's Mistress

Yeah, it's intense, but Midnight Sun's Monk's Mistress is an incredibly well-rounded Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The flavor's full of dark fruit, wrapped in ribbons of chocolate and dark caramel along with hints of spice and tobacco. It's a rare boozy beer that can hold its 11.5% ABV without getting out of balance.
Photo: Sean Coates


SanTan Brewing Company

Devil's Ale

This pale ale, SanTan's flagship, is piney, orangey, and super-resiny, thanks to Centennial, Cascade, and Simcoe hops. There's a bit of caramel flavor but this is more about thirst-quenching than rich body; it'll do you well on a hot Arizona day, especially with a bacon-topped turkey burger and garlic fries.
Photo: SanTan Brewing Company


Core Brewing


A good ESB is just so satisfying. This one (proudly brewed with Ozark Mountain water) delivers, with toffee and graham cracker flavors, rich body and an orangey core, and a nice dry finish. Delicious, satisfying stuff, and just right for drinking with a roast chicken.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Russian River Brewing Company

Pliny the Elder

When fresh, Pliny is brilliantly aromatic, pungent and rich, with a fruity, orangey core, and fresh and cleansing bitterness. It's everything you want a hoppy beer to be, and though California is full of amazing breweries creating new delicious beers every year, every time we order a pint we feel lucky to have regular access to this double IPA.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Great Divide Brewing Company

Yeti Imperial Stout

Collections like this always attract big beers; the bold stand out among the pack. But what does it take to stand out among the bold? Great Divide Brewing seems to have figured that out. Yeti is absolutely one of the best imperial stouts in the world. Rich but not cloying, aggressively hoppy yet not out-of-balance, and drinkable despite its 9.5% ABV. Equally good drunk fresh or aged, this beer is versatile and endlessly interesting. There's currently 5 variations on the Yeti theme (Barrel Aged, Oak Aged, Espresso Oak Aged, Chocolate Oak Aged and Oatmeal), but we love the classic best.
Photo: Mike Reis


New England Brewing Company

Fuzzy Baby Ducks

The Connecticut brewery is based in the New Haven area, where they've effectively pioneered the small state's craft beer scene with defining offerings like Imperial Stout Trooper and Wet Willy.  Fuzzy Baby Ducks is a single-hop IPA brewed entirely with Citra hops, known for their intense citrusy qualities. The result is a rush of those orangey-grapefruity flavors in addition to juicy notes of mango, apricot, and guava. The balanced, highly drinkable ranks in a court of IPA royalty once reserved only for West Coasters.  But don't worry, no baby ducks have been harmed in the making of this beer.  "The name is just us being silly, it always makes us laugh when someone has to ask for a Fuzzy Baby Ducks out at a bar or tasting," says Matt Westfall, NEB's Head Brewer.
Photo: New England Brewing Company


Dogfish Head

Indian Brown Ale

Dogfish Head is known for making beers with crazy ingredients. In recent times, they've brewed with carrots, chewed-up corn, gesho root, annatto, juniper berries, black tea, hawthorn fruit, strawberries, and, well, lots of other things. Our favorite, though, contains just water, hops, yeast, and barley. Okay, and a little brown sugar. What their Indian Brown Ale lacks in strangeness, it more than makes up for in deliciousness. Sitting somewhere between an IPA, a Scotch ale, and a brown ale, the beer is unlike anything else on the market; we're wondering where all the imitators are hiding.
Photo: Mike Reis


Cigar City Brewing

Tocobaga Red Ale

If there's one formerly-popular style that has been forgotten in the craft beer boom of the past few years, it's the red ale. Tampa's Cigar City Brewing didn't get the memo. Their Tocobaga Red Ale reinvents the style, replacing the style's typically one-dimensional caramel malt flavor profile with a lively, fruit-forward interaction of malt and hops. Absolutely packed with berry, tropical fruit, stone fruit and citrus flavor.
Photo: Cigar City Brewing


Terrapin Beer Company

Hopsecutioner IPA

The Hopsecutioner is Terrapin's flagship IPA and is a great balance of flavors. The light, amber beer starts off with floral, citrusy notes that are aggressively hopped. This gives way to a sweeter, caramel and malted barley finish. It's a clean and eminently drinkable IPA from the Georgia brewery. Perhaps more balanced and less of a hops bomb than the name would suggest. Nevertheless, it goes down easy and would do well accompanying something salty and fried.
Photo: Brian Oh


Maui Brewing Company

Big Swell IPA

Maui Brewing Co. may be better known for their Coconut Porter (it's like a Mounds candy bar in beer form) but we have a soft spot for their Big Swell IPA, a rich and bitter brew we've been drinking since we first came across the brewery years ago. The combination of silky caramel malt and grapefruit-peel bitterness is awesome with fried fish tacos or shrimp tempura. We chatted with owner Garrett Marrero about the challenges of brewing in Hawaii and the reason he chose to can his beers back in 2011.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Grand Teton Brewing

Bitch Creek

Nestled amidst the Teton National Forest where the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks meet, Grand Teton Brewing makes beers that are, somehow, as beautiful as their surroundings. Bitch Creek is our favorite. Named for a nearby feeder to the Teton River (not some spiteful tributary) this "Extra Special Brown," as they call it, has a deeply complex malt character matched by an assertive, earthy hop profile.
Photo: Mike Reis


Half Acre Beer Company

Daisy Cutter Pale Ale

With a pop of hops that are a bit like chewing on a grapefruit peel, this beer burst into the Chicago scene in 2009. We've loved it ever since. Each sip of Daisy Cutter—which you can get in pint cans for easy toting—is remarkably bright and crisp, backed up by earthy, floral, and grassy hops. The finish is clean and super-dry. Pair it with fried food or chips and guacamole.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Three Floyds Brewing Company

Zombie Dust

Three Floyd's Zombie Dust stands out on the shelf. Its cardboard carrier features a bad-ass comic book-style villain and its metallic label catches eyes across rooms. But it isn't until you pop its wild pink and green striped cap that heads really turn. Massive Citra hop aroma leaps from the glass as its poured and its long-lasting foamy head looks gorgeous the whole beer through. Oh, and it tastes great too. Smooth and hoppy with a restrained bitterness, the six-pack always disappears faster than you'd like.
Photo: Three Floyds Brewing


Toppling Goliah Brewing Company

Mornin' Delight

If you like Imperial stouts, this is one worth traveling for. Silky, rich, and mouthcoating, it's like an espresso and a slice of flourless chocolate cake all in one, with a wonderful lingering roasty chocolate flavor and a dollop of maple-like sweetness. Yeah, we'd drink it with do you know we're not doing that right now?
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Tallgrass Brewing Company

Ethos IPA

If you like your IPA so hoppy it reminds you of juniper sap, this pungent hopfest of a beer will be your Kansas pick. It tastes like grapefruit peels and orange marmalade up front, and is all bitter bite in the back, with good body to stand up to all those hops.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company takes their Kentucky Ale and ages it in bourbon barrels, allowing the flavors of the barrels and recently-decanted bourbon to infuse the beer. The result is a uniquely-colored brew with distinct, yet subtle, flavors of vanilla and oak. The beer is a flavorful nod to Kentucky's bourbon heritage. It's a smooth offering, and dangerously drinkable for 8.2% ABV.
Photo: Vinny Mannering


Abita Brewing Company


Portions of the sales of Abita S.O.S. go to the restoration of the Gulf Coast, and that would be reason enough for us to buy it, but it's also just tasty beer. It's an unfiltered Weizen Pils with a bit of richness and sweet shortbread-like malt flavor, balanced out with grassy hops. It's great with seafood or grilled chicken, though a fresh pint on tap is the best way to enjoy it.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash Merveilleux

Back when every brewing was doing the pale ale, amber, stout thing, Allagash was zagging as one of the nation’s first Belgian-inspired breweries. Then, when everyone else was racing to see how many hops they could shove in a bottle, Allagash was one of the first to experiment with wild-fermented and sour ales. Merveilleux is the love child of those early funky beers. A blend of bourbon and wine barrel aged wild ales, Merveilleux is a wonderful example of what happens when brewers go beyond the novelty of brewing their first sour beer.
Photo: Chris Lehault


Flying Dog Brewery

Gonzo Imperial Porter

This delicious beer was developed as an homage to Hunter S. Thompson. It pours dark and warns of 9.2% alcohol, but this beer's a smooth operator, with cocoa nibs, dark coffee, and a hint of creamy vanilla in each warming sip. On a cold night, you could pair it with a beef and mushroom stew, though some folks will prefer it as a nightcap.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Jack's Abby Brewing

Hoponius Union

Which beer lives up to the Spirit of Massachusetts? Our vote is for Jack's Abby's Hoponius Union. While everyone and their momma was putting out ales, the Hendler Bros. of Jack's Abby opted to focus on lagers. Hoponius Union is an India Pale Lager (IPL); an amalgam of an IPA and a lager that is as crisp, hoppy and delicious as it sounds. Strong citrus hops in the nose that are reflected in the taste, and balanced nicely with the malts.
Photo: Vinny Mannering


Bell's Brewery

Two Hearted Ale

Some great IPAs are all about brightness and piercing hops, but this wonderful beer goes the other way, featuring amazingly smooth texture and a perfect balance of toffeelike malt and smooth orange and apricot hop flavors. If an IPA can be creamy, this one is, and it's one of those hard-to-find beers that really is worth the hype.
Photo: Bell's Brewery


Surly Brewing Company

Abrasive Ale

It's really hard for us to pick a favorite from Surly. We love their Hell, a delicious unfiltered lager, full of delicate grainy flavor and clean, grassy hops. We adore the full-flavored brown ale, Bender, with its nutty roast notes and crisp finish, and the super-aromatic and rich punch-you-in-the-face hops of Furious. But a fresh can of Abrasive is a beautiful thing, pungent and super bright, piercing and bitter, swirling with piney hops and a grapefruit flavor that'll pucker you up. Put it on your life list.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Southern Prohibition Brewing

Suzy B

Not every great beer is a huge imperial whatever. An easy-drinking brew is a beautiful thing, and this 5% ABV Blonde Ale is really well done. It's rich and bready without being sweet, finishes crisp without being too bitter, and is friendly to all sorts of food. (Try it with fried shrimp or clams, or pair it with chips and guacamole.) We also love their Mississippi Fire Ant, an Imperial Red Ale, but what was that we were saying about imperial whatevers?
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Boulevard Brewing Company

Tank 7

Boulevard's Tank 7 is one of those beers that everyone seems to like. Dry-hopped with citrusy Amarillo, the beer is a decidedly American take on the classic Belgian saison done right. Weighing in at 8.5% ABV, the beer manages to be at once dry, juicy, drinkable and original. Creating a beer like this is a challenge many American breweries have attempted and failed to overcome. We're glad Boulevard made the effort.
Photo: Mike Reis


The Great Northern Brewing Company

Wild Huckleberry

Any self-respecting Montanan from the mountainous western part of the state knows that most of the bright purple “huckleberry” goods in grocery stores and gift shops are little more than tourist bait. No amount of sugar and artificial flavoring can do justice to the sweet, clean flavor of the wild berries that blanket hillsides in the late summer and early fall. By blending real huckleberry juice with a refreshing wheat lager base, the folks behind the Great Northern Brewing Company have created an honest fruit beer fit for the most serious mountain forager—or anyone looking for a taste of the wild Rockies.
Photo: The Great Northern Brewing Company


Nebraska Brewing Company

Black Betty (Barrel-Aged)

Nebraska's Russian Imperial Stout was aged in Stranahan's whiskey barrels for a fruity, cocoa-laced result. It smells like fresh cherries dipped in chocolate, and the beer swirls with rich fruit and dark-chocolate flavors before settling dark, deep, and roasty-bitter. Forget coffee; this is the ideal after-dinner drink.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Joseph James Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

This Henderson, Nevada brewery occasionally releases a variation of their Russian imperial stout that is aged for 7 months in used bourbon barrels. The result is a decadent beer with rich aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, and vanilla. This full bodied beer coats your palate with coffee bitterness and milk chocolate sweetness, along with hints of molasses and coconut imparted from the barrel. The bourbon provides a lingering booziness in the finish. This is one to cellar: a bit of age smoothes out this beer and makes it dangerously easy to drink.
Photo: Luis Tovar

New Hampshire

Smuttynose Brewing Company

Scotch Ale

Scotch Ale isn't the most common style—we can think of only a handful of great American-made examples. The one from Smuttynose is definitely on that list: it's a round, super-smooth, luxuriously caramelly beer that's deeply satisfying without being too sweet. Be sure not to serve it too cold: this is one for sipping by the fire, perhaps with a big plate of roast duck or pork.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman

New Jersey

Carton Brewing

Boat Beer

Recently, a promising crop of upstart breweries has helped put the Garden State's beer scene on the map. And, finally, New Jersey has a session beer to call its own. Carton Boat Beer is a hoppy kolsch with low alcohol and big, resinous flavors. Its a session ale that works as well in NJ’s burgeoning farm-to-table scene as it does at a Jersey Shore dive bar.
Photo: Chris Lehault

New Mexico

Marble Brewery

Marble Red Ale

This rich red ale from Albuquerque has a wonderful balance of rich caramel malt and tangy, fruity hops (it's dry-hopped with Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, Sorachi Ace, and El Dorado hops.) It's all pine resin on the finish, with enough bitterness to cut through the mouthcoating malt. This is one to pour with barbecue sauce-glazed chicken or pepperoni pizza.

New York

Peekskill Brewery


Peekskill Brewery's Amazeballs is...well, exactly that. This unputdownable beer has the complex hop profile of a much bigger IPA, and maintains the sessionable integrity of the 5.2% ABV American Pale Ale that it is. It's easy to spend the entire time drinking this beer with your nose in the glass, absorbing as much of the passion fruit, citrus zest, and ripe pineapple as you can before you hit the bottom (much too quickly!). The beer is brewed with all late addition hops—all the Australian Galaxy variety—which are responsible for the concentrated aroma and flavor. Brewmaster Jeff O'Neil explains: "We don't start adding hops to Amazeballs until we're done boiling the wort. Then we make additions pretty heavily over the course of a week or so."
Photo: Stef Ferrari

North Carolina

Fullsteam Brewery

First Frost

The farm-to-table movement has introduced heirloom herbs, vegetables, and livestock breeds to tables all over Dixie. Right now, though, no one is doing plow-to-pint quite like Fullsteam Brewery, based in the old tobacco town of Durham, North Carolina. Founder Sean Lilly Wilson can deliver a tasty straight-down-the-line IPA, but his fledgling operation is also producing a brew made with foraged paw paws, a basil-tinged farmhouse ale, and a dark beer inspired by a classic southern pairing: RC Cola and the Moon Pie. Drawing on local farmers and foragers, as well as the area’s history and food traditions, Wilson and his team are redefining Southern beer, one experiment at a time. Our favorite of the bunch: First Frost, a winter warmer ale that takes its tart flavor from a combination of farmed and foraged North Carolina persimmons.
Photo: Fullsteam Brewery

North Dakota

Laughing Sun Brewing Company

Sinister Pear

There's no pear in this Belgian Golden Strong Ale, they're just referring to the delicately fruity esters from the Belgian yeast used in this brew. Regardless, the beer is delicious: rich without being heavy, malty while staying bright, with a hint of spice and a refreshing slightly bitter finish that keeps you wanting more. Dangerously drinkable on its own, but also great with a hunk of cheese or a pork chop.
Photo: Laughing Sun Brewing Company


Great Lakes Brewing Company

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

The smell of toffee and mocha lead the roast in the aroma of the delicious Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes. Woody hops and coffee play against a sweet malty base before ending with a roasty malt bitterness, earth and tobacco. This porter is smooth and full-bodied, a wonderful companion to roast meat (or dessert.)
Photo: Great Lakes Brewing Company


Prairie Artisan Ales

Prairie Hop

Bursting with Citra and Simcoe hop character, Prairie Hop is a juicy saison that is absolutely exploding with tropical fruit character—not just hints of mango and peach but also pineapple, kiwi, and lime. We love pretty much every Prairie beer we've gotten our hands on, but so far, this is our favorite of the lineup. This is a brewery we're really excited about.
Photo: Prairie Artisanal Ales


Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

Oak Aged Bretta

This fabulous oak aged version of Logsdon's Seizoen Bretta has the best of both worlds: it's creamy and rich, and the judicious use of oak adds a luscious vanilla flavor that latches right into the beer's mellow fruity-and-malty core. There are no apricots in this beer, but we wouldn't blame you for tasting them. Balancing all that creamy richness is a tangy side, a crisp tartness that works well with the peppery quality of the saison, with a delicate funk that acts as a bridge between the beer's bright sour side and its earthy richness. Oak Aged Bretta is terrific with bratwurst or pork chops and grainy mustard, and it's a good choice for roast chicken or turkey, too.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Victory Brewing Company

Prima Pils

For us, craft beer is as much about elevating classics as it is about using exotic ingredients and extreme fermentations. The most difficult of those classics is the pilsner; a brew with no dark malts or big alcohol to hide behind. A good pilsner is the kind you grab after a few fancy beers, the kind that you really crave. Victory Prima Pils is one of the finest examples of pilsner in the USA, without question. Crisp, clean, with a powerful European hop character, it's a beer you ways want to have in your fridge.
Photo: Chris Lehault

Rhode Island

Revival Brewing Company

Double Black IPA

Black IPAs have been done to death in recent years but sometime it takes this saturation to really define the great ones. With its lemony hops and rolling bitterness, Revival Brewing’s Double Black IPA is one we love. These big flavors, bitter malts and roasty backbone prove that—when it comes to beer—small states can pack big flavors.
Photo: Chris Lehault

South Carolina

Coast Brewing Company

Barrel-aged Blackbeerd

Sometimes this awesome Imperial stout is aged in Buffalo Trace barrels, though more recent bottlings spent time in Blanton's barrels. This is the kind of beer you just want to stick your nose in, all vivid molasses and silky chocolate. It's rich up front, part cocoa and black cherry, part savory nuts and smoke, finishing with a flavor we'd swear was toasted sesame seeds. A really nicely made beer, just right for sipping after dinner during the cooler months.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman

South Dakota

Miner Brewing Company

Old English Ale

South Dakota has more of a craft beer scene than you might think. There's Bitter Esters brewing, which makes a farmhouse ale brewed with guajillo chilies and Valencia oranges. We enjoyed Crow Peak's creamy canned Pile-o-Dirt Porter. But our favorite South Dakota find is Miner Brewing's Old English ale, a complex beer that's all about the grain (a mix of Maris Otter, Crystal malt, Chocolate malt, and flaked wheat). It tastes like toffee and cocoa to start, but evolves into an intriguing smoky finish. This beer's almost chewy, and definitely savory, just right for a cold, desolate night and a big bowl of beef stew. If you visit, you can buy beers to go in growlers or big mason jars.
Photo: Miner Brewing Company


Yazoo Brewing Company

Brett Saison

Brett Saisons are the hot thing these days, and one of our recent favorites is from Tennessee. Fermented with two strains of brett provided by Crooked Stave, this beer leads with big green apple flavors before turning to a leathery, dry finish. An impressive showing from a decade-old brewery that recently began producing wild ales, it's awesome with goat cheese.
Photo: Chris Lehault


Jester King Brewery


This sour red ale from Austin, Texas reminded us of a chocolate covered raspberry, bringing together the tartness that results from wild yeast and Brett plus souring bacteria with a slightly sweet caramelized malty richness enhanced through barrel aging. It's remarkably well balanced, with the slick malty, fruity core showing off initially, and a rustic, sour finish. Serve it with ribs cooked low and slow.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Uinta Brewing Company

Baba Black Lager

Whether or not you have any wool, this is a delicious Schwarzbier. It's roasty but light, balancing bright fruity flavors with coffeelike char, offering tons of flavor without being too heavy. Pair this easy-drinking brew with smoked ham or grilled sausages.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


The Alchemist

Heady Topper

Vermont's a tiny state, but its people are proud of their craft beer. Any Vermonter might hate us for neglecting to mention breweries like Hill Farmstead, Lawson's Finest Liquids, Rock Art or Switchback in a list like this, but if a single beer must be chosen to exemplify the state's booming craft beer presence, it's the famed Heady Topper. The Alchemist's canned Double IPA is astonishingly drinkable and balanced at 8% alcohol by volume and it recently took over the number one spot on Beer Advocate's Top 250 beers in the world list. It's a perfect beverage.
Photo: Mike Reis


Blue Mountain Brewery

Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale

These days, it seems that every upstart brewery in America has a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. And most of them taste like someone poured a shot of Jim Beam in your pint of Murphy’s Stout. But Blue Mountain Brewery's Dark Hollow bucks this trend with a more traditional recipe and a prominent roasted quality to balance out the heavy sweetness. While most Russian Imperial Stouts can be cloying, these added malts provide a grainy, slightly bitter quality that balances the bourbon notes. Of course, there is also something definitively Virginian about amber spirits which makes a bourbon barrel stout an appropriate representative of the Old Dominion.
Photo: Chris Lehault


Boundary Bay Brewery


The Boundary Bay India Pale Ale is an elder statesman of Washington IPAs. As newer breweries gravitate toward a heavy hand with the hops, Boundary Bay keeps a more mature flavor profile, marked by beautiful balance. The atypical maltiness of the beer smoothes out the inherent bitterness of IPA; giving it a gentle roundness rarely found in the genre. The Bellingham based brewery presents an easy intro to Washington’s signature style: the dark, amber-colored brew embracing the hops’ gift of citrus aroma, without letting their bitterness overwhelm.
Photo: Naomi Bishop

Washington DC

Atlas Brew Works

District Common

This fledgling brewery is coming out of the gate with their signature beer, the District Common. A dry hopped, California common style lager, the District Common is fruity and bready withy a creamy finish. It has some lingering notes of toasted malts and is all in all a well crafted, complex example of the CA style. It's a complex, versatile beer that isn't too light or heavy that could be paired with a variety of flavor heavy food without overwhelming or being drowned out. A great dinner companion.
Photo: Brian Oh

West Virginia

Bridge Brew Works

The Dun Glen Dubbel

The Dun Glen Hotel, for which this beer is named, hosted what some claim was the world's longest poker game. The beer's a pretty strong hand, too, with rich pruney aromatics and a luscious molasses and raisin-tinged core, with a little Angostura-like bitterness at the close of each sip. We like it with hard cheeses, and it's good with barbecue, too.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


New Glarus Brewing Company

Wild Sour Ale

Sure, this Wisconsin brewery is known for its fruit beers,and their Staghorn Octoberfest is one of our favorites, but the Wisconsin beer that's impressed us most lately is their Wild Sour Ale, a sour brown ale that the brewery says was "naturally soured by farm valley winds blowing wild yeast into our oak casks" where the beer aged for a year and a half. The result is tart and lactic, underpinned by a luscious richness that serves the balance the beer. It's a bit like a caramel apple made from the most tart Granny Smith you've ever tried.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman


Snake River Brewing

Zonker Stout

This foreign-style stout reminds us of unsweetened cocoa and earthy sesame seed, with a good amount of coffee flavor rolled in. The finish is all roast; this is a beer to pair with barbecue brisket and ribs, though it would also be great with peppery salame and aged cheeses.
Photo: Maggie Hoffman

Beer samples provided for review consideration.