There are hundreds of micro-breweries in the US and with the growing popularity of craft beer, that number is sure to increase. What’s unfortunate is that not all breweries distribute to the entire country meaning I don’t get to try them all. So I’ve compiled a few breweries around the country that I’ve increasingly seen mentioned or written about but can’t find locally. So please, feel free to drop a line if you happen to see or have purchased any of these brews in Chicago!
Deschutes – Portland, Oregon:
Oregon’s state motto is “She Flies With Her Own Wings” but it probably should be “Our craft beer is better than yours.” Oregon boasts some of the best craft beer in the country, but the distance between the Northwest and the Midwest stands between me and sweet Oregon inebriation. There isn’t a particular beer Deschutes Brewery makes I have my eye on. With their great reputation, I’d love to try any! According to their website, I can order online. I have yet to order beer online and am hesitant to do so; I get the feeling I’ll receive bottled toilet water.
Sixpoint Beers – Brooklyn, NYC:
I’ve seen a lot of reviews on Sixpoint Brewery that indicate a good brew. This of course means I’ve spent plenty of time on their website becoming more and more obsessed with finding some of their beer. According to the omniscient innuhnet, they sell in Chicago, but I have yet to get my hands on it. Ideally, I would like to find the Scottish Ale rightfully labeled “Groundskeeper Spilly” so I can, of course, recite Simpsons quotes until my level of intoxication makes a Scottish accent come naturally.
Great Divide – Denver, Colorado:
Yet another state that offers a high-quality craft beer selection. Great Divide Brewing has won 17 GABF medals and 5 World Beer Cup awards and is responsible for putting Denver on the countries craft beer map and subsequently, my beer map. Their website claims they distribute in Warrensville, IL — Perhaps the next time I find myself on I-88 going West I’ll let my beer radar sniff out some of their Yeti Imperial Stout.
Yuengling Brewing – Pottsville, PA & Tampa Bay, FL
You’d think America’s oldest brewery would have wider distributorship, but it doesn’t; they seem to keep their beer on the Eastern seaboard. Beer hogs. They don’t necessarily get rave reviews on their beers, nor do they have a large lineup of beer to choose from, it’s just a curiosity in trying Yuengling Brewery’s beer seeing that they have the oldest beer recipes in the country.
Anchor Brewing – San Francisco, CA
This self-proclaimed “handsome” and “classical” brewery doesn’t dable in the popular realm of IPAs. Instead, Anchor Brewing proudly stays true to the traditional brewhouse of old. What piques my interest the most is their “World Famous” Anchor Steam beer. Never actually made with steam, Anchor claims it got the nickname simply for being on the West Coast, but some research shows that the beer is made with a special yeast that ferments at higher than average temperatures because refrigeration was a luxury at the time, thus the “steam beer” style. Isn’t that science you want to metabolize?
Yazoo Brewing – Nashville, TN
Open for business in 2003, Yazoo Brewing has the common feel-good story of a man who disliked the daily grind and opted to risk it all to brew beer for a living. Yazoo gained local popularity fast and eventually found it’s way to my eyeballs. Specifically, I have my sights set on the their IPA ‘Hot Project.” What’s unique about their IPA is that is never uses the same combination of spices and hops twice — ever; basically ensuring that you’re drinking a different IPA each time you pop off that bottle cap. How cool is that?