The recent explosion of American microbreweries has shifted the beer industry's attention to quality, not quantity. And now — with Oktoberfest underway — is the perfect time to discover a new artisanal brew.
We found the 24 coolest microbrewers making waves in the American craft beer industry, from a Latin American-style cervecería in Chicago to a sustainable brewery in Maui that uses local Hawaiian ingredients to make its brews.
A brewery is considered a microbrewery if it produces less than 15,000 barrels per year, with 75% or more of its beer sold off-site, according to the Brewers Association.5 Rabbit Cervecerķa
Located: Bedford Park, Ill.
Located outside Chicago, the first Latin American-style microbrewery, or cervecería, in the country infuses its brews with ancho chili, piloncillo cane sugar, and other Latin flavors.
5 Rabbit was inspired by an Aztec myth, and the names of the beers all coincide in some way with the Aztec calendar.
The brewmasters believe in enjoying and savoring life, so every few weeks they publish a recipe on their website that would pair well with one of their beers.
Located: Waterbury, Vt.
Alchemist sells just one beer: Heady Topper, which is found only in Vermont. They say they'd rather focus on doing one beer perfectly instead of doing many imperfectly.
Heady Topper is a double IPA brewed with a proprietary blend of six hops that blend together make a great beer.
Located: San Diego, Calif.
Amplified Aleworks isn't the only microbrewery in San Diego by a long shot, but it's one of the coolest.
Operated out of the popular California Kebab and Beer Garden, their best deal is on Sundays when you can pay $20 for four Amplified beer samplings and some thick-cut hickory smoked bacon. It's pretty hard to go wrong with bacon and beer.
Base Camp Brewing Co.
Located: Portland, Ore.
Portland's new kid on the block, Base Camp, will thrill outdoor adventurers with its 22-ounce aluminum bottles of Carabiner Cream Ale or In-Tents Indian Pale Lager.
Visit the taproom, designed with exposed timber beams, chairs woven from climbing ropes, and trail maps encased in glass countertops, and order the S’mores Stout. Your server will blowtorch a marshmallow garnish at the table.
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