The Best Beer State

If you had to choose the best beer state, which one would get your vote?

This is a conversation I’ve had with many beer nerds, and one that never seems to end in a conclusion.  What state produces the best beer?

Now, where you live will make you a biased, I think.  I’m in Northern New Jersey (the part without lots of Snooki’s and The Situation’s running around), happily nestled between New York and Pennsylvania, two wonderful producers of craft brew.

New York gives us goodies from Southern Tier, Brewery Ommegang, Brooklyn Brewery, etc., while Pennsylvania is home to the likes of Victory, Weyerbacher, Troegs, Yuengling, and more.  There are good things happening in these here parts, for sure.  Then there’s Oregon, California, Michigan, Colorado and Wisconsin to consider. It’s a tough call.

I think I’ll have to go with Pennsylvania, as I could survive quite nicely on nothing but PA brews.  But I would miss my Southern Tier from New York, and Dale’s Pale Ale has become my go to beer, so maybe I’d have to consider Colorado.  But I also LOVE just about everything Founders brews and Jolly Pumpkin makes some killer beers, too, so it might be Michigan…hmmm…you can see why it’s hard to come to a conclusion.

So who get’s your vote?  Which state do you think is producing the best beers within it’s borders?  Let us know in the comments!


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98 Comments on “The Best Beer State”

  1. May 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    I have to tip my hat to California on this one. Stone, Sierra Nevada, Anchor, AleSmith, Lost Abbey, Pizza Port, Green Flash, Russian River, Lagunitas, Ballast Point. That’s a huge chunk of really good breweries.

    • May 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

      You make a good argument for California. Green Flash just got on my radar and I’m excited to try their stuff.

      • Don
        May 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

        I have to agree with Mike. Not to mention North Coast, Buffalo Bills, Pyramid, Bison, Anderson Valley, Bear Republic, Left Coast, Gordon Biersch. That is only about half of the breweries in CA. There is something for everyone!

        • May 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

          This leads back to my need to spend a year drinking in the Golden State.

        • Don
          May 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

          I bet you could do it, and still not hit every brewery in the state. CA, I think by virtue of its size and its embrace of breweries as a business that adds value (i.e. tax breaks, etc.) really has put together an impressive list of breweries.

      • May 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

        Well let the record reflect that I’m willing to give it go!

    • Chuck
      May 20, 2010 at 11:25 am #

      Ca. does have some good beers/breweries but they are all high hop beers. Pa. has the best balance of high hops – low hops – hop/malt balanced beers of any state.

      • May 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

        That is just plain silly to think that all of the beer from California are “high hop beers”. CA has a huge range of beer styles.

        • Don
          May 24, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

          I agree Morgan. You need to look no farther than the folks at Russian River to know that CA has a great range of beers and a lot of variety. What they don’t have is proactive voters. On our little poll, Pennsylvania is kicking butt, because those folks believe in their state’s brews and vote! CA voters are like their sports fans…Kinda apathetic.

      • Chuck
        May 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

        Maybe all was a gross generalization. But you have got to admit, hops are very prevalent in Ca. More than the rest of the country.

  2. May 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    I now sort of feel like I’ll be damned by not saying my home state of PA now. They do have some great breweries. You can’t forget Stoudts and Yards as well.

    • May 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      Ha ha! That’s what makes this so hard, Mike. I picked PA, but now California seems like an obvious choice to me. You picked California, but are now going homer and considering PA. It’s easy to change your mind for sure.

    • Chuck
      May 20, 2010 at 11:06 am #

      Pennsylvania has got to be in the top 3 if not #1.
      Troegs, Sly Fox, Wyerbacher, Yards, Appalachian Brewery, Victory, Lancaster Brewing Co, Voodoo Brewery and Stoudts? All are awesome breweries!!
      Yuengling isn’t a micro but their beer is pretty decent as “big” breweries go.

      • Chuck
        May 20, 2010 at 11:19 am #

        I forgot about Barley Creek, Triumph, Bullfrog Brewery and Erie Brewing Co. Their Railbender Ale is incredible!

      • May 20, 2010 at 11:23 am #

        I was thinking about Voodoo last night – love their Big Black Voodoo Daddy. There’s a review of it lying around the site here someplace.

        Anyway, thanks for supporting PA – I voted for them as well.

  3. Rob Crozier
    May 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    I’d have to give my nod to Pennsylvania as 3 of my favorite breweries are from there: Troegs, Victory and Weyerbacher – there’s no other state that I have 3 favorite breweries from. After that, I’m all over the place but have to give a nod to New York for having Southern Tier and Brooklyn. What this means is that there’s a lot more breweries for me to discover – I’m up for the challenge!

    • May 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

      If pressed, I’d say Pennsylvania, too, but Mike makes a great case for California above.

      I’m also willing to drink my way through America to get to the bottom of this conundrum!

      • Rob Crozier
        May 19, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

        California is definitely a big beer state but if you factor the size, there’s bound to be more breweries and the odds of a few good ones increases as well.

        • May 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

          Does that mean Dogfish Head is good enough to make the tiny state of Delaware the winner here? If you’re talking about quality of beer per square mile, they have a shot…

      • Katie Pizzuto
        May 19, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

        I’d agree that DE has a chance based on quality, but it pisses me off to think it would probably be CA….why does it piss me off? Because CA is already the country’s representative in the world of wine, isn’t that enough?! LOL.

        And he Jim, what’s the matter, no love for Dirty Jerz? 🙂

        • Don
          May 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

          I think it is funny that all you east coasters when pushed have to give the nod to CA for the center of the craft brew universe! Sometimes its good to live in the west!

        • May 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

          I love New Jersey and I love beer, but New Jersey doesn’t love brewers. The state is so anti-brewer, many Jersians choose to brew over state lines to get better tax breaks for their businesses. I know a very talented group of NJ brewers who are making this decision right now. It’s too bad, too, because they want to create a local beer culture, but the state is pushing them away.

  4. May 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Cali is the best state for beer hands down. Let me name the ways:

    Russian River Brewing
    Lost Abbey
    Port/Pizza Port Brewing
    Ballast Point

    When I went to San Diego I was blown away at all the fantastic stuff. Forget state. San Diego needs to be its own beer nation =)

    • May 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

      I was really hoping for some debate here, but it seems like this might be a landslide.

      I’m curious to see what some other east coasters have to say. Some of us don’t know what were missing!

    • Don
      May 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

      Hey Dave! I’m getting flushed with all the love headed out west! Here I thought I was in a brewing black hole and as it turns out I’m in the mecca. Who Knew?

      • May 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

        I think the love is “flying over” Idaho, Don, just like the people do.

      • May 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

        Hey Don =)

        Someone mentioned PA. Yes PA has something going for it but I find most PA beer, well boring. Victory makes really good beer. I love the brewery but they never really go out on a limb. Which is fine but I feel like their beer lineup might be a little stale. Weyerbacher never really seems to amaze me. Same goes for Troegs. Nugget Nectar is always good though.

        I forgot one brewery in Cali. How I forgot them I dunno but The Bruery might be the hottest brewery in Cali right now. Everything they make is pretty damn good and they like to pump out some off the wall stuff which is usually pretty damn amazing. Also like Mike said above there is also Lagunitas (some of the best cheap beer on the planet) Green Flash and Firestone Walker

    • Chuck
      May 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

      More breweries does not equate to better brew. Show up and enjoy.

      • May 24, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

        I’d love to check it out, but I can’t hardly get to a bar, nevermind Philly.

  5. May 19, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    I have to go with PA. Don’t forget to add Yards and Philadelphia Brewing Company to the list.

    • May 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

      I didn’t add them because I haven’t had their stuff yet, Rachel. But I’ve heard good things about both and had them in mind when listing the PA goodies. This is starting to look like a two horse race between PA and CA.

      • dylan Wood
        May 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

        Jim… Don’t count those horses so fast…

        What about Oregon and New York?

        NY: Defiant, Ommegang, Adirondack,
        Oregon: Rogue, Widmer, Kona

        * Oregon has more breweries per capita than any other state too!

      • May 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

        New York has a few good breweries for sure, as does Oregon.

        The beer culture alone in Oregon is top notch, and there’s lots of little places out there making great stuff. Don just listed a bunch of top notch places in Colorado as well, and I’m waiting for someone to show some love to Michigan, which boasts some really amazing brewers as well.

        We need to figure out some kind of equation for this, like B*Q/P=X. B=number of craft breweries,times Q=quality of beer they make, divided by P= population of the state, equals X=that state’s beer excellence score.

        Oof. I just gave myself a headache. This kind of beer nerditry requires at least two beers, and I’m at work!

      • May 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

        I’d easily put Michigan over PA.

        Jolly Pumpkin
        Dark Horse

        • May 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

          We’re gonna have to start ranking the states, Dave. CA, MI, CO, PA, NY?

  6. Don
    May 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    I want to throw a little love Colorado’s way. Avery, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, New Belgium, Great Divide, Breckinridge, CooperSmiths, North Star and Pumphouse all make some really great stuff too.

    • May 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

      See, not so easy to choose just one, huh? It’s good that we don’t really have to.

  7. May 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    If I had to rank by those 5 you just said I would go with

    CA, MI, NY,CO, PA

  8. May 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    Firestone is here too. I have to admit that CA is probably the best state. Let’s not forget the Bruery is here, too. I have to agree that Michigan is a solid number 2. If Indiana had a few that were of the same caliber as Three Floyds, then it would be in contention. In terms of number, quality, local market strength, I think you can put OR at 3…maybe even competes with MI.

    • May 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

      No love for PA, Mike? Is it because east coast beers don’t really travel west? I had a buddy enlighten me to this fact, and it may play a part here. Maybe the goodies from the Keystone state aren’t making it to CA.

  9. sarah murdock
    May 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm #


    • May 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

      Some of my favorite beers come from PA. I love Weyerbacher Heresey, Troegs Mad Elf and Pale Ale, and just about everything from Victory. The other thing is the Philly beer scene and how well they do beer with food. There’s a lot happening in PA for sure.

      • May 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

        I live on the East Coast and I drink a lot of West coast stuff thanks to trades and South Bay Drugs. West Coast blows away East Coast. I do see a bright light in the future though. It’s called Cigar City. All their stuff is pretty damn good. They belong on the West Coast =)

        • May 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

          I have to get hooked up with South Bay Drugs, Dave. Not sure they’ll deliver to NJ, but I’d love a California connection. I’d also like to check out Cigar City, as I’ve heard good things. I hate the name though. Who wants to drink cigars? I guess you get over it pretty quickly if the beer is good…

  10. May 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    OK, I’ll say it. New Jersey is the #1 State for beer in the USA.

    • May 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

      For buying beer, perhaps. For brewing beer, maybe not!

  11. Don
    May 19, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    To add fuel to the CA fire lets not forget about 21st Amendment and Shmaltz. I know Shmaltz is a NY Brewery, but they also have a huge CA presence.

  12. May 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    I just added a poll to the post so you can vote for your favorite state. Probably should’ve thought of that sooner.

  13. May 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    I love my PA beers, Dock Street, Yards, Sly Fox, Stoudts, Victory, I could go on and on.

    But if I want to be honest, Michigan has the “best” beer in the country coming out of it right now.

    • May 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

      I sure love Founders and New Holland and Jolly Pumpkin and Bells…you might be on to something. Vote your conscious in the poll we’ve added to the post. I clicked PA because I had to pick one and that’s where I started this morning. Sticking to my guns (sort of).

  14. May 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Oregon, home to many of my current favorites: Deschutes, Rogue, Bridgeport, Full Sail. All good stuff. But, Cali is bigger and well, better. Her beer virtues have already been thoroughly explored in previous comments. The sad thing, is well, Red Hook represents WA on that map. We have much better beer than that in WA.

    • Don
      May 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

      Would you rather show Pikes? I’m not sure about WA Brews. Don’t really know what comes from there.

      • May 19, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

        Red Hook probably gets the nod because they are widely distributed. Most others, while plentiful are rather local. Great scene, but not much distro outside of Red Hook and Pyramid. The local stuff is less expensive, and tastes better for the most part.

        Pike Brewing… good stuff, Kilt Lifter! They are down at Pike’s Place Market, a veritable symbol of Seattle tourism. I wouldn’t dispute that. I just think Red Hook is mediocre, and don’t want them to represent where I live. 🙂 It’s personal.

    • May 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

      There’s good stuff in Wisconsin, too, like New Glarus and Lakefront, and that state has a big Miller Lite logo on it. At least Washington has a craft brew representing it.

      I think the NJ logo is just part of the cover for the Soprano’s boxed set!

      • Evan
        May 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

        I don’t think Pike is a great representation of how good Washington beer is either. What it comes down to is that Washington’s best beer doesn’t make it more than a few miles from the breweries, and the rest of everyone else gets the stuff we don’t want 😛

        Black Raven, Chuckanut, Silver City, Big Al’s, Iron Horse, Snipe’s Mountain… Just a few examples of our awesome beers.

        And I’m offended WA didn’t make the list!

        • May 24, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

          Well the guy who made the list lives in New Jersey, so that probably explains it, Evan. Especially if the good stuff
          doesn’t leave the state. That’s what you get for not sharing! 😉

  15. May 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    PA by a long shot. although there are a decent amount of Cali breweries, none of them can match the variety and price of PA.
    Yards and Troegs have some of the best beers I’ve ever had.
    Victory is one I have veen getting into and have yet to be disappointed.
    Finally, Yuengling. i know they don’t have a great variety of flavors, but they are all delicious and great priced!

    I heard the Oregon scene is great but have yet to experience it. I so look forward to it!!!

    Cali, in my opinion, is overpriced and just too much of a niche type beer culture. that doesn’t make it good.

    • Don
      May 19, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

      Larry, not to disagree with you, as I’m sure Cali brews are higher priced back east, but out west they are very affordable and make some great stuff!

    • May 19, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

      I love the PA support! And let’s not forget Weyerbacher, especially if you like things that have been aged in bourbon barrels (a bit of an addiction for me)! I love Heresy and Insanity.

    • Don
      May 19, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

      But I will agree that PA Brews are outstanding…like Rolling Rock! LOL 🙂

      • May 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

        Rolling Rock’s brewed in NJ now, Don. Stupid InBev killed the brewery, which is now being saved by Arnold Palmer to bottle his iced tea / lemonade drink. Is nothing sacred?

        • Don
          May 19, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

          Well, the last one I had was brewed in PA! 😛

  16. May 19, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    as the one wisconsin vote… that Miller Lite logo has to come off the map. they’re a Chicago brewery now! 😉

    • May 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

      Amen to that, Mike. Thanks for voting for WI, too. I was hoping somebody would stick up for our clan’s home state, even if Don voted CA and I voted PA.

      I can’t wait to hit New Glarus this summer!

  17. May 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    I now live in MN, so I have no idea if they have any good breweries. all I know of is Surly’s and Summit. They ain’t nothing special.

    • May 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

      I hear some folks go on about Surly’s from time to time, but I’ve never had their stuff. Guess you won’t be getting out the MN vote! 🙂

    • May 19, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

      Surly is nothing special? They have one of the best ipas period. Furious. They have a fantastic DIPA in Abrasive Ale. They have one of the stouts out there, Darkness. Surly makes good stuff.

  18. May 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    At least Don has some sense! He’s the only one that mentioned CO.

    In addition to

    “Avery, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, New Belgium, Great Divide, Breckinridge, CooperSmiths, North Star and Pumphouse”

    let me add Boulder Beer Co. and Wynkoop. Too bad Flying Dog moved out of there or that really would have sealed the deal.

    CA puts up a really good fight too. Those are my top 2.

    • May 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

      I’m surprised to see California doing so poorly in the poll – it looked like the early favorite based on the comments. But Oregon has taken the lead, with Colorado a close second. Maybe lotsa Rogue love?

      All I know is that this whole process is making me thirsty!

    • Don
      May 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

      Did you vote on the Poll Billy? Oregon is ahead by one vote to CO!

  19. May 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Yup I voted CO and I think I pulled it even. Unless some hippie has voted since then : )

    • May 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

      Ha ha, Billy, awesome!

    • Don
      May 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

      We are pro hippie, and take all comers here at B&WB. It is currently tied!

  20. Katie
    May 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Colorado all the way! Odells, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Great Divide, Boulder Beer… the list could go on and on.

    • Don
      May 19, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

      And it does Katie! Avery, Left Hand, Pumphouse, Boulder Beer Co…

  21. Sirklick
    May 19, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    PA does have some amazing staple beers but does not compare to the majority of what comes out of OR, CA, or CO. Not a whole lot of Oregon love here in the comments so I thought I would help represent. Oregon has a huge list of amazing breweries: Rogue, Captured by Porches, McMenamins, Full Sail, Deschutes, Widmer, Bridgeport, Roots, Tug Boat, Hopworks, Lucky Labrador, Amnesia, Alameda, Hair of the Dog, Pyramid, Steelhead, Ninkasi, Cascade… the list is huge and they are all amazing.

    • May 19, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

      Oregon might not be getting a lot of love in the comments, but it’s going gangbusters in the poll. I wish we got more of those Oregon goodies out east. Mostly just Rogue, which gets a little one note after a while.

  22. May 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Oh and to add fuel to the fire. Rogue is one of the most overrated breweries out there. They make quantity over quality. Nothing they make is fantastic.

  23. Dave Weaver
    May 19, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    Bear Republic, Anderson Valley, Stone, Anchor, and of course Sierra Nevada. I feel PA and MI are close seconds b/c I really like Victory, Stoudts, Iron Hill, and Yards in PA; Bell’s and Founders in MI. Cheers!

    • May 20, 2010 at 5:23 am #

      Well reasoned, Dave. I think my being in NJ gives me a bit of an east coast bias, so I picked PA over CA. This mostly due to the fact that there are, IMO, a better selection of excellent PA beers available to me here than from any other state. I bet if I was in CA and could get Russian River and others my vote would be different.

  24. MaiXu
    May 19, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    I’m from DE and I love Dogfish Head dearly, but Troegs has been knocking my socks off lately. Nugget Nectar and their Flying Mouflan barelywine are two of my favorite beers in recent years.

    • May 20, 2010 at 5:25 am #

      I fell in love with Troegs Mad Elf this year as well. I think we went through two cases of the stuff around here. Troegs makes some really nice stuff indeed and I don’t think they always get the credit they deserve.

  25. May 20, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    CO is the only real choice here. Some of you have alreay mentioned the CO biggies, but then there is Twisted Pine, Ska, Dry Dock, Lefthand, Durango, Bristol, Shamrock, Asher, Aspen Brewing, Pagosa…and at least 15 that are in development to open. This is truly the Napa Valley of beer! Given our size compared to CA, there really is no comparison. CO beer is the best beer and if you don’t believe me, come try it for yourself!


    • Don
      May 20, 2010 at 10:40 am #

      I think CO and OR are both getting a lot of love in the poll. CO definitely has a lot of great breweries for its size and it holds its own against any state.

  26. Don
    May 20, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    I think that Oregon is getting as many votes for Beer culture as they are for breweries themselves. Need to remember that Oregon is essentially the home of the Microbrew. Henry Weinhards is credited as being the oldest microbrewery in the US being build in Portland in 1862. So it has the brewing chops, but it has been a part of Oregon culture for better than 150 years.

  27. May 21, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    Pennsylvania should win based on Victory! alone. Stoudts, Penn and all its excellent microbreweries are just a bonus….

    • May 21, 2010 at 8:12 am #

      You must live near the Victory brewery. One trip is all it takes to convince you they’re all you need.

  28. luvlee
    May 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    California (mostly northern, in my opinion) here are some to plead my case:
    Russian River Brewing
    Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
    21st Amendment Brewing
    Thirsty Bear Brewing
    Pyramid Brewing
    Drakes Brewing
    Marin Brew Co
    SF Brewing
    Anchor Brewing
    Iron Springs
    Hopmonk Tavern (Dean Biersch)
    Fifty Fifty Brewing
    Lost Coast
    Bear Republic
    Sierra Nevada
    Third Street Aleworks

    • May 21, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

      Well when you put it like that…

  29. Evan
    May 25, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    CA, CO, OR, and WA could all win in my book. I lived for 4yrs on the east coast, and can get a lot of east coast beers here in WA, so I can do a fair comparison.

    How WA didn’t make the list, I have no clue. But it would take the entire east coast combined to hold a candle to any of these states.

    • May 25, 2010 at 10:18 am #

      Well, Wisconsin didn’t make the original list either, but after several write in votes we put them on the list. Washington only has one write in at this point (maybe that was you?) so it doesn’t look like there’s a ton of support for your favorite beer state.

      I think this poll is geared towards states with a strong beer culture, great brewers and breweries that ship their beers far and wide. It sounds like Washington qualifies in the first two regards, but with limited national exposure, not many people are aware of the good stuff happening there. It sounds like I need to get up there and investigate fully!!

      • Evan
        May 25, 2010 at 10:29 am #

        I highly suggest you do! Washington is quality over quantity for sure. We have a LOT of breweries, but most all of them run on a pretty small scale. On top of that, craft beer is the norm here, outselling the big 3 in the Seattle area. So given the amount we consume, the small production of our best breweries (read; NOT Budhook), and the vast nothingness between here and the east coast where there is a beer-educated culture again… It may be some time before Washington beer makes it out of our region.

        To give you an idea of the number of breweries we have (by region):

      • Evan
        May 25, 2010 at 10:36 am #

        You should! It’s a great beer destination for sure.

        Since it appears the long reply I typed out didn’t post for some reason, I’m trying again.

        I think a lot of it has to do with the size of our breweries vs the amount of population and beer consumption here. In the Seattle area, craft beer outsells BMC stuff. So, with a massive metro area like this, it’d hard to make enough to have surplus to ship out. Especially when profits are better staying close to home.

        Check out for a complete list of our breweries

        • May 25, 2010 at 10:41 am #

          That makes a lot of sense, but you’d think a few of them would ramp production up a bit and push out of the state. Breweries like Stone, DFH, Victory, Founders, etc., have all grown to a size where most everyone can get a taste and quality is still very high. No fair Washington doesn’t share!

        • Don
          May 25, 2010 at 10:57 am #

          Evan checking out the multiple lists of breweries from, it seems like the vast majority of the breweries are truly “Microbreweries” in the very sense of the word. The vast majority also are associated with a restaurant and pub but no bottling. Probably the closest 90% of them get is filling growlers. That said I have seen several on the list, and actually drank several. McMinimans is very solid. They have a couple of their pubs in Portland that I have been to. Dicks from Centralia is one of my favorites. I love their IPA. High IBUs and a lot of piney goodness. I’ve had Dicks on tap in a little pub in Coeur d’Alene Idaho. Great stuff. I have seen Elisian all over Idaho, but I haven’t picked any up because of hokey labels. ( I know its stupid, but if a label looks weird or bad I pass it by, perhaps you could enlighten me to this brew. Is it any good? I have also seen Pikes but for some reason I haven’t been inspired to try them either, and of course Red Hook is all over and is just ok, but it beats the hell out of the bigs, so if it is on tap with Bud and Coors, I always go there. That is about all my exposure to WA breweries. Pretty limited, but I would love to get up there and do a pub crawl with you. Next time I’m in Portland we should hook up.

        • May 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

          Your previous comment got sent to Spam for some reason. I have rescued it and it’s up now. Lots of good links. Maybe that’s why? Or maybe because you typed in v1@gr@ several times… 🙂

    • Evan
      May 25, 2010 at 11:47 am #


      Dick’s doesn’t even make my personal top 20 in the state if that says anything. And you’re not missing out on anything by passing up on Elysian. They’re really hit or miss (mostly miss) with their best stuff being the collaborations with New Belgium. Pike’s is one of my least favorites overall.

      There are definitely a lot of brew pubs here, and a lot of nanobreweries. But there’s a fair number of production breweries as well, they all just have small systems, typically smaller than 15bbl with limited tank space. We also have the two largest non-bottling breweries in the world: Georgetown and Mac &Jack’s. Both decent in their own right. But our all stars are definitely the ones I listed earlier: Black Raven (my favorite, hands down), Chuckanut, Iron Horse, Snipe’s Mountain, Big Al’s, 7 Seas, and others I’m forgetting.

      Sorry for all the rants 🙂 Just feel it’s my duty to get the word out


  1. Guest Post: Why Washington is a Top Rate Beer State « Beer & Whiskey Brothers - May 26, 2010

    […] our “Best Beer State” poll has certainly stirred the pot, with lots of folks arguing why their favorite beer […]

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