Beer junkies really don’t play around. If a craft beer expert invites you over to their house, don’t you dare show up with your run-of-the-mill ale, unless you want to be a prime target for condescending questions. Questions like “What the hell is that?” and “Why would you even choose to drink that mass-produced swill over the copious number of lovingly crafted local brews available all across this great nation?” Standing there, with a normal Bud in hand — that’s a lager, by the way — you’ll be at a loss for words.
To avoid that embarrassment, Zymurgy Magazine — a publication for homebrewers— has once again released its list of the best beers from around the country, at least according to members of the American Homebrewers Association. While even the most refined beer palettes in the country can’t always be expected to always agree on the best beers, you’re sure to find your next favorite somewhere on this list of the best beers in each state.
There’s a little something for everyone in this list, and conversely, something for everyone to hate. Parents, beware: Big beers with the kind of punch that will make you a negligent sitter are all over this list. There’s not one session beer, the fancy term for low-ABV craft brews made for all-day-drinking on this list. So crack open your A Deal with the Devil, a 17.3 percent barleywine from Anchorage, or Bomb!, a ridiculous 13-percent chocolate stout late at night, when the kids are asleep and sobriety isn’t a must. Otherwise, take note of the ABV when shopping and stick with styles like porter (see, the ridiculously tasty Alaskan Smoked Porter), stout (just make sure they aren’t imperial stouts), and pale ale beers like Iowa’s psuedoSue from the ever reliable Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.
Here’s the entire list.
ALABAMA: Yellowhammer Brewing Rebellion, Yellowhammer Brewery
ALABAMA: Folklore Brewing & Meadery Shadowcaster Port, Folklore Brewing & Meadery
ALASKA: A Deal with the Devil, Anchorage Brewing Co.
ALASKA: Alaskan Smoked Porter & Alaskan Amber, Alaskan Brewing Co.
ARIZONA: Achocolypse, Prescott Brewing Company
ARKANSAS: Cream Stout, Ozark Beer Co.
CALIFORNIA: Pliny the Elder, Russian River Brewing Company
COLORADO: Milk Stout Nitro, Left Hand Brewing Company
CONNECTICUT: Imperial Stout Trooper, New England Brewing Co.
DELAWARE: 90 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
FLORIDA: Jai Alai IPA, Cigar City Brewing
GEORGIA: Tropicália IPA, Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
HAWAII: Coconut Hiwa Porter, Maui Brewing Co.
HAWAII: Pipeline Porter & Koko Brown, Kona Brewing Co.
IDAHO: Rabbit Punch Irish Red, RAM Restaurant & Brewery
ILLINOIS: Bourbon County Brand Stout, Goose Island Beer Co.
INDIANA: Zombie Dust, Three Floyds Brewing Co.
IOWA: pseudoSue, Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.
KANSAS: Buffalo Sweat Oatmeal Cream Stout, Tallgrass Brewing Co.
KENTUCKY: West Sixth IPA, West Sixth Brewing
LOUISIANA: Miel Sauvage, Bayou Teche Brewing
MAINE: Dinner, Main Beer Co.
MARYLAND: Raging Bitch Belgian IPA, Flying Dog Brewery
MASSACHUSETTS: Julius, Tree House Brewing Co.
MICHIGAN: Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Bell’s Brewery
MINNESOTA: Abrasive Ale & Todd the Axe Man, Surly Brewing Co.
MISSISSIPPI: Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale, Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co.
MISSOURI: Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, Boulevard Brewing Co.
MONTANA: Single Hop Northwest Pale Ale, Bitter Root Brewing Co.
NEBRASKA: Barrel Aged HopAnomaly, Nebraska Brewing Co.
NEVADA: Dirty Wookie, The Brewer’s Cabinet
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Moonlight Meadery Utopian, Moonlight Meadery
NEW JERSEY: Head High, Kane Brewing Company
NEW MEXICO: Elevated IPA, La Cumbre Brewing Co.
NEW YORK: Choklat Oranj, Southern Tier Brewing Co.
NORTH CAROLINA: Pernicious IPA, Wicked Weed Brewing Co.
NORTH DAKOTA: No winner.
OHIO: JuJu Imperial IPA, Fat Heads Brewery Hop
OKLAHOMA: Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb!, Prairie Artisan Ales
OREGON: Fresh Squeezed IPA, Deschutes Brewery
PENNSYLVANIA: Nugget Nectar, Tröegs Independent Brewing
RHODE ISLAND: Captain’s Daughter, Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island
SOUTH CAROLINA: Huger Street IPA, Palmetto Brewing Company
SOUTH DAKOTA: Chokecherry Brown Ale, Miner Brewing Co.
TENNESSEE: Hefeweizen, Yazoo Brewing Co.
TEXAS: Atrial Rubicite, Jester King Brewery
UTAH: Big Bad Baptist, EPIC Brewing Company
VERMONT: Heady Topper, The Alchemist Brewery
VIRGINIA: Christmas Morning, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
WASHINGTON: Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star, Fremont Brewing
WEST VIRGINIA: No winner.
WISCONSIN: Wisconsin Belgian Red, New Glarus Brewing Co.
WYOMING: 2×4 DIPA, Melvin Brewing