F&W's Kate Krader spotlights some of the country's best new breweries.
Recently a site called Nerdwallet.com released a study on the cheapest cities for beer drinkers. Based on some fancy math that involves a six-pack of Heineken, median incomes, beer tax and beer demand, the site determined that Washington, DC, is the least expensive city for beer drinkers. (If you're earning the median income, you could buy more than 30,000 Heinekens a year!) According to Nerdwallet, the most expensive city for beer drinkers is Chicago.
Now you know where your income is best spent on Heineken. Also good to know are these outrageously good new breweries around the country, specializing in excellent beers, stouts and ales.
Dangerous Man; Minneapolis; @dangerousman7
Set in an old bank in Northeast Minneapolis, Dangerous Man Brewing Co. has a taproom made partially from reclaimed wood and decorated with works by local artists. Highlights of Dangerous Man's small-batch beers include Chocolate Milk Stout, Smoked Porter and Triple IPA (hops, hops, hops!). If you're drinking at Dangerous Man, you can bring in food from nearby restaurants to complement your brew; if you're on the move, you can buy the beers by the growler. dangerousmanbrewing.com
Tennessee Brew Works; Nashville; @TNBrewWorks
At this two-story brewery and taproom, owners Christian Spears and Garr Schwartz serve seasonally changing beers that spotlight local produce. Their headliner brews include Basil Ryeman (a saison/farmhouse ale brewed with rye and basil) and Country Roots (a sweet potato stout, made by mashing the baked potatoes right into the grains). This being Nashville, they have live music every Thursday through Sunday. tnbrew.com/brewery
Trillium Brewing Co.; Boston; @Trilliumbrewing
Located in Boston's up-and-coming Fort Point hood, Trillium is one of only a handful of production breweries in the city (two of the others, whose names you might recognize, are Harpoon and Samuel Adams). Trillium offers four signature beers: Wakerobin, a farmhouse rye red ale; Pot&Kettle, an oatmeal stout; Fort Point Pale Ale; and the brewery's signature Trillium, a barley and wheat farmhouse ale. There's also a list of rotating seasonal beers, like their first bottled brew, the barrel-aged Pot&Kettle porter, offered with a two-bottle max limit. trilliumbrewing.com
Ecliptic Brewing; Portland, OR; @EclipticBrewing
Named for the Earth's orbit around the sun, Ecliptic was launched by one of Portland's most well-known brewers, John Harris. All of the beers are named after stars, constellations or something astronomy-related, like the White Astroid Imperial Wit IPA and the Mintaka Stout. (Besides detailing the flavors, ABV and so on, the tasting notes explain astrological references—Mintaka is the right-most star in Orion's belt, and is 90,000 times more luminous than the sun. Now you know.) Ecliptic also serves food, some of it made with their beer, like HefePils-spiked steamed mussels. eclipticbrewing.com
Wicked Weed; Asheville, NC
Asheville has been called the current craft beer capital of the country. One good reason to make that claim is the brewpub Wicked Weed. WW has a long list of beers on tap: their American and Belgian selections include Freak of Nature DIPA (double IPA), Gluten FREEk and What's She's Having (a rye pale ale for those who just can't choose from the long menu). The specialty, though, is wild beers, and selections from the Wicked Wood aged beers include Oblivion, which is described as “deliberately sour,” made with 88 pounds of blackberries and 20 pounds of dried dates and aged for eight months in Cabernet wine barrels. wickedweedbrewing.com
Moody Tongue; Chicago; @MoodyTongue
Brewmaster Jared Rouben is a former cook (he worked at Martini House in Napa and expedited at Per Se in New York); he describes his beermaking philosophy as “culinary brewing.” Rouben uses innovative techniques to make Moody Tongue's beers with ingredients like chocolate, rhubarb and, more unconventionally, peas, dehydrated blueberries and tea. The taproom is set to open in May; meanwhile, Rouben, a former Goose Island brewer, is offering beermaking classes. moodytongue.com