It’s a good time to be a beer producer and an even better time to be a beer drinker: 2014 was a huge year for American craft beer, which has gotten so big that the term “craft” might not even be appropriate anymore. The number of breweries in the country topped the 3,000 milestone, an all-time high, and small breweries collectively continued to gain popularity and market share from the “big three” of Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors and Pabst. Here are seven breweries to look out for in 2015—some are well-established but making some big moves, some are up and comers, all of them have beer you should get your hands on.
1. Fremont Brewing, Seattle: Washington State breweries took home 10 medals at last year’s Great American Beer Festival, and two of those belonged to Fremont Brewing. With some much-deserved national recognition, a completed brewery expansion and its outstanding portfolio of everything from wild ales to barrel-aged stouts, expect big things from this little brewery in 2015.
2. Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI: Bell’s has been a Midwest favorite for decades, churning out classic ales like its rich Kalamazoo Stout and year-round favorite Two Hearted Ale. However, since the brewery recently announced a distribution deal that gains them entry into the Southern California market, West Coasters might finally be able to enjoy Bell’s without making a February pilgrimage to Michigan.