Craft Breweries I Love
If you didn’t know, I love beer. It all started back in 2008 when I traveled to Czech Republic and visited the Pilsner Urquell factory. One week later, I was in Ireland at the Guinness storehouse and I got hooked! Since then, I have visited over 100 breweries around the world and I have no plans to stop trying delicious beers!
I now find myself looking for breweries everywhere I travel to, especially in the USA as the craft beer is exploding! According to the Brewers Association (BA), craft breweries have increased from 1,596 in 2009, to 5,234 in 2016! Every brewing company therefore tries their best to bring their A game, the result being a wide range of excellent and unique beers. My personal favorite style is IPA, Porter, Stout, Imperial Stout and Belgian Trips. Below is a list of the best craft breweries I have visited since early 2017 starting with the most recent. The list is updated regularly, so check back for new breweries that make the list!
Vera Sur Brewing Company – Miami, Florida
Veza Sur is a brand new Brewery in Miami, and it’s found in the Wynwood Arts District. It is the fourth brewery in Wynwood after Concrete Beach Brewing, J Wakefield Brewing and Wynwood Brewing, which are just a few blocks away. The brewery comes to provide to some killer beers and create a cool place for people to get together and have fun.
Veza Sur features a taproom with a 40-inch foot bar which gives view of the on-site brewery in operation. They have 18 beers on tap and chopp, a Brazilian method that serves ice-cold lagers in small glasses with an extra foamy head. There are also awesome beer cocktails and Mexican/Korean fusion food. Both the food and the beers are fantastic and I really loved the Coffee Porter, Belgian Gator Ale and the Guava Sour!
Cajun Brewing Company-Lafayette, Louisiana
Cajun Brewing is Louisiana’s 17th brewery, and the first one to be located in Lafayette. For some time, Cajuns have been known for incredible food, and Cajun Brewery wanted to combine this and provide a taste of handcrafted locally brewed beer as well. That worked, and from their food and beer, I couldn’t help but appreciate how well they’ve done this.
Cajun microbrewery focuses on making a few types of beers in fairly small quantities for fresh and flavorful brews. I found most of their beers to a bit light, but great tasting. They also have a tap room which features 15 rotating taps. Their o- premise beer options are still expanding, and I really liked the Dark Malz & Bayou Brunette which is an American Brown Ale.
Parish Brewing Company- Broussard, Louisiana
Parish Brewing was founded in 2008 and has over the years established itself as one of the best breweries in Louisiana, and the south in general. It is a really cool spot in the Broussard area where you can pop in for good times and good beer. They are well known for their Ghost in the Machine Double IPA that will always be in high demand.
Parish Brewing offers free tours on Saturdays from noon to 3 pm, and they include a complimentary tasting. You can also buy merchandise during the tour. Further, there’s a very cool tasting room where you can drop by anytime for a pint, a six pack or a growler fill. I took a flight of the beers they brew, and they were very awesome. The Ghost in a Machine Double IPA and the Grand Reserve Barley Wine were my favorites.
Bayou Teche Brewing- Arnaudville, Louisiana
Bayou Teche Brewing is another brewery I visited in the Cajun Community, and it began producing and selling beer in January 2010. It is an award winning brewery and was even ranked among the top ten best microbreweries in the US by AskMen. The brewery is family-run and according Karlos the head brewer, their beer is meant to pair excellently with the Cajun cuisine and lifestyle.
Boyou Teche Brewery produces a total of 11 beers, with 5 all year rounds. Their flagship beer is the LA-31 Bière Pale, which won a Silver Medal in the World Beer Championships in 2013. It uses Belgian Malts and American hops and Yeast to come up with the unique brew that represents Acadiana. Apart from it, my other highlights were the Techeticles Triple IPA, Waking Dead Coffee Koshe & Meil Savage.
Tank Brewing Company – Miami, Florida
Tank Brewing Company is one of the new entrants into the craft beer industry, in my hometown of Miami. It is a huge brewery, and it tries to incorporate the culture and landmarks of Miami into their beers, right from brewing to the naming. Tank brewery owns Miami’s largest taproom in South Florida, with a capacity of 600 people and a regular seating of 1120.
In their taproom, you can expect up to 16 different beers, with a number of guest beers available too! I did my testing of their fresh beers, and the El Farito IPA & Rye-Lingual Stout were a pick for me. Apart from the beer bar, Tank brewery also offers a unique feature in their Cigar shop where you can relax the day off with friends and some cigars. If you need something for a fill, they also have a menu filled with American dishes and flavors that you will love!
Long Live Beer Works – Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US in terms of size and has recently been baptized in beer. Long Live Beerworks is the latest kid on the block, with less than 2 years of existence. It was my last brewery in the area. Long Live Beerworks is focused on offering neighbors a regular rotation of beers, and they don’t offer flagships.
Long Live Beerworks tries to balance hop-forward East Coast style beers with traditional English-style cask-conditioned ale. Their tasting room is usually open Wednesday to Saturday, and you can enjoy tastings and full pours. They offer new releases every couple of weeks, and so you can always hop in and find something fresh. I had a flight of their beers, and my pick was the Double IPA & Stout.
Trinity Brewhouse – Providence, Rhode Island
Trinity Brewhouse is the first of breweries to be established in Rhode Island. It is located in the heart of Downtown Providence. Being established way back in 1995, it was the among the pioneer brewpub restaurants in New England. The place cuts an excellent atmosphere and is perfect for dinner dates, business lunches, or a night out with friends. The restaurant serves some tasty dishes, and I had a fish sandwich which was very delicious!
Trinity brewhouse produces a number of award-winning beers ranging from ales, porters, and stouts, all of which are fresh and produced on the premises. Overall, the place was very impressive, and you can always go there to relax or catch a music event, enjoy the cuisine and the beer. My favorite beers here were the Batch 2107 IPA & Milk Stout.
Union Station Brewing Company – Providence, Rhode Island
The Union Station Brewery is also located in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. It’s was created out of a former train station and made a treasured gem of the island. It is a part of the John Hancock chain of breweries that has other locations in New York and Massachusetts. Union Station Brewery has a classy pub vibe that would make you just want to hang out there. It also has a restaurant that is quite commendable and full of tasty foods.
My visit here was during the summer months, and so I got to enjoy their outdoor patio with a few friends. The brewery has about 7 beers produced, and I was happy to try them out. The Coffee Bean Porter has a lovely coffee flavor, and I really enjoyed the Mo’ Bay Stout which is an Irish Dry Stout.
Harpoon Brewing Company – Boston, Massachusetts
Harpoon Brewery was founded in 1986, and is the oldest brewery in Massachusetts. Since then, the brewery has grown into one of the largest brands in the American craft brewing industry. The brewery draws on various brewing traditions to make their beers, but with an added bit of unique ‘interpretation’ on how these styles of beer can be made to best match our tastes.
They have beers ranging from IPAs, stouts, cider and many more. There are also seasonal beers like the Harpoon Summer Fling and the popular Harpoon Pumpkin Cider which is available during the fall. They are well known for their India Pale which is awesome. My picks were the Boston Irish Stout & Hoppy Adventure IPA.
Lincoln’s Beard Brewing Company – Miami, Florida
Lincoln’s Beard Brewing Company is another brewery in the heart of Miami, located at the Bird Road Arts District. The aim of opening this brewery was to bring local beer to the local community, where people would go and enjoy their beers there. It was dedicated to President Lincoln, who is celebrated both in the name and décor.
The brewery cuts a warm and fuzzy-like vibe, and has cushy couches, barrel tables, potted plants and pennies glued all over the place. They have a range of beers from American IPAs, Irish Reds, Ales to Belgians. The taproom hosts weekly events too where you can get a discount on various events. I tasted all the beers brewed here with John Falco, founder and Headbrewer. They were all awesome, with my favorite being Patrick Swayze IPA & Chet Triple.
Cellarmaker Brewing Company – San Francisco, California
Cellarmaker Brewing Co. is one brewery I found to be commendably unique in their approach. Here, they don’t believe the common concept of a set production schedule or a number of flagship beers. Rather, they decided to opt for a more dynamic approach that sees them provide a constantly rotating tap list.
Cellarmaker brewery is always experimenting with different types of beers including hops, grains, barrels, and yeasts. Out of these, they focus on hoppy beers because of their popularity among beer lovers. They normally offer about 3-5 hop-driven beers that usually carry a juicy and aromatic theme. Other than that, the list is usually pretty much balanced and therefore everyone is bound to find their favorites. Mine was the Nutty Buddy Ale & Double IPA. Half pints are available so you can try multiple beers.
Allagash Brewing Company – Portland, Maine
Allagash Brewing Company started its operations way back in 1995, and it’s located on the outskirts of Portland, Maine. One thing that makes Allagash stand out is their edge towards Belgian beer. The brewery strives to make the best Belgian-inspired beers in the world, with a dedication to craftsmanship and quality.
This is one brewery that when you visit, you’ll fall in love with. And I did! They offer quite a wide range of all-year rounds, coolships and limited releases. All Belgian-style! A visit gives a free guided tour and a free flight. You can also catch some innovative American dish at the brewery, some Allagash Black, White or Dubbel which were my favorites.
Foulmouthed Brewing Company – South Portland, Maine
Foulmouthed Brewing was a dream of husband and wife, and it started its operations in 2016. It is a double-barreled brewery and restaurant, and it sits at the corner of A and Ocean streets in Knightville, not far from Thomas Knight Park. It was the first brewery in Knightville, and only the second in the city.
You can get tours of the brewing facility and the tasting room which are based on one side, with the full bar and food-and-drink menu on the other side. The restaurant has a wide variety of foods including American burgers, sandwiches, seafood, steaks, vegetarian and brewery food. There are six wall-mounted taps that offer chilled beer from tanks on the other side. There are also cocktails that I really enjoyed. As for the beers produced, Coconut Creme Stout & Blue Balls Belgium Quadruple were my picks.
Liquid Riot Bottling Company – Portland, Maine
Liquid Riot Bottling Co. is another brewery in Portland, Maine, located right in the heart of Old Port. It combines a restaurant, bar, brewery and distillery all in one. It was formerly known as In’finiti Fermentation & Distillation but later rebranded. The restaurant features a wide variety of menu items to choose from, and I was greatly impressed by almost every food I tasted. They are well known for their venison meatloaf slider.
At the distillery, there are varieties of whiskies and rums, a vodka and even fernet, an herbal digestif that bears Michaud’s name! Liquid Riot’s wide focus however doesn’t come at the expense of beer. There’s a wide range of delicious beers from sours to IPAs to Belgians. Communal tables are available if you’ve come in a large group, and on a warm day, you can enjoy the outdoor deck. My favorites here were the irish Stout & Headstash IPA.
Sebago Brewing Company – Portland, Maine
Sebago Brewing Company is Southern Maine’s first locally owned and operated restaurant and brew house. Generally, I can say that the restaurant and brewery have an American theme. The cuisine is American-style while the beer is brewed with all American malt, hops and crisp water from the Sebago Lake. Beers from Sebago Brewing Company are known for their creativity, high-quality and uniqueness.
There’s a tap room where you can go tasting. I found 7 beers on tap and Frye’s Leap IPA & Royal Tar Imperial Stout were my favorite. There is usually a happy hour on weekdays, from 4-7 pm. The brewery is large enough to hold meetings, and you can even bring your family aboard as there’s huge space available, as well as a happy atmosphere!
Mast Landing Brewing Company – Portland, Maine
Mast Landing is Westbrook’s first brewing company, and it started in the summer of 2015. This was after 2 years of the co-funder’s home brewing practice. Now the company is all grown and together with Yes Brewing Company and potential others that may come up, they want to make Westbrook a beer destination!
The company brews nine beers, as well as a few seasonal ones. The initial focus was on American style Ales, but they have also diverged into other beers. They have an impressive tasting room that is also spacious. There’s also a patio where you can enjoy your beer with some friends outside. Peanut Butter Stout & Jonah Double IPA were my favorites. They were really good and you should stop just to grab some!
Rising Tide Brewing Company – Portland, Maine
Rising Tide Brewing Company is located at East Bayside in Portland, Maine, and is a small-scale, family-owned craft brewery. The company aims at bringing world-wide traditions together with a New England ethic in order to come up with some unique beers. Rising Tide packages their beers in 12 and 16 oz. cans and on draft, then avails them in various locations in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
They also have a taproom where you can go and sample their beers. There, you can buy their beer, pint glasses, t-shirts and hats. You can also catch up with their brewery tours that are provided on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 1 pm. Rising Tide has regular beers, seasonal beers and limited releases. My favorite was the Zephyr IPA & Stout.
Yes Brewing Company – Portland, Maine
Yes Brewing is a brand new brewery based in Westbrook Maine, a 20 min drive from downtown Portland. It is the second brewery in the area, after Mast Landing. It only opened on June 30th, and I was there when it was just a month old. I was however impressed by the outlook and type of beers that they offer.
The vision of the cofounders is to offer something unique and create a new beer community. To accomplish this, they brew normal brew styles with out of the box ingredients to keep things interesting. Currently, they a double dry hopped pale ale, a japaleno pale ale, pineapple mosaic Berliner Weisse and a mint IPA (India Pale Ale). At the time of visit, they were working on bringing some sour beers. My favorite beers here were the japaleno Pale Ale & Mint IPA.
Maine Beer Company – Freeport, Maine
Maine Beer Company is one brewery that has an interesting story behind it. It was built from nothing by two brothers, who started off with a $300 home brew set they found on Craigslist! Now, it has grown into full-scale operation, and their brews are among the top rated America APAs.
They have created a spacious tasting space that you can go with your friends and have good fun sampling flights on offer while enjoying a couple of board games. They don’t offer tours, but you can still get a nice view of the operations from the glass window in the tasting room. Currently, Maine Beer Company produces 10 brews, which include Pale Ales, Amber Ales, Porters and Stouts. To choose a few, Lunch IPA and Tom Stout were my favorites.
Gritty McDuffs Brew Pub – Auburn, Maine
Gritty McDuff is Maine’s original brewpub that’s also a restaurant. The company started Maine’s craft beer revolution way back in 1988, and is considered the granddaddy of craft beer in Maine. The Auburn pub features an English pub atmosphere just like the Portland original. It has a deck that gives you an excellent view of the river.
They brew lots of beers on site, so you can always get a fresh pint. Apart from the regular ales offered, there are also seasonal ones like the Halloween and Vacationland. My favorite beers here were the Pub Style Pale Ale & Maine’s Best IPA. There’s also quite a wide range of food offerings with a unique flair. The atmosphere is usually lively with activities and entertainment during the weekdays, and live music at the weekends.
Baxter Brewing Company – Lewiston, Maine
Baxter Brewing Company is based in Lewiston, Maine. I toured the brewery courtesy of Visit Maine. Baxter was the first craft brewery in New England to can all of its beer, and it distributes them to various other states in both six-pack and draught. It is the 3rd largest brewery in Maine, and it flourishes on sustainability.
The brewery has an in-house retail shop as well as a Tap Room where you can buy and enjoy their flavorful and unique craft beers. I found the brewery to have quite a good selection and I had a flight of their delicious beers. Each one had good flavor and felt really good. My favorites included Windowseat (Coconut Almond Porter) and the limited edition Wicked Dark (Imperial Stout). Runner-up would be the Stowaway (IPA).
J Wakefield Brewing Company – Miami, Florida
J Wakefield Brewery is the last brewery I visited in the Wynwood Arts District. The place is beautifully Star Wars art-themed, and though located in the same location as the two other breweries, it is unique in its own way. They boast trademark sour beers, which they make by adding familiar fruits to fermentation. The end product is a sour beer which has some light, sweet concoctions that both refresh and pucker your lips.
John Wakefield, the owner, is actually quite renowned with his Dragon Fruit/Passion Fruit Berliner Weisse being ranked among the top 10 beers in the world. There are other quirky flavors and also seasonal offerings that you can take advantage of during various times of the year. There is also a tap room that offers 14 different beers to make sure you get your best taste. Personally, El Jefe German Hefweisan & Hops For Teacher IPA proved my favorites.
Concrete Beach Brewing Company – Miami, Florida
Still in the Wynwood Art District is the Concrete Beach Brewery. This brewery is widely known for brewing beers in the culture and flavor of Miami. The setting of this makes it feel more like a ‘hang out’ place. It is unique, has a great ambiance and is perfect for relaxing with some Miami-flavored beer.
There’s a wide range of beers here, with their flagship beer being the Stiltsville Pilsner, a beer that I really liked. You can visit with some friends and enjoy some IPAs, wheat beers with a taste of citrus, some easy-drinking beers or even seasonal brews like Miami Gras (Juniper Saison) which usually launches in February. My favorites here were the Stiltsville Pilsner & Mos Hops Double IPA.
Wynwood Brewing Company – Miami, Florida
Wynwood Brewery is in the Wynwood Arts District, and it was the first company to start craft production in the Miami. This was way back in December 2013. Being the pioneer in the area, Wynwood Brewery has always been doing its best to deliver fresh, creative and delicious beers to thirsty South Floridians and tourists alike.
The brewery majors on traditional beer styles, and my visit here gave me a great taste of Miami beer. The brewery also has a tap room. This taproom has no TVs, only loudspeakers blasting classic rock. The aim is to minimize distractions and let people focus on their beer, and each other. If I were to choose a favorite, then their Gold-Medal winning beer, the Pop’s Porter, would be the one.