Americans love craft beer. The nation is home to well over 6,200 craft breweries (and that number continues to grow), as well as thousands more beer bars and brewpubs. The sheer variety of quality beer on the market today can be overwhelming. We wanted to narrow down the field, so we asked our readers to vote for their favorites in seven categories.
Click on each category below to see the full list of winners:
Best Beer Bar: Salud Beer Shop in Charlotte
Winning beer bar offers hundreds of bottles and 16 beers on draft — Photo courtesy of Salud Beer Shop
Opened in 2012 as a bottle shop, Salud Beer Shop in Charlotte’s North Davidson neighborhood has grown into a local favorite beer bar, complete with 16 taps and hundreds of bottled craft beers from around the world.
Best Beer Festival: Brewgaloo in Raleigh, N.C.
North Carolina beers are the stars of this winning festival — Photo courtesy of Shop Local Raleigh/Greater Raleigh Merchants Association
During Brewgaloo, festival goers enjoy beers from more than 100 North Carolina breweries paired with bites from 50 food trucks and vendors, all to the sounds of live music. The Raleigh festival is the largest of its kind in the state.
Best Beer Label: Heady Topper from Alchemist Beer
You know you’re getting hoppy flavor when you pick up this can — Photo courtesy of LuvLens Photography / Alchemist Beer
Heady Topper, the flagship IPA from The Alchemist, is a limited release packed with more than 120 IBU of hoppy goodness. The label art references this with a depiction of a man drinking the beer as hops foam up from the top of his head.
Best Beer Scene: St. Louis
Winning city is home to world’s largest brewer — Photo courtesy of St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission
Large German and Irish populations, plenty of water and rail connections pretty much destined St. Louis to have a thriving beer scene. The city is not only home to Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer, but a host of other craft breweries and pubs the likes of 4 Hands, Urban Chestnut and Schlafly.
The 50 taps at 21st Street Brewers Bar give beer lovers a chance to sample many local brews in one spot, while the popular Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar boasts a beer list of more than 200 labels.
Best Brewery Tour: New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colo. & Asheville, N.C.
This is the second straight win for New Belgium in this category — Photo courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Company
Visitors to the New Belgium facilities in both Fort Collins and Asheville are in for a treat. Free 90-minute tours include beer sampling (of course) as well as stories of the brewery’s history. After the tour, guests are invited to enjoy beers in the tasting room or grab a bite to eat from a rotating list of visiting food trucks.
Best Brewpub: 18th Street Brewery in Hammond, Ind.
Winning brewpub makes their own beer and bakes their own bread — Photo courtesy of © 2019 18th Street Brewery
Indiana’s 18th Street Brewery brews up several varieties of beer in their Hammond brewpub, including Imperial Blud Imperial Russian stout, Temporal Purgatory pale ale, Here Comes the Wolf old ale and Sex and Candy American IPA. The brewpub also serves pub grub and dinner menus with house-baked bread and pastries.
Best New Brewery: Wild Leap Brew Co. in LaGrange, Ga.
Winning brewery opened in August 2017 — Photo courtesy of Glenn Whittington / Wild Leap Brew Co.
The former home of Westbrook Service & Tire Co. in historic downtown LaGrange, Georgia is today home to Wild Leap Brew Co. The brewery gets its name from the leap of faith the two founders took when leaving successful careers to follow their passion for beer. Offerings include Alpha Abstraction Double IPA, Chance IPA, Prize Inside Cracker Jack Stout, Local Gold Blonde Ale and Truck Chaser Creamsicle Double IPA.
Congratulations to all these winning breweries, beer bars, cities, brewpubs and festivals. Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in other Readers’ Choice categories.