The Best American Microbreweries
It’s easy for Europeans to look down their noses at our transatlantic cousins and pour scorn on the state of the beer industry there. Giant mass-producing breweries such as Coors and Budweiser produce brews that serious drinkers around the world wouldn’t touch with somebody elses bargepole.
However the United States is a huge, diverse country and it’s not hard to find smaller breweries, collectively termed Microbreweries, who produce a range of lagers and ales to suit anyone’s taste. There are about 1600 nationwide and we’ll have a look at a few of the best ones.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Formed in 1996 by Adam Firestone, a member of the Brooks Firestone clan and his
brother in law Adam Walker, this California brewery has been a consistent winner of beer quality awards since it perfected it’s processes in 2002. Their strength is Pale Ales and their original and most popular product is Firestone Pale Ale which, the company states:
“We’ve taken the classic British pale ale and elevated it with a wonderful dose of northwest American hops. A crisp floral hop aroma precedes a medium-bodied clean finishing ale.”
Kettle House Brewing Company
This Montana brewery was opened in 1995 by Tim O’Leary, a state native whose original
idea had been to start a business within which the customer could brew there own beer. This subsequently morphed into a fully fledged microbrewery. Similar to the Firestone brewery, Kettle House includes a ‘brewpub’, essentially a pub attached to the brewery where patrons can enjoy the product.
Kettle House produces many varieties for a small operation, it’s most well known
probably being Cold Smoke Scotch Ale, described by the company as:
“formulated with Montana grown 2-row barley, northwest Goldings hops, and lotsa love, this hearty ale drinks very smooth.”
Anchor Brewing Company
This just about qualifies as microbrewery, but having been in existence in San Francisco
since 1896 it is as old as many of the newer European breweries. The brewery has burned down several times and presumably ceased production during prohibition but it bounced back and is still with us now.
It’s most famous beer is probably Anchor Steam Beer, which is brewed, the company says:
“with an exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. The deep amber color, thick creamy head, and rich flavor all testify to our traditional brewing methods.”
So before your next trip to the States, check out the microbreweries where you’re going and give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.