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Your Picks: The 15 Best Not-To-Be Missed Local Breweries

Earth Eats would like to raise a glass to your hand-picked, top 15 (in no particular order) local brewing companies.

local_brew

Photo: Patrick Childress

Earth Eats proposes a toast to these 15 local breweries who are making great beer and giving back to their communities.

Recently on our Facebook page, we asked you about your favorite local breweries.

Here are your top picks that stood out, not only for their tasty brew, but for their love of their local communities and their earth-friendly character:

  1. Upland Brewing Company. Bloomington, IN. Upland is a champion of local breweries. Not only do they use primarily local sources, but they also give back to the community that supports them. From working with local farmers to find reuse for their spent grain to hosting music concerts and supporting non-profits, these guys prove that it’s about much more than good beer. submitted by: Abby Noroozi.
  2. Salmon River Brewery. McCall, ID. Two local couples started up the brewery with a passion for beer and for the community. The atmosphere is fun and family-friendly, with live music and other events. They believe in making beer with local products and preserving their beautiful natural setting. Gary Kucy wrote in saying that they have a “passion for making excellent beer”.
  3. Otto’s Pub and Brewery. State College, PA. Otto’s also made BeerAdvocate.com’s list of “Top 50 Places to Have a Pint.” As you drive up you can see the giant steel tanks where tasty beer is brewing on-location. Otto’s celebrates Pennsylvania’s local brewing history, but also supports the current community by serving up all local food in their pub.  Louisa Smith wrote in to say that they’re also committed to local foods, with many local suppliers for their restaurant.
  4. Stone Brewing Company. Escondido, CA. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is the largest restaurant purchaser of local, small-farm organic produce in San Diego County. They host many wacky hair-dyeing events, a fun and different way to raise money for their favorite charities. Herb Neidner says you can count on Stone to “serve ‘proper’ portions, and they also buy locally.”
  5. South Shore Brewery. Ashland, WI. Maybe best known for their flagship brew, the Nut Brown Ale, South Shore Brewery uses the best of local ingredients, including upper Midwest grains, water from Lake Superior, even local honey. Jennifer Nelson Schierman especially likes the nut brown ale.
  6. Four Peaks Brewery. Tempe, AZ. Recipient of many national awards, including several World Beer Cup awards, Four Peaks strives for the best in fresh local beer.  They are serious about Quality Control and using only the purest water, so there is nothing but delicious beer in your glass. Thanks, Jen Quercia!
  7. Surly Brewing Company.  Brooklyn Center, MN.  This family business has mastered the art of beer making and, actually, is far from surly when it comes to charity. Their colorfully named program, Surly Gives a Damn, gives back through generous donations and service projects in the community. Krista Hintz Nielsen says even her “beer snob” husband loves this one!
  8. Rogue Brewery.  Newport, OR. Rogue brews by a strict creed, including the commandment  “cut out all the B.S.” They are a strong example of small local business that provides the highest quality vegan-friendly brews for the community. Rick Pasley recommends their Dead Guy Ale.
  9. Court Avenue Brewing Company. Des Moines, IA. CABCo has a traditional, yet amazingly fresh take on local beer. The pub’s style strives to keep Iowa brewing tradition alive with its historic building and antique decor from the days of prohibition. Melissa Bennett says they have a great IPA, among many other great beers.
  10. Kiuchi Brewery. Ibaraki, JAPAN. Kiuchi’s Hitachino Nest Beer is world-famous and has established a market in the US.  However, the brewery still holds true to its local Japanese tradition. After all, they have been in operation for over 180 years! Shinobu Kuroda Hitachino wrote in all the way from Japan to recommend this one!
  11. Mill Street Brewery. Ontario, CANADA. This brewery has won a long list of awards, including Canadian Brewery of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Sarah Quirino recommends their “Mill Street Organic,” which is guaranteed pesticide-and herbicide-free.
  12. Sudwerk. Davis, CA. There is nothing like a freshly brewed mug of great German beer. This, paired with a beautiful restaurant and live music, is what makes Sudwerk one of California’s favorite local breweries. Thanks Jennifer Mason Wendt!
  13. Revolution Brewing. Paonia, CO. This family business certainly looks and feels like home. They brew simply and sweetly with only three magic ingredients: grain, hops, and pure water. What more could you want in a local brewery? Gail Elizabeth Martin says they even have music on the patio on wednesday evening!
  14. Power House Brewing Company.  Columbus, IN. This local brewery and bar doesn’t just bring the community together with delicious beer. They also keep people connected with their fun and interactive website, which even has live music feeds from the bar itself. Kevin McCracken says their Diesel Oil Stout is one of his all-time favorites.
  15. Sun King Brewery. Indianapolis, IN. The Sun King won multiple awards at the 2010 World Beer Cup. Their beer is found in a variety of pubs and stores throughout Indiana, but the real treat is visiting the tasting room, where you can try all their beers in one sitting! Thanks, Bj Davis!

Did we miss your favorite local brewhouse? let us know in the comments!

Molly Plunkett

Molly Plunkett is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for Earth Eats. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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  • Claref

    Walking Man Brewery- Stevenson, WA. NOTHING is better!!

  • Kimmerly Norman

    Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Fort Worth, TX http://rahrbrewing.com/

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