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Craft Beer: Top 10 Brewers

I like beer, I like beer a lot.  I can’t tell you why I prefer one beer over another, it’s just my taste buds. So, I will not be able to say that one is hoppy or tastes like grapefruit or whatever.  What I do know, however, is that I enjoy traditional beers, like IPAs and lagers, and get no pleasure from sours or saisons or…

In the coming months, you will hear from a Master Cicerone.  A Cicerone, you might ask?

Wines have Sommeliers, beers have Cicerones.  As defined by Merriam-Webster, a Cicerone is “a guide who explains the history and chief features of a place to sightseers.”  In the world of beer, a Cicerone is a relatively new designation for those who have demonstrated their knowledge and experience to “ensure that consumers receive the best possible beer and enjoy its flavors to the greatest extent possible.”
There are over 7,000 breweries in the United States, and thousands more around the world.  And it seems that a new craft beer joint is opening in your neighborhood every few months.  I’m not complaining, just stating a fact!

RateBeer.com is a community of beer enthusiasts dedicated to the pursuit and appreciation of good beer. According to RateBeer.com, the 2019 the top 10 “Best Brewers in the World” are:

  1. Hill Farmstead Brewery (Vermont)
  2. Russian River Brewing (California)
  3. Trillium Brewing Company (Massachusetts)
  4. Cigar City Brewing (Florida)
  5. Tree House Brewing Company (Massachusetts)
  6. AleSmith Brewing Company (California)
  7. Three Floyds Brewing Company (Indiana)
  8. New Glarus Brewing Company (Wisconsin)
  9. Side Project Brewing (Missouri)
  10. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (California)

Of the top 10, I have visited…well, I haven’t visited any of them!  But I do know a little bit about a few of them, such as:

  • Hill Farmstead Brewery has been rated #1 six years in a row.  Their legendary beers are only available in Vermont, and there are no plans to expand distribution.  I understand that their pale ales are terrific, but so are all their others!  Do I hear “road trip?”
  • Russian River brews all types of beers, but began earning its reputation with their famed double IPA, named “Pliny the Elder.”
  • If you visit Trillium, do not expect to bring home a trunk-load for your friends.  They have strict limitations . . . Assuming they still have some left when you arrive.
  • Cigar City is located in Tampa, a few hours from my home, and i understand their cozy tasting room has one great beer after another. You may be familiar with their award-winning Jai Alai IPA and Maduro Brown Ale, but according to friends, every single beer is just fabulous.
  • If you visit Tree House, be prepared to wait in line.  As a matter of fact, bring some warm clothing when you visit any of these places!

I could keep going on and on, but I think you get the point.  If you enjoy your beers, visit your local craft breweries, and bring along a designated driver!