The One Beer You Should Drink in Every State
In addition to being a Deal Expert, I’m also the Chicago office’s resident Beer Expert (I know, rough gig, right?) and have traveled literally coast to coast for beer. From bars like Churchkey in DC and the Ginger Man in New York all the way over to the Monk’s Kettle in SF and Golden Road Brewing in LA, craft beer is a little like Pokemon these days – gotta catch ‘em all (responsibly, of course).
I know not everyone hits the road specifically for IPAs, pilsners, pale ales and stouts like I do — ask my wife how many weird industrial areas I’ve dragged her through to find yet another brewery. But with the explosion of local breweries nationwide, you should be able to find something great to drink wherever you are in the country.
Alabama: Good People Brewing’s Snake Handler
Alaska: It’s cold here. Drink something big, like Midnight Sun’s Berzerker RIS.
Arizona: Arizona Wilderness’ Refuge IPA.
Arkansas: Ozark Beer Company’s American Pale Ale
California: Russian River’s Pliny the Elder or Younger. Basically a couple of the world’s best.
Colorado: There’s so much beer here, even the Governor is a brewer. I drink Odells.
Connecticut: New England Fuzzy Baby Ducks IPA for the name alone.
Delaware: It’s not a big state – go to Dogfish Head and get anything that’s fresh.
D.C.: Go to Bluejacket and do the exact same thing.
Florida: Cigar City’s Jai Alai
Georgia: Any stout from Terrapin with “Wake n Bake” on the label.
Hawaii: Don’t do anything challenging here – Kona’s Longboard Lager.
Idaho: Grand Teton Snarling Badger.
Illinois: Others will insist you track down Bourbon County Stout – I’d say just drink a Half Acre Daisy Cutter.
Indiana: I’m going to skip Three Floyds as I’m guessing you’re in Indianapolis — get a Sun King.
Iowa: One of the nation’s top breweries is in Iowa – find anything from Toppling Goliath.
Kansas: Free State’s Copperhead Pale Ale
Kentucky: Anything from Against The Grain. Find the Citra Ass Down.
Louisiana: Skip Abita, get one of Bayou Teche’s LA-31 series.
Maine: Maine Beer Company’s Lunch.
Maryland: Stillwater, your choice.
Massachusetts: Tree House Good Morning
Michigan: Founders and Bells you can get all over. Drink Short’s – it’s only in Michigan.
Minnesota: Surly Coffee Bender
Mississippi: Lazy Magnolia’s Southern Pecan
Missouri: Anything you can get your hands on from Perennial or Side Project.
Montana: Big Sky’s Cowboy Moose Drool
Nebraska: Not many options here, but anything from Nebraska Brewing Company
Nevada: Tenaya Creek Ol’ Jackalope
New Hampshire: Smuttynose Porter
New Jersey: One of Flying Fish’s Exit series, preferably near the turnpike.
New Mexico: Santa Fe Brewing’s Imperial Java Stout
New York: Anything Evil Twin is pouring at Torst
North Carolina: Hop Drop n’ Roll from NoDa Brewing Company
North Dakota: Fargo Wood Chipper, for obvious reasons.
Ohio: Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
Oklahoma: Anything from Prairie, they’re all great.
Oregon: You’re probably in Portland – stick out your arm, you’ll hit a brewery. Hard to go wrong.
Pennsylvania: Troegs Nugget Nectar
Rhode Island: Revival’s Saison
South Carolina: Westbrook’s, Mexican Cake series.
South Dakota: Crow Peak’s Pile O Dirt Porter.
Tennessee: You’re in Nashville – Yazoo’s Dos Perros. Or you’re in Memphis? Yazoo’s Dos Perros.
Texas: Skip Shiner. Find anything from Jester King.
Utah: Epic’s Imperial IPA
Vermont: The Alchemist’s Heady Topper (if you can find it).
Virginia: Alewerks Bitter Valentine
Washington: Elysian Dragonstooth Stout
West Virginia: Bridge Brew Works Hellbender IPA
Wisconsin: New Glarus Spotted Cow, all day long.
Wyoming: Just because I like the name to close out this list, Snake River’s Zonker Stout.
Editor’s Note: This list was updated to include the Alchemist, which is the correct brewery for Vermont.