10 Best American Brewpubs Every Beer Fan Should Visit
4. The Buckeye Beer Engine
Don't doubt the pull of Ohio's brewpubs. Jackie O's in Athens, Weasel Boy in Zanesville and The Brew Kettle in Strongsville all made RateBeer's list, but Buckeye Beer Engine's 28 taps bested them all. Unlike its upmarket competitors, however, Buckeye isn't afraid to mix high-minded cask ales such as its Aquarius Imperial IPA with a Belgian Strong Ale called Nighty Night, a half-pound burger and pretzel-wrapped hot dog special or an Ohio State game. They'll even knock two bucks off the price of your burger on Mondays if you bike in.
3. Shorts Brewing
In a notoriously tough beer state packed with favorites such as Founders, Dark Horse, Jolly Pumpkin, Bells and Kuhnhenn, the 20 taps at Shorts more than hold their own. All the way up near the top of the mitten in Bellaire, Shorts goes big on beers including the puckeringly bitter Huma Lupa IPA and bourbon-barrel-aged Black Cherry Porter. In true Michigan fashion, Shorts pairs these crafted gems not with burgers and burritos from the grill, but with turkey, ham, bacon, roast beef or pastrami sandwiches from its deli. Catch all of that on a night when there's live music and it's as perfect a Michigan brewpub experience as you'll find.
2. Russian River Brewing
Santa Rosa, Calif.
There's almost no way to get the California brewpub call right, especially when Russian River, Stone, Alpine and Pizza Port are all within state lines. Russian River breaks this tie pretty easily by giving the beer geeks what they want: Some of the best, most sought-after beers on the planet. Its Pliny The Elder double IPA and Supplication and Consecration sour beers are hoarded by beer lovers and used as pawns in multistate trades. Pliny The Elder is regularly considered one of the best beers in the world. At Russian River, they're what's on tap as guest devour chicken wings, meatball sandwiches, pizza and calzones and watch local bands. It's like finding a 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild at Buffalo Wild Wings(BWLD) : Jarring, but welcome.