The Best Beer Pubs in All 50 States (and D.C.)
Brewpubs in this country have taken off in the past few decades since Prohibition largely destroyed brewpubs and taverns. That changed in 1992, when Scottish import Bert Grant opened Grant's Brewery Pub in a train depot in Yakima, Wash., to brew and promote his pale ale, IPA and Scottish Ale. Though it closed in 2005, Grant's brewpub gave early craft brewers a cheat sheet for getting their beer directly to drinkers without going through middlemen such as distributors, bars and liquor stores.
Last year, the number of brewers who made beer in their pub or restaurant grew by 60, to 1,063 nationwide. That's up from 1,020 in 2009 and made our recent look at the Top 10 brewpubs in America a tougher task than we realized. With beer lovers from nearly every state weighing in with stories from their local pubs, we decided to get back on the road and give the brewpub a broader look.
With brewers bringing in beer lovers and tourist dollars across the country, we consulted the wise editors and readers at beer rating sites BeerAdvocate and RateBeer for their take on the best American brewpubs. Using a secret blend of their ratings combined with our own travels, we've come up with a list of the best brewpubs in each state and Washington, D.C. While some states still have some catching up to do, places once known for their conservative beer habits are getting competitive with traditional beer states one beer flight and burger at a time:
While Alabama breweries such as Birmingham's Good People Brewing and Huntsville's Straight To Ale have great taprooms for sampling their wares, the state lacks a true brewpub. The state's Title 28 direct distribution law has a little something to do with that: