A little while ago I saw a few different beer bloggers talk about their go-to list of breweries. These were breweries they were guaranteed to buy from or look at every time they went to the beer store. I’m not sure why, but I never ended up doing my own list of go-to breweries at that time. So, since I don’t have a music review ready for today (which is what I typically try to get done for most Thursdays), I figured I’d give you a little info on the breweries I am guaranteed to look at when I head to the store on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. As I’ve said before, I get weekly updates on all of the new things that are coming into the store. Of course, I love to fill my basket, and yes I do at times walk around with a basket to fill, full of new and exciting beers. However, I can’t help looking at what is available from my top five. I don’t always pick up something from these breweries every week. Sometimes I can go weeks without drinking anything from them, but I always seem to be most interested in them.
These breweries have done one thing to earn a special place in the brewery section of my heart: they are consistent. I wouldn’t say I’ve never had a bad beer or beer I didn’t like from them, but I would say they get it right nine times out of ten. For most of these breweries, I have tried just about everything in their regular line-up, and I have enjoy most if not all of the beers you can get standard from them. They release interesting and enticing special brews that keep me consistently interested in what they are doing. Plus, I know I can always turn to them on a slow release week.
Stone Brewing Company – I don’t think I’m putting these in any particular order, but I want to start with Stone because I seem to always have something from them in my fridge. I love their regular line-up. They have some great in your face IPAs, and they manage to head in the completely other direction with rich malts and coffee flavors as well. My favorite beer from last year was their 15 year release. I actually still have a bottle that I think I’ll be opening this weekend, and I have been thinking about it all week. They are collaborating machines as well. It’s quite impressive how they consistently collaborate with breweries from all over the country. I think I check them out every week because I manage to forget how amazing some of their regular releases are. I spend so much time picking up their collaborations that I forget their line-up is still awesome. Plus I’m paying homage to them with my next release: Pretentious Hopster.
Founders Brewing Company – If you have read my blog before, you’ll know I end up reviewing a lot of different beers out of Founders. I think they tend to be one of my favorite because they have some of the biggest and most flavorful beers that are out there. There is one beer that put me over the top on them. I of course enjoy their stouts. Imperial, Breakfast, Canadian Breakfast, and Kentucky Breakfast are awesome beers; however, it was the Devil Dancer that really caught my eye. While I love big coffee and roasted notes, I will always come back to big hops in the end. Devil Dancer is a big triple IPA, and it will have you wondering how they managed to get the beer to smell and taste so herbal. Unlike Stone, I don’t really remember consuming a lot of their standard line-up. I think I instead manage to consume most of their specials most of the time.
Dogfish Head Brewing Company – I know people who have read my reviews will be confused here. Doesn’t he talk smack about Dogfish all the time? It is always done out of love! I want to love everything I get from them. Before succumbing to my inner beer geek, Dogfish was my bread and butter. Then, after fully investing myself in analyzing and brewing beer, I have found myself frustrated by them so many times. They push boundaries! No one is going to deny that; however, I can’t give them props for a lot of what they do. They use ingredients I don’t care about, and they focus on things that just don’t matter to me. Read beer gimmicks from earlier this week. In the end, I love a lot of the standard brews they do, and they do produce some good specialty brews once in a while too. I mean, if I appreciate Stone for producing so many new and specialty brews, then I definitely need to give a big thumbs up to Dogfish for their ability to always try new things too.
Mikkeller Brewing Company – Mikkeller is a newer addition to this list, but they are quickly becoming one of biggest favorites. They are sure to surpass one of these breweries above them if I keep trying different amazing beers from them. There is more of a combination reason why I love this brewery. They produce amazing beer, and they have a great way of producing it. I’ve talked about it before. They are the gypsies of the beer industry. They travel all around both Europe and America using other breweries equipment to produce crazy incredible beer. I can’t say I love their specialty beers or their traditional line-up because it seems like they are always producing something new, and I can only find a handful of their stuff here and there. But, they got me to enjoy a pilsner, and I always look for their stuff at the store, so they get a place in the line-up.
DC Brau – I have to give the hometown heroes a place on this list. I know most people on this list won’t have had anything from
this brewery, but I promise you they are a good brewery that I hope you get a chance to try in the future. They have only been around for a year, and they have managed to produce their three brews in their main line-up and quite a few different collaborations and special releases. Where I love the other breweries for particular aspects of their brewery or brews, I love just about everything from this brewery. I love the heart, the passion, the beer, and the drive. Thankfully they aren’t just a brewery coming out of DC, but they are a great brewery coming out of DC. They produce great beer, and I can’t wait to see what they have on tap next.
So there you have it! Some of these breweries are available near you, and I’m sure a few of them are much harder to find. What are some of your favorite breweries? I would love to find out about one or two I haven’t even tried yet!