Craft Breweries, craft beer, best craft beer, best craft beer bars, best craft beer bottle shops

Craft Breweries, craft beer, best craft beer, best craft beer bars, best craft beer bottle shops

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These are the list of 5 Underrated Craft Breweries in the US. A healthy portion of that disagreement will be due to readers not understanding what we’re talking about when we use the word “underrated.” So please, let me explain before you start drafting your angry missive.

1. Alabama
Blue Pants Brewery – Huntsville, AL

Hype is a phenomenon easy to build for some breweries and much harder for others, especially if you don’t have it from the very beginning. Huntsville’s Blue Pants opened in 2010, and by all accounts its beer was simply serviceable for the first few years, but well short of special. That was, until the company’s head brewer traveled up to Chicago to study at the Siebel Institute, the nation’s best-known professional brewing program. When he returned, the entire Blue Pants lineup was revamped, and people immediately began to take notice of the night-and-day changes. They’re now producing exceptional hop-forward beers in particular, such as the hop-bursted Weedy’s DIPA, which, in the vein of Heady Topper, demands to be consumed fresh. That’s in addition to other creative flavors such as a peanut butter stout and a “Double Stuf” stout with vanilla and chocolate that is meant to evoke an Oreo. Huntsville has certainly caught on to how good Blue Pants has become, and it’s only a matter of time before they receive a national spotlight.

2. Alaska
Alaskan Brewing Co. – Juneau, AK

Alaskan Brewing Co. is one of Alaska’s elder statesmen in the beer world, but they’re a great example of the sort of regional brewery that has learned to grow, change and adapt to the modern craft beer market without ever losing sight of their identity. They may be a large brewer (just shy of the top 10 biggest regional craft breweries now, actually), but their under-the-radar offerings are largely consumed by rank-and-file beer drinkers while being all-too-often ignored by the craft beer literati—with the possible exception of their classic smoked porter.

3. Arizona
Iron John’s Brewing Co. – Tucson, AZ

Those who have tasted the brews from “Iron John” Adkisson in Tucson know that his tiny, part-time operation is producing some of the best beer in the Southwest, albeit in very small quantities. An accountant by day, Adkisson is a masterful homebrewer who has managed to upscale fantastic recipes into equally fantastic commercial beers. The brewery can handle all styles, but the subtlety and depth it infuses in its sours in particular immediately commands attention, especially because each batch is so fleeting. While visiting Tucson, I tasted a peach-infused patersbier from Iron John’s aged in Sauvignon Blanc wine casks, and its perfectly balanced blend of lactic tartness and juicy fruit flavors would have made me think it was a sour from Wicked Weed or Jester King if I was tasting it blind. That beer would compare favorably alongside fruit sours from any hyped brewery in the country, but Iron John’s hasn’t received anywhere near the same attention.

4. Arkansas
Ozark Beer Co. – Rogers, AR

Arkansas, as a state, is well below the national average and pace of craft brewery openings, but in the last few years they’ve been making some serious strides forward. Ozark Beer Co. might be the crown jewel of nouveau Arkansas beer, a seriously talented and dialed-in operation that is making the most out of classic American beer styles. As is fairly common in younger breweries in communities that are still adjusting to the craft beer revolution, you’ll primarily see familiar styles from Ozark, but it’s all about execution. In particular, we were taken completely by surprise by the brewery’s awesome DIPA, which was entered into our blind tasting of 115 American DIPAs(in a growler, no less) and shockingly found its way into the finals, ultimately finishing at #17. That’s a legitimately world-class DIPA, hailing from a northern Arkansas town of only 60,000 residents. On some level you can understand why they’d still be pretty underrated on a national level, but if this same brewery was in a major urban setting they’d be getting way more press and beer geek attention.

5. California
Alpine Beer Company – Alpine, CA

Established in 1999, Alpine Brewing Company has made a name for itself with its strongly-hopped IPAs, including Hoppy Birthday, Pure Hoppiness, Duet and Nelson. The brewery was acquired in 2014 by Green Flash (and now runs as a subsidiary of the brand), which has allowed its hard-to-find ales to be distributed more widely. It’s also been a blessing for the visibility of Alpine as a brand, because until the acquisition, the name was only known to many beer geeks for how hard it typically was to acquire. Combining the short shelf life of IPAs with a small relative production and its mountainous locale, the IPAs of Alpine were hop-head Holy Grails that have now become blessedly accessible.

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