Paste Names Best 25 American Breweries
Paste Magazine's most recent "List of the Day" surveys the 25 best American breweries of the decade. Just hours after it was posted, a friend asked us what we thought. Overall, we think it's pretty solid. We've had beer from all of the breweries, some more than others, especially Paste's picks for the two top spots, Dogfish Head and Allagash. Still, we have a few beefs...
We wouldn't have placed Victory or Founder's in the top five. Those spots should have been reserved for cutting-edge breweries like Lost Abbey and Russian River. Similarly, we love Weyerbacher but probably would have placed Bell's in its top 10 spot. And Jolly Pumpkin way down at 19? We don't think so.
Perhaps going beyond the bounds of Paste's rating method, we would have listed Brooklyn, Stone, and Samuel Adams much higher for their widespread efforts to inform American drinkers that there's more to beer than Bud, Coors, and Michelob, as well as raise the status of beer in general. We also would have tried to squeeze Flying Dog, Left Hand, Troegs, and Duck Rabbit somewhere into the top 25.
Beyond that, if we could have done a Top 40, we would have tried to get O'Dell's, The Bruery, Boulevard, Full Sail, Captain Lawrence, 21st Amendment, Sly Fox, Anderson Valley, New Holland, Clipper City, Bear Republic, and Elysian on the list, but it would have been very difficult to decide who goes where. Since many of the aforementioned breweries are up and coming, we have a good feeling several of them will be on next decade's list.
For those of you who don't have the patience to click, below is Paste's list. We won't take the time here to argue the reasons for our gripes, but let us know what you think in the comments and we'll continue the conversation there.
1. Dogfish Head (Milton, DE)
2. Allagash (Portland, ME)
3. Avery (Boulder, CO)
4. Victory (Downington, PA)
5. Founder's (Grand Rapids, MI)
6. AleSmith (San Diego, CA)
7. Russian River (Santa Rosa, CA)
8. Three Floyds (Hammond, IN)
9. Weyerbacher (Easton, PA)
10. Lost Abbey (San Marcos, CA)
11. Bell's (Kalamazoo, MI)
12. Lagunitas (Petulama, CA)
13. Deschutes (Bend, OR)
14. Rogue (Ashland, OR)
15. Samuel Adams (Boston, MA)
16. Oskar Blues (Lyons, CO)
17. New Glarus (New Glarus, WI)
18. New Belgium (Ft. Collins, CO)
19. Jolly Pumpkin (Dexter, MI)
20. Stone (Escondido, CA)
21. North Coast (Fort Bragg, CA)
22. Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY)
23. Brooklyn (Brooklyn, NY)
24. Sierra Nevada (Chico, CA)
25. Great Divide (Denver, CO)