Today is National Beer Day! You know what that means, don't you? It means kicking back, relaxing, and toasting with a glass of the good stuff (whichever you prefer, because as we've found out, there are many different preferences...) and enjoying all that your favorite beer has to offer. Speaking of which, did you know you could cook with it? Some of the best pot roasts are birthed with a bottle of beer... are the foodie wheels turning yet?
To celebrate this national holiday (and you should, I mean it's a holiday) we did a roundup of the best breweries across the 50 states, which was a daunting task in an of itself. Do you even know how many amazing breweries there are out there? A lot. Just ask any of your craft beer loving friends. They may rattle off a bunch of breweries, but they might struggle to come up with which one they think is the best. It's difficult to do! We reached out to as many breweries as we could and some of these awesome establishments were able to send us some of their most popular brews to test, and we definitely had a lot of fun doing that.
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From Pennsylvania, VooDoo Brewing sent us some great selections. One of their most popular among our round of taste tests was their VooDoo Love Child, a Belgian with a light and fruity personality. One of our editor's said, "My favorite so far! Light, smooth, and with a raspberry taste throughout." Essentially, if you could take the season of summer and put it in a bottle, this would be it. Their other great selections were their Imperial Brown, which had strong coffee notes, and their Imperial Wheat, which was so chock full of spices that it felt silky and indulgent, which isn't normally a way I would describe a beer, so that made it very unique.
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From New York, Ithaca Beer Co. left us with a great impression. Their Creeker IPA was "Bouncy, bubbly, and so summery." Also, their Apricot Wheat garnered some rave reviews here from us Southerners, with folks praising it as a great beer to bring to the beach with its light and fruity flavor. It was also mentioned as "a drink by the pool kind of beer." Can you tell we're ready for summer? And speaking of summer in the North East, we may think twice if we take any of Rhode Island's Narragansett's beers to the beach. Did you know this was the beer featured in the movie Jaws? We're going to need a bigger boat...
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We received a lot of great beers from the awesome state of Utah as well. Utah actually has the lowest beer consumption rate in the entire country, and because of their previously strict state laws, craft breweries took a while to catch on. But now, craft brewing is a thriving business there and these breweries are here to stay. We received some great beers from Uinta Brewing Co., Squatters Beer Co. and Wasatch Brew Pub. One selection that stood out was definitely Wasatch's Polygamy Nitro Porter, a bold beer with a controversial name. Nestled in the town of Park City, Utah, this brewery/pub is worth a visit the next time you find yourself out west to hit the slopes. Uinta Brewing Co. is Utah's oldest craft brewery. Their Black Sheep Black Lager had a bold and complex flavor, which was unanimously noted as being not for the faint of heart, and their Hop Nosh IPA got rave reviews from our IPA lovers.
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From the Midwest, we find Goose Island Beer Co. of Chicago, a big name in the game of beer. Their Goose IPA, Four Star Pils, and Sofie Belgian Farmhouse Ale were a huge hit among our staff. A trip to Chicago might be in order. Who's buying the second round?
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From Fairbanks, Alaska, we tried HooDoo Brewing Co.'s flagship German Kolsch, which had a light, mild, and pleasant flavor that would be easy to revisit again and again. One of the best things about HooDoo is that they boast one of America's only authentic Oktoberfests, celebrating the entire 16 days just like they do in Munich, Germany. Their celebration begins with the mayor tapping the first keg, and rain or shine, snow or sleet, the celebration continues for the next two weeks. Can we all agree to carpool to Alaska this year?
In getting to sample all of these great beers, we found out that there was no consistent winner. There was a brew for everyone and that's how it should be. How will you be celebrating National Beer Day today? Cheers, everyone!