Brew Found Glory
Over the past three-plus decades, ambitious young brewers have been setting up shop in kitchens, basements and garages all over the country, mastering the art of bottle conditioning, cask aging and dry hopping. These beer-curious men and women are responsible for elevating America’s one-note beer culture to the vast and varied drinking landscape we live in today.
Although the American craft beer revolution began back in the early 80s, the scene is more vibrant than ever, with breweries and taprooms opening in droves each year.
With so many to choose from, it's difficult to know where to start. So we've rounded up some of the most exciting new kids on the block. Whether you’re in the market for German brews with a California pedigree, sandwich-centric ales or beers with a real sense of taste and place, these new-school breweries set themselves apart.
(Charleston, South Carolina)
Named for a rebel brewer who lived through the American Revolution, this Charleston restaurant and brewery doesn’t play by the rules when it comes to its house brewed drafts. Its best sellers are a peanut butter and jelly brown ale and an English-style ale brewed with South Carolina-grown tea. Come September, Edmund’s Oast will expand its footprint and open a new brewing facility and taproom.
Second District Brewing
This deep South Philly garage-turned-brewpub, which opened in early 2017, has fun with both local flavors and high-minded references. Huy, a Vietnamese coffee stout, is a nod to the high-octane drinks served at nearby pho joints, while Red Room, a wheat beer conditioned on cherries and hibiscus, is a nod to Twin Peaks director David Lynch’s stint living in Philadelphia.
Mikkeller Brewing Company
(San Diego, California)
Merging West Coast and European influences, gypsy brewing brother Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller joined forces with San Diego’s AleSmith to open a design-heavy brewery and tasting room spring of 2016, focusing on limited-edition cans and pours. The result is an ever-evolving lineup of truly fantastic beer, including a Berliner Weisse brewed with habanero, mango and coconut, and an Imperial Porter featuring a Whoppers-inspired combo of malted milk and milk chocolate.
Evil Twin Brewing
(Queens, New York)
Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the other half of Demark’s brothers of gypsy brewing, is getting ready to lay down roots stateside, more specifically, in Ridgewood, Queens. The grand opening is still about six months out, but for now, you can get a taste of what’s to come at Tørst, a Nordic-style beer bar co-owned by Jarnit-Bjergsø in Brooklyn, where there are always a few Evil Twins on the draft list.
Two Coast Brewing Co.
(Los Angeles, California)
The West Coast might have pioneered hop-heavy IPAs, but the German duo of brewers behind this L.A. operation—opened in 2017—sticks to more traditional and time-honored techniques. Two Coast isn’t trying to reinvent beers without certain ingredients and stunt flavors; instead, its lineup includes easy-drinking Kölsch, Altbier and Pilsner, all brewed to meticulous German specifications.
Carving a home for itself out of a revamped auto garage in the quirky Portland of the Northeast, a good portion of the summer draft list at Foulmouthed Brewing, which opened in 2016, reads like a dessert menu. For example, there's the Iron Goddess, which is infused with honey and delicate oolong tea; Blue Balls, which eases local blueberries into a base of Belgian strong ale; and Rhubarb de Garde, which gets a bright and tart kick from rhubarb.
Photo: Craig Dilger
Scofflaw Brewing Company
Shedding corporate and pharma gigs in favor of a life of brewing, Matt Shirah and Travis Herman were living up to their moniker and working out of Shirah’s mother-in-law’s basement before setting up their sizable brewhouse in 2016. Since making the big move, the brewery has been focusing on IPAs and stouts, including an original recipe from their basement days.
Circa Brewing Co
(Brooklyn, New York)
The newest addition to the borough’s booming brew scene is a handsome concrete space in Downtown Brooklyn, which opened in July, 2017. In this combo brewery and wood-fired pizza spot, Sixpoint alum Danny Bruckert is handcrafting 12 beers on-site, all available by the glass, flight or growler to go. Bruckert keeps his styles close to the classics with simple yet telling descriptors, including ABV and three key words breaking down flavor profiles.
Photo: Alex Welsh
With East and West Coast training at Allagash and Elysian under his belt, owner Steve Luke opened a petite tasting room just blocks from Pike Place Market in January, 2016. Proximity to a wealth of produce gives Luke both the inspiration and the supplies to make fruit-forward brews, but his real passion lies in all things hoppy, specifically, double IPAs that marry three or more varieties of hops.
Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery
The good folks at this Willamette Valley farmhouse—established in 2016—aren’t shy about showcasing the bounty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Whether it’s aging beer in Pinot Blanc barrels from neighboring Anne Amie winery, working seasonal strawberries into a saison or infusing stouts with Oregon truffles and hazelnuts, Wolves & People is all about that Oregon terroir.
Caroline Coral is a food and travel writer who splits her time between Philadelphia and the Caribbean. Follow her on Instagram at @caroline.f.coral.
Please check your inbox to verify your email address.