Best American Craft Beers

Since the craft beer revolution started, microbrewers have been producing beers with tremendous flavor and diversity. These 50 are tasty, highly-rated, and definitely worth a try. By: Michelle Klug

50 Craft Beers

Photos provided by respective breweries

50 Craft Beers

If you need proof we are in the midst of a beer revolution, you need only take a look at your local grocery stores, liquor shops, and bars that hold such a large craft beer selection, it can make you head spin. Craft beer sales and the number of microbreweries opening nation-wide continue to rise each year, and are certainly making an impact in the American food and beverage world.

Just like artisan foods and wines, craft beer is defined as being of independent and small nature: Craft breweries are not owned by any large industries and only produce a certain amount of beer per year.

These 50 beers have made a name for themselves in the craft beer market, and for good reason – they are divine.

Dale’s Pale Ale

Photo courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery

Dale’s Pale Ale

Hoppy and piney, a go-to pale ale

Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery

Style: Pale Ale

Alcohol: 6.5%

 

Three Philosophers

Photo courtesty of Brewery Ommegang

Three Philosophers

Belgian-style; dark, sweet fruit and booze flavor

Brewery: Brewery Ommegang

Style: Quadrupel

Alcohol: 9.8%

 

Arrogant Bastard Ale

Photo courtesy of Stone Brewing Co.

Arrogant Bastard Ale

Caramel malts, toasted grains, slightly hoppy

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co. 

Style: Strong Ale

Alcohol: 7.2%

 

Indian Brown Ale

Photo courtesty of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

Indian Brown Ale

Nutty, sweet, and pleasantly hoppy

Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

Style: Brown Ale

Alcohol: 7.2%

 

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Photo courtesty of Boston Beer Co.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

The best mass-market lager around

Brewery: Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Co.)

Style: Lager

Alcohol: 4.9%

 

Fat Tire

Photo courtesty of New Belgium Brewing

Fat Tire

Sweet, light hops; toasty malts

Brewery: New Belgium Brewing

Style: Amber Ale

Alcohol: 5.2%

 

Founders Centennial IPA

Photo courtesty of Founders Brewing Co.

Founders Centennial IPA

Floral, grassy, hoppy, slight malt taste

Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 7.2%

 

Coney Island Lager

Photo courtesty of Shmaltz Brewing Co.

Coney Island Lager

The least-plain lager around; light malts and hops, slightly fruity

Brewery: Shmatlz Brewing Co.

Style: Amber Lager

Alcohol: 5.5%

 

Samuel Adams Cream Stout

Photo courtesty of Boston Beer Co.

Samuel Adams Cream Stout

The crème de la crème of milk stouts; chocolatey malts, smooth, creamy

Brewery: Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Co.)

Style: Milk Stout

Alcohol: 4.9%

 

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter

Photo courtesty of Breckenridge Brewery

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter

An after-dinner dessert; slight vanilla and coffee flavors

Brewery: Breckenridge Brewery

Style: Porter

Alcohol: 4.7%

 

Dead Guy Ale

Photo courtesty of Rogue Ales

Dead Guy Ale

Slight hop flavor, with a caramel-malty mellowness

Brewery: Rogue Ales

Style: Bock

Alcohol: 6.5%

 

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Photo courtesty of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

The standard American IPA; citrusy, hoppy, piney

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 7.2%

 

Highland Gaelic Ale

Photo courtesty of Highland Brewing Co.

Highland Gaelic Ale

A tasty lighter ale with malty sweetness, slight floral hops

Brewery: Highland Brewing Co.

Style: Amber Ale

Alcohol: 5.6%

 

Stone IPA

Photo courtesty of Stone Brewing Co.

Stone IPA

Everything an IPA should be; hoppy, pine and citrus flavors

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 6.9%

 

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

Photo courtesty of Bell's Brewing

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

Roasted smokiness, slight sweet licorice flavor

Brewery: Bell's Brewing

Style: Stout

Alcohol: 6%

 

He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A

Photo courtesty of Shmaltz Brewing Co.

He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A

Rye and tart citrus hops, boozy, bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit flavor

Brewery: Shmatlz Brewing Co.

Style: Imperial India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 10%

 

Stone Levitation Ale

Photo courtesty of Stone Brewing Co.

Levitation Ale

Slight up-front citrus hops, bready, caramel notes

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.

Style: Amber Ale

Alcohol: 4.4%

 

A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale

Photo courtesty of Lagunitas Brewing Co.

A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale

A very bold pale wheat ale; solid wheat foundation with overriding citrus bitterness

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Style: Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol: 7.5%

 

Black Butte Porter

Photo courtesy of Deschutes Brewery

Black Butte Porter

Velvety smooth; perfection of porters

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery

Style: Porter

Alcohol: 5.2%

 

Old Chub Scotch Ale

Photo courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery

Old Chub Scotch Ale

Dark and stormy; smoked malts, whisky and oak flavors

Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery

Style: Scotch Ale

Alcohol: 8%

 

Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Photo courtesy of Deschutes Brewery

Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Superb hop/malt balance; earthy; caramel, orange, and toasted bread flavor

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery

Style: Pale Ale

Alcohol: 5%

 

Anchor Steam

Photo courtesy of Anchor Brewing

Anchor Steam Beer

Caramel, earthy, floral; named for throwback brewing process

Brewery: Anchor Brewing

Style: Steam-Brewed Beer

Alcohol: 4.9%

 

Mocha Porter

Photo courtesty of Rogue Ales

Mocha Porter

Coffee-chocolate malt bitterness

Brewery: Rogue Ales

Style: Porter

Alcohol: 5.3%

 

Liberty Ale

Photo courtesy of Anchor Brewing

Liberty Ale

A mellow IPA; lemony, spicy

Brewery: Anchor Brewing

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 6%

 

Loose Cannon

Photo courtesy of Heavy Seas Beer

Loose Cannon

Balanced citrus hops and bready malts

Brewery: Heavy Seas Beer

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 7.3%

 

Maximus

Photo courtesty of Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Maximus

Caramel malts and tropical hop balance

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Style: Imperial India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 8.2%

 

Left Hand Milk Stout

Photo courtesty of Left Hand Brewing

Left Hand Milk Stout

Coffee, chocolate milk flavors; creamy and smooth; Guinness' American brother

Brewery: Left Hand Brewing

Style: Milk Stout

Alcohol: 6%

 

Mama’s Little Yella Pils

Photo courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery

Mama’s Little Yella Pils

Light, lemony, crisp; easy-drinking

Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery

Style: Pilsner

Alcohol: 5.3%

 

Hop Stoopid

Photo courtesty of Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Hop Stoopid

Aggressive hops; pine and grapefruit flavors

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Style: Imperial IPA

Alcohol: 8%

 

Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale

Photo courtesty of North Coast Brewing Co.

Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale

Pleasant; lightly hopped; floral and caramel flavors

Brewery: North Coast Brewing Co.

Style: Red Ale

Alcohol: 5.5%

 

Old Rasputin

Photo courtesty of North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin

The godfather of craft beer; a creamy, full-bodied stout with bitter dark chocolate notes and a boozy nose

Brewery: North Coast Brewing Co.

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol: 9%

 

Highland Oatmeal Porter

Photo courtesty of Highland Brewing Co.

Highland Oatmeal Porter

Sweet chocolate-coffee flavor combines with roasted, lingering malts

Brewery: Highland Brewing Co.

Style: Porter

Alcohol: 5.8%

 

Lagunitas PILS

Photo courtesty of Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Lagunitas PILS

Well-balanced, sweet, light pear flavor

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Style: Pilsner

Alcohol: 6.2%

 

Founder’s Porter

Photo courtesty of Founders Brewing Co.

Founders Porter

Rich and decadent; coffee, caramel, and hazelnut flavors

Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.

Style: Porter

Alcohol: 6.5%

 

Purple Haze

Photo courtesty of Abita

Purple Haze

Wheaty with fresh raspberry flavor; fruity and drinkable

Brewery: Abita

Style: Wheat Beer

Alcohol: 4.2%

 

Red’s Rye P.A.

Photo courtesty of Founders Brewing Co.

Red’s Rye P.A.

A perfect rye bite, balance by piney hops and sweet malts

Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol: 6.6%

 

Prima Pils

Photo courtesty of Victory Brewing Co.

Prima Pils

Slightly lemony, slightly grassy; great anytime beer

Brewery: Victory Brewing Co.

Style: Pilsner

Alcohol: 5.3%

 

Sawtooth Ale

Photo courtesty of Left Hand Brewing

Sawtooth Ale

Sweet bitter pop up front, turns smooth and mellow

Brewery: Left Hand Brewing

Style: Extra Special Bitter

Alcohol: 5.3%

 

Hazelnut Brown Nectar

Photo courtesty of Rogue Ales

Hazelnut Brown Nectar

Nutty, sweet, and comforting

Brewery: Rogue Ales

Style: Brown Ale

Alcohol: 6.2%

 

Ruination IPA

Photo courtesty of Stone Brewing Co.

Ruination IPA

An explosion of hops that punch right away and stay until the very end

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.

Style: Imperial IPA

Alcohol: 7.7%

 

Sweetwater IPA

Photo courtesty of Sweetwater Brewing Co.

Sweetwater IPA

Sweet, fruity hops; floral and citrus flavors shining through

Brewery: Sweetwater Brewing Co.

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 6.3%

 

TurboDog

Photo courtesty of Abita

TurboDog

A very mellow dark beer; sweet malts, toffee-chocolate flavors

Brewery: Abita

Style: Brown Ale

Alcohol: 5.6%

 

HopDevil Ale

Photo courtesty of Victory Brewing Co.

HopDevil Ale

Uber-piney, a little spicy, something different; world-class IPA

Brewery: Victory Brewing Co.

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 6.7%

 

Two Hearted Ale

Photo courtesty of Bell's Brewery

Two Hearted Ale

Grapefruit and lemon hop; crisp and clean

Brewery: Bell's Brewery Inc.

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 7%

 

Yeti Imperial Stout

Photo courtesty of Great Divide Brewing Co.

Yeti Imperial Stout

Not for the faint of heart; boozy, rich, strong malts and cocoa

Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Co.

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol: 9.5%

 

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Photo courtesty of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

The founding father of the American pale ale style; a hoppy classic

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Style: Pale Ale

Alcohol: 5.6%

 

60 Minute IPA

Photo courtesty of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

60 Minute IPA

An earthy, piney hopped beer; balanced by toffee malts

Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 6%

 

Hennepin

Photo courtesty of Brewery Ommegang

Hennepin

Peppery, crisp, and wheaty; banana and clove flavors

Brewery: Brewery Ommegang

Style: Farmhouse Saison

Alcohol: 7.7%

 

Ommegang Abbey Ale

Photo courtesty of Brewery Ommegang

Ommegang Abbey Ale

Perfectly spiced, hopped, malted; this beer doesn’t disappoint

Brewery: Brewery Ommegang

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol: 8.2%

 

Jai Alai IPA

Photo courtesty of Cigar City Brewing

Jai Alai IPA

This IPA is hard to beat; piney, hoppy, citrusy, strong – everything it should be

Brewery: Cigar City Brewing

Style: India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 7.5%

 

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