History of beer in USA
Although there was a small brewing industry already in the 17th century—the first American brewery opened in what is now Manhattan in 1612—, the real expansion of brewing in the US started in the 19th century, when the number of breweries increased from 132 in 1810 to 4,131 in 1873. But this expansion was halted due to prohibition years—in 1919, the 18th Amendment enforced National Prohibition, that endured until 1933, when the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th. Just a year after the end of the Prohibition, there were already 756 breweries making beer but there were soon bought out by bigger industrial breweries. This trend continued until in 1983 there were just 80 breweries in the US.
But at the same time, something was already moving and the American Craft Beer movement was making its first steps. In 1965, Anchor Brewing was founded and in 1972 they released the first American Porter released in the US since before the Prohibition. This very same year, Cascade hops are made available, being one of the most characteristic ingredients since Sierra Nevada released its pale ale, giving birth to the American Pale Ale style. Since them, the number of craft brewer have been constantly increasing, reaching 5,000 in 2016, with top breweries like Toppling Goliath, Russian River, Bell's, AleSmith, Three Floyds, Bristol Brewing Company or Surly Brewing.
Brewers from USA
Bell´s Brewery was founded by Larry Bell in Michigan, USA in 1983, under the name Kalamazoo Brewing. They started brewing in a 57l. soup kettle and with open fermenters covered with plastic wrap. In the 90´s, the brewery started growing and selling outside of its state, also becoming the first Michigan brewery to open a pub to serve their own crafts. In 2005, they changed their name officialy to Bell´s Brewery. Most of their beer are seasonal brews, like the worldwide famous Expedition Stout, but they also have some beers all year round, like Two Hearted Ale—one of the best rated beers in Ratebeer.
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Three Floyds Brewing is a brewery from Indiana, USA, founded in 1996 by Nick and Simon Floyd and thier father Mike Floyd. They have recurrently placed as the top brewery in the world according to Ratebeer, and one of their beers, Dark Lord, is rated as the 15th best beer in the world.
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2. Three Floyds
Surley Brewing is a brewery from Minneapolis (USA), founded in 2005 by Omar Ansari and Todd Haug. Omar had a background in homebrewing. In 2011, the brewery was already succesful enough, so they tried to open a brew pub to sell beer onsite, discovering that a law from prohibition era was still standing and preventing breweries to sell onsite. After working with legislator, they managed to pass the Surly Bill in 2011 allowing them to start selling beer onsite. After that, in 2014, they finished their new brewery in Minneapolis, expanding capacity, and allowing them to sell another states in USA.
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3. Surly Brewing
Bristol Brewing Company was founded in 1994 by Mike Bristol and Amanda Bristol in Colorado Springs (USA). In 2013, they moved to a former school, where they built their current brewery, including a restaurant and a pub in the former gym and clasrooms. They have a sustainable approach to brewing, that is run mostly by wind-generated energy, and they have several initiatives to recycle their brewing materials.
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4. Bristol Brewing Company
Oskar Blues was originally founded by Dale Katechis in Lyons, Colorado (USA) in 1997 as a Original Grill & Brew Restaurant—a Cajun-style restaurant. Its brewing activity started in the restaurant basement in 1999. The name of the brewery comes from two friends that Dale met on a bike tour—named Oskar and Old Blue.
They are considered the pioneers of the use of cans incraft beers in the US, since the release of Dale´s Pale Ale in 2002, and they are the largest brewery in the US to have abbandoned crystal bottles in favour of cans.
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5. Oskar Blues
Against The Grain is a brewery from Lousville, Kentucky (USA), founded by Jerry Gnagy and Sam Cruz in 2011, after purchasing and old restaurant called Brownies and turning it into a functioning brewery after 3 months. In 2014, they opened a new factory in Louisville, where they started to produce canned barrel-aged beers.
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6. Against The Grain
3 Stars Brewing is a brewery founded in 2012 in Washington DC (USA) by Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey, both with experience as homebrewers and eager to shake up the craft beer scene in Washington. Their current brewery is located in a old building that previously had been a church and an office of the Bell Telephone Company.
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7. 3 Stars Brewing
Barrier Brewing is a brewery located in Long Island (USA). It was founded in 2010 by Evan Klein, after having some training at Sixpoint Brewery. In 2012 they moved to a new brewery, that was soon damaged by hurricane Sandy. They reopened in 2013 and succesfully expanded until reaching a production of 20.000 Hl a year.
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8. Barrier Brewing
Civil Society Brewing is a brewery founded in Florida (USA) by Karl Vostad and Evan Miller, two old schoolmates with experience as homebrewers. They have a taproom in their brewery facilities.
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9. Civil Society
J. Wakefield Brewing is an independent brewery located in Miami. It was founded in 2015 by John Wakefield, who had a long experience as homebrewer, having already been recognized as one of the best Berliner Weisse brewers in the world due to his Dragon Fruit/Passion Fruit and Miami Madness, ranked #1 and #2 in Ratebeer. The brewery was opened after a crowdfunding campaign raising $55.000 in less than 30 hours.
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10. J. Wakefield Brewing