Top 10 Breweries I Visited In 2014
This was a tough list to make and many great places got left off. I think the ones that made the cut stood out to me in some way...making it past my jaded "seen one brewery you've seen 'em all" mindset.
1) Perennial (St. Louis, MO): Perhaps the best beers I've had all year and amazing staff! Add in the Side Project Brewery by the same brewer in the same facilities and you have the best of the best.
2) Cantillon (Brussels, Belgium): Because it is Cantillon! This place is THE brewery for a sourhead like me.
3) Founders (Grand Rapids, MI) Duh! Founders doesn't make a bad beer! The shear scale of this place is overwhelming from a craft brewery.
4) Surly (Minneapolis, MN) This was a last minute addition to the list since I snuck in a visit right under the wire. I'm impressed with the new place--truly a destination brewery!
5) Perrin Brewing (MI): A happy surprise with a huge selection of house brews. Focus on the stronger ales and wood aged stuff.
6) Dark Horse (Michigan): Ghetto, comfortable, real.
7) The Brew Gentlemen (Pittsburgh, PA): An upstart brewery doing amazing things.
8) Jolly Pumpkin (Dexter, MI): Brewing the first real sour ales in America! Everything is fermented in wood, not a stainless conical to be seen.
9) Waconia Brewing (Waconia, MN): Because this is now my Local.
10) Val-Dieu (Belgium:) Great beers brewed in an old monastery...in Belgium! Not brewed by monks though...
HM) De Dolles Brouers (Belgium): Hoppy beers in Belgium! So this one got knocked down by Surly...
Since many of these are non-Minnesota, I plan on posting a Best of MN list in the coming week as well. If you've been to any of these places...do you agree with me?