Washington, D.C., didn’t have a brewery since the 1950s, but D.C. Brau has made up for lost time. (Photo: Ryan Musser)
By Laura Wabeke
As a result of prohibition in 1919, many U.S. breweries had to close their doors to avoid prosecution. Years later, when folks realized that banning alcohol perhaps didn’t result in less criminal activity and deaths, breweries generally merged with others for larger-scaled production. So prohibition failed to work – it also robbed U.S. citizens of great, tasteful craft beers for many years to come.
Thankfully, that situation has changed. While the big guys still dominate the beer market today, smaller craft breweries have been popping up for years now.
What sets a craft brewery, or microbrewery, apart from larger corporations is their definitive focus on quality of ingredients, flavor, and actual brewing technique. Independently owned, and producing a smaller amount of beers, these places often also serve food that perfectly matches their prized drinks.
Here are some of our contributors’ favorites around the country:
Ryan Musser, one of our bloggers in Washington, notes that it took an astounding 53 years before the district had its own brewery in 2009: “The brewery to lead the charge was D.C. Brau, and remains the largest of the five in operation.”
(Photo: Ryan Musser)
The third brewery to open in Washington since 2011 is another favorite of his, the 3 Stars Brewery (above).
SingleCut in Queens (Photo: Craig Nelson)
Like D.C., Queens didn’t have a brewery since the 50s. Now it has several, and New York local Craig Nelson raves about his favorite, SingleCut Beer.
“Trust me, you will try many pints when you visit the incredible tap room that’s open Thursdays to Sundays,” Nelson said.
Trillium Brewing in Boston. (Photo: Cris Concepcion)
Trillium Brewing comes highly recommended by Cris Concepcion. While he still very much appreciates the Sam Adams Brewery and Harpoon Brewery, when he’s looking for something new and exciting he’ll head to Trillium.
“Trillium is a relatively new brewery, but has turned heads with their eponymous Trillium Farmhouse Ale,” he said. “I like the Farmhouse a lot, but the rest of their list is great as well. They have their own tasting room that’s open to the public and the tastings are free.”
Moxee Restaruant and Madhouse Brewery in Chicago. (Photo: Meghan Phillipp)
Moxee restaurant and Madhouse Brewery have joined forces in Chicago and serve up some delicious international brews (24 of them on tap) as well as their own. Local Meghan Phillipp suggests some of Moxee’s delicious BBQ dishes to go along with the golden brews.
Elliott Bay Brew Pub in Seattle. (Photo: Kelsey Jones)
When you’re in Seattle, one great place to satisfy your stomach is at Elliott Bay Brew Pub. According to local Kelsey Jones, Elliott has one of the most extensive pub menus around. But not just your typical pub grub – they also serve quinoa! As for the handcrafted ales, you’ll definitely find something to your taste.
Said Jones: “I, luckily, have found my new drink! It’s a blended beer called a Frambacider, which is cider, and raspberry Lambic that definitely makes the trip all the way over to West Seattle worthwhile!”
Beach Chalet Brewery in San Francisco (Photo: Kimberley Lovato)
Last but not least, one of the U.S. tips on Spotted by Locals comes from San Francisco: the Beach Chalet Brewery at Ocean Beach. With two parts, the Beach Chalet downstairs restaurant and the upstairs Park Chalet, there is plenty to choose from ($3 Taco Tuesdays!). But we’re all about the ales right now, and Beach Chalet brews their own right there on the premises. There’s no better way to enjoy your beer than right from the chilled storage into your glass.
Spotted by Locals is represented in 9 North American Cities (plus 48 European). Check it out if you want to know where locals go to enjoy their snacks and/or dinner with some great local microbrews.
Some US craft breweries on Spotted by Locals: