A few years ago when the craft beer boom hit, thousands of breweries opened, bringing the total in the U.S. to 8,275 in 2019.* With so many innovations and trends transforming the scene, the competition is fierce. The breweries with the highest demand from beer geeks change frequently.
However, even with all of this diversification, a few top breweries remain at the top of the food chain as some of the most acclaimed over the long haul. Here are 5 top breweries still leading craft beer a decade after opening:
Jeff Stuffings and Michael Steffing founded Jester King in 2010 on a 200-acre ranch, about 18 miles west of downtown Austin, TX. They are credited as one of the first breweries to introduce the Farmhouse Ale style to the U.S. They were also one of the first here to use a coolship to capture wild yeast and incorporate aromas of local terroir into their beers. To remain a craft beer hotspot and destination brewery after COVID-19 hit, they renovated and reopened their brewery as a park that offers picnic grounds and hiking trails for beer adventurers to enjoy across 165 acres of Hill Country land.
Gabe Fletcher founded Alaska’s Anchorage Brewing in 2010, as well. The brewery started off by specializing in barrel fermentation with brettanomyces (wild yeast used for adding fruity funk character) and souring cultures. After quickly becoming one of the premier Wild Ale breweries in the country, Anchorage has gone on to conquer several other beer styles. A Deal With The Devil and its variants have owned some of the top Barleywine rankings across all major rating sites. And the brewery’s Barrel Aged Stouts and Hazy IPAs continue to be some of the most requested and fastest sellers at Tavour.
Denmark’s Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø also founded Evil Twin in 2010 — what a year for craft beer! Although, for the first eight years, it was a gypsy brewery with no home location until 2018 when Evil Twin NYC opened in Queens. Jeppe co-wrote the book "Food & Beer" with Michelin-starred chef Daniel Burns, so, it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about cutting edge flavor. His creative Even More Jesus series is legendary among Stout fans. And, he’s injected that same innovative knowledge into the Evil Water series, which is most certainly at the forefront of craft Hard Seltzers with some of the most creative flavor combos the style has ever seen!
Andrew Godley founded Broussard, Louisiana’s Parish in 2009. Andrew is proud to say that no one who works at Parish has ever worked for another brewery before. He found that bringing on people with other backgrounds has helped his brewery grow, think differently, and innovate. Parish is best known for its Ghost in the Machine Hazy Double IPA. But, their Pale Ales, Stouts, and Barleywines like DDH Envie, Rêve Coffee Stout, and Royal Earth show how the brewery remains a top player in a variety of styles.
Gary Fish established a small brewpub in downtown Bend, Oregon, in 1988! He named it after the iconic Deschutes River (pronounced “da shootz”). Talk to dark beer geeks who’ve been into beer for over a decade, and Black Butte Porter will come up over and over again. It’s one of those epic brews that ignited so many passions for craft. Barrel aged Black Butte variants, Collage 2 Strong Ale, and The Abyss Barrel Aged Imperial Stout have all become household names, their releases carved into beer fans’ calendars. Deschutes makes top-notch, easy-drinking brews as well. The brewery’s Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Fresh Squeezed IPA are fridge staples pretty much everywhere in the country they’re available.
There were only 124 craft breweries in 1988!** So, for fans to still bring Deschutes up regularly in conversations about the nation’s best is an amazing feat. Tavour is proud to feature beers from all of the breweries in this list who have withstood the test of time. Each one deserves a place on every serious beer nerd’s bucket list.