RateBeer ranked Vermont brewer The Alchemist's brewpub ahead of this Burlington favorite, but Hurricane Irene destroyed that spot last year by flooding Alchemist's unfortunately named home of Waterbury, Vt., with tap-high water. American Flatbread is a worthy, if far-flung, substitute that offers 22 taps including two casks and more than a dozen homebrews. Combine those with a two-page menu of namesake flatbread pizzas loaded with locally produced and organically grown toppings and you have the brewpub embodiment of Burlington's laid-back, hyperlocal culture. 8. Selin's Grove Brewing
What happens when you take a couple of workers from the New Belgium brewery in Colorado and drop them in Central Pennsylvania? You suddenly have some of the best beer on the East Coast in a location usually frequented only by Susquehana University students and alums. Selin's Grove's 12 taps are all reserved for home-grown brews including an IPA that can hang with any of its Colorado competitors. The pub menu's small, but locally produced bread, soft pretzels, salsa and cheeses are great complements to the palate-tickling Wee Heavy Scottish Ale, River Rat Tripel and Shade Mountain Oatmeal Stout.
No website, no fancypants online menu, no worries. In the state that birthed brewpubs and has plenty within its borders, this joint on the Columbia River is beloved by river walkers, Multnomah Falls hikers and other ecotourists in Washington and Oregon alike. The pub's pulled pork nachos, Cuban sandwiches and pizza sit perfectly after hiking the Columbia River Gorge, but steelhead salmon tacos and salads shouldn't be missed if you're serious about your Pacific Northwest tourism. The brewpub's IPA and various American pale ales are worthy choices from the 10-tap rotation, but the big draws are the hop-packed Homo Erectus imperial IPA and the Black Cherry Stout. At 9% and 7.2% ABV, respectively, they're perhaps best enjoyed as part of a sampler. 6. Urban Chestnut Brewing
St. Louis, Mo.
Anheuser-Busch's sale to Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) a few years back was a big blow for St. Louis. How the city and its brewers responded helped make St. Louis a burgeoning craft beer powerhouse. Urban Chestnut's brewmaster Florian Kuplent built his resume by apprenticing at Bavarian breweries, brewing throughout Germany, England and Belgium, hooking on with New England craft brewers and eventually creating a line of craft-style beers for A-B's Michelob brand. When he finished at A-B, he started Urban Chestnut to meld the traditional beers he'd studied with the envelope-pushing beers he'd helped craft. His brewpub's brats, pretzel rolls, sausages and cheeses are lovely and all, but 15 taps of "Revolution Series" beers such as Kuplent's hoppy STLIPA double IPA and "Reverence Series" beers including his refreshing Snickelfritz Hefeweissen are what make this a standout brewpub in a strong beer town.