8. Elysian Brewing.
It's been a long, weird trip for founder Dick Cantwell and Elysian, but it's been one worth making. Elysian has existed in various forms since 1996, when it opened its original brewery in Seattle's Capitol Hill, but remained a largely local affair until about five years ago. In its early days, Elysian operated in the shadow of pioneering Seattle breweries including
, but did what it could to survive when the microbrew bubble burst in the late '90s.
In 2008, Elysian entered an agreement with collaborator
New Belgium Brewing
in Fort Collins, Colo., that allowed it to brew large batches of its Immortal IPA and small seasonal beers such as its Trip collaboration series and its fresh hop IPA at New Belgium's more sizable facilities. Elysian didn't open a large production facility of its own until 2011, when it found space in Seattle's Georgetown. While collaborations with breweries including
gave Elysian a boost, the quality of Elysian brews including its Loser Pale Ale partnership with
, its multiple pumpkin ales and its spate of hop-heavy IPAs have cemented Elysian's reputation.