You know those amber waves of grain? Well, it turns out they can be made into some mighty fine beer. These seven Midwestern breweries show us how it's done.
Erase any ideas you might have of Midwestern beers being only of the Miller and Schlitz variety. This new generation of local breweries are reaching deep into the regions beer-brewing roots, adding some modern twists, and producing some outright amazing brews.
• Three Floyds Brewing Co.
Think of this brewery as punk rock meets brewing.
Beers to Try: Alpha King Pale Ale, Gumballhead Wheat Ale, Dark Lord Imperial Stout
• Goose Island Beer Company
Brewing up some excellent Belgian-style beers along with classic brews.
Beers to Try: Pere Jacques Belgian-Style Abbey Ale, Honker's Ale English-Style Bitter, Bourbon County Barrel-Aged Stout
• Surly Brewing Company
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Cooling tempers with full-bodied and full-flavored beer since 2005.
Beers to Try: Bender Brown Ale, Furious IPA, and CynicAle Farmhouse Ale
• Bell's Brewery
There's something for everyone in this brewery's line-up of over 20 beers.
Beers to Try: Hopslam Double IPA, Kalamazoo Stout, Oberon Wheat Ale
• Founders Brewing Company
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Go big or go home. These beers don't pull any punches.
Beers to Try: Breakfast Stout, Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, Centennial IPA
• Great Lakes Brewing Company
Singlehandedly saving Ohioans and I-90 travelers from bland beer.
Beers to Try: Burning River Pale Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes Christmas Ale
• New Glarus Brewing Company
New Glarus, Wisconsin
A little brewery with some big beers.
Beers to Try: Back Forty Bock, Moon Man Pale Ale, Dancing Man Wheat
I had a very hard time narrowing this list down to just seven breweries. (Especially in Michigan. Wow, you guys have some good breweries!)
Give a shout-out to your favorite midwest brewery! Whose beers would you road-trip for?
Related: Quick and Dirty Guide to American Beer Styles
(Images: Three Floyds Brewing Co. and Founders Brewing Company)