We can’t deny that Americans have fallen in love with craft beer. The nation is home to nearly 10,000 craft breweries (and that number continues to grow), as well as thousands of beer bars and brewpubs. Just the sheer variety of quality beer on the market today can be overwhelming.
So, 10Best set out to find the best of the beer scene by asking beer experts to nominate their top picks across nine categories. Then, our readers voted for their favorites — and here’s who came out on top.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Beer Bar: Pilot Project Brewing in Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Return often to try new brews at Pilot Project Brewing — Photo courtesy of Alana Swaringen
Not your typical beer bar, this brewery incubator helps to support startup breweries by providing two tasting rooms in Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both locations offer about 24 taps that are switched out regularly based on the breweries they’re currently working with.
Full list of winners: Best Beer Bar »
Best Beer City: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan remains the best beer city in the nation — Photo courtesy of Brian Craig for Experience Grand Rapids
Michigan’s second-largest city sports the state’s strongest beer scene, thanks largely to the presence of the world-renowned Founders Brewing Co. Not to be outdone, there are several other brewing operations around town, most notably the Belgian-inspired Brewery Vivant. The city’s official “Beer City Ale Trail” lists more than 80 breweries in the surrounding area, and the local calendar is constantly filled with beer festivals, events, and promotions. Throw in exceptional beer stores such as Siciliano’s Market, and it’s easy to see why Grand Rapids proudly stakes its claim as “Beer City USA.”
Full list of winners: Best Beer City »
Best Beer Festival: Barrel & Flow Fest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Barrel & Flow Fest is the best beer festival of 2023 — Photo courtesy of Epicast
During Pittsburgh’s Barrel & Flow Fest, some 3,000 craft beer industry professionals and enthusiasts come together for a weekend celebrating Black-owned breweries, with collaborations with Black artists and entrepreneurs from throughout Pennsylvania and the country.
Full list of winners: Best Beer Festival »
Best Beer Garden: Charlotte Beer Garden in Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte Beer Garden wins Best Beer Garden for second year in a row — Photo courtesy of Anthony Reynolds
Charlotte Beer Garden offers one of the largest selections of draft beers you’re likely to find in a single restaurant, with more than 400 beers on tap. Visitors can enjoy their beer of choice at the indoor-outdoor beer bar or on the heated patio.
Full list of winners: Best Beer Garden »
Best Beer Label: Shock G Forever – Federation Brewing & Hella Coastal
Sip in style with winning Shock G Forever — Photo courtesy of Chaz Hubbard
This golden ale pays tribute to legendary rapper and hip-hop artist Gregory “Shock G” Jacobs, and the fantastic artwork on the limited-release can features a portrait of Jacobs with hands on his headphones, grooving to the beat. Even more inspiring, the vibrant artwork was created by Sacramento artist Chuck Taylor, a personal friend of Jacobs from his Digital Underground days. Historical, artistic, and a delicious ale to boot.
Full list of winners: Best Beer Label »
Best Brewery Tour: Tröegs Independent Brewing in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tröegs Independent Brewing enjoys its third consecutive win for Best Brewery Tour — Photo courtesy of Tröegs Independent Brewing
Visitors in Hershey can enjoy a guided production tour at Tröegs Independent Brewing. The experience includes a behind-the-scenes look at the mill room, hop cooler, brewhouse deck, fermentation cellars, and packaging lines. A welcome beer kicks off the exploration and three more samples are included.
Full list of winners: Best Brewery Tour »
Best Brewpub: Stronghouse Brew Pub in Telluride, Colorado
Enjoy pub favorites at Stronghouse Brew Pub — Photo courtesy of George Mays
The motto of Telluride’s Stronghouse Brew Pub is “Let’s Beer” – an invitation to grab a brew and some food after a day of adventure. The brewpub, housed within a historic 1892 building, serves a menu of Alpine comfort foods, like salted Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst, and corned beer brisket.
Full list of winners: Best Brewpub »
Best New Brewery: First State Brewing Company in Middletown, Delaware
Sip unique brews at First State Brewing Company, the best new brewery in the U.S. — Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Horne
First State’s wide range of crafts have some very unique names and colorful labels, from Intrinsic Chaos, a blood orange double IPA, to the Whimsical Anomaly hazy IPA to the Droid Dreams sour that is aged in tequila barrels. Come in Tuesday through Friday and Sundays for select food and beer happy hour prices.
Full list of winners: Best New Brewery »
Best Small Town Beer Scene: Avondale Estates, Georgia
Avondale Estates is crowned Best Small Town Beer Scene for third year in a row — Photo courtesy of City of Avondale Estates
The charming town of Avondale Estates, just east of Decatur, has a small downtown area packed with unique food and beverage offerings. For beer lovers, there’s Wild Heaven Beer, The Lost Druid Brewery, My Parents’ Basement, and Little Cottage Brewery.
Full list of winners: Best Small Town Beer Scene »
Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10best.com daily to vote in our Readers’ Choice contests.