Alright, we admit it. We used an attention-grabbing headline to … well … grab your attention. Maybe you've heard of some of these breweries, but our point is that most people haven’t. Either because they're new or have only limited distribution, we wanted to highlight some of the brewery gems we've discovered during our travels. While we love to visit world-famous breweries as much as anyone else, we love to discover amazing breweries others may be missing. Here are some of our favorites.
Leave a comment below to let us know your favorite brewery we've never heard of!
Beer Church (New Buffalo, Michigan) – Located in an old church smack dab in the middle of nowhere, Beer Church Brewing Co. (www.beerchurchbrewing.com) was so new when we visited that they had no signage. The opened in February 2017 and when we visited, offered four beers on tap. Three were world class while the forth was good as well. If you've been skipping church, it's time to head back.
Hopfenstark (L'Assomption, Quebec) – The beer world is full of brewer geeks, but Hopfenstark's Fred Cormier takes it to a new level. Hopfenstark (www.hopfenstark.com) has been making amazing beers for over 10 years. But Fred doesn't just make good beer to style. He takes care to learn his ingredients (particularly the yeast he uses) and brews beers to enhance the flavors of those ingredients. In this respect, Fred takes a chef's view of brewing. The results are amazing.
Blue Star (San Antonio, Texas) – Beer is the perfect beverage as a reprieve from the hot Texas sun. San Antonio's Blue Star Brewing (www.bluestarbrewing.com) has been brewing up great organic beer with amazing fresh food since 1996. Located next to art galleries and the bike and pedestrian path system on the banks of the San Antonio River, you'll love everything about this place.
Knappstein (Clare, South Australia) – Knappstein (www.knappstein.com.au) is better known as a winery, but as the saying goes, "It takes a lot of good beer to make great wine." Knappstein makes only one beer, but what a beer it is! Knappstein Reserve Lager is the perfect showcase for Nelson Sauvin hops featuring flavors of lychee nuts, mango and passionfruit. If you don't live in Australia, getting to taste this beer might be enough reason to go visit! [photo credit: Knappstein Enterprise Winery & Brewery]
El Toro (Morgan Hill, California) – We visited El Toro Brewing (www.eltorobrewing.com) way back in 2007, but even then, they were using their small brewhouse to do cool things like single-hopped IPAs that you could sample side-by-side in their beautiful taproom.
Bellwether (Spokane, Washington) – With over 5,000 breweries in the United States alone, it's hard for a brewery to be unique. And yet, Bellwether Brewing (www.bellwetherbrewing.net) is doing it. Check out their braggots and gruits to taste something as unique as they are delicious!
Vunetovo (Hvar, Croatia) – Croatia might not be the first country you think of when you think about good beer, but craft beer is starting to take hold in a country otherwise obsessed with wine and olive oil. Located on the island of Hvar in a town of the same name, Vunetovo (www.vunetovo.com/en/) is located in the brewer's home. Anna makes beers in small batches (only 100 litres at a time) and always uses local ingredients. Wherever you go in Croatia, they tell you to try Vunetovo beers if you can find them, which you almost never can, because the supply is so low and the demand is so high. Our recommendation: go visit Anna!