Food Service & Agriculture and Retail

West Michigan breweries rank among 'Top 15' at USA Today

August 13, 2013
| By Pat Evans |
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Founders Brewing plows ahead with expansion plans
Founders Brewing is the rated the second best brewery in the U.S. by Ratebeer.com, and several of its beers are listed among the top 100 beers in the world by Beeradvocate.com. Photo via fb.com

West Michigan breweries rank among the “Top 15 Craft Breweries in the USA” featured at USA Today’s Travel section this week.

Founders Brewing Co. ranks No. 4, and Bell’s Brewery ranks No. 8 — out of the more than 2,500 breweries in the U.S.

The list is featured in an article at USAToday.com and was created by TheDailyMeal.com. The rankings are based on recommendations from some of the nation’s craft beer experts and placing those 72 nominations in front of readers.

“Easily” the best porter in the world

The article says that Founders has “just about done” what its founders, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, set out to do by making “complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body and tons of flavor.”

"I probably have drank gallons of Red's Rye PA and Centennial IPA," said Mike Sweeney, of beer blog St. Louis Hops, to TheDailyMeal. "And don't even get me started on Breakfast Stout and its bigger brother KBS. While KBS may not be the best bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout in America (that goes to Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout), it's damned close. Oh, and Founders Porter is easily the best porter made in the world."

Deep roster of beer

Meanwhile, the article is full of praise for the depth of Bell’s distribution lineup of consistently tasty brews.

"Far fewer (breweries) have a roster (of beer) as deep and consistently excellent as Bell's," said Chris Van Orden, co-founder of DC Beer, to TheDailyMeal. "No matter what style you're in the mood for, Bell's has a great take on it."

The rest

Three Floyds Brewing Co. in Munster, Ind. also made its way on the list, dominated by breweries west of the Mississippi River. 

That said, Dogfish Head ranks No. 1 with their creative twists on traditional beers, and Tampa, Fla.’s Cigar City also made its way on the ranking.

But the idea of a craft beer bubble burst soon doesn’t look imminent, according to the article.

That comes in contrast to a Draft Magazine article last week that included comments from Founders CEO Mike Stevens, who explained breweries need to know what they’re doing from the day they open.

"Craft beer doesn't get enough credit for the innovation and re-invention brewers are displaying every day," said Tom Rotunno, senior editor for CNBC, to TheDailyMeal. "It's impossible to be bored."

Top 15 Craft Breweries in the USA

1.  Dogfish Head, Milton, Del.

2.  Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, Calif.

3.  Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, Mo.

4.  Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.

5.  Cigar City Brewing Co., Tampa, Fla.

6.  New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.

7.  Lagunitas Brewing Co., Petaluma, Calif.

8.  Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo, Mich.

9.  Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif.

10. Sierra Nevada, Chico, Calif.

11. Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.

12. Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster Ind.

13. Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, Colo.

14. Oskar Blues, Lyons, Colo.

15. Rogue Ales, Portland, Ore.

Source: TheDailyMeal.com via USAToday.com

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