Best Midwest Craft Brewery ?

Category: Polls
| March 28, 2009 | Comments (275)

Map of the MidwestCast your vote for the Best Midwest Craft Brewery. Represent your favorite local beer by not only casting your vote, but leaving feedback using the comment feature. There are 30 breweries to choose from, but sure enough, somebody will comment on the fact that a great local craft brewery is missing. If there is a large number of write ins, we will tally them up.

Learning from previous polls, we have added more breweries than any other poll we have run. Voting ends April 28, 2009 3PM PDT.

Please note that this is done in the spirit of loving beer and having pride in your local craft brewery. The comment section is underneath all 30 of the nominated breweries.

Best Midwest Craft Brewery?

  • Schlafly Brewery (25%, 2,052 Votes)
  • Great Lakes Brewing (24%, 1,892 Votes)
  • New Glarus (11%, 855 Votes)
  • Lakefront Brewery (7%, 525 Votes)
  • August Schell (6%, 496 Votes)
  • Hoppin' Frog (5%, 411 Votes)
  • Bell's Brewing (5%, 369 Votes)
  • Surly Brewing (3%, 259 Votes)
  • Three Floyds (2%, 196 Votes)
  • Boulevard Brewing (2%, 191 Votes)
  • Founders Brewing (2%, 147 Votes)
  • Summit Brewing (2%, 144 Votes)
  • Goose Island (1%, 118 Votes)
  • Free State Brewing (1%, 65 Votes)
  • Columbus Brewing (1%, 45 Votes)
  • Captial Brewing (1%, 43 Votes)
  • Jolly Pumpkin (1%, 42 Votes)
  • Shorts Brewing (0%, 37 Votes)
  • Tyranena Brewing (0%, 36 Votes)
  • Two Brothers Brewing (0%, 29 Votes)
  • New Holland Brewing (0%, 27 Votes)
  • Dark Horse Brewing (0%, 18 Votes)
  • Arcadia Ales (0%, 15 Votes)
  • New Albanian Brewing (0%, 12 Votes)
  • The Livery (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Flying Monkey Brewing (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Waterstreet Brewery (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Oaken Barrel (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Firehouse Brewing (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Backroad Brewing (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 8,048

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275 Responses to “Best Midwest Craft Brewery ?”

  1. Teresa B #

    I vote GLBC Elliot Ness

    May 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm
  2. Tim Teders #

    Keweenaw Brewery’s “Lift-bridge Brown Ale” is the best beer I’ve ever had in a can!

    January 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm
  3. don #

    BTW, Schlafly Pumpkin Beer is on tap for the season

    September 11, 2009 at 9:32 am
  4. jon eckerle #

    My vote is for Great Lakes…. I just love to find it on tap.. the food is always secondary to the beer. “I don’t care where we go honey… do they have Great Lakes.” A secondary benifit is the Conway’s dedication to the triple bottom line philosophy and their support of the sustainability movement. They are talking the talk and walking the walk of sustainability. They have integrated into their business model long term planning for green sustainable business practices. Every time I finish off a Burning River Ale, I feel the earth thank me.

    August 1, 2009 at 11:54 am
  5. R J Mayer #

    I have tried most of the beers listed here, and I always go back to Summit. They brew a Extra Pale ale that sets the standard! They also just introduced a Red ale that is GREAT, lots of hops dancing on a wonderful malt finish! If you are ever in St Paul Mn they offer tours that are fun,and free! Cheers all!

    July 6, 2009 at 7:49 am
  6. Flatlander #

    Goose Island, Harvest Ale really a treat for the hop lover

    June 1, 2009 at 7:02 pm
  7. KG in WI #

    My vote goes to Central Waters Brewery in Amherst, WI.
    The MudPuppy Porter is so will make you happy!

    May 28, 2009 at 11:02 am
  8. I will write in for Leinenkugel’s. I love their Fireside Nut Brown.

    May 11, 2009 at 3:41 pm
  9. A J Hookster #

    Great Lakes makes some of the best beers I’ve tasted, especially their Elliot Ness and Burning River. 23 MVP!!!

    May 11, 2009 at 4:15 am
  10. Does that mean Schlafly Won?

    May 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm
  11. BRIAN #

    I have toured and eaten at Great Lakes Brewing Company and couldn’t be more thrilled with their beer quality.

    I now live in Los Angeles and miss Great Lakes beer deeply ;-(

    Please let me become a distributor out here in Los Angeles!

    Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is the best!

    May 1, 2009 at 8:21 pm
  12. Tonethetiger #

    Schlafly’s Dry Hopped IPA is a hophead’s dream.

    And when you visit their restaurants their food is supplemented by local farmers and growers.

    And they have festivals year round to support the arts, film, charities and sporting events, where they open their doors to the community with live music and great hospitality.

    Anybody that visits St. Louis needs to stop by the Tap Room and have their beer cheese soup. It’s the best!

    And still the beer is amazing.

    April 30, 2009 at 9:24 am
  13. Kelan Craig #

    Big fan of Great Lakes Brewing Company. I’ve been brewing my own beer and getting good advice via their quarterly “Advanced Beer School” sessions. Burning River Pale, Commodore Perry IPA & Grassroots Ale are good ones to try!

    April 29, 2009 at 8:46 pm
  14. admin #

    Wow, you guys are hardcore about your beer. After reading this entire thread, I feel like I have quite a list of beers to track down and try.

    – Dan

    April 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm
  15. No Furthermore? No Minneapolis Town Hall? That’s 2 of the best brewers in the country and you can’t even get them on your midwest list?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:59 pm
  16. bobby #

    great lakes beer by far the best in the country. try it and end the argument

    April 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm
  17. As mentioned above this is not a very complete list of Brewers in the Midwest. It would have been nice if users could have requested ADDS to this list, as a Midwestern brewer, its not easy to get your name out there! Maybe next time.

    April 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm
  18. Jay #

    Wish it would have been possible to vote for the Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant in Topeka. They have great beer. Ten awards from GABF and World Beer Cup in the last 8 years. Usually at least 12 beers on tap. Wonder why they were left off the list?

    April 29, 2009 at 10:14 am
  19. Shannon #

    AUGUST SCHELL has my vote!!

    April 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm
  20. Karin #

    Have been going to Schlafly Taproom since it opened and these people are the best. And the make hard cider, too. Cask-conditioned, organic and serious bitter varieties above and beyond anything I’ve seen elsewhere!

    April 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm
  21. jennifer smith #

    Great Lakes has my vote. I hope this is how to vote. I didn’t find another place to click my vote. Maybe I need a beer!

    April 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm
  22. Rose Wells #

    I went to a wine verses beer dinner put on by Schalafy and a wine distributor for the Leukemia Foundation. Schlafly’s beers were great with the meal….better than the wine with some of the courses. My vote is for Schlafly Brewery.

    April 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm
  23. Great Lakes brewery is of the best in the country,let alone, the midwest!!I have tried just every beer on this list and still have to say G.L.B. all the way!!!Go Tribe;-)

    April 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm
  24. Timothy Fowler #

    I am voting for Schlafly. These folks love beer, beer drinkers, and talking about beer with beer drinkers. I love the variety and craftsmanship in what they offer.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:01 pm
  25. Mike #

    New Glarus, and founders, how am i sudpose to choose between the two? Alright alright… The winner is…. drum role please… … … New Glarus. I have had every one of Dan’s Unplugged beers since Enigma was released and i’ve been hooked ever since. Always an excellent style and always true to the representation of that style. New Glarus rules! But Founders is also a supreme brewery, I have a couple of KBS’ in my cellar right now. If you have never had kentucky breakfast stout. Than please do yourself a favor and find some. One of the best imperial bourbon barrel stouts in the world.

    April 28, 2009 at 11:11 am
  26. Ricky #

    Another vote for Schlafly. Would love to try GLB though.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:59 am
  27. fretwalker #

    Great Lakes!
    Consistently high quality over an incredibly broad range of styles.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:24 am
  28. Rachel #

    AUGUST SCHELL’S BREWERY!!! For sure!!!

    April 28, 2009 at 9:26 am
  29. Pat Maweeni #

    I’m not sure why Great Lakes isn’t leading the pack by leaps and bounds. In my experience and travels, there is simply no equal. While I always search out the local stuff whenever I travel, Great Lakes is always the yardstick and thus far, no one else tops them. It’s a shame there’s not a branch of GLB in St Louis for all those folks there who have to be content with their sub-standard suds :-)
    peace, my beer drinking brothers and sisters, and if you have not yet had the pleasure of GLB’s wonderous brews, get yourselves to Cleveland or get someone to send you some.

    I don’t have the explanation for it, but GLB simply cooks the best beer.

    April 28, 2009 at 9:10 am
  30. Will #

    One brewery that should be on your list is South Shore Brewery out of Ashland, WI.

    April 28, 2009 at 8:19 am
  31. Rhonda Tauer #

    August Schell Brewery has my vote not only can you have a great beer but Lake Maid rules I love the caps & have made a fun game of who can catch the biggest fish. Can’t wait to get my hands on more. Please send some to TX.

    April 28, 2009 at 5:55 am
  32. Trish #

    Great Lakes brewing for sure!

    April 28, 2009 at 5:46 am
  33. fred K #

    An ice cold Schlafly hefeweizen is hard to beat on warm summer evening.

    April 28, 2009 at 5:43 am
  34. rb #

    The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

    April 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm
  35. J D #

    always support the locals, love the beer, can’t drink any thing else, born and raised… everyone we get to try it, likes the flavor, we get them hooked to. good job Schells, keep up the good work. Don’t change a thing…

    April 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm
  36. RH #

    I vote for the August Schell Brewing Co.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:59 pm
  37. muffy lundbeck #

    Great Lakes Brewery is by far the best local brew out there. No contest. Not only their regulars like Dortmunder Gold or Commodore Perry, but the seasonal brews such as Black Out Stout and Nasferatu. Incredibly good. Rachael Ray thought so too when she came to Cleveland.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:56 pm
  38. Krista #

    August Schell has to be the best local craft brewery in the Midwest. Schell’s variety of beers appeal to people both near and far…Nothing beats a poked Dopple Bock at Schell’s annual Bockfest on a cold February day. It is also the 2nd Oldest Family Owned Brewery in the US and has been around for almost a century and a half. I have to say all of my visiting German colleuges and friend are excited and pleasantly surprised when they taste Schell Beer for the first time. Schell’s also supports the community and helps remind our quaint little city New Ulm of our deep German history and culture. Traveling to New Ulm to visit our fine August Schell Brewery is a day well spent….

    April 27, 2009 at 5:54 pm
  39. Kevin #

    What a great lineup! I voted for Schlafly, but Goose Island, Arcadia, New Glarus, Dark Horse, Bells…that’s a lot of really good choices. I once had a guy (very nice guy, by the way) tell me that there were no interesting beers in the Midwest. BAH!

    April 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm
  40. Jim #

    Any company that would go head to head against AB Inbev (ouch!) in their home market has got to be great!

    If you have not had Schlafly beer, you are missing out on some incredible variety. (over 30)

    If you want hops, the dry hopped APA may cause permanent dis-satisfaction with every other so called “hoppy” beer.

    April 27, 2009 at 12:10 pm
  41. Schlafly Brewery in St. Louis has to be in one of the toughest markets in the whole country. Who could compete with the WORLD’S LARGEST BREWERY right in their own home town? Having lived here most of my life and witnessed how Schlafly started and has grown, I’ve seen how they conduct themselves in business and how they treat their customer. Whether it’s because they’re mimicking their classy, colossal competitor or because they themselves have all the character they need to run their business successfully, I’m proud of Schlafly as a St. Louis based business.

    And as far as the quality of their product, I’ve had beers from all over the world and used to travel all over the US and Canada, sampling the local beers and craft of the hometown breweries. I havea beer bottle collection of over 700. There are no other breweries that exceed the diversity and quality tastes that come in any bottle or growler of Schlafly beers, ales, and other fermented drinks.

    April 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm
  42. J. #

    My vote is for August Schell all the way!

    April 27, 2009 at 11:32 am
  43. Erik #

    August Schell all the way! Why yes I’ll take a Lakemaid!!!

    April 27, 2009 at 10:56 am
  44. Allen Goebl #

    Great Lakes Brewing, by a long shot. I am proud to say that, I am a distant cousin of the brewers, living now in Spain. I know how hard they worked to perfect their beers over the years. When visiting my muggy native city, they never charged me for a cooling brew. Who wouldn’t vote for that?

    April 27, 2009 at 10:55 am
  45. Steen #

    I love Schlafly!

    April 27, 2009 at 10:17 am
  46. tom gabriel #

    A definitive vote for Summit EPA, and seasonals.
    I occasionally stray, but always come back.

    April 27, 2009 at 10:17 am
  47. troy p. #

    I voted for schell’s because I distribute their products

    April 27, 2009 at 10:16 am
  48. ken #

    Schlafly, I simply love schlafly beer

    April 27, 2009 at 10:13 am
  49. Bryce #

    Summit. Their EPA is a “classic” english style pale ale. One of the few session ales in the midwest.

    April 27, 2009 at 10:13 am
  50. Roadkill Domeier #

    Schell’s, Had a few Schmaltz’s Alt this weekend. This is not some trendy brew pub beer that bottles a bit every so often. Not drank by yuppies but buy true beer drinkers, dirty mouths and purple noses. These are stong beers with a very consistant taste due to 150 years of family tradition. Da Kill

    April 27, 2009 at 9:59 am
  51. Barb T. #

    My vote is for August Schell Brewery as they are the sponsor for my women’s bowling team.

    April 27, 2009 at 8:36 am
  52. danny boy #

    August Schell lots of excellent choices, my favorite, Pils no, firebrick,,no, Maifest,, no Grain Belt Premium,,no Oktoberfest,, no well you get the idea!1

    April 27, 2009 at 8:06 am
  53. Jeff #

    Summit Brewing Co. in St. Paul rocks, from their EPA and ESB to great seasonal brews like Maibock, Scandia and Oktoberfest. Nice folks, too, who stay involved in the community. Cheers!

    April 27, 2009 at 8:06 am
  54. Anthony #

    Schlafly Brewery is wonderful.

    April 27, 2009 at 7:53 am
  55. Patti #

    Schlafly’s is the best and since I am from St Louis but now live in Fla. but I miss going to their brewery/restaurant. I miss going in and looking at the chalkboard to see several beer choices and drinking my favorites and trying new ones. Tom Schlafly is the new King of Beers in STL.

    April 26, 2009 at 7:17 pm
  56. Rusty1024 #

    The great thing about Schlafly’s is they keep making new and seasonal brews all the time-many of which are never bottled. They were also able to succeed in a city where a huge corporate brewery monopolized beer production for decades. Now Schlafly’s is ironically the ONLY American beer made in St. Louis….
    Would love to try Great Lakes. Cleveland is a cool city.

    April 26, 2009 at 9:22 am
  57. Kean #

    Great Lakes rules, with Bells a distant second.

    April 25, 2009 at 12:36 pm
  58. Terese #

    Without a doubt it has to be Schell’s beer – almost 150 years of satisfying thirsty Germans and others with refined taste. There’s a craft brew for every palate at this brewery!

    April 25, 2009 at 11:27 am
  59. Hill #

    Long before Budweiser’s hostile takeover by Belgium’s INBEV, I was, and remain most impressed with Schlafly. In other words, my choice of Schlafly doesn’t stem from my rage concerning the loss of STL’s second “landmark,” after the Gateway arch, mediocrity of “King of Beers” products notwithstanding.

    Schlafly will eventually grow to be the true, undisputed Saint Louis Brewery it already calls itself, and hopefully will remain as consistently innovative, cranking out consistently excellent beers, ales, etc. It’ll do the entire Midwest proud (although last time I checked, the Dakotas are in the Great Plains region both by classification, topography, and culture, but, hey, the more states the better).

    I’ve lived in 12 states, three of them in the Midwest. To me, Schlafly’s mind-boggling array of superb brews and rapid growth makes voting for it a no-brainer. Mark my words, it’s the next big regional and then national brand.

    And, no, I don’t work for Schlafly. I’m a doc, so please drink in moderation :)

    April 25, 2009 at 10:39 am
  60. Mike #

    All Schafly’s products are excellent but the pale ale is my favorite. I was introduced to the brewery by my daughter and son-in-law who have since moved to North Carolina. Now I am “required” to take them some Schafly’s whenever we go visit them.

    April 25, 2009 at 8:43 am
  61. Rod #

    I guess since there really isn’t any criteria given for what constitutes “best,” then I suppose people can make up their own. It seems to me, in order to qualify as “best,” the main criteria should be best tasting. I live in St. Louis and love Schlafly and am proud that they are here but anyone who thinks their beers are even remotely close to the taste/quality of Founders, Three Floyds or Bells, has no business judging beer.

    April 25, 2009 at 5:18 am
  62. The Real NWags #

    I wish I could try some more of these, had most of the Noreaster Illinois area and they are all some of my favorites, but I have to go with New Glarus since I really (I mean really) like all of the beers I have tasted from them, and they have my current favorite “Stone Soup”.

    Its is great to have so many options when it comes to craft beers!

    April 24, 2009 at 9:05 pm
  63. Dan #

    Without a doubt, it is Schlafly. Not a bad beer in the bunch. Nothing better than a fine Kolsch on a summer eve!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 8:12 pm
  64. Amber M #

    I totally MISS New Glarus. I would KILL for a ‘Spotted Cow’ or a ‘Fat Squirrel’ right now. :( VOTE NG!

    April 24, 2009 at 6:51 pm
  65. Bob #

    I vote for Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee WI. I have celiac disease and they have a gluten free beer, New Grist.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:32 pm
  66. Conrad KCMO #

    Schlafly ,Just laugh the others away.Schlafly has great taste and taste great.If 75th Street brewery KCMO bottled,They WOULD BE A CLOSE SECOND.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm
  67. Shawn D #

    I’m currently living in Spain, but I can’t proclaim loud enough how much I miss Schlafly’s variety of beers. So much love, care, and dedication go into their beers, whether it’s a year-round hefeweizen or a seasonal Belgian ale. I’ve tried a lot of beers around the midwest in my journeys, but Schlafly has my vote, by far.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm
  68. Dean Sullivan #

    Schlafly, hands down. BTW, the real name of the brewery is St. Louis Brewery. Schlafly is the brand of beer they make and the name of the owner (Tom Schlafly). I travel a lot in the midwest (and elsewhere) for work. It’s always good to be in St. Louis to have a brew from the best (and largest, now) American-owned brewery in St. Louis.

    April 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm
  69. Nathan #

    I agree that Great Lakes makes some great beer, but New Glarus is amazing. Since they only distribute in Wisconsin, I’m sure many have not had the oportunity to enjoy their beers. Dan Carey plays by his own rules and you can taste it in his beer!

    April 24, 2009 at 3:38 pm
  70. David #

    Yeah, I too expected to see Bell’s with more votes. I’ve never been, but have heard wonderful things about their beers. I actully live in Houston but visited Schlafly during a trip to STL in 2007, then was in STL again over this past Christmas and insisted that a large group of my family members go for a visit.

    April 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm
  71. Beer Fan #

    I thought for sure Great Lakes would be dominating. Recently got the opportunity to try out some of their beers at the Cleveland brewery and everything was great. So i was quite surprised when I saw that my hometown Schlafly was now in the lead. Huge fan of both thought.

    April 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm
  72. Jim Hensley #

    Another vote here for Schlafly. I think they do a great job with all of their beers. Wide selections and top quality. What more could you ask? They have a couple of brewpubs in STL. Going to the downtown location offer an opportunity to drink ale from the cask. A truly amazing experience.

    April 24, 2009 at 2:06 pm
  73. Ryan Heitsgebot #

    Had to vote for Schlafly, since, as a St. Louisan, I frequently enjoy their products on tap (as well as in bottles). Great Lakes isn’t in distribution here, as far as I know, so I haven’t tried it, but I look forward to the opportunity. I’m pretty surprised that Bell’s isn’t getting more votes; I’ve had some truly top-notch brews of theirs. Hats off to all these breweries, actually; I’d like to visit every one of them!

    April 24, 2009 at 1:53 pm
  74. David #

    Looks like a two horse race. Go Schlafly!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 1:15 pm
  75. lou #

    If you simply personally don’t care for the 24+ styles of beer that Schlafly bottles and the 20+ additional styles that are brewed in smaller batches at their breweries and only available on draft, then that is one thing. That is your opinion. This is a fun beer poll and it’s all about personal taste. However, it certainly is not accurate for “Schwags” to claim Schlafly doesn’t “care about the environment.” Schlafly’s plastic cups are #1 recyclable, their new tap handles are made from recycled/sustainable materials, both of their breweries were built out from existing abandoned buildings in St.Louis and rehabbed, they are one of the larger companies working with Pure Power that works with Ameren UE to purchase renewable energy credits (from wind power, etc.) to offset their electrical needs (Pure Power states that Schlafly’s enrollment “prevents 312,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year which is the equivalent of preserving 118 acres of forest storing carbon for one year or taking 30 cars off the road each year.”) Etc., Etc. Shoot them an email, I’m sure they would be happy to speak with you at length about everything they are trying to do as well as things they hope to be able to do in the future.

    Could they be doing more, sure…everyone could be doing more, but the keyword here is TRYING and they are certainly trying to do as much as they can to be responsible towards the environment and give back to their community as often as possible while still being realistic about the fact that they are running a business and have to make Payroll twice a month. Schlafly Beer isn’t going to save the world or stop global warming, but they are certainly going way out of their way to do the right thing. Believe it or not, but it takes far more than a desire to be “green” when you’re a relatively large company (especially in this economy,) it’s takes a lot of time, education, communication and money to essentially work against a system that rewards businesses who send work overseas. Schlafly may not have the means or scale of New Belgium or Sierra Nevada, but all things considered Schlafly is busting their butts to do everything they can to have as positive an impact on their community and as little of an impact on the environment as possible and I’m proud to have them as my local brewery.

    They also throw great parties and brew great beer.

    April 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm
  76. Rhoobarb #

    +1 for O’Fallon. Also, where is Sprecher?!! Sprecher needs to be there!

    April 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm
  77. STLbeer #

    Drink Schlafly or the terrorists win!

    April 24, 2009 at 12:21 pm
  78. Mark #

    I vote for Schlafly.

    Three reasons:

    1) Triple

    2) Barleywine


    April 24, 2009 at 10:41 am
  79. Schwags #

    I don’t what kind of stuff people are smoking up in St. louie but Great Lakes takes the cake. Schlafly, disappointing collection, and you don’t even care about the environment!

    April 24, 2009 at 10:36 am
  80. Gary #

    Even if Schlafly didn’t brew several excellent beers they get kudos for surviving in the land of A-B. Perhaps, now that A-B is no longer an American Company, those die-hard lemmings swilling bud-light will look around town and notice a world class brewery in their midst.

    April 24, 2009 at 10:34 am
  81. Gary #

    Even if they didn’t brew several excellent beers they get kudos for surviving in the land of A-B. Perhaps, now that A-B is no longer an American company, those die-hard lemmings swilling bud-light will look around town and notice a world class brewery in their midst.

    April 24, 2009 at 10:31 am
  82. JB #

    O’Fallon should be on the list. Give them a few more years and they will be bigger than schlafly. But right now schlafly gets my vote.

    April 24, 2009 at 10:18 am
  83. Caitlin #

    not a fan of Great Lakes at all.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:58 am
  84. deanes #

    Schlafly brews some of the best beer I’ve ever had the pleasure of sampling. Wish they’d bottle and distribute so that I could get it out of state, rather than on occasional visits to St. Louis.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:24 am
  85. GK #

    There is no better dark beer than Dragon’s Milk Ale by New Holland Brewing Co. A full flavored, sipping Ale that rivals anything put out by the vineyards. I only wish the brewery would expand its distribution, as it’s hard to find.

    April 24, 2009 at 9:08 am
  86. amanda #

    Schlafly, Schlafly!
    Winter ESB!

    April 24, 2009 at 9:01 am
  87. spartan #

    Why isn’t O’Fallon on the list?

    April 24, 2009 at 8:59 am
  88. janedub #

    Schlafly is the best! Delicious, great variety, wonderful seasonals… and a fantastic craft brewery experience.

    April 24, 2009 at 8:47 am
  89. Matt Stiffelman #

    Schlafly in St. Louis is not only a great brewery, but a huge contributor to the local community and regional brewing community. My vote goes to Schlafly Another notable brewery is the Black Lotus Brewing Co. in Detroit.

    The voting feature on this site is not very easy to use, as a matter of fact, I have no idea how to vote for Schlafly on this site, there is no way I can tell to vote! There is no button to click on, and there are no instructions on where on the site you actually cast a vote. I may be blind and tech-dumb too.

    April 24, 2009 at 8:43 am
  90. Andee Weinfurt #

    I’m very sorry to see that Weston Brewing Company in Weston, Missouri was omitted from the list. It is one of the nation’s oldest breweries and will soon be premiering as the brand-new Wizards stadium beer of choice in Kansas City. Hopefully that gets us on the list next time!

    April 24, 2009 at 8:38 am
  91. dtargetguy #

    The new Summit Red Ale is most excellent.

    April 24, 2009 at 8:36 am
  92. Cindy Patrick #

    Schlafly Brewery by far is the best!

    April 24, 2009 at 8:10 am
  93. A Schlafly Fan #

    Schlafly Beer is the absolute best beer in St. Louis. Always has been, always will be better than the so-called “beer” produced by a local brewing giant.

    April 24, 2009 at 8:08 am
  94. brian #

    Schlafly my favorite!!

    April 24, 2009 at 7:56 am
  95. Chuck Fuller #

    If you haven’t tried Schlafly’s then you are definitly missing out on one of if not the best..they brew the best Dry Hopped I’ve ever had (I was in the Air Force for 21 years and stationed in Europe, Asia and Central America). Their Oatmeal Stout is also beyond compare

    April 24, 2009 at 7:48 am
  96. Paul Maday #

    August Schell Brewing company in New Ulm by far is one of the best
    Midwest Craft brewers. Check out there website for all of the different types of craft beers they offer. And they do also brew Grain Belt beers.
    My favorite craft beer is there Schell’s Firebrick along with
    there seasonal lakemaid beers. Try some you will enjoy! Paul

    April 24, 2009 at 7:32 am
  97. AJ #

    How were these companies chosen? Where is Sprecher and Leinenkugel? Both companies have great brews and wide selections.

    April 24, 2009 at 7:23 am
  98. Brenda Brasier #

    Schlafley!! Raspberry Rules!!

    April 24, 2009 at 7:10 am
  99. G #

    I live in St. Louis and still enjoy A-B In-Bev products but Schlafly is my favorite beer. My favorites are the Scottish Ale and the Octoberfest. Worth a visit if in St. Louis!!!

    April 24, 2009 at 6:52 am
  100. lisambucket #

    Schlafly Hefeweizen in St. Louis is a great beer. They make also make a saison ale that has terrific flavors in it.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:35 am
  101. Schlafly brewery for sure. You have to love all of the variety and special events that they put on. This is real beer made by real people with real heart.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:34 am
  102. GreggD #

    Love the Folks, and the Beer at Schlafly’s and being from STL I vote for their brews. I am surprised that Boulevard in KC is not doing better. They make a great wheat, and I have had other good products from them as well. Comeon KC get in the game!

    April 24, 2009 at 6:17 am
  103. GLBC_ROX #

    I venture out and try a lot of different brews. Sometimes I forget about Great Lakes since they are local. But then when we have people in from out of town that are beer fans, I always get an assortment of Great Lakes and I remember just how good they are!

    April 24, 2009 at 6:12 am
  104. Dave #


    Hop Slam. best beer ever… EVER

    Expedition Stout. A meal with a good buzz at the end

    Two Hearted. excellent

    Beer for people who love beer.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:12 am
  105. Forest Crawford #

    Schlafly’s – hands down.

    April 24, 2009 at 6:12 am
  106. Criag D from Ft.Myers #

    God how I miss Great Lakes Brewery! I love living down here in Florida, but really miss Dan and Pat’s fine concoctions!!!!! I agree with Cogs comments, probably more Chrismas Ale consumed in Cleveland in December than any other beer. And rightfully so! Not to mention their great Green work ethics! Elliot Ness and Christmas Ale and Conway’s are some of my favorites. Someone please ship some down!

    April 24, 2009 at 5:56 am
  107. John Mallon #

    I have been to a lot of these breweries, as well as many others. There are some really good one. Schlafly beer is as good as the best and has the most styles. Additionally, they have 3 great beer fests throughout the year. Cheers to Schlafly.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:52 am
  108. Schlafly Brewery gets my vote. With 10 regular beers on tap year round, and an additional 30 small batch brews offered seasonally throughout the year, variety is the name of the game. There is always something new to try and all of their beers are solid. They now have two brew pubs in the st. louis area and their food is as good as their beer. On your next trip to St. Louis feel free to take in the Arch, Zoo, Science Center, Museums and such if you have time, but definitely make sure you visit the Schlafly Tap Room and/or Schlafly Bottleworks. Grab a meal, take a tour and lift a few pints – you won’t be disappointed.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:47 am
  109. Voltarine #

    I used to live in Cleveland & loved Great Lakes. But I gotta cast a vote for Schlafly (and that’s not 100 percent just because I’m in St. Louis now!). They are absolute sticklers/perfectionists when it comes to the brewing process, but still have an adventurous spirit when it comes to creating new beers … the only one so far I have not been able to get really excited about is the maple-flavored “Maplewood,” beer, but everything else is just top-notch.

    April 24, 2009 at 5:32 am
  110. Robin U. #

    Having grown up in the Cleveland area, I agree with many of the commenters that GREAT LAKES is one of the top breweries in the US. Consistently exceptional quality beers. They make, quite possibly, the best Christmas Ale in the US. I actually have relatives buy me cases of it every year and then I have to figure out how to get the beer out to where I live.
    Having lived in Kansas City for 8 years, I also agree that BOULEVARD should not be taken lightly. I still haven’t found a US micro brew that can top their wheat beer or their Pale Ale. I moved to St. Louis and I still get excited if a restaurant or bar there serves Boulevard.
    But, ultimately, I voted for Schlafly Brewing in St. Louis because not only do they brew some truly stellar beers in the usual styles, but they brew so many different styles of beer so well. Getting to taste all of them at their Hop in the City event every year really allows you to compare them. I always come away with at least three or four beer styles added to my mental list of “the all-time great beers.”
    I’ve tasted beers in at least 10 other Midwest microbreweries, and I think these three are the best. All three are World Class. You can’t go wrong picking either one of them. Prost!

    April 23, 2009 at 11:37 pm
  111. Grew up in Milwaukee and worked for Miller Brewing.
    Lakefront is my favorite Milwaukee brewery.
    You have to do the tour/fish fry/beer boat along with the great beers.

    Spent ten years in Ohio and I do like the Great Lakes offerings.

    However, having lived in Kansas City for over five years now, the most under rated brewery thus far in this poll is BOULEVARD here.
    They are world class- wheat, pale ale, IPA, the incredible Smokestack Series (Sixth Glass Quad is my choice).

    April 23, 2009 at 10:57 pm
  112. Great Lakes is the yardstick by which I measure all others. When I travel I always seek out the craft-brewed beers. While there is some good beer out there, nothing quite compares to Great Lakes. I don’t know how they manage, but it’s just simply the best beer. Goose Island comes in second, in my book, also with some good beer, but in the end, glass for glass, every time, it’s Great Lakes Brewing. Thankfully, it’s only an hour away from my house!

    I used to be a home brewer. I made my first trip to GLB the second week they were open (good news travels fast) and I’ve not brewed a drop since. They cook the best beer.

    April 23, 2009 at 9:12 pm
  113. randallhank #

    I think the main thing Great Lakes has going for it is the strength of the entire catalogue. Not really a bad beer in the bunch, and pretty much all of them are notably excellent. Plus there are a few real standouts. Amongst the regulars is what most consider the best American Porter in the Edmund Fitzgerald, and the classic Dortmunder Gold (not one of my favorites anymore, but a pretty great beer for those who haven’t had a thousand of them). The Burning River is a fantastic summertime beer, and the Elliot Ness Lager, the closest thing they have to a session beer, is a real winner too. About the only one that isn’t outstanding is the Holy Moses — it’s just merely good. Now the real standouts: Blackout Stout, Moondog ESB, Nosferatu, and Christmas Ale. Oh, and the Commodore Perry is a very solid IPA.

    There are no doubt some amazing breweries on that list, some with several outstanding beers on a par with (and perhaps even better than) anything Great Lakes does. But front to back, Great Lakes has more better beers than just about anyone in the country.

    April 23, 2009 at 9:11 pm
  114. diug walker #

    As predicted, mine isn’t here. Bloomington Brewing Co. Best pale I’ve had. This “Great Lakes” must be something! A lot of you seem to like it. I’m sure they must make a pale ale or an IPA…whats the word on those?

    April 23, 2009 at 7:56 pm
  115. Melanie Crovo #

    Edmund Fitzgerald is better than Guiness!

    April 23, 2009 at 7:55 pm
  116. Cogs #

    Great Lakes – their “staples” such as Dortmunder Gold are day in and day out favorites, and then their seasonals like Christmas Ale and Conway’s Irish Ale are absolutely fabulous. I bet that in the month of December more Christmas Ale is sold/consumed in NE Ohio than Bud or Miller Lite… would love to see some statistics on that one.

    April 23, 2009 at 7:42 pm
  117. tony #

    Spotted Cow is The best. No question about that. It is just hard to find outside of Wisconsin. Go to WI and try it. You will agree

    April 23, 2009 at 7:01 pm
  118. pattyM #

    Is there any other beer worth drinking besides Great Lakes?? Still have some Blackout Stout saved to drink another day!

    April 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm
  119. BrianH #

    Well, my vote is definitely Great Lakes, but hey, I’m 40 minutes from the brewery. This is all just a celebration of great beer; it makes me want to get to some of the other high ranked pubs and try them out someday. I love to find different brew-pubs when traveling; sometimes not-so-good beer, sometimes good beer, sometimes great beer. I’m sure many of the other top rated make great beers. Great Lakes doesn’t have just a small number of great beers, most of what they make is great. Liquid bread. Yum.

    April 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm
  120. Craig20000 #

    Lakefront Brewery IPA is one of my favorites.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm
  121. TWhysall #

    Great Lakes – fantastic,handmade brew

    April 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm
  122. J. Hugo #

    Great Lakes is The Best! No words needed,just damn good beer.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm
  123. ARBJR #

    Great Lakes #1

    April 23, 2009 at 1:47 pm
  124. medfest #

    Great Lakes all the way!The others all have great beers,but all of Great Lakes brews are outstanding not a weak one in the bunch!

    April 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm
  125. Mark #

    I agree with Greg. Great Lakes is awesome (and I’d love for a Cleveland beer to win) but it’s no Founders. And, for what it’s worth, Founders is no Bells. How Bells isn’t simply dominating this poll I may never know.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:22 pm
  126. StartsWithK #

    Gotta go with Great Lakes, THE best thing to happen to Cleveland since Zubal’s :)

    April 23, 2009 at 1:09 pm
  127. Three Floyds has to be my favorite!

    April 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm
  128. Anthony #

    Great Lakes Blackout Stout is as good as it gets!

    April 23, 2009 at 12:47 pm
  129. WOW! Is this thing rigged? I can’t believe how wildly NON-distributed the votes are. I’m a Clevelander and enjoy most Great lakes brews (‘specially Bourbon barrel aged Blackout Stout & Rackhouse Ale)) but I have to vote for Founders. Founders Red’s Rye(PA) is one of the few GREAT beers that I can make a session out of. (And the Breakfast Stout is nothin’ to sneeze at either!)

    April 23, 2009 at 12:29 pm
  130. rickh #

    Great Lakes is it! Dortmunder Gold IS the best lager but Elliot Ness is very good.

    Burning river pale ale and Conway’s Irish ale are both excellent as well.

    Goose Island is a stellar runner up, along with New Glarus-Fat Squirrel and spotted cow ROCK!

    April 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm
  131. Steve #


    April 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Great Lakes Brewing Company Dortmunder, hands down THE best real beer.

    None of those namby pamby cholate fuity-tooty cupcake espresso latte types. This is a REAL beer, drinkable as your daily choice and my selection by an overwhelming margin.

    Nothing is even close……

    April 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm
  133. Jeff #

    All of these should be proud of their beer – I have tried most and actually visited many. But I have to vote for Great Lakes. They have a great “green” approach to brewing and have some of the best beers I’ve ever had, including Nosferatu, Christmas Ale, Burning River Pale, Commodore Perry IPA, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and Moondog, just to name some of my faves. I also like the fact that each is an historical reference to Cleveland – nothing like a history lesson that’s tasty too!

    April 23, 2009 at 11:48 am
  134. Grace #

    It is of course Greatlakes! Great beer from a great town. The Conway brothers really know their beer.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:31 am
  135. inpgh #

    great lakes christmas ale is the nectar of the gods. period.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:02 am
  136. Bruce #

    Great Lakes has seasonals every month. I can not wait until they open that last keg of Christmas Ale this summer! Come visit and try their Brewmasters Dinner, now that’s eating and drinking!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:39 am
  137. Nick Waggoner #

    Great lakes can be identified as one of the greatest brew pubs of all time. They care about the environment, the make AMAZING beer, both seasonal and year rounds, and their pub is one of a kind. Go and see for your self on Market street in Cleveland.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:34 am
  138. Derek Mason #

    Great Lakes is by far the best. They went smoke free in the early 90’s when no one would dare think about it. Also, they have been environmentally conscious and supportive of the green movement since the early days of GLBC.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:32 am
  139. Gary #

    Great Lakes Brewing…something Cleveland can really be proud of…

    April 23, 2009 at 10:26 am
  140. I can’t believe Dark Horse is rated so low! I have yet to have a beer from them that wasn’t stellar.

    April 23, 2009 at 10:25 am
  141. Artie #

    Great Lakes Brewery. A totally green company that makes remarkable beer. What more could you ask for?

    April 23, 2009 at 10:13 am
  142. Lisa #

    Great Lakes for sure – Love that Christmas Crack !!!!!!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:03 am
  143. Karen #

    has to be Great Lakes Brewery…no one can beat Nosferatu, Blackout Stout, Elliot Ness…need I go on? just visit & you’ll be convinced.

    April 23, 2009 at 9:51 am
  144. Tim McDonald #


    April 23, 2009 at 9:18 am
  145. Bob #

    If you haven’t had the Great Lakes Christmas Ale then you don’t know what you’re missing! I’m already counting down the days until it’s available again this year.

    April 23, 2009 at 9:05 am
  146. Kevin Sweeney #

    The August Schell Brewery. It’s worth a visit, and not just for the beer.

    April 23, 2009 at 8:37 am
  147. Patrick #

    Another vote for August Schell Brewing Company. New Ulm makes a great Dark beer and has a great seasonal selection!

    April 23, 2009 at 8:34 am
  148. BT #

    I love me my Milwuakee brews, go Lakefront Brewery!!! But where is Central Waters in this list? They brew amazing beer!

    April 23, 2009 at 8:30 am
  149. bill the bartender #

    GREAT LAKES rocks!!! a totally green brewery.

    April 23, 2009 at 8:17 am
  150. Brian #

    August Schell’s has fantastic speality brews. Fire Brick and Blonde Dopple Bock are particularly good. If you haven’t tried them you are missing out. If you are near New Ulm, in south central Minnesota, you should vist the brewery. Come in the summer and walk the beautiful gardens, listen to the peacocks call, visit the on site brewing museum and the gift shop and of course you can tour the brew haus. At the end of the tour relax in the tap room, or on the deck overlooking the Cottonwood River Valley, while sipping on some of the best craft beer you can find.

    April 23, 2009 at 8:17 am
  151. Greer #

    Great Lakes Brewing Company Forever! Christmas Ale, Burning River, Alberta Clipper, Conway’s Irish Ale, Blackout Stout… you can’t beat it.

    April 23, 2009 at 8:17 am
  152. Where is O’Fallon Brewery?

    April 23, 2009 at 8:08 am
  153. Vaughn B #

    Schlafly’s made me smart… “Well ya see, Norm, it’s like this… A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.” Cliff Clavin

    April 23, 2009 at 8:02 am
  154. Steve #

    It was a very close call between Schlafly and Bells – both put out some excellent stuff.

    April 23, 2009 at 7:59 am
  155. NS #

    Schlafly FTW!! I have drink all types of microbrew beer and Schalfly beer by far has the most rich and full bodied flavor out of them all.

    April 23, 2009 at 7:42 am
  156. MJ #

    I love Schlafly’s beer. It is by far the best beer made in STL and I hope all other beer drinkers will give it a shot.

    April 23, 2009 at 7:23 am
  157. Scot #

    Schlafly rules, the coffee stout is best out of the tap! And their pumpkin beer is the best!!

    April 23, 2009 at 6:02 am
  158. Scott Fultz #

    Schlafly best taste and varieties

    April 23, 2009 at 3:41 am
  159. Ronin #

    Schlafly’s!!! Folks, Ive been round the world several times, Asia, Pac Rim, Central & South America & Europe! Drank a lot of beer in lots of pubs & bars & I gotta tell ya, Schlaflys has the best all round selection of tastes and blends that any beer lover from any part of the world would want! Something for everyone! Two different locations & two different breweries ( under the same name!) in the same town, competeing with each other for the best brews! Hosts of some GREAT Beer festivals and a draw for some of the nicest people I’ve ever met!

    A/B may have made St. Louis the center of the Beer Industry in the US, but Schlafly is the “New Religion In Mecca”!

    April 22, 2009 at 8:59 pm
  160. Lisa #

    Schlafly Beer and STP!

    April 22, 2009 at 7:45 pm
  161. Rick #


    April 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm
  162. Jonathan #

    I promise you all this – I hated beer. HATED I tell you. A friend of mine challenged me that “Dude, there’s totally a beer out there for any ONE!” She said, “I will take you – my treat – to Schlafly, I promise you, I can think of at least three beers there you’ll like if not love.” So I took her up on her offer. I swear! I fell in love with their beer. LOVE it! Now please keep in mind – I had been open to try, and have tried, a countless many beers beforehand in my life. I finally settled on the best. I urge you all, whoever you love and support and drink — and lets face it, they all deserve our love — please give your mouth one sweet vacation on the beach of Schlafly’s ocean.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:51 pm
  163. Dave S #

    August Schell has a good selection of products,all top shelf.
    I can heartily recomend them all.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm
  164. I have frequented many a brew pub from east coast to the west coast, but schlafly’s keeps me in Saint Louis with its absolute best beers, food and people. The bartenders are the best at the Bottleworks and the live music is always outstanding! who can beat stopping by for a growler Saison or Octoberfest in the fall and in the summer stocking up on Bière de Garde!

    April 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm
  165. Fred McEntee #

    Schlafly is the greatest Beer ever, and they serve great food at their restaurants!Scotch Ale Yummy, Barley Wine WOW, Imperial Stout, Man oh man do they brew the good stuff there.

    April 22, 2009 at 3:46 pm
  166. JV #

    There’s some fine microbrews on the list (honorable mention to Goose Island and Boulevard), but it gets no better than Schlafly!

    April 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm
  167. farberama #

    Just cant beat a Schlafly Coffee Stout!

    April 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm
  168. Kent B #

    Schlafly Brewery – No more AB, only SB.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm
  169. Debbie Zahn #

    Ausust Schell’s Brewery is a destination, surrounded by State Park and the Cottonwood river….what a setting!! Lot’s of German history too!

    April 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm
  170. Anne #

    August Schell.
    Tried and true. Time tested. What more can you ask?

    April 22, 2009 at 11:46 am
  171. sociald56073 #

    Support your local brewery! August Schell!

    April 22, 2009 at 10:41 am
  172. Schells – oh yeah – 2nd largest private brewery in the county. The beer and the location are the best!

    April 22, 2009 at 9:23 am
  173. Terry Sveine #

    August Schell Brewery puts out so many good beers, for so long (1860) that they have to be among the best in the country.

    I personally really like their Mai Fest and their Hefe Weizen is my favorite beer in the world!

    Watch for their big “to do” for their 150th Anniversary in 2010!
    I will have to attend it.

    April 22, 2009 at 7:03 am
  174. Great Lakes (a few blocks from my house) makes great beer and is also one of the most environmentally-aware companies around. Read about their “Triple bottom line”.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:25 am
  175. ariel #

    schlafly is independent and amazing! dedicated, heartfelt, and consistently outstanding beer. quality atmosphere, great people, and did i say beer? Cask ales, #15…can’t wait until american brown becomes a standard.

    April 21, 2009 at 8:01 pm
  176. Lots of great breweries on the list but I don’t see Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, MN. Sure, they can’t distribute through liquor stores but anyone wanting to pick up a growler can take their product home. I’d vote for them.

    Actually, can I vote multiple times? I’d also like to vote for Flat Earth Brewing out of St Paul and Lift Bridge in Stillwater.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm
  177. fender #

    “MMMM….. Great Lakes Christmas Ale….
    trust me, the best you will ever have. Bars sell out of it in less than a week, stores run out of it before Christmas. Amazing…

    I say they should do a Christmas in July launch!”

    They do. Very limited run.

    April 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm
  178. Jonny #

    Fun stuff indeed! But hasn’t Flying Monkey ceased operations?

    April 21, 2009 at 2:27 pm
  179. admin #

    The point is fun!


    April 21, 2009 at 2:02 pm
  180. These type of surveys are absurd at best and stupid at worst. What’s the point? Other than to get some people all worked up and argue over who is the best. They are all “the best” in my book. In order to even vote, I would think you would need to have visted all the Brewerys listed and sampled most of their beers, plus the ambience and charm and history of the Brewery needs to be a factor, not just the beer. Plus there are quite a few not even listed.

    April 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm
  181. Torborg Jones #

    “Katie says:
    April 21, 2009 at 10:55 am
    Umm…isn’t Schlafly Brewery owned by Budweiser? Kind of defeats the purpose of putting it on a craft brewery list…”

    I don’t think you could be any more incorrect.

    Schlafly is the anti-AB/InBev.

    April 21, 2009 at 1:27 pm
  182. Dave #

    No, Schlafly is not owned by A-B InBev/Budweiser. They are independent, and put out a hell of a good beer.

    April 21, 2009 at 1:11 pm
  183. type #

    Schlafly. Hands down. Quality, variety, eco-friedly, staff/brewers are amazing and great people.

    April 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm
  184. jim #

    FLATEARTH HEllo??????????

    April 21, 2009 at 11:46 am
  185. Jim Barone #

    While I am confident that every brewery represented here crafts excellent beers; I am partial to Great Lakes.

    April 21, 2009 at 11:23 am
  186. Katie #

    Umm…isn’t Schlafly Brewery owned by Budweiser? Kind of defeats the purpose of putting it on a craft brewery list…

    April 21, 2009 at 10:55 am
  187. Neal D. Retke #

    Would like to see furthermore brewery here !

    April 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm
  188. Fred #

    New Glarus, Spotted Cow. Hands Down Best.

    April 20, 2009 at 3:10 pm
  189. Ohio is in the Midwest…

    Philadelphia is still 1,000 miles from Akron,Ohio.
    Pennsylvania is like driving threw 3 or Ohio’s.

    April 19, 2009 at 4:31 pm
  190. Henry #

    I must protest that Ale Asylum and Lake Louie aren’t on the list.

    April 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm
  191. Ted #

    Riverwest is one of Lakefront’s many fine brews. And what a great place to visit. Fun Friday fish fry, terrific tours, great location on the Milwaukee River and damn fine beer. If you go, make sure you check out Bernie’s old slide from County Stadium.

    April 19, 2009 at 11:21 am
  192. Fiona Harker #

    Hoppin’ Frog’s Hoppin’ to Heaven… a “saintly” experience!

    April 18, 2009 at 6:14 pm
  193. E. Pullekins #

    Hoppin Frog has made great strides over the last few years….truly….a work in progress and well done….

    April 17, 2009 at 7:18 pm
  194. Geo #

    Hoppin’ Frog is absolutely the best beer in the Mid-West. Try Hoppin’ beers various flavors, one or more will agree with your palate.

    April 17, 2009 at 12:05 pm
  195. MLR #

    Hopping Frog is the best.

    April 17, 2009 at 10:35 am
  196. Michael Wright #

    Hopping Frog!

    April 17, 2009 at 10:29 am
  197. Ang #

    MMMM….. Great Lakes Christmas Ale….
    trust me, the best you will ever have. Bars sell out of it in less than a week, stores run out of it before Christmas. Amazing…

    I say they should do a Christmas in July launch!

    April 17, 2009 at 7:06 am
  198. Rudy S. #

    I’m from Ohio and we are well represented here in the Midwest.
    Love Great Lakes but the best beer by far is Hoppin Frog.
    If you’ve not tried it, you ought to. Finding it in Ohio and East.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:37 am
  199. Amy K #

    Surprised Madison, WI’s Ale Asylum and Lincoln, NE’s Empyrean weren’t in the top 30. Anyway, glad I live in Wisconsin–so close to so many great craft brewed beers.

    April 15, 2009 at 5:25 pm
  200. Andy Krunt #

    Lakefront is my favorite on here, but I have to go with Central Waters as my personal fave. Surprised that Capital isn’t doing better.

    April 14, 2009 at 7:54 pm
  201. DJ #

    Y’all crazy. Everybody who’s anybody knows that Bell’s is the best!

    April 14, 2009 at 6:33 am
  202. Nicole #

    mmmm… New Glarus!!

    April 13, 2009 at 12:06 pm
  203. colliegirl #

    Lakefront has my undying devotion for making gluten-free New Grist.

    I love you guys!!

    April 12, 2009 at 8:33 am
  204. milwbrew #

    Please add Milwaukee Brewing Company! Louie’s Demise has been rocking SE Wisconsin for many years.

    April 11, 2009 at 8:59 pm
  205. Bryan #

    I think Sprecher produces a bit too much to be termed a “craft brewery”, hence their absence from this list. Looking over the rest of the breweries makes me appreciate living in Milwaukee even more – having so many great brews available.

    April 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm
  206. Go Lakefront! Actually, love all the Midwest beers!

    April 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm
  207. Rich #

    OK Go Lakefront I love lager! What about Metropolitan in Chicago? -YUM

    April 11, 2009 at 8:33 am
  208. Troy #

    I love Great Lakes…but I don’t consider Ohio to be the midwest. It’s one state from the Atlantic Ocean, it’s more like the mid-east. As a beer lover from Wisconsin, I chose someplace closer to home. Quite a few great breweries here, plus a few whose brews I have yet to sample!

    April 10, 2009 at 10:36 am
  209. Dave Snith #

    I love Hoppin Frog beers. Thier new beer Outta Kilter Scotch Red is the best I have ever had. I live in California and cannot get it here. I had it in Ohio and can’t wait until Hoppin Frog is distributed here.

    April 9, 2009 at 8:56 pm
  210. The problem here is that most of you were probably born in Indiana and don’t know any better. The fact that Jolly Pumpkin only has 12 votes reiterates that point.

    April 9, 2009 at 8:45 am
  211. Shari #

    Lakefront is the best. Lots of fun!!! We go back every year, sometimes twice a year. Their Gluten Free New Grist is awesome. The entire celiac community should support Lakefront Brewery. Thanks for making gluten free beer!!!! See you this summer!!!

    April 7, 2009 at 7:41 pm
  212. rkpsycho #

    I’m torn between several choices I’d wager that if anyone was able to try Shorts Brewing they would be getting tons of votes; I’ve visited a couple of times and I’m in dire need to get some more of Joe’s wonderful beers. But they’re just starting to bottle and distribute within MI.

    Hoppin’ Frog though if phenomenal … if you ever get a chance to get Fred’s Silk Porter filtered over fresh coffee beans, think hops Randall but with coffee beans, then you’ll think you’ve died and gone to beer haven.

    I’m stuck in beer wasteland that is Dayton, OH … so anything will do.

    April 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm
  213. Jim #

    Please add Ale Asylum to the list. They have terrific beers that are top notch. Worth a ride to Madison, WI.

    April 7, 2009 at 4:59 pm
  214. Barry #

    Lakefront by far!!! (1) Great Variety. (2) Many have great taste depending on what you like. (3) Small, casual atmosphere with happy, engaging staff. Example: Take a Friday afternoon tour and you may find your tour guide to be the CEO, Russell Klisch, himself. If you’ve ever met him you’ll find he’s a very laid back guy who has a neat sense of humor, is well liked by his staff, and really enjoys his craft. Not many breweries can boast that!

    April 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm
  215. Rob #

    I have to vote for Great Lakes overall, but Lakefront would be my #2. You really should include Sprecher in the group also, they make some pretty decent brews. Lakefront Cream City Pale Ale is my favorite beer overall…….why don’t you ship more of it up here to N. Wisconsin??? (can’t seem to find it locally).

    April 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm
  216. Chris #

    When will this survey ever end?

    April 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm
  217. Ryan #

    Every time I drink a Kalamazoo Stout I am surprised how good it is, even though I’ve had so much of it. Although I voted Bell’s, I am surprised that Founder’s isn’t winning.

    Sprecher and New Glarus are very overrated. Neither one of them has made anything that impressed me.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm
  218. Sveden #

    Goose Island? They turn out like 45,000 barrels of beer a year.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm
  219. Kate #

    Lakefront is actually the second best, but the most fun! My fav is Minhas, Monroe WI

    April 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm
  220. Zach #

    No Sprecher?!?!?!?! BOO!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm
  221. a little surprised, too, by Sprecher’s absence…
    Goose Island’s p.d.g.
    so’s….. there’s a few good breweries here!
    but, Lakefront, for sure

    April 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm
  222. Kenny #

    Lakefront is THE BEST, but Sprecher should have been on the list.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm
  223. Joyce Robertson #

    Hoppin’ Frog Smashin’ Berry Ale is the best. I consider it to be a legal drug because it’s so addicting!!

    April 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm
  224. Jerry #

    Sprecher Brewery – Glendale, WI

    April 7, 2009 at 1:20 pm
  225. Carmine Raguzza #

    O’Fallon brewery- best little brewery in Missourri

    April 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm
  226. Mr.Fabulous #

    Lakefront by a longshot. I remember when it was impossible to find Riverwest anywhere west of the river. Now it’s everywhere (in MKE). Hoo HOOO! And New Grist is *the best* GF beer in the land… many heart-felt thanks to the people at Lakefront for New Grist (I can drink beer again!!).

    April 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm
  227. Carrie #

    Rush River?

    April 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm
  228. Brian K #

    Lakefront Brewery!

    April 7, 2009 at 9:49 am
  229. Lakefront in Milwaukee has, by far, the best tour. Oh, and the beer isn’t too shabby either. ;)

    April 7, 2009 at 9:28 am
  230. Labuns #

    Although many of these breweries are of OUTSTANDING quality and all their hard work is thanked by my happy belly…. Metropolitan Brewing in Chicago should be added.

    April 7, 2009 at 9:11 am
  231. Brew Muse #

    I love the sours of New Glarus and Jolly Pumpkin.. no question they are great beers. But, for me, Hoppin’ Frog is the best. No matter what he brews, it’s a big flavorful beer: Hoppin’ to Heaven IPA, Mean Manalishi double IPA, Gulden Fraug Belgian, Smashing Berry Dark (Fruit beer for those who don’t like fruity beers), Silk Porter– just like it says… silky smooth, one of the best Wheat beers ever, and of course, the gold medal winning BORIS the Crusher! The latest is a wonderful Outa Kilter Scotch Ale. All great beers!

    April 6, 2009 at 10:14 pm
  232. vank #

    hoppin frogs, gulden fraug belgian style is it for me. fred really knows how to produce winners with boris crusher oatmeal wow.

    April 6, 2009 at 8:55 pm
  233. Cephas #

    If you haven’t tried BORIS the Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin’ Frog Brewery you are missing a treat!

    April 6, 2009 at 8:09 am
  234. Dennis SMith #

    Fred is one of the best brewers ever. Love all his beers.

    April 6, 2009 at 4:56 am
  235. FredOfBeer #

    Hoppin’ Frog Brewery made the list – great to see my favorite!! Hoppin’ Frog’s BORIS The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout is incredibly tasty, and won GOLD at the GABF last year for the Imperial Stout category, one of the most respected styles. And, Mean Manalishi Double IPA has so much great hop character going on, its like kissing the hops – it makes me hoppiest!!

    April 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm
  236. JEN #

    I am spoiled by Wisconsin beer. New Glarus, I don’t know what I would do without you, especially after being in Texas and tasting the beer from there.

    April 5, 2009 at 8:08 am
  237. GaryR #

    O`fallon should be on your list they gey my vote

    April 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm
  238. Tiffany #

    Spotted Cow from New Glarus is by far my favorite beer. Love it!

    April 2, 2009 at 8:22 pm
  239. Not Stewart #

    Schlafly. Beer the way it used to be. They get my vote because their beer is great and because I hear their brewery tours are amazing. Now if only they’d bring back APA Lime and the low-carb “Schlafly Ulterior”

    April 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm
  240. Scott #

    Lived in Milwaukee for three years, and am very surprised not to see Sprecher on your list. Best brewery in America’s Beer Capital!

    April 2, 2009 at 6:15 pm
  241. Brink #

    I can honestly say I’ve NEVER had a bad beer from New Glarus, and I’ve tried tons of them. The best, bar none.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:39 pm
  242. Tom #

    Where’s Central Waters? They’re up there with (possibly better than)New Glarus in my mind. Sprecher and Sand Creek should be on there as well. If only they were ALL available at my local beer vendor.

    April 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm
  243. Stephanie #

    Lake Louie is missing!

    April 2, 2009 at 1:41 pm
  244. Danielle #

    New Glarus. Definitely in my “Top 5 Things I Miss About Wisconsin,” right behind “Family” and “Friends.”

    April 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm
  245. RJJR #

    OMG, I only like two beers and Spotted Cow is one of them (the other is foreign). So there you have it, I had to vote for New Glarus!

    April 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm
  246. Jim L #

    I’m looking for O’Fallon Brewery as well.

    April 2, 2009 at 11:49 am
  247. jenn #

    I just moved to the West Coast and I just have to say I REALLY miss Schlafly’s! There are some great micros in my city but Schlafly’s beats ‘em all! Can’t wait to go home next month and partake in a pint or 3!

    April 2, 2009 at 11:30 am
  248. DS #

    Good list, but definitely missing O’Fallon. I would have included Mueller (Springfield, MO) too.

    April 2, 2009 at 6:40 am
  249. Am I allowed to vote if I’ve tried beers from only 2 of the breweries listed above?

    April 1, 2009 at 11:58 pm
  250. Dave J #

    Where is O’Fallon Brewery. They are distributed in almost all of the states in this poll.

    April 1, 2009 at 8:33 pm
  251. Jim #

    This isn’t really fair is it? Many of these breweries don’t distribute very far. Boulevard specifically. You can’t get it in Chicago.

    April 1, 2009 at 8:00 pm
  252. Not only Does Great Lakes Brewery carry my favorite Dortmunder but it also works diligently to improve the quality of life in Cleveland, OH. I saw the documentary POLY CULTURE; FOOD WHERE YOU LIVE at the CIFF in March and was so excited about the work Great
    Lakes does to make organic gardening and organic products a part
    of there community efforts.

    April 1, 2009 at 8:25 am
  253. Holly, This Christmas I will trade u a six of the great lakes for a six of Schlafly Christmas Ale… its all about the love. I love to give christmas ale assortments as gifts. I will mix and match multiples of winter seasonals and give them out.

    March 31, 2009 at 7:09 pm
  254. I love going to the Schlafly brewery in Maplewood, Mo. My hubby and son tour their attached garden, while I try the sampler (5 favorites and one seasonal brew)… I’ve never had a Schlafly I didn’t like.

    March 31, 2009 at 7:07 pm
  255. Great Lakes Brewing Company – hands down the best… not just in regional categories but anywhere. Black-out Stout and Christmas Ale are my personal favs!

    March 31, 2009 at 11:17 am
  256. Mark #

    How come Flossmoor Station isn’t on there?
    They make some of my favorites.

    March 31, 2009 at 8:46 am
  257. I am a KC transplant living in STL. I used to love Boulevard, but being a homebrewer, I can’t in good conscience vote for someone who has screw off caps. The others are good, but Schlafly has my heart.

    March 30, 2009 at 6:41 am
  258. Chris #

    Bell’s was my choice. They make a variety of great beers from the Double Cream Stout to the Two Hearted Ale. One of these days I plan on making a trip to Kalamazoo to visit the brewery.

    March 29, 2009 at 7:10 pm
  259. Lizzie #

    I have to echo Ken’t comment – where is Sand Creek Brewing Company in Black River Falls? With 3 gold World Beer Cup medals, I think they rate this survey. They are also the brewing location for Furthermore.

    March 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm
  260. Wade #

    Tough choice, love Bell’s, Summit, and Surly!

    Where is Furthermore so tasty……..


    March 29, 2009 at 10:29 am
  261. Matt #

    Dan Carey of New Glarus has been brewing great beers since before he and Deb founded New Glarus, at Kessler in Montana.

    March 29, 2009 at 6:14 am
  262. After traveling near and far and sampling craft beer along the way, I have to give Columbus Brewing Company “two thumbs up”. That they’ve been at it a long time and produce award-winning beers is almost an afterthought around Columbus. At forefront of people’s thoughts is how truly amazing their beer tastes. A treasure is something you “dig” – and it’s pretty obvious that the citizens of Central Ohio, “dig” Columbus Brewing Company.

    March 29, 2009 at 5:16 am
  263. Tim #

    Great question. You should have Sprecher on this list!

    March 28, 2009 at 7:20 pm
  264. RayRay #

    I’d vote for Three Floyd’s, but they stopped distributing to NJ. So I went with my second choice, Founder’s. In my top 5 brewers in the US.

    March 28, 2009 at 7:03 pm
  265. Bill Sell #

    Why not Riverwest on your list?

    March 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm
  266. Not a bad line up but hardly comprehensiveWheres Central Waters? , Ale asylum , Great Dane ? WTF

    March 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm
  267. Chris Rahr #

    What happened to Weston Brewing / O’Malleys, Weston MO just North of K.C.?????

    Makr sure they sre on your list of Mid-West Brewers, Thank you.

    March 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm
  268. Kent Tegels #

    Where is Sand Creek in the list?

    March 28, 2009 at 1:34 pm
  269. Dawn #

    Mount Carmel Brewery should be on here! The best brewery in Cincinnati!

    March 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm
  270. Man, what a tough decision! But I had to go with one of the hometown favorites and cast my vote for Boulevard.

    March 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm

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