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Proof that the Midwest (and the Big Ten) owns the craft beer world

West Coast who? Head to America’s Heartland for the best in craft breweries.

Beer Drinkers Sample A Variety Of Styles And Flavors At Chicago Beer Festival Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

We interrupt Iowa Week for something you actually care about.

This afternoon our Fearless Leader Graham Filler called to my attention that the American Homebrewers’ Association recently released its “Best Beers in America” rankings, which includes the Top Breweries award. The Top 25, with those deemed “sufficiently B1G” bolded, for your benefit:

1. Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, Mich.
2. Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
3. Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif.
4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.
5. Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif., Richmond, Va., and Berlin, Germany
6. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.
7. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.
8. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.
9. Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif. and Chicago, Ill.
10. Ballast Point Brewing, San Diego, Calif.
11. Odell Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.
12. Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, Ind.
13. Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, Mo.
14. Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, Colo., Brevard, N.C., and Austin, Texas
15. New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, Wis.
T16. New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, Colo. and Asheville, N.C.
T16. The Alchemist, Waterbury and Stowe, Vt.
18. Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, Colo.
19. Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland, Ohio
T20. Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, Fla.
T20. Great Divide Brewing Co., Denver, Colo.
T20. Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, Colo.
23. Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, Pa.
24. Surly Brewing Co., Minneapolis, Minn.
T25. Fat Head’s Brewery, Cleveland, Ohio, and Portland, Ore.
T25. Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago, Ill.

Ten of the 26 breweries listed. You’re welcome, America. For the record, by conference that stacks up as:

PAC-12: 11 (sorry, Ft. Collins isn’t PAC-12 country)
B1G: 10*
ACC: 4
MWC: 3
Big XII: 2
AAC: 1
Colonial: 1
America East: 1
German University Sports Federation: 1
SEC: 0

Given that the two best breweries in the nation and four of the best five single beers in the nation can be found in the Midwest, we can only conclude that the Midwest has gifted the world all that is good in craft brewing.

Also, I mean, let’s revel in how much the SEC sucks. And that, once again, Maryland and rutger add nothing of value to the conference.

*A late push to include Kansas City, MO, as sufficiently B1G was denied.


Best brewery in the B1G?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    (57 votes)
  • 14%
    (35 votes)
  • 9%
    Three Floyds
    (22 votes)
  • 13%
    New Glarus
    (31 votes)
  • 5%
    Great Lakes
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    (11 votes)
  • 14%
    (34 votes)
  • 2%
    Goose Island
    (6 votes)
  • 11%
    Other (intended for bitter Iowa fans to pull Rodney Dangerfield act about Toppling Goliath)
    (28 votes)
236 votes total Vote Now