Even just five years ago, finding great beer in America strictly meant targeting a few key states. California, Colorado, and Oregon were the behemoths, where IPAs flowed like falling rain. Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were exceptional too—synthesizing the best of both coasts in their ambitions—while North Carolina and Vermont were emerging geek markets. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you found yourself in a good portion of the deep south or great plains, you were gonna be drinking macro-beer, buddy.
That’s of course all changed of late, calling into question the historic power centers that once dominated the beerscape.
Now, even the states without a rich brewing legacy usually have a good brewery or two, while many long off-the-radar locales are booming, becoming legitimate beercation destinations. With new beer strongholds forming throughout the land, who knows if one day bearded bros in logoed t-shirts will be ignoring Vermont in favor of, say, Virginia.
Yes, we know the New Yorks and Floridas of the world are now also great, but the following eight states are places you might not have even considered visiting in order to fill your trunk with cans, bottles, and growlers.
(And if you’re wondering why your state isn’t listed, maybe I already think it’s great—or that it never will be.)