As of 2019, a whopping 8,275 craft breweries were operating in the United States! American beer fans can use apps to find breweries closest to them, join monthly beer clubs, try homebrewing kits, and devour the wealth of books by beverage historians detailing the rise of American beer.
Raise a Glass to National American Beer Day
Go ahead and crack a cold one to celebrate!
Beers are best enjoyed with others and the Untappd- Discover Beer App (available for iOS and Android) helps you do just that. Discover breweries, events, and cellars near you and share it with your friends. It also enables you to keep track of what beers you’ve enjoyed and will send you alerts when your favorite venues have added new brews to the menu. Create lists of beers you wanted to try and rate your favorites. As you explore new beers, venues and breweries, you can earn badges too!
Beer of the Month Club
Since 1994, Beer of the Month Club has been the O.G. monthly beer subscription service. Each month, the beer connoisseurs at BMC select micro-brewed beer from across the U.S. Monthly boxes include a 12-pack with four types of rare, craft beer from two different small, American craft breweries. The Beer Expedition Newsletter will be your guide to the selections in your monthly box, what’s happening in the craft beer world, and fun facts to throw around at your next pub night. Subscriptions are available in 2,3,4,6, and 12-month increments with free shipping. The beers are guaranteed fresh and each bottle is a full 12 ounces; no short pours here!
The Original Craft Beer Club
Another wonderful exploration of mail-order American suds comes from The Original Craft Beer Club. They carefully choose the best craft beer from small, independent brewers across the U.S. Members receive either 12 or 24 selections each month. The boxes include four styles (three to six of each type depending on your subscription) of beer from two breweries in two different parts of the country. Beer styles vary significantly from coast to coast, so this is a great way to compare side by side. Subscribers will also receive their newsletter and sometimes surprises like coasters or koozies from the brewery.
Most folks are spending more time at home these days and avoiding crowded spaces like taprooms. This has inspired many to start brewing at home. Northern Brewer has seven different home brewing kits available for shipping nationwide. Their Homebrew Starter Kit has everything you need to test the waters of DIY beer making. It comes with all the equipment necessary, including a 6.5-gallon fermenter (with spigot), bottle filler, five-foot siphoning tube, and more. The Block Party amber ale recipe kit comes with the starter pack and includes enough ingredients to make five gallons of the finished beer. That’s enough for 50 12-oz bottles! Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can try any one of Northern Brewer’s other recipe kits, including Mexican lagers, stouts, and wheat beers.
Brooklyn Brew Shop
Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Beer Making Kits are best for beginning homebrewers that aren’t ready to commit to a full arsenal of equipment. The kits are reusable and include equipment and ingredients for 1 gallon of 100% grain batch beer (that’s 10 finished beers). After you’ve mastered your first kit, reuse the equipment, and shop their beer mixes to try your hand at new styles. There are nearly 40 different recipe kits available on their website, including IPAs, pumpkin beer, pale ales, and session sours.
The Audacity of Hops
Tom Acitelli, a James Beard award finalist, has written about alcohol for the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. He has also published two books including what may be the best-titled book about American beer, The Audacity of Hops. He follows the story of American beer from its early, underdog days to its takeover of the global scene. He intertwines beer history with culinary movements such as slow food, the explosion of the Internet, and the reinvention of urban city centers. Learn about key players that changed the brewing game as well as the rise of home brewing since Prohibition. Detailed and lovingly told, this book is for those who think they know everything about American brewing and are ready to learn something new.