When it comes to brewing beer, the Irish may have had the idea first, but boy, have we Southerners improved upon it. Microbreweries have sprung up all across the South, each offering up a variety of styles, infused with local flavors such as pecan, honey, and even bourbon to give their beer a uniquely Southern twist. If you are just getting your feet wet with microbrews, the vast array of options can be overwhelming. Check out our Southern picks that rival their more widely known counterparts. You won’t even need luck choosing a few for your St. Patty’s Day celebration.
If you like Guinness, try:
Paradise Porter, Diamond Bear Brewing
Little Rock, AR
Hoppy, with a dry finish and notes of chocolate malt, this medium-bodied porter gives you the best of both sweet and bitter.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout, Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling
It’s no wonder that brewers in Kentucky, the world’s largest producer of bourbon, are developing beers flavored with the iconic spirit. This stout, with hints of caramel, vanilla, and coffee, resides in bourbon barrels for up to six weeks to absorb optimum Kentucky bourbon flavor.
Milk Stout, Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Duck-Rabbit Brewery’s Milk Stout, full-bodied and rich with chocolate and coffee notes, is brewed with milk sugars to give it a subtle sweetness. You might say it’s more dessert than beer. Like their logo, it all depends on the way you look at it.
If you like Newcastle, try:
Southern Pecan, Lazy Magnolia
It’s the pecan pie of beers. This nut brown ale is made with whole roasted pecans and is lightly hopped to let its rich caramel and nutty flavors take center stage.
Native Amber, Coop Ale Works
Oklahoma City, OK
Though assertive, this amber is well-balanced with hops and malt. Notes of caramel give it a rich flavor profile. This beer is perfect for going green, (and we don’t just mean for St. Patrick’s Day): Coop Ale Works brewery is powered entirely by wind. Impressive, right?
Truck Stop Honey, Back Forty
Referencing the back forty acres of farmland that is capable of producing superior yield, the name Back Forty lives up to its meaning. Truck Stop Honey, a medium-bodied English brown ale, is brewed with Alabama wildflower honey and fresh hops that balance its sweetness.
If you like Sierra Nevada, try:
La-31 Bière Pâle, Bayou Teche
With a yeasty backbone and earthy hops that lend to a mild bitterness, this Louisiana Pale Ale is sure to pair well with any Cajun dish. It was on St. Patrick’s Day 2009 that the guys of Bayou Teche began converting a discarded railroad car into the farmhouse brewery it is today.
Devil’s Backbone, Real Ale Brewing
A Belgian-style tripel, named after the scenic drive between Blanco and Wimberly, Texas, Devil’s Backbone is brewed with candy sugar (a rock candy made in-house) that gives it strength without the heaviness. Don’t be fooled, it’s stronger than it tastes.
Grayton IPA, Grayton Beer Company
Rosemary Beach, FL
This IPA doesn’t lack hops, and has a touch of malt to round it to a effortlessly smooth finish. 30-A’s very own IPA brings you to the Gulf Coast even if the beach is miles away.
If you like Blue Moon, try:
Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat, Boulevard Brewing Co.
Kansas City, MO
Light on hops to emphasize its sweet bready malt, this unfiltered wheat has a hint of citrus and has become Boulevard’s most popular offering.
Red Brick Blonde Ale, Red Brick Brewing
Georgia’s oldest operating craft brewery produces this blonde ale. The brew features a touch of wheat that provides a delicate sweetness, faint and fruity (think: honey dew). Citrus hops give it a crisp finish.
The Love, Starr Hill
Banana and clove give sweet and distinct flavor to this very light-bodied German hefenweizen. We suggest enjoying with a generous slice of lemon.
If you like Budweiser, try:
Dockside Pilsner, Thomas Creek
New to microbrews? Try this Dockside Pilsner. It’s clean, crisp, and not overly hoppy.
Small Craft Warning, Heavy Seas
Heavy hops and an equally strong malt backbone give this slightly sweet pilsner a robust and well-balanced flavor profile.
Loose Caboose, Depot Street Brewing
This easy-to-drink, German lager (and Gold Medal winner at Carolina’s Championship of Beer) is appreciated by microbrew connoisseurs and “bud-lovers” alike.