Not so long ago, the predictable pilsner prevailed in Dixie. Red-and-white cans bobbed in our coolers. We lived the High Life at tailgates. But now you’ll find us cracking open a different sort of brew.
After many grassroots efforts to revise laws governing beer production, the South is now a veritable hop heaven and craft beer destination with the highest annual production rates of any region in the country.
If you haven’t paid your local brewery a visit, now’s the best time to enjoy the beers of summer. These are our favorite beers from the South, state by state.
Alabama (Birmingham): Good People IPA (IPA)
This supremely hoppy brew is our Birmingham-based staff’s local favorite.
Arkansas (Rogers): Ozark Beer Co. American Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
Growlers of this Pale Ale are the perfect excuse to invite friends over for a backyard get-together.
Georgia (Atlanta): Red Brick Hoplanta (IPA)
Named after its hometown, we can confirm that Hoplanta is indeed “hoppier than a frog in a buggy summer.”
Florida (Tampa): Cigar City Jai Alai IPA (IPA)
Regarded as one of the country’s best IPA-style beers, Jai Alai has notes of citrus and tropical fruit.
Kentucky (Lexington): West Sixth Lemongrass American Wheat (Wheat)
Kentucky may be famous for bourbon, but breweries like West Sixth are making us take note of their craft beer scene too.
Louisiana (Arnaudville): Bayou Teche LA 31 Bière Pâle (Pale Ale)
Straight out of Cajun country, this pale ale will make you want to throw a crawfish boil.
Maryland (Baltimore): Heavy Seas Loose Cannon (IPA)
This IPA is hopped in three stages of its brewing process, earning its nickname Hop3.
Mississippi (Kiln): Lazy Magnolia Timber Beast (Double IPA)
This high-gravity IPA proves that good beer can come from unexpected places.
Missouri (Kansas City): Boulevard Brewing Company Double-Wide IPA (IPA)
With a name like double-wide, you know this beer has got a little something extra (six kind of hops to be exact).
North Carolina (Durham): Full Steam Cack-a-lacky Ginger Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
We all have that one friend who claims pale ales are boring. With the sweet heat of fresh ginger, this is the beer that will change your friend’s mind.
Oklahoma (Krebs): Prairie Artisan Ales Birra (Saison)
In the case of Prairie Artisan Ales, you can judge a beer by its label. This crisp, light saison is our favorite from this small brewery to watch.
South Carolina (Charleston): A tie between Coast 32/50 Kölsch (Kölsch) and Westbrook Brewing Co. White Thai (White Ale)
With these two breweries and another six within the city limits, the Charleston area is planting its flag on the Southern craft beer map. Coast’s refreshing kölsch and Westbrook’s Southeast Asia-inspired White Thai are perfect porch sippers.
Tennessee (Memphis): Wiseacre Tiny Bomb (American Pilsner)
If you’re just starting to break into craft beer, pick up this Memphis-made pilsner with a touch of honey. Wiseacre’s cans designed by Nashville artist Rachel Briggs are so stunning you may not want to put them down.
Texas (Austin): Jester King Noble King (Farmhouse IPA)
Jester King has a cult following that extends well beyond the Lone Star State, and this IPA will show you why.
Virginia (Lexington): Devils’ Backbone Vienna Lager (Lager)
If you’ve hit the hop wall, reach for this nutty and slightly sweet lager.
West Virginia: Bridge Brew Works Momma Rye IPA (Rye IPA) and Mountain State Brewing Co. Cold Trail Ale (Blonde Ale)
Bridge Brew Works and Mountain State Brewing Co. are making sure West Virginia isn’t counted out of the craft beer game.
What are your favorite Southern brews? Tag your posts, tweets and Instagrams with #SouthernFoodNow. You might just be featured on The Daily South.