Barrel Theory Beer Company wins Best New Brewery 2018

Outer Range Brewing Co. takes second place

Craft breweries are opening in record numbers in the United States, hundreds each year. USA TODAY 10Best wanted to find the best new breweries in the country, ones founded in the past two years (since the beginning of 2016), so we asked a panel of beer experts to nominate their favorites. For the past four weeks, our readers have been voting daily for their favorites, and the results are in.

  • Barrel Theory Beer Company
    St. Paul

    New to Saint Paul's Lowertown neighborhood in 2017, Barrel Theory Beer Company brews nearly a dozen different beers, including a trio of sours. Visitors to the taproom can sip on selections brewed fresh onsite or take home their favorites in growlers.
    Photo courtesy of Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • Outer Range Brewing Co.
    Frisco, Colo.

    Outer Range Brewing Co., a 2016 addition to the Colorado craft beer landscape, specializes in Belgians and IPAs. The tap list includes nearly a dozen offerings, poured alongside visiting Frisco food trucks.
    Photo courtesy of Dustin Hall

  • Dancing Gnome Beer
    Pittsburgh

    Hops take center stage at Dancing Gnome Beer, a 2016 addition to the thriving Pittsburgh beer scene. Most of the selections on the rotating tap list are IPAs or double IPAs, and even the occasional stout is sure to be dry and hop-forward.
    Photo courtesy of Dancing Gnome Beer

  • Bearded Iris Brewing
    Nashville

    Bearded Iris Brewing, who opened their doors in Nashville in early 2016, uses old world fermentation techniques to brew imaginative beers with a heavy focus on IPAs. The cozy taproom is BYOFood.
    Photo courtesy of Bearded Iris Brewing / Facebook

  • Odd Breed Wild Ales
    Pompano Beach, Fla.

    When Odd Breed Wild Ales opened for business in 2017, it became one of only a few breweries in the country focusing exclusively on fermented and oak-aged wild ales. The current year-round offerings include a sour wheat ale, Belgian farmhouse saison and a very funky wild ale.
    Photo courtesy of Odd Breed Wild Ales

  • New Image Brewing
    Arvada, Colo.

    One of the best breweries to open in 2016 is New Image Brewing of Colorado. New Image beers focus on non-traditional styles, such as brett saisons and Vermont-style double IPAs, and the welcoming taproom encourages community dining.
    Photo courtesy of Gavin Estes / New Image Brewing

  • HOMES Brewery
    Ann Arbor, Mich.

    HOMES Brewery opened for business in spring of 2017 with a focus on balanced hoppy beers and a variety of sours. Beer lovers can sample HOMES beers in the Ann Arbor brewpub or in limited release cans.
    Photo courtesy of HOMES Brewery

  • Eight & Sand Beer
    Woodbury, N.J .

    Two friends from South Jersey opened Eight & Sand Beer in 2016 with a focus on sustainable brewing techniques, including steam heating, high-efficiency cleaning and solar panel electricity. The brewery produces eight year-round beers, including an IPA, dry Irish stout, coffee porter and a British session beer, alongside a few seasonals.
    Photo courtesy of Eight & Sand Beer

  • New Park Brewing
    West Hartford, Conn.

    New to West Hartford in spring of 2017, New Park Brewing focuses on small batch beers, like a double IPA brewed with honey malt and three types of hops, a milt stout brewed with real oatmeal and a fruity blueberry berliner weisse. 
    Photo courtesy of New Park Brewing

  • Speciation Artisan Ales
    Comstock Park, Mich.

    Inspired by centuries old traditions of farmhouse and spontaneous brewing, Speciation Artisan Ales opened in early 2017 with a focus on beers that showcase nature's many biological variations. Bottles are released monthly in small batches, including many barrel-aged varieties.
    Photo courtesy of Speciation Artisan Ales

The top 10 winners in the category Best New Brewery are as follows: 

  1. Barrel Theory Beer Company - St. Paul
  2. Outer Range Brewing Co. - Frisco, Colo.
  3. Dancing Gnome Beer - Pittsburgh
  4. Bearded Iris Brewing - Nashville
  5. Odd Breed Wild Ales - Pompano Beach, Fla.
  6. New Image Brewing - Arvada, Colo.
  7. HOMES Brewery - Ann Arbor, Mich.
  8. Eight & Sand Beer - Woodbury, N.J .
  9. New Park Brewing - West Hartford, Conn.
  10. Speciation Artisan Ales - Comstock Park, Mich.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Ruth Berman (Bon Beer Voyage), Gary Monterosso (What’s On Tap), Jack Muldowney (The Hop Review) and Ale Sharpton were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the North American beer scene.

Congratulations to all these winning breweries!

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Ruth Berman

Ruth Berman

Gary Monterosso

Gary Monterosso

Jack Muldowney

Jack Muldowney

Ale Sharpton

Ale Sharpton