The name for this Minneapolis brewery comes from the all too common anger that comes from not being able to find a good beer. But as the bottom half of its logo clearly shows, all it takes to stop being surly, is a Surly. The beer, served in cans to keep light from spoiling the goods, is in high demand, but so far the brewery has limited its distribution to Minnesota, frustrating those like yours truly, who have left the state and this wonderful brew behind. The flagship of the Surly line is the Furious, an American India Pale All that's heavy on the hops, with a hint of grapefruit.
Photo: CraftSuds / Creative Commons
Brooklyn Beer Brooklyn Lager
Once a great center of brewing, Brooklyn is surging back, thanks to the brewery named for the New York City borough. Lagers tend to be overshadowed by showier, more flavor-packed beers; this one has no wild ingredients or tongue-busting hops, just a hint of caramel. So why is it on the list? Because it's simple, drinkable and delicious. (And maybe partially because I live just a few minutes from the Williamsburg brewery.)