Time Out Melbourne

Exploring the world of craft beers one continent at a time, starting with North America...

1. Bierbrier (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
When your last name is Bierbrier (‘beer brewer’ in German) and your great-grandfather was a wholesale liquor magnate, you may want to reconsider a career in finance. That’s exactly what Charles Bierbrier did in 2005, with the launch of his eponymous label. Despite the feverish Montreal market, success came fast, thanks to influential ambassadors like Dave McMillan and Fred Morin of the restaurant Joe Beef.

2. Driftwood Brewery (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
The rest of Canada calls retiree-rife Victoria ‘God’s Waiting Room’, but that’s just jealousy. After all, it rarely dips below 0°C or snows in BC’s cosy capital and, even if it did, you’d be blessed with some terrific beer to warm your cockles like Driftwood’s Fat Tug IPA.

3. Dogfish Head Brewery (Milton, Delaware, USA)
Dogfish Head, like the state of Delaware, had a low profile until the doco Beer Wars and reality show Brew Masters put the brand, and founder Sam Calagione, on the map. Bars and restaurants in Brooklyn were suddenly clamouring for Dogfish Head brews like Burton Baton, Urkontinent and My Antonia.

4. Gigantic Brewing Company (Portland, Oregon, USA)
You cannot engage in a reasonable discourse on the craft beer scene in America and omit Portland. They call Portland ‘Beervana’ for a reason. Gigantic is a small artisanal brewery that took home a platinum medal at the 2013 Mondial de la Bière Festival in Montreal, sells killer merch and has two founders, Ben Love and Van Havig, who look like Ben & Jerry three decades ago. Bonus style points.

5. Long Trail Brewing Company (Bridgewater Corners, Vermont, USA)
Ben & Jerry’s is a handy segue since Long Trail, like the gourmet ice cream brand, is from Vermont. The number one craft producer by sales in a state flush with phenomenal beers is strong in English-style ales, but also makes a smooth altbier. The eco-conscious company, in business since 1989, has a trove of awards for environmental excellence, workplace safety and, importantly, beer.

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Updated on 1 Apr 2015.

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