The Best Beer We Had From Every State in 2020

In 2018, we created the #FiftyStatesChallenge. The goal was simple: have at least one craft beer from every state in America. Last year, we’d accomplished our goal by mid-October thanks to beer festivals and trades early in the year… but in 2020, with the lack of beer festivals starting in March, we struggled to complete our challenge. Luckily, many new friends on Instagram helped us complete the necessary trades to have at least one beer from every state across this country! In commemoration of this accomplishment, we’ve decided to share with you the best beer of 2020 we had from each of the fifty states.

Obviously certain states will feature more beers than others– there are a few states from which we only drank a single beer. We’ll try to remedy that in 2021, but for the sake of transparency, we’re including next to the state in parentheses how many craft beers we had from each state. Still, every beer we added to this article was delicious and worth writing about– there was at least one state where we didn’t really like what we had, so we made it a point to seek out another! We’re proud to be supporting craft beer from all over the country, and we’re hopeful we’ll get to cover even more ground in 2021.

Thanks to everyone who follows us– if you haven’t, please check out the rest of our Best of 2020 coverage, including the year’s Best Sours, Best Stouts, and Best IPAs. And please join us in 2021 as we’ll try to complete the #FiftyStatesChallenge once again. Cheers!

Alabama (9)

Grand Prismatic by TrimTab Brewing

“Our first encounter with Birmingham’s own TrimTab Brewing came with several delicious IPAs, any one of which could’ve made this list… Grand Prismatic, a double dry hopped IPA with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Motueka. Citrusy taste with a nice bitter finish, it was as delicious as its can design was beautiful.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Alaska (6)

IPA by King Street Brewing

In the past, we’ve been relegated to Alaska breweries that distribute in California, but this year, thanks to the magic of beer trading, we were able to try several more local Alaska breweries in 2020. Our favorite: King Street Brewing’s IPA, which was dank, piney, and pleasantly sessionable. Plus, on top of the flavor, the full pop-top can was a delightful throwback, giving the aroma more impact and creating a memorable experience unlike any we’d had this year.

Arizona (204)

Salome Saison by Arizona Wilderness Brewing

“Usually, you want to reserve judgment before deciding a beer is one of the best of the festival, but I knew the second Salome Saison passed my lips that it’d be on this list. It magnificently balances fresh Meyer lemon juice with a peppercorn kick.” Read more about this beer in our Juicy Brews Beach Party coverage.

Arkansas (9)

Trash Panda by Lost Forty Brewing

“The Trash Panda is smooth but a bit fuller in mouthfeel than some of the lighter hazies, giving real heft to its grapefruit and mango juiciness. We’ve no doubt Lost Forty will be in the running for Best Beer From Arkansas again in 2021.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

California (497)

MT Ultra: Coconut 2020 by Modern Times

“The MT Ultra: Coconut 2020 is as decadent as it gets— the richest toasted coconut flavor I’ve ever had in a beer, and obscene smoothness for a 13.5% ABV. It sits at a staggering 4.79 on Untappd for a reason: it’s the best stout we’ve had all year.” Read more about this beer in our Best California Beers of 2020 coverage.

Colorado (16)

Gremlin by Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales

“Black Project finds a way to stand out from the pack with consistently creative, complex, and well-executed wild ales. This year, we didn’t expect “mango chili sour” to be a phrase we’d use, but leave it to these mad geniuses to not only make one, but to make it fantastic. Its lime and mango flavors are strong and sour, and there’s the perfect amount of chili spice at the finish.” Read more about this beer in our Best Sours of 2020 coverage.

Connecticut (2)

Dripping With Class by Short Throw Brewing

“Dripping With Class is a triple IPA collaboration with Bottle Logic… The alcohol is hardly present whatsoever, as we’ve has plenty of single IPAs that taste boozier than this sweet orange treat. The operative word here is another way of describing Russell’s fashion sense: smooth.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Delaware (3)

Thompson Island IPA by Thompson Island Brewing

“Their hazy, Fabulous, was also quite good, but we were partial to their flagship, the Thompson Island IPA. Its citrus hops are bright, but there’s still some nice pepper and pine to add a nice touch of balance.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Florida (5)

Epirus Bow by J. Wakefield Brewing

“A J. Wakefield/Mortalis collaboration stout carries weight– too many great stouts have come from these two breweries to have their combined efforts be short of spectacular. The Epirus Bow didn’t disappoint: it’s like a hazelnut espresso with a chocolate syrup chaser.” Read more about this beer in our Juicy Brews Beach Party coverage.

Georgia (7)

Tropicália by Creature Comforts

“Tropicália, a smooth, medium-bodied, fairly crushable IPA… presents a fruit-forward profile without becoming too sweet or losing too much of the classic IPA bite. Creature Comforts continues climbing the ladder of the best IPA makers in the country.” Read more about this beer in our Juicy Brews Beach Party coverage.

Hawaii (1)

Coconut Hiwa Porter by Maui Brewing

We dropped the ball a bit on Hawaii this year– we had some attempted trades fall through, so we weren’t able to obtain any Hawaiian beer beyond what you can find in the grocery store. That said, Maui Brewing has won this award in the past off the strength of its coconut beers, and its Coconut Hiwa Porter is one of the most enjoyable coconut beers you can find in your local BevMo. We’ll try harder to get a wider variety of local Hawaii beers next year… but don’t be surprised if Maui Brewing once again emerges the victor.

Idaho (1)

Malice by Bombastic Brewing

We also admittedly dropped the ball a bit on Idaho, only getting one beer in 2020 from a state whose craft beer scene we’ve thoroughly enjoyed in recent years. However, at least in 2020, we were able to add another Idaho brewery to our Must Buy list: Bombastic Brewing. Their Malice stout is what we’d loosely refer to as a “big boy,” with rich coffee and vanilla flavors balancing out a 10.5% ABV. Idaho has a number of terrific craft breweries in our experience doing this challenge, and between you and us, we may be currently planning a road trip there in 2021…

Illinois (10)

Le Seul XIII by Une Annee

“We keep trying to top what we said in 2018 about Une Annee– “we want sour breweries to drop more acid than Hunter S. Thompson”– and we keep failing. Le Seul XIII gives us some rich guava flavor with that trademark Une Annee pucker. We expect them back on this list in 2021.” Read more about this beer in our Best Sours of 2020 coverage.

Indiana (3)

Fallen Maple by 18th Street Brewery

“The raspberry in the Fallen Maple is wonderfully tart, but some of the sharpness of the acidity is neutralized by a creamy smoothness that the barrel-aged maple syrup provides. I’ve fallen hard for Fallen Maple.” Read more about this beer in our Carnival of Caffeination coverage.

Iowa (9)

Carrera 2.0 by Big Grove Brewery

We had several terrific IPAs from Iowa this year, so this was a tough selection… but we ultimately settled on Carrera 2.0 from Iowa City’s Big Grove Brewery. When we saw the description of this Nelson Sauvin hopped hazy IPA had tasting notes of “lychee and white grape,” we thought it was an exaggeration. Then we tried it. Sure enough, lychee and white grape flavor, which, as you may suspect, made it one of the more unique tasting hazies we had this year– in a very good way. It’s smooth, juicy, and distinctive, so better believe Big Grove Brewery is now firmly on our radar.

Kansas (3)

Dad the Metal Head by Nortons Brewing

“Nortons Brewing in Wichita sells 8 ounce cans of their incredible barrel aged Mexican hot chocolate stout, Dad the Metal Head– and our first sip told us that, regardless of where it came from, Nortons is dishing out the real deal. There’s bold chocolate and cinnamon, and the cayenne heat expertly toes the line of extreme heat without ever crossing it.” Read more about this beer in our Best Stouts of 2020 coverage.

Kentucky (7)

Magic Number by Mile Wide Beer Company

“We’ve enjoyed IPAs from a few different Kentucky breweries over the years, but Magic Number from Mile Wide Beer Company might be the best IPA we’ve ever had from the Bluegrass State, a triple NE IPA with terrific balance and absurd smoothness for a 10%.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Louisiana (6)

Ghost in the Machine by Parish Brewing

“Ghost in the Machine, one of the best IPAs in America. It was wonderful drinking this fresh from the tap on the west coast, savoring its rich citrus juice and grassy bite. Don’t ignore Parish next time you see them at a festival.” Read more about this beer in our Juicy Brews Beach Party coverage.

Maine (6)

Swish by Bissell Brothers

“Swish, like Julius and Heady Topper, rarely make their way west outside of trades, so drinking fresh pours of it was a dream. It’s dangerously smooth with big citrus taste and a wonderful pine finish.” Read more about this beer in our Juicy Brews Beach Party coverage.

Maryland (3)

Villeinage by Elder Pine Brewing & Blending

“Villeinage… is delightfully effervescent, kicking up notes and aromas of banana and bubblegum amidst a yeasty farmhouse vibe, and then you get some nice citrus hops in the mix as well. And, yes, just enough tart and funk to give us a shimmering aftertaste.” Read more about this beer in our Best Sours of 2020 coverage.

Massachusetts (2)

Double Shot Vanilla Bean by Tree House Brewing

“We busted open the Double Shot Vanilla Bean for a pre-pandemic celebration, and our friends said it was one of the best beers they’ve ever had. Like their stouts from last year, this Double Shot was velvety, thick, and oh-so-smooth. We’re counting the hours til our next trip to Charlton.” Read more about this beer in our Best Stouts of 2020 coverage.

Michigan (6)

Molecular Self Assembly by Speciation Artisan Ales

“For sour lovers like us, it would’ve been a sad year if we’d have had to go a full year without Speciation Artisan Ales. Thankfully, they made Molecular Self Assembly, a pineapple and raspberry sour wheat ale…lived up to expectations, deliverying raspberry juice and *serious* pucker.” Read more about this beer in our Best Sours of 2020 coverage.

Minnesota (10)

DDH Galaxy Dreamyard by Modist Brewing

“DDH Galaxy Dreamyard is, as you may expect, their Dreamyard IPA double dry hopped with Galaxy. It’s juicy and oat-y with a light body and a dry finish– and, like all Modist IPAs we’ve had to date, is absolutely delicious…It’s a must.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Mississippi (4)

4xDH Space to Face by Southern Prohibition Brewing

“One sip was all we needed to realize it was one of the best IPAs of the year– and really, one of the best beers of the year, regardless of style. It’s creamy and light in mouthfeel but *very* dank and hop-forward in taste and aroma. Southern Prohibition is making easily some of the best beer on the Gulf Coast.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Missouri (3)

Coffee Stout (2020 Dark Matter) by Perennial Artisan Ales

“This year brought our first exposures to Perennial Artisan Ales… we think our favorite this year was likely their Coffee Stout with Dark Matter coffee– it’s bold, full-bodied fudge motor oil with a big fluffy head and righteous coffee richness.” Read more about this beer in our Best Stouts of 2020 coverage.

Montana (4)

Liminal Space All Citra by Imagine Nation Brewing

“Liminal Space All Citra is the highest ranked IPA from Montana we’ve ever had. This luscious, pillowy, and tropical beer is one of the best we’ve had all year, period– and we’re incredibly excited to visit them in person next time we swing through Missoula.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Nebraska (2)

PB Mood by White Elm Brewing

We’ve enjoyed a number of White Elm Brewing stouts over the years– through Tavour– all of which we’ve thoroughly enjoyed. This year, however, was the first time we had a peanut butter stout from them. Those who follow this site know how deeply we enjoy a good peanut butter stout– and how few and far between a good peanut butter stout emerges from the pack. Unsurprisingly, White Elm’s PB Mood gets it right: the aroma is strong peanut butter, and the peanut butter flavor tastes fresh. We’ll undoubtedly buy more from White Elm in 2021.

Nevada (17)

Disco Ninja by Revision Brewing

Revision Brewing is a mainstay in this article every year– this is the third year running that we’ve given the Best in Nevada badge of honor to a Revision hazy. Revision’s also made our Best IPAs list on more than one occasion– when we’re in bottle shops in California, Revision’s one of our go-to hazy breweries. We bought Disco Ninja, their collab with Shoe Tree Brewing, more than once in 2020: it’s got a grapefruit burst of juice but a pillowy texture that makes it perfect hot-weather haze.

New Hampshire (1)

Easy Operator by Deciduous Brewing

We’ve once again let ourselves down by not finding as much New Hampshire beer as we’d like. We’ve enjoyed so much of what we’ve had– we just struggled to find trading partners in 2020 from the area. Thankfully, Tavour came through with this tasty number from Deciduous Brewing, Easy Operator: a light hazy IPA with notes of pineapple and citrus. It’s yet another in a line of impressive New Hampshire IPAs… so we need to make sure we crank up our efforts to get more Deciduous– and more NH beers in general– in 2021.

New Jersey (7)

Lunchbox Hero by Kane Brewing

“Lunchbox Hero is a monster Fluffernutter beer, lacing your tongue with creamy peanut butter, vanilla, and marshmallow. I’ve never had a Fluffernutter sandwich with an iced coffee for lunch… but Kane’s selections have me thinking it’s a good idea.” Read more about this beer in our Carnival of Caffeination coverage.

New Mexico (3)

Super Cereal by Boxing Bear Brewing

Another three-time winner on this site for the best of its state: Boxing Bear Brewing from Albuquerque, New Mexico. While we regrettably were not able to have any of their legendary Chocolate Milk Stout in 2020, we were able to obtain a can of their terrific double-dry-hopped hazy double, Super Cereal. It’s juicy, a bit funky, and smooth and creamy, thanks to rolled oats. We’ve yet to have a bad beer from Boxing Bear, and since we’re planning a trip to New Mexico in 2021, we’re very excited to see what else they have lying in wait.

New York (21)

Bananaversary by Other Half Brewing

“All were brilliant, but the standout? The Bananaversary, their anniversary stout which takes a typically splendid boozy OH stout experience and adds splashes of sumptuous banana at the end.” Read more about this beer in our Carnival of Caffeination coverage.

North Carolina (9)

Who Knew by Burial Beer

“I was over at the Burial Beer booth, gladly guzzling Who Knew, their coffee-and-cinnamon collaboration with Other Half. It was so thick that when I went to the next booth, they had to give it a double rinse— one mere water rinse wouldn’t defeat this thicc treat.” Read more about this beer in our Carnival of Caffeination coverage.

North Dakota (4)

Braaaaaaaains (Blackberry and Black Currant) by Drekker Brewing

“Drekker’s fruited sours… easily rank among the best this style of beer has to offer. Their Braaaaaaaains series were the first “smoothie sours” we ever enjoyed. We now order these a bit more often, and the Blackberry and Black Currant is a rich, creamy, and fruity berry jam. Not all fruited sours live up to the hype, but these do.” Read more about this beer in our Best Sours of 2020 coverage.

Ohio (16)

Night Market by Urban Artifact

“Their Midwest Fruit Tart sours are some of the most distinctive and delicious beers in the country. This particular sour has the usual Urban Artifact tartness and mouthfeel with monstrous and magnificent banana and mangosteen juiciness– it’s another great beer from one of the great sour breweries in America.” Read more about this beer in our Best Sours of 2020 coverage.

Oklahoma (2)

Terpy Galaxy by American Solera

“Terpy Galaxy is a fantastic galaxy-hopped double IPA, delivering strong doses of passionfruit and citrus, yet never slipping into the trap of become pure fruit juice…its creamy texture helping its 8% ABV slide under the radar.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Oregon (15)

Vega #7 by Ecliptic Brewing

“While we’ve enjoyed their IPAs over the years… they’ve outdone themselves with Vega #7, a Strata, Motueka, and Belma hopped hazy with berry, peach, and mango juice and a nice bite at the end. It’s the best beer we’ve had from them yet.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Pennsylvania (13)

Gatherer 2019 by Tired Hands Brewing

“Gatherer is a honey stout, balancing its roasty coffee notes with some pleasant sweetness. Then, at the end, an earthy herbal quality serves to ground the bigger flavors and keep them from overwhelming. A brilliantly executed beer.” Read more about this beer in our Carnival of Caffeination coverage.

Rhode Island (2)

KDA by Proclamation Ale Company

Proclamation’s KDA ranked high on our list of great New England DIPAs that we’d heard about but never been able to sample before. Thankfully, we were able to get our hands on fresh KDA in 2020, and we understood where the hype came from: it’s a medium-bodied blast of tropical dankness and papaya juice. Color us immediately impressed– and to our friend Ronnie who’s moving to Providence, be ready to make the drive to Warwick for us. 🙂

South Carolina (4)

Carolina Lager by Charles Towne Fermentory

We’d heard good things about Charles Towne Fermentory from our friends back east, so we were stoked to try some of their beer this year. While their IPA, Sungazer, certainly lived up to its buzz, we actually preferred this year their Carolina Lager, a delicious unfiltered lager. It’s bright, crisp, a pinch sweet, and deeply biscuity. It sent Russell back to his days living in the Sun Belt, crushing beers like these in the sweaty hot summers. California could use more lagers like these come August.

South Dakota (5)

Porosha by Ben’s Brewing

For the second time, Yankton’s local craft brewery, Ben’s Brewing, claims our spot as the best beer we had in South Dakota for the year. We received a number of beers from Ben’s in a trade, and while we had several worthy contenders, we’re a sucker for a well-executed Russian Imperial Stout, so we chose Porosha, a roasty RIS whose chocolate and toffee notes get even more pronounced the longer it warms in the glass. Props to Ben’s for delivering a perfect December beer.

Tennessee (10)

Homestyle by Bearded Iris

“This year was our first time drinking fresh Homestyle… It’s one of the great single-hop IPAs we’ve ever had, a flawlessly balanced Mosaic marvel that’s soft, crushable, and fragrant with the perfect kick of hop bitterness at the end.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Texas (81)

Technical Skillset by Celestial Beerworks

“We raved about Celestial Beerworks in our recent brewery guide to Dallas, writing that they have the best IPAs in Dallas… but they honestly may have the best IPAs in the whole state of Texas… As we said in our guide, Technical Skillset is “an unreal banger of a triple IPA: intensely fruity and incredibly soft with a well-disguised 10% ABV.”” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Utah (1)

Big Bad Baptist by Epic Brewing

This is the third year in a row that Epic Brewing holds the title of the Best Beer From Utah– it shouldn’t be a surprise that, once again, we give the award to one of their tremendous stouts. This is the first year that we haven’t gotten access to one of their Big Bad Baptist variants, instead only getting a can of the Baptist itself… and while it isn’t the mind-melter that some of the variants are, it’s one of the most consistently tasty stouts out there, and the world is a better place for having Epic put this beauty into distribution in can form.

Vermont (2)

Heady Topper by The Alchemist

We didn’t get to drink a lot of Vermont beer in 2020… but it’s Heady Topper. We could’ve had dozens of Vermont beers, and this Alchemist classic would still have been in the mix. We don’t know what else to say, frankly. It’s Heady Topper.

Virginia (10)

Dead + Gone (Ghost 867) by Adroit Theory

“Dead + Gone (Ghost 867)… is a soft hazy with explosions of papaya and mango dangerously disguising a 10% ABV. Careful not to get lost in the juicy flavor and crush too many of these— or you too will be dead and gone.” Read more about this beer in our Best IPAs of 2020 coverage.

Washington (7)

BBA Dark Star: Chocolate, Vanilla, Maple Syrup 2019 by Fremont Brewing

“Fremont was near the top of my must-visit list for this festival, and the BBA Dark Star was as expected. It’s full bodied with nice barrel flavor, and the creaminess from the vanilla rounds the whole thing out to perfection.” Read more about this beer in our Carnival of Caffeination coverage.

West Virginia (3)

More Haggard Than Haggard by Weathered Ground Brewing

We’ve had a number of old-school hoppy IPAs from West Virginia in years past since starting this website… but this is the first hazy IPA from the Mountain State that’s ever blown us away. More Haggard Than Haggard, a juice bomb from Cool Ridge’s Weathered Ground Brewing, is tropical and creamy, incredibly crushable for an 8% ABV double IPA. West Virginians are blessed to have the flavors of a sunny southern beach brewed for them in the Appalachians.

Wisconsin (5)

Guavaberry Puff Tart by The Brewing Projekt

“The Guavaberry Puff Tart is, as Russell posted on Instagram at the time, “one of the best kettle sours I’ve ever had, a fruity Sweettart in a can.” While in the hands of many, this would be a failed experiment, The Brewing Projekt found the perfect balance of sweet and tart without getting cloyingly sugary.” Read more about this beer in our Best Sours of 2020 coverage.

Wyoming (6)

Earned It by Snake River Brewing

The last beer on our list comes from the same brewery you’ve seen at the end of our list for the last two years in a row. Once again, Snake River Brewing gives us our best beer in Wyoming– and for the first time, the award is going to an IPA instead of one of their terrific stouts. Earned It is a straw-colored 6% hazy with a light body and tasty juicy crushability. Its position on this list? Well… unsurprisingly, it’s earned it.

What was your favorite beer in each state? What are you looking forward to trying in 2021? Please let us know in the comments below! And check out the website for the rest of our Best of 2020 lists! Cheers!