The gifts that keep on giving! Hopefully, you’ve already had a chance to check out our lists of “The Best New Breweries of 2023,” “The Best Hidden Gem Places to Drink in 2023,” “The Best Breweries of 2023,” and “The Best Beers We Drank in 2023.” We’re rounding out our end-of-year awards with a list of “The Best Breweries to Watch in 2024.”
This is a unique list for us, one focused on breweries whose beers we had the chance to try once or twice and want to drink more of this year.
Or maybe we saw a lot of buzz about them on Instagram and made a note to reach out and get some beers in the office.
Perhaps we heard about them through friends or the grapevine, adding them to our lists of breweries to explore in 2024.
These are breweries that are already doing great things, and we’re excited to see them do even better things. Whatever the reason, we have our eyes locked on to these places in 2024.
The breweries on this list are presented in no particular order. We acknowledge that this list is subjective. Quite simply, the Hop Culture team thinks these are the best breweries to watch in 2024. And we encourage you to do the same.
But do you know of a brewery that should be on this list? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Slide into our DMs at @hopculturemag and let us know!
The Best Breweries to Watch in 2024
Vine Street Brewing
Kansas City, MO
When Vine Street Brewing Co. celebrated its grand opening on June 30th, it became Missouri’s first Black-owned brewery, bringing beer to Kansas City’s famous jazz neighborhood.
Co-founders Kemet Coleman, Elliott Ivory, and Woodie Bonds opened the new two-story taproom, brewhouse, and beer garden in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District to be a place of community and inspiration.
Fusing the past with the present, Vine Street will honor Kansas City’s musical heritage through one of America’s most classic pastimes—drinking a glass of beer.
I love the story behind this brewery. And I’m not the only one. Coleman recently competed in Brewbound’s fifteenth annual Pitch Slam Competition, making it to the final rounds.
Plus, the beer speaks volumes, too. We named the brewery’s flagship Jazzman dark lager one of “The Top 12 Beers We Drank in July 2023.”
We’re really excited to continue following this historic brewery’s journey into the future.
Hokuto, Yamanashi, Japan
Our Social Media Manager Magic Muncie suggested Uchu Brewing after watching their adventures across the world through Instagram this year.
He noticed their head brewer and co-founder Masahiro Kusunose traveling around the world, visiting with breweries like Trillium, Tree House, Hill Farmstead, and Lawson’s Finest Liquids and collabing with a couple such as Other Half, Green Cheek, and Humble Sea.
Muncie says the deeper he dove into Uchu the more he saw them emerging as a super cool brewery on the cusp of blowing up.
He thinks this burgeoning brewery will soon become a household name, making them a top candidate for our list of the best breweries to watch in 2024.
We’ve already named Brewery Ardennes’ Tripel to our list of “The Best Beers We Drank in 2023.”
We feel that nailing a tripel is to Belgian brewers what a Czech pilsner is to lager brewers.
Piqued by this beer, we tried many of Brewery Ardennes’ award-winning beers, including the 2023 International Beer Competition gold medal limited-release Grand Cru Barrel-Aged Tripel; bronze-winning Speciale Belge; and silver-winning Grand Cru Dubbel.
This Belgian-inspired brewery in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York also won Belgian-style Brewery of the Year for New York in 2022.
We don’t often find a brewery completely dedicated to making Belgian beers. Bruz Beers, the first we’d found while visiting Denver for the Great American Beer Festival in 2022, inspired us to search for more.
We put out a call to our fans, searching for other Belgian-inspired breweries across the U.S.
Brewery Ardennes answered.
Opened in May 2020, Brewery Ardennes is the brainchild of Stacey Edinger and her husband, Derek Edinger, who morphed his “out-of-control hobby” homebrewing and passion for Belgian beers into a business.
The brewery has racked up acclaim in just a short amount of time, so we’re really excited to keep an eye on (and hopefully visit) this Belgian beauty in 2024.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Another suggestion from Muncie, Strange Brewing also popped up on our radar courtesy of Sam and Sara Kazmer from Elsewhere Brewing, who highlighted Strange as their favorite craft brewery in Argentina after their travels to the South American country.
Started by Torstein Hoset, who actually hails from Norway, and his college roommate, Ramiro Galperin, Strange Brewing just does things differently.
Hoset and Galperin gained experience homebrewing in college in California in the early 2010s. After a couple of internships at local breweries and graduating in 2015, the pair bought a car, and drove it down to Argentina.
Two years later, Strange Brewing opened, serving up strange or out-of-the-ordinary styles—mixed-ferm and sour beers with local fruits alongside hazies and even European styles like festbier and doppelbock.
The arresting graphics done by Studio Patria often sport the brewery’s raccoon mascot, invoking Strange’s hybridization of creativity both inside and outside the can.
Might seem strange, but keep an eye on this Argentinian brewery in 2024.
New Belgium San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
New Belgium opened its San Francisco taproom in the spring of 2021. But the Fort Collins-based brewery’s Bay Area location isn’t just a place for folks to drink iconic beers like Fat Tire and Voodoo Ranger (although you certainly can if you’re so inclined). Instead, the SF pub acts much like an innovative laboratory for New Belgium.
Helmed by Head Brewer Ramon Tamayo, New Belgium SF plays with, well, everything. Name a new experimental hop, Tamayo has probably brewed with it.
At New Belgium’s San Francisco taproom, Tamayo just gets to play.
Which means we get award-winning beers like Cloudy Joose, which won a gold in the “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale” category at the 2023 GABF.
Or Cloud Factory, a hazy collab with Olfactory featuring Waimea, Citra, Sabro, Sultana Salvo, and Lotus Salvo.
Every time we sit down and have a beer with Tamayo, we learn about a new hop he’s stoked about, a new product he’s f**ked with, or a new brewery he’s hit up to collab.
On your visit, see if you can catch a glimpse of this laid-back mad genius. You might find him on the catwalk above the bar, checking on the fermenters; you might catch him in a 49ers t-shirt pouring you a beer; or you might just hear his hearty chuckle coming from the tiny brewery tucked away into the back corner of the brewery.
At New Belgium SF, you’re always getting something new, you’re always getting something ingenious, and you’re always getting something that’s on the cutting edge. All in a place that’s warm, welcoming, friendly, and on fire.
We’re looking out for big things from Tamayo and NB SF in 2024.
Wellington City, Wellington, New Zealand
In 2022, we wrote about Phantasm, a product derived from freeze-dried Marlborough grape skins that contains a high amount of thiols, compounds known for producing a high level of aroma and flavor in beer.
Developed by Jos Ruffell, co-founder of Garage Project, a brewery based in the Aro Valley of Wellington, New Zealand, Phantasm blew up in the U.S.
Since then, Ruffell and Garage Project have similarly exploded in the States.
For example, we had the chance to meet Ruffell and try his beers for the first time at the Firestone Walker Invitational this year.
His booth commanded one of the longest lines at the event. And for good reason. The hazy we tried, One Day in March 2023, included fresh Nelson Sauvin and Southern Cross hops, all picked and brewed on the same day from Freestyle hop farm.
The lush beer overflowed with pineapple juice, mango lassi, and passion fruit juice. And immediately made us want to jump on a plane to New Zealand to visit Garage Project in the flesh.
Maybe we can next year? If not, we’ll make sure to keep our eyes out for Garage Project here in the U.S. Anytime we see that name, we’re getting whatever beers they’re offering, for sure.
Ten Eyck Brewing Company
Ten Eyck features a standout crew of seven women making their mark in craft beer. We met many of them, including Yancy and her partners Jessica and Nicki, at our fifth annual women in craft beer festival, Beers With(out) Beards, in 2022. They also joined us for Queer Beer last year, where the brewery’s Betsy blueberry grisette was one of the fan favorites, and participated in this year’s Queer Beer Box.
We can tell you unequivocally that this incredible group of people has dedicated themselves to promoting inclusivity and equality in craft beer. We can’t wait to see how this brewery continues to grow in 2024.
We first learned about Bastet Brewing Co-Founder Huston Lett during a screening of the film ”One Pint at a Time,” a documentary made by Aaron Hosé chronicling the experience of Black brewery owners and brewers in America.
Lett’s journey in craft beer starts perhaps like many of his white male counterparts. He fell in love with Bitburger Pils while working in the mailroom at a law firm and bartending some of the attorney’s parties as a side hustle. “It kind of blew my mind,” he says, eventually graduating to Rogue Dead Guy and beyond.
And after Lett’s then-girlfriend and now-wife bought him a Mr. Beer kit, he got hooked on brewing, especially after he nailed his first batch. “Everybody has horror stories about the first batch they made, but mine was actually pretty good,” he says, graduating from a kit to a small system on his stove to a one-barrel system in the garage.
But while his hobby took off quickly, getting an actual brewery off the ground started much more slowly and awkwardly. Especially because Lett rarely ran into people who looked like him.
“I equate it to the movies when somebody walks into a bar, the record stops, and everybody looks at the person walking in,” says Lett about the beginning. “There just weren’t a lot of people that looked like me.”
Incorporating Bastet Brewing in 2014 with his business partner Tom Ross, who is white, Lett says it took five years to find an actual location.
Today, Bastet has made a local name for itself in South Florida.
Bastet gets its name from the Egyptian protector of Ra, symbolizing beer’s origins in Africa. “You’d be surprised at how many people think beer just fell out of Europe,” says Lett. Now, when people come to the taproom, which opened in 2019, Lett says they make a point of weaving in this narrative through art and beer. On many of the brewery’s Google reviews, Lett says you’ll often find comments like. “I came for good beer; I got good beer and a history lesson.”
At Bastet, you’ll find twenty-four beers on tap representing a variety of beer styles, backgrounds, and cultures.
“We take pride in variety,” says Lett, who also mentions their meticulous use of unique ingredients. At Bastet, you’ll find beers like ¡OLE! Tepache, a fermented pineapple beer originating from Mexico. Bastet’s version includes ginger and cardamom for a refreshing low-ABV fruit beer.
Or Finnish Him!, a fermented Finnish lemonade called Sima with pulverized lemon—pits, seeds, skin, and all.
And a sweet potato beer called ‘Tater Pie mimics everything Lett’s mom put in her own Southern Black family recipe. “It’s literally copious amounts of roasted sweet potato in the mash with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. And the result is just … fall in the glass for Southern culture—Black, Brown, whatever. That’s what you ate,” says Lett.
Lett’s brewing up some really exciting beers with significant meaning at Bastet, so we’re keeping our eyes peeled on this Tampa-based brewery in 2024.
Burning Barrel Brewing Company
Rancho Cordova, CA
Burning Barrel brews outside the barrel (well, actually in it, too, because they do some tremendous barrel-aged stuff, but you get the idea). You’ll find folks going ga-ga for their over-the-top yet spot-on flavorful sours. For instance, Fresh Out the Oven V1, which perfectly mimics the center of a peach pie—gooey crust and all (seriously).
But this brewery isn’t a one-trick pony—more like a rainbow-colored unicorn with at least one new beer coming out every week. On tap, next to eight crazy sours, you’ll also find a nitro English pub ale, a German helles lager, and a Vienna lager next to West Coast, triple West Coast, and hazy IPAs.
“We’re really heavy on innovation and the overall vibe and atmosphere,” Burning Barrel Co-Founder Duncan Alexander told us. “We want it to be comfortable for anybody, whether you’re working a corporate job and want to get beers for lunch or you just poured concrete all day and want to come out with your crew. If you live in San Francisco and want to try some new crazy beers other breweries don’t offer, make a day trip on the weekend.”
After all, this place is a family affair, too.
Alexander’s dad has been homebrewing for thirty years since Alexander was a kid. “When I started getting older, even like sixteen years old, I helped him out,” he laughed. “My parents were very strict, though, so I wasn’t even allowed to sample anything.”
Now, he samples everything, seeking flavor wheel perfection. If Alexander wanted to make a Willy Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper, he’d go to the ends of the earth to find that perfect flavor.
Whether that’s through an ingredient, like trying out different species and forms of lemon to find the perfect one to create the perfect fresh-squeezed lemonade flavors in Berry Juiced.
Or getting ten different samples of apple puree from around the Western Hemisphere.
Or buying the cream of coconut found at most prominent tiki bars for the Island Getaway Double Jammer fruited sour because it “has like that decadent, creamy” coconut, says Alexander.
“What’s going to taste the best?” he asks. “I’ve definitely spent money on getting pallets of fruit from abroad that cost way more, but at the end of the day, that’s what we had in mind for the final beer. I would lose sleep if I didn’t spend an extra few hours … and just threw something together because it’s the easier way to do things.”
The brewery’s significant investment in innovation already started paying dividends, with its flagship pilsner Side Pull Pillows recently winning gold at the 2023 Craft Brewers Cup of California and making it onto our list of “The Best Beers We Drank in 2023.”
“We’re all about creating new flavors and pushing the boundaries of what people think beer can taste like while also focusing on the classic styles really well,” says Alexander. “The whole goal is always to find something for anybody, right?”
Which also means opening a distillery in 2024, where Alexander says they’ll serve gin with one-hundred percent hand-foraged botanicals, four-year minimum small-batch whiskey, and some cool spiced apple vodka or brandies using locally sourced ingredients from the Apple Hill region close by.
With the distillery only two buildings away from the brewery, we’ll be keeping our eye out in 2024 for when this spot opens!
Goldfinger Brewing Company
Downers Grove, IL
Speaking with him about lagers was like chatting with ESPN Get Up Host Mike Greenberg about sports.
Articulate and intelligent, yet down to earth and passionate, Beckmann easily showed us why Goldfinger has been cranking out some of the best lagers in the country.
Which makes sense because he comes from a long line of brewers. Something he discovered as a homebrewer tracing his genealogy. Attending the World Brewing Academy and doing stints at breweries in Munich, Germany, along with Lagunitas and Emmett’s Brewing in the States, Beckmann eventually opened his own spot, Goldfinger, in 2020.
He focuses mostly on continental European lagers.
“Typically, we go for really clear, refined European-style lagers,” Beckmann told us. But they challenge themselves too with styles like a pre-Prohibition lager.
And they’re just nailing ‘em all.
You can bet, if we’re ever in the Chicago metro area, that we’ll be making a stop at Goldfinger.
New Glory Craft Brewery
Founded in 2013 by then-homebrewer Julien Lux, New Glory focuses on experimental beers that push the boundaries alongside ones that are just delicious renditions of classic styles. Such as superior stouts, hoppy IPAs, and perfect porters.
The feeling at New Glory is kind of spunky, creative meets serious science. As a result, you’ll find year-round creations like the Gummy Worms chewy pale ale, a super juicy beer with a high intensity of tropical fruit sweetness that’s heavy on the Citra and Amarillo dry hop. Or Hop Craze (Revolution #3), one of our 37 Best Beers We Drank in Spring 2023.
But depending on when you visit, you’ll also slam into seasonals like Powerthirst, an “extreme” kettle sour; Loud Mouth, a “monster” hazy IPA; and Splitting Atoms, a “smooth and balanced” double hazy (according to New Glory’s Instagram).
This is a brewery that doesn’t take brewing too seriously…and yet takes brewing seriously. Do you know what we mean? Well, maybe just get yourself to New Glory in 2024 and drink a few beers, then you’ll understand.
Bingo Beer Co.
A lager-loving brewery, Bingo Beer does things just a bit differently. The brewery puts its energy into clean, crushable lagers. Like Costa Chico, a malty, smoky, biscuity, slightly sweet amber lager. Or Rail Pass, a classically crushable Noble-hopped pils.
But you’ll also find a couple of hazies, sours, and even a cider on at any given time.
As Bingo likes to say, “We honor the timelessness of beer bringing people together.”
Quite a few of their lagers they sent us earlier in the year impressed us. While one of our freelancers had a chance to travel to Richmond, highlighting Bingo as one of the best places to drink on the Richmond Beer Trail.
Bingo is the brewery you visit for the lagers; stay for the good times. Check them out in 2024!