The Best Brewery Near Every NBA Arena

Toronto Raptors Scotiabank Arena | Photography courtesy of Ryan | Unsplash

We’ll be the first to admit that you’re more likely to catch us on the couch on Sunday watching an American football game or up at sometimes 4 a.m. on Saturday to catch an English Premier League game. But that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the ever-lengthening playoff scenarios of an NBA season. Honestly, we can’t follow all 82 games, so tuning in for the playoffs is probably the most likely time you’ll find us rocking a Steph Curry or LeBron James jersey.

But that hasn’t stopped us from sitting with a beer in hand and lapping up some of this year’s juicy storylines:

LeBron has asked everyone to just relax and let his son, Bronny James, just be a kid!

Speaking of LeBron, will he still be a Laker next year?

People really don’t like the NBA All-Star Game, including the…NBA all-stars.

While you might not catch us at the Chase Center anytime soon, you might see us at some of the breweries nearby. Which got us thinking: What are the best breweries near every NBA Arena?

Have you ever asked yourself this question, too? Well, we’ve got you covered as tightly as Rudy Gobert on anyone taking a shot. (Seriously, he’s the front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year; we looked it up.)

Editor’s Note: We used the following criteria to choose the breweries selected for this list: 1) proximity to the NBA arena and 2) their reputation for making great craft beer. Although not necessarily in that order. Sometimes, bigger cities afforded us more options, but we chose those closer to the stadium. Whereas in smaller markets, we might have looked a little farther from the stadium to find breweries we love. Regardless, you won’t find a taproom on this list farther than a thirty-minute drive. We understand that this isn’t an exhaustive list. Plus, based on where you are in the country, you probably have your own best brewery close to your home team arena. Feel free to drop us a line ([email protected]) to let us know your favorite!

Hop Culture’s Best Breweries Near Every NBA Arena

Feel free to skip down to your favorite team:

Atlanta Hawks

State Farm Arena, 1 State Farm Dr., Atlanta, GA

elsewhere brewing greenhouse sidra or jar glass
Photography courtesy of Elsewhere Brewing

Slam Dunk: Elsewhere Brewing Greenhouse
950 West Marietta St NW Suite A135, Atlanta, GA 30318 | 10-minute drive

One of our “10 Best Breweries to Watch in 2021,” Elsewhere Brewing has boomed in Georgia’s craft beer hall of fame. And that’s no joke. Co-founders Sam and Sara Kazmer’s brewery, which combines drinking from all their world travels, is up there with Halfway Crooks, Good Word, and Monday Night.

Like Halfway Crooks, Elsewhere has led with eye-catching design and soft, approachable beers.

For instance, we named Gest, a Czech dark lager, one of our “27 Best Beers We Drank in 2022.”

Or Proletarian Pilsner, an old-world pilsner with new-world intention.

In 2023, the pair said hello to a new location in West Midtown, affectionately known as the Greenhouse, with tons of light, vinyl, plants, pickleball, and, of course, beer.

Ultimately, the reason Elsewhere makes this list is in its cohesion. The disparate parts—great merch, good beer, tasty food—unite intentionally and warmly. The brewery is inviting, charming, and sure to make you feel good whether you’re celebrating a Hawks win or commiserating a loss.

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Three-Pointer: Halfway Crooks Beer
60 Georgia Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312 | 9-min drive, 25-min public transit

Perhaps some of you will remember when former Hop Culture Managing Editor John Paradiso first discovered Halfway Crooks, a killer brewery started by Co-Founders Shawn Bainbridge and Joran Van Ginderacther in 2019.

As impressed by the merch and branding as the beer, we named Halfway Crooks one of our “10 Best New Breweries of 2019.”

Indeed, walking into their Summerhill location, you’re struck by both. Full of wood, light, and quirky touches, grandma’s attic knick-knack vibes flow from their beer taps into each piece of furniture and certainly their hipster-loving merch.

Originally pretty European-centric, Halfway Crooks does have an entire portion of their menu now devoted to the hoppy stuff (cheekily called “NOT LAGER NOT LAGER NOT LAGER”). But if you go here, you have to try at least one beer from the “LAGER LAGER LAGER LAGER LAGER” side.

Metric is a classic German-style helles we’ve been fans of for a while.

Try One Zero, brewed with Tettnang and Hallertau hops from Bentele and Seitz Farm in Germany, for something newer. Or Ctrl-alt-del, an altbier brewed in collaboration with Fast Friends.

Whatever you try at Halfway Crooks, this is the kind of siren brewery that calls out to you, luring you back time and time again to discover new treasures each time you step inside.

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Jump Shot: Fire Maker Brewing Company
975 Chattahoochee Ave NW Suite A, Atlanta, GA 30318 | 15-min drive

In 2021, USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards named Fire Maker Brewing the #2 Best New Brewery in America.

Chosen by a panel of experts and determined by popular vote, Fire Maker is a must-stop in Atlanta.

Founded on family values, integrity, and revelry, Fire Maker prides itself on beers that are pretty down to Earth.

Twelve taps feature the gamut. Such as a Way Down Yonder golden ale, a 4th Down amber lager, and a Calamity Jane blonde ale. Alongside a Yukon Cornelius hazy, DD214 rye IPA, and Chattahooch-Tea Southeastern IPA (basically, a beer-meets-refreshing-glass-of-sweet tea).

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Boston Celtics

TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA

night shift brewing santilla ipa lovejoy wharf best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @nightshiftlovejoy

Slam Dunk: Night Shift Brewing – Lovejoy Wharf
1 Lovejoy Wharf #101, Boston, MA 02114 | 5-min drive, 5-min walk

Relentless and ruthless might be the best word to describe the Celtics this year, who dominate the Eastern Conference with a 45-12 record.

Regarding dominating beer in Boston, Night Shift has to be at the top of the conversation.

Night Shift’s Co-Founders Michael Oxton, Mike O’Mara, and Rob Burns started homebrewing in their dorm room in Somerville before launching their own brewery in 2012.

“About four years into home brewing, we’re like, let’s just give this a shot,” Oxton says. “We don’t love our desk jobs, we want to work for ourselves, and we were doing this at night three times a week, and we were calling ourselves the night-shift brewers, kind of as a joke.”

After raising about $100,000, they opened the first brewery in Everett. Now, Night Shift has four locations, including Night Shift Brewing Kitchen & Tap in Encore Boston Harbor, another satellite brewery in Natick, MA, at Level99 (plus seasonal beer gardens around the city), and a taproom at Lovejoy Wharf.

The latter is only a five-minute drive or walk from TD Garden!

Tens of thousands of people visit Night Shift for its popular beers like the flagship Whirlpool, Santilli, and Nite Lite.

“The focus is our backyard, and our future is very much focused on Boston,” Oxton says. “They got us to where we are.”

Editor’s Note: The above description is provided by Next Glass Content Writer Giovanni Albanese Jr.

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Three-Pointer: Lamplighter Brewing Co. – CX
110 N First St, Cambridge, MA 02141 | 10-min drive, 11-min public transit

Boston has a history of producing some of the best big-name breweries in the country, including Trillium, Tree House, and the aforementioned Night Shift. But we sincerely appreciate the more under-the-radar spots like Lamplighter in Cambridge, MA, that focus on hazy NEIPAs, unique barrel-aged sours, and special seasonals.

Cayla Marvil co-founded Lamplighter with her partner AC Jones in 2016 and, over the last six years, has stormed the scene, earning a spot on the Forbes “30 under 30” list for Food and Drink in 2020 and making pretty much any one of our guides to the best breweries in Boston.

In 2022, Lamplighter opened its second location as a part of The Shed at Cambridge Crossing in Kendall Square. The 6,000-sq-ft taproom and production space, Lamplighter Brewing CX, will continue Lamplighter’s tradition of brewing exquisite hazy IPAs, barrel-aged sours, and more.

And lucky for all you Celtic fans, this newish spot is only a ten-minute drive from the TD Garden!

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Brooklyn Nets

Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY

wild east brewing co fervor and defiance czech dark lager
Photography courtesy of @wildeastbrewing

Slam Dunk: Wild East Brewing Co.
623 Sackett St, Brooklyn, NY 11217 | 5-min drive, 8-min public transport, 14-min walk

Goodbye Kai and KD, hello dawn of a new, hopefully much-less-drama-ridden era. It’s almost like the Nets traded in watching Bravo TV on Friday night for just sitting on the couch with a good book…or a triple dry-hopped TIPA for a Czech-style pilsner.

Founded by Lindsay Steen, Tyler March, and Brett Taylor, Wild East Brewing Company opened its doors in February 2020. The brewery specializes in mixed-fermentation, wild, and sour beers such as saisons, pale ales, Berliner weisses, and more.

In a former restaurant supply warehouse on Sackett Street, just a five-minute drive or fourteen-minute walk from Barclays Center, Wild East’s taproom is a place where you can enjoy the fruits of the trio’s experimentation.

Beers like Contour Interval∞, a saison that ages for a few months in the brewery’s foeder that we named one of the best beers we drank last spring, or Temperance, a dope dark mild we named one of the “Best Beers We Drank in Winter,” prove that Wild East is at the vanguard of beer in Brooklyn.

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Three-Pointer: Finback – Brooklyn
545 President St, Brooklyn, NY 11215 | 5-min drive, 7-min public transport, 17-min walk

Finback is synonymous with OG craft beer in the Boroughs.

Founded in 2011, with their beer first coming off the line in Queens in 2014, Finback is the brainchild of Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford. For the past eight years, the brewery has grown to one of the highest-rated in New York and the entire East Coast. Primarily thanks to Finback’s approach to brewing with creativity (a direct result of Lee and Stafford’s artistic backgrounds—Lee is a former architect, and Stafford is a former graphic artist).

In 2020, the duo opened up a new taproom affectionately called “the studio” in Brooklyn that happens to be only a five-minute drive from the Nets home court.

“​​Brooklyn we think of as a studio, where we’re doing small batches, but also focusing on more of our takes on classic styles and drinkability, more low ABV, milds, traditional styles, and saisons,” Lee told us.

Along with a Kinda Brooklyn, a DDH DIPA with Nelson and Citra hops. Or Crispy Morning, a pilsner that stays true to its name.

The NBA All-Star Game may be at an all-time low in popularity. But Finback is at an all-time high, and you can’t go wrong with any beer on Finback’s all-star roster.

Oh, did we mention Lee tapped his mom to make homemade dumplings in the kitchen?

Is that what you call a swoosh!?

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Jump Shot: Strong Rope Brewery
574 President St, Brooklyn, NY 11215 | 5-min drive, 7-min public transport, 16-minute walk

In a world of hazy, West Coast, and American IPAs, Strong Rope has made a name for itself by brewing top-of-the-line British-style ales with 100% New York State hops and malts.

Founded by Jason Sahler and Christina Quintero, Strong Rope stays true to its traditions. And it has paid off. Strong Rope has earned all sorts of local accolades, including SMaSH Beer Competition Winner for Fat Man, Little Stout at NYC Beer Week 2020; a bronze for its Pre-Prohibition Lager, CULLEN, at the Indie Beer Cup 2020; and a gold at TAPNY 2019 for Young Lion of the West Cream Ale, among others.

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Charlotte Hornets

Spectrum Center, 333 E Trade St, Charlotte, NC

resident culture the market at 7th street best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @residentculture.7thstreet

Slam Dunk: Resident Culture – The Market at 7th Street
Inside The Market at 224 E 7th St, 1st Floor, Charlotte, NC 28202 | 3-min drive, 5-min walk

You may be throwing your hands up at the 15-42 Hornets, but hands down Resident Culture is one of our favorite breweries in all of Charlotte. Phillip and Amanda McLamb and Chris Tropeano opened up their original Plaza-Midwood brewery in 2017, expanding to now three locations, including the newest in The Market at 7th Street.

A mere five-minute walk (or three-minute drive if, for some reason, you need wheels) from the Hornets’ nest (?), Resident Culture’s new spot in the heart of the city pours all your favorites.

Such as their flagship hazy Lightning Drops. But you’ll also find an Italian pilsner, Riding For the Feeling; a Mexican lager, Island Time; and so much more.

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Three-Pointer: Fonta Flora Brewery – Optimist Hall
1115 N Brevard St ste d, Charlotte, NC 28206 | 5-min drive, 16-min public transit, 20-min walk

For Fonta Flora, everything happens with intention. Named after a diverse farming village that flooded between 1916 and 1923, when a power company created Lake James to bring electricity to the Catawba Valley, Fonta Flora believes in sourcing local ingredients as much as possible. From beginning to end, Fonta Flora aims to create an experience around their beer, “whether friends are hanging out and drinking at a music festival or in the airport before getting on a plane,” Fonta Flora Lead Sales Rep Matt Lee told us. “Every beer we produce is an opportunity to create an experience for somebody while paying tribute to the local culture and community.”

Originally started in Morgantown, NC, Fonta Flora opened a 2,400-sq-ft space with a 5,000-sq-ft patio in Optimist Hall in Charlotte in 2020.

Meaning you can get all the rustic, beautiful saisons and wild, mixed-culture, and farmhouse ales, amongst other styles you crave, with just a five-minute drive or twenty-minute walk from Spectrum Center.

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Jump Shot: Wooden Robot Brewery
1440 S Tryon St UNIT 110, Charlotte, NC 28203 | 6-min drive, 13-min public transit, 30-min walk

Editor’s Note: As some may have seen, Dan Wade, co-founder of Wooden Robot, tragically passed a couple of weeks ago. As one of the brands from a North Carolina-based company, our hearts are heavy, and we offer our deepest condolences to the Wade family and the entire Wooden Robot crew. The Charlotte community and entire industry lost an incredible person. Until further notice, Wooden Robot Brewery will be closed to the public. Please stay tuned to Wooden Robot’s Instagram (@woodenrobotbrewery) for any updates. We will donate to the Wade family’s GoFundMe and encourage everyone in our community to show their support and love however they can. You can donate by following the links below

Donate To The Wade Family Fund

Donate To The Wooden Robot Staff Bereavement Fund

Take a thirty-minute post-game stroll from Spectrum Center to Wooden Robot Brewery’s South End spot, a taproom focused on the intersection of beer and science.

Wooden Robot describes itself as an “urban farmhouse brewery,” a space where old meets new—hence the excellent brewery name. A lot of breweries tout themselves as a blend of art and science, a traditional brewery making modern beer, but when someone can make a series of quality lagers as well as juicy sours and IPAs, we take notice. Like a couple of the other breweries on this list, you’ll find great food available in the taproom. So, order a pint of Pops’ Pilsner, Overachiever, or QC Gold and a kimchi grilled cheese or a fried chicken sandwich, and enjoy the rest of your afternoon in Charlotte.

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Chicago Bulls

United Center, 1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL

forbidden root restaurant & brewery
Photography courtesy of Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery

Slam Dunk: Forbidden Root Brewing Company
1746 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 | 8-min drive, 16-min public transit

We owe the discovery of this one to our friend Al Maka, gueuze geek and founder of A.J. Maka Distributing. As Chicago’s first brewery dedicated to using botanicals in its beers, Forbidden Root implements barks, stems, flowers, herbs, spices, leaves, and even roots to create beers for even the most adventurous palate.

Additionally, the food menu at Forbidden Root pairs well with the beer, with items like the Brussel sprouts with miso butter and everything-spiced almonds and the Duck & Dumplings with duck confit, ricotta gnocchi, mirepoix, duck jus, and crispy duck skin.

And with one hundred percent of all non-consumable merchandise profits going to charity, you can indulge responsibly.

In 2019, the “botanical brewery” expanded, bringing its innovative approach to beer and food to Columbus, OH. Most recently, Forbidden Root continued building its brand in its backyard, opening Cultivate by Forbidden Root, a new taproom and kitchen in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood.

But for our purposes, the OG location on Chicago Ave is just an eight-minute drive from the United Center. So, if you want to get a little soigne with your drinking, hit up Forbidden Root after the game.

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Three-Pointer: Off Color Brewing – The Mousetrap
1460 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL 60642 | 18-min drive, 25-min public transit

Another Chicago staple, Off Color, was founded in 2013 by John Laffler (formerly of Goose Island Brewery) and Dave Bleitner (formerly of Two Brothers Brewing).

As you might expect, the founders’ pedigree shows up in Off Color Brewing’s mature and technically excellent beers, which lean toward European styles. While the beers are serious, the branding is fun, leading to a very silly and unique taproom experience at both the original location and The Mousetrap, located on the North Branch Canal just west of the Old Town neighborhood, an eighteen-minute drive from where the Chicago Bulls play.

If you’re looking for an Off Color beer to sample, try Apex Predator, the legendary saison that celebrated its decade anniversary last year. Or any of the “Beer For” series, which basically pairs a beer with any occasion. For instance, Beer for Hoops or Beer for Burgers.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, 1 Center Court, Cleveland, OH

masthead brewing taproom best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @mastheadbrewing

Slam Dunk: Masthead Brewing Co.
1261 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114 | 3-min drive, 9-min public transit, 14-min walk

Hey, the Cavs actually look pretty good this year—currently sitting pretty at second in the Eastern Conference after going on a 15-1 run in early February. Too early to call the wine and gold dark horses?

Opened in 2017, Masthead Brewing may have been a dark horse in Cleveland’s brewing scene for the last few years, but they’ve emerged as a true front-runner.

Located in the historic Bryant Building, Masthead combines the history of Cleveland with historically well-brewed beer. Co-founders Frank Luther, Matt Slife, and Mike Pelechaty named their brewery after a little local lore.

Prepare yourself for a great tidbit of trivia—Ohio’s second-largest city was initially named Cleaveland after General Moses Cleaveland, a veteran of the Revolutionary War who settled the town. By 1831, Cleaveland had grown large enough to warrant a local newspaper. The paper’s editors ran into a problem when they tried to fit the name “Cleaveland” on the top of their publication, leading them to boldly drop the extra “a” from the paper’s name on the masthead. The Cleveland Advertiser went to print on January 6th, 1831.

With a spirit for bold and innovative beers, Masthead’s nostalgic sense of place is reflected in their brews. For instance, Ice Melter, a spicy IPA with grapefruit and habaneros that made our list of “The 20 Best Beers to Drink in Winter 2021.”

Or Double Citra Vice, a new unique drop on Oznr the brewery calls “the hoppiest person at the party.”

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Three-Pointer: Noble Beast Brewing Co.
1470 Lakeside Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44114 | 4-min drive, 17-min public transit, 22-min walk

Following the model of a traditional brewpub, Noble Beast showcases ridiculously delicious beer alongside innovative food. Started by Shaun Yasaki in 2017, this 10-bbl brewhouse heavily focuses on pairing beer with bites.

Shaun’s past experience brewing at Fat Head’s Brewery and Platform Beer Co. prepared him to venture out independently. Proud of its grassroots heritage, Noble Beast is a nod to the traditional German roots of Noble hops and the American beast side of creativity and innovation.

All told, sounds like a perfect pairing for a day of watching the Cavs crush.

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Jump Shot: Great Lakes Brewing Company
2516 Market Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113 | 5-min drive, 12-min public transit

Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) calls itself Ohio’s original craft brewery for a reason. Founded in 1988, GLBC has proudly represented craft beer in the Buckeye State for the last thirty-six years. You’ll find classics like Vibacious® Double IPA, Hazecraft® Hazy IPA, and Dortmunder Gold® Lager. And over thirty years later, the brewery still draws lines around the block for the release of its iconic Christmas Ale. Pay your respects to an OG here.

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Dallas Mavericks

American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave, Dallas, TX

celestial beerworks best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @celestialbeerworks

Slam Dunk: Celestial Beerworks
2530 Butler St, Dallas, TX 75235 | 10-min drive, 15-min public transit

Refraining from puns here is hard, but the cosmic juice that Celestial Beerworks has been pumping out since 2018 is no joke. Much like the Mavericks’ Luka Dončić, who could be a dark horse for MVP this year with his 28.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game at the time of publication.

Former art teacher Molly Reynolds and her husband Matt opened Celestial Beerworks in Dallas’ Medical District, a ten-minute drive from American Airlines Center. Since then, the duo has slowly carved out a name for themselves with their attention to composition across their beers and taproom.

Art, science, space, and beer harmoniously collide for a brewery popping off celestial fireworks of hoppy and hazy stars. Such as Double Stars, the ultra-smooth double NEIPA that made our 5 Best Beers We Had This Week back in October 2020. Hopped with Idaho 7 and Vic Secret, this creamy, hazy IPA impressed us with its dank tropical fruitiness and balanced drinkability.

And don’t miss Welcome To the Space Jam, a fruited Berliner Weisse that earns a 4.03 rating on Untappd.

Any beer you can grab from this utterly unique brewery will be heavenly.

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Three-Pointer: Peticolas Brewing Company
1301 Pace St, Dallas, TX 75207 | 7-min drive

Here is Peticolas Brewing Company’s motto: “Honest, friendly, down-to-earth brewers delivering world-class passion in a glass.”

But we’ll tell you what this humble brewery motto doesn’t say: They’ve earned a s**t ton of awards, including a bronze at the 2023 World Beer Cup for Turtle Kriek and a whole host of 2022 US Beer Open bronzes for several styles, including Scottish ale, imperial red ale, Ukrainian golden ale, and experimental beer. And that just scratches the surface.

Did you know you could find so many award-winning beers just a seven-minute drive from where the Mavericks play?

Well, now you know.

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Jump Shot: Manhattan Project Beer Co.
2215 Sulphur St, Dallas, TX 75208 | 8-min drive

Started with one special beer, an American-brown-ale-turned-Belgian-dark brewed for the co-founders’ wedding, Manhattan Project Beer Co. has since evolved into a brewery making many award-winning beers.

Take the eight-minute drive from American Airlines Center to find an old-world brewery making new-world beers with much love.

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Denver Nuggets

Ball Arena, 1000 Chopper Cir, Denver, CO

westbound & down denver taproom best breweries by mlb stadium
Photography courtesy of Westbound & Down

Slam Dunk: Westbound & Down
1801 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202 | 4-min drive, 8-min public transit, 14-min walk

If you’re a Denver Nuggets fan, you’re riding high on last year’s NBA Championship. You’re also lucky to find yourself only a four-minute drive from the semi-newly opened Westbound & Down Denver taproom.

There, you’ll find some of the best beers in Colorado.

Dubbed one of our most under-the-radar breweries in Colorado, Westbound & Down produces creative and refreshing beers.

The brewery’s Inherited Wisdom made our list of the ”27 Best Beers We Drank in 2022” for its perfect execution of a simple, humble style.

And its cream ale called The Coloradan picked up a bronze at last year’s Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

Or try everyone’s favorite, Spirt of the West, a West Coast IPA dry-hopped with hand-selected Mosaic and Strata.

Here’s to hoping the Nuggets can run it back in 2024!

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Three-Pointer: Strange Craft Beer Company
1330 Zuni St Unit M, Denver, CO 80204 | 5-min drive, 16-min public transit, 20-min walk

Full disclosure here: Hop Culture Senior Content Editor Grace Weitz met Strange Craft Founder Tim Myers on a ten-day beer trip to Belgium. Somehow, Myers managed to pack a host of his beer, which Weitz often enjoyed with the group while driving to each brewery on the bus.

While we haven’t been to the brewery yet, we thoroughly enjoyed Myers’ beers enough to recommend taking the twenty-minute walk (or five-minute drive) from Ball Arena to Strange Craft.

If you’re lucky enough, you’ll bump into the boisterous Myers (he’s probably in a bright blue Cubs shirt laughing heartily while he regales you with a story of his) and fall in love with him and his beers just like we did.

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Jump Shot: Our Mutual Friend
2810 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205 | 10-min drive

Started by friends Bryan Leavelle, Andrew Strasburg, and Brandon Proff in 2012, Our Mutual Friend (OMF) is the place where you drink beer with friends you’ve known for twenty years. Or you make friends with someone you’ve never met before. It’s the place where the friends of your friends introduce you to one another, and you become friends.

Do you get what we mean? Probably not. Because, to truly understand OMF, you have to go there.

It would be hard to miss on Larimer Street. It’s the building with the crazy fuschia, red, blue, teal, and yellow blobs painted outside, inviting you to stop, stare, and come on in.

Known for their saisons and sours, OMF is a tiny operation with big brass brewing balls.

And we’re not the only ones who think so. At the GABF 2022, OMF racked up a gold in the Brett Beer category for Saison Trystero , a 6.6% ABV Brett Saison, and a silver in the Mixed-Culture Brett Beer category for Biere Ovale. And that’s a smidgen of the medals they’ve won.

We could wax poetic about OMF for another twenty paragraphs, but instead, we’ll just leave you with this: This brewery is bold, colorful, and full of characters, making beer with character.

Come inside, and we guarantee you you’ll drink incredible beer and probably leave having made a friend or two.

That’s the magic of OMF.

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Detroit Pistons

Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward, Ave, Detroit, MI

eastern market brewing grand new lager
Photography courtesy of @easternmarketbrewing

Slam Dunk: Eastern Market Brewing Co.
2515 Riopelle St, Detroit, MI 48207 | 5-min drive

Let’s just get this out of the way now: Yes, this year, the Detroit Pistons will be remembered on the wrong side of history with an epic, historic twenty-eight-game losing streak stretching all through a very long two months at the end of 2023. And on the wrong side of a non-fould that Piston’s Head Coach Monty Williams called the ‘Absolute worst call of the season’

Over the past century, dozens of breweries have called this historic area of Detroit home, but Eastern Market brings something truly unique and special to the area, mixing experimental beers with local ingredients.

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Three-Pointer: Batch Brewing Company
1400 Porter St, Detroit, MI 48216 | 7-min drive

Dubbed Detroit’s first nano brewery, Batch Brewing started as just a homebrewing setup in a suburban driveway and garage. After winning the Hatch Detroit business incubator contest and crowdfunding on Indiegogo, Batch spent ten months constructing a DIY buildout. Today, the brewery, a seven-minute drive from Little Caesars Arena, makes a whole host of small-batch beers, including a pre-pro lager, brown ale, Czech-style pilsner, West Coast pale ale, hazy, West Coast IPA, oatmeal stout, and more.

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Golden State Warriors

Chase Center, 1 Warriors Way, San Francisco, CA

olfactory brewing taplist
Photography courtesy of @olfactorybrewing

Slam Dunk: Olfactory Brewing & Blending
2245 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107 | 3-min drive, 10-min walk

Opened in 2022 by co-founders Phil Emerson (formerly of Almanac), Max Crango-Schneider (from Tilted Mash), Trevor Allen (spent a decade installing brewing systems), and Robert Moyer, Olfactory is relatively new to the Dogpatch neighborhood.

But they’ve already made a considerable impact with top beers like Proverbial Fork, a 4.18-rated saison on Untappd, and Más O Menos Bien, a 4.09-rated Czech-style pilsner brewed with Admiral Malts and lagered for five weeks.

Perhaps not the new kids on the block, but definitely the cool ones, Olfactory makes a great stop before or after the Warriors game.

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Three-Pointer: Barebottle Brewing Company
1525 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110 | 12-min drive

AAPI-owned Barebottle slings creative beers in the Bernal Heights area of San Francisco.

Golden State Warrior fans haven’t had much to cheer about this year (except for maybe Steph Curry’s 268-game three-pointer streak that ended back in December). But they can cheer for Barebottle, which executes some of the most innovative beers in the entire Bay Area.

And with the brewery’s OG taproom just a twelve-minute drive from Chase Center, that’s certainly as worthy of a shout as watching Curry drain another three.

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Houston Rockets

Toyota Center, 1510 Polk St, Houston, TX

true anomaly brewing new moon barrel aged stout best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @trueanomalybrewing

Slam Dunk: True Anomaly Brewing
2012 Dallas St, Houston, TX 77003 | 2-min drive, 8-min walk

Specializing in sour and Belgian-style ales, True Anomaly Brewing boasts Houston’s largest barrel room.

So it makes sense then that the brewery picked up a bronze in the “Wood- and Barrel-aged Strong Beer” category at GABF in 2020 for its Freedom 7 American-oak, foeder-fermented wild ale.

True Anomaly is fermenting things differently.

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Three-Pointer: Equal Parts Brewing
3118 Harrisburg Blvd #108, Houston, TX 77003 | 6-min drive, 17-min public transit

Opened initially as Sigma Brew Company, the brewery rebranded as Equal Parts Brewing after developing a very loyal following in Texas’ largest city.

The two co-founders, Nick Sorenson and Matt Peterson, originally started the brewery as a homebrewing dream turned pro. But after building such a devoted fan base, the two wanted to find a name that reflected the importance of their community and team.

All things considered equal, it seems like a great decision. Now the Northeast-esque homey pub tells you why foam is your friend, slow pours beers, and invites you in to try everything from thiolized hoppy lagers, West Coast pilsners, and Italian pilsners to hazy pale ales and all kinds of IPAs.

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Jump Shot: Saint Arnold Brewing Company
2000 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX 77020 | 7-min drive, 14-min public transit

Considered Texas’ oldest craft brewery, Saint Arnold is legendary in the Lone Star State. Drive seven minutes from Toyota Center to sip on a classic American lager like Grand Prize or cool down from the Texas heat with a Fancy Lawnmower kölsch or H-Town Pils.

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Indiana Pacers

Gainbridge Fieldhouse, 125 S Pennsylvania St, Indianapolis, IN

sun king brewery hoops there it is all star edition best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @sunkingbrewing

Slam Dunk: Sun King Brewery
135 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202 | 5-min drive, 18-min walk

Hello, Hoosiers. We know how much your state loves basketball. You can’t mention Indiana without basketball in the same sentence. Just like you can’t mention Indianapolis craft beer without thinking about Sun King.

When Dave Colt, Clay Robinson, and Andy Fagg rolled the first kegs of beer out the door in July 2009, Sun King became the first full-scale production brewery in the city since Indianapolis Brewing Company closed in 1948.

Now the city’s largest brewery (and the second largest in the state), Sun King crafts beers that have been nationally recognized at both the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and the World Beer Cup (WBC). Actually, the brewery ranks in the top five breweries in the world for the most medals won between GABF and WBC.

Sun King paved the way for brewing in Indiana and, therefore, should be a top stop pre- or post-game.

Get a staple such as the Osiris Pale Ale or Sunlight Cream Ale (if you don’t know what a cream ale is, this story will help). Or try something fun like Polynesian Passion, a tropical-inspired Belgian tripel that won a bronze at last year’s Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer.

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Three-Pointer: Metazoa Brewing Co.
140 S College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202 | 4-min drive, 16-min walk

We can get behind Metazoa Brewing Co.’s mission: “Drink Beer. Help Animals.” The brewery donates five percent of all its profits to animal and wildlife organizations.

Started by animal- and beer-lover Dave Worthington, Metazoa combines the best of both of his passions. You’ll find animal artwork and names across all of Metazoa’s creations.

For instance, Trash Panda, a 2021 GABF-winning vanilla latte-inspired blonde ale. Or Puppy Slumber Party, a 2019 U.S. Open bronze medal-winning peanut butter milk stout.

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Jump Shot: Saint Joseph Brewery
540 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202 | 7-min drive

Saint Joseph Brewery celebrates three things: great beer, food, and architecture. Housed in a nineteenth-century neo-gothic Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis parish, the brewery uniquely blends beer and history. Which is why you’ll find beers like the 2017 Indiana Brewers Cup gold medal-winning Holy Rolled Oat IPA, the 2016 Indiana Brewers Cup bronze medal-winning Sanctuary Saison, and the 2015 Indiana Brewers’ Cup gold medal-winning Benevolent Belgian Blond.

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Los Angeles Clippers/Los Angeles Lakers Arena, 1111 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA

audio graph beer co taproom
Photography courtesy of @audiographbeerco

Slam Dunk: Audio Graph Beer Co.
1203 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 | 4-min drive, 8-min walk

Audio Graph Beer Co. presents something truly unique: a harmonious intertwining of music and beer.

The downtown LA brewery’s Bass Clef Barleywine won silver at WBC, while the Spring Reverb nabbed bronze at GABF.

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Three-Pointer: Highland Park Brewery
1220 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 15-min drive, 30-min public transit

One of our favorite breweries in Los Angeles, Highland Park, made our list of the “Best Breweries of 2023.”

Nominated by Hop Culture and Untappd Social Media Manager Magic Muncie, “Highland Park’s
notoriety is bigger than ever,” he wrote. “Their consistently crushable offerings are constantly getting cycled into my fridge. Located right next to Dodger Stadium, I find myself having to make a stop every time I go to a game.”

This epic brewery is also just a short fifteen-minute drive (although we suppose we can’t call any drive “short” in LA) from Arena, where both the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers play.
Started by Bob Kunz in 2018, the brewery just churns out banger after banger (slam dunk after slam dunk?).

For instance, Hello, LA, the brewery’s killer West Coast IPA that ranks with a 4.02 on Untappd, or Timbo Pils, a 4.08-rated West Coast pilsner on Untappd.

But don’t sleep on their funky, experimental saisons, farmhouse ales, and barrel-aged stouts, like those found in the brewery’s membership club—Highland Park Brewery Bottle Friends.

Additionally, the taproom’s spacious, friendly atmosphere and elevated small bar menu make it welcoming year-round.

The last time Hop Culture Senior Content Editor Grace Weitz visited in November 2022, she saw a pig on the patio. So there’s that, too; they allow pigs, we guess. 🤣

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Jump Shot: Homage Brewing
1219 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 15-min drive, 30-min public transport

Right down the block from Highland Park, you’ll also find Homage’s Chinatown outpost. One of our “7 Best Breweries in Los Angeles, CA,” Homage opened its 5,000-sq-ft, 15-bbl Chinatown taproom in June 2021.

Only a fifteen-minute drive from Arena, Homage’s newest taproom carries on the brewery’s DIY ethos and unique blends that fully fit the music-and-fashion roots of its owners, Matthew and Lauren Garcia.

Homage focuses on experimental, blended takes on barrel-aged varieties, saisons, and lagers. The brewery also has a deep love for dank hops and adjunct-laced stouts. Oh, and we almost forgot to mention that Matt also makes natural wine!

Whether LeBron James, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, stays with the Lakers is up for debate. What isn’t debatable is how many of Homage’s beers have peppered our “Best of” lists over the years, from ”The 20 Best Beers to Drink in Summer 2021” to The 20 Best Beers We Drank in 2020.”

Homage is a gem worth checking out if you’re taking in a Clippers or Lakers game.

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Memphis Grizzlies

FedExForum, 191 Beale St, Memphis, TN

wiseacre brewing company
Photography courtesy of @wiseacrebrewingcompany

Slam Dunk: Wiseacre Brewing Company – HQ
398 S B.B. King Blvd, Memphis, TN 38126 | 2-min drive, 12-min walk

A formidable staple on Memphis’ craft beer roster, Wiseacre is committed to delivering “the crunkest brewery possible in their groovy hometown,” according to the brewery’s website.

Between brothers and Wiseacre Co-Founders Davin and Kellan Bartosch is an encyclopedia of brewing knowledge. Davin attended the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago before studying everywhere in Europe, from Andechs and Schlenkerla in Germany to Pilsner Urquell and Budvar in the Czech Republic (to name just a few). He eventually went to Rock Bottom, where he earned medal after medal at GABF and WBC.

Not to be shown up, Kellan worked at Sierra Nevada, collabing with greats like Three Floyds, Solemn Oath, and Half Acre. All while becoming only the second Las Vegan to earn his Level 2 Certified Cicerone.

The pair brought all this to their own Memphis spot, which rocks beers like Astronaut Status, a 4.24-rated imperial stout aged in Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon barrels with cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans for eleven months. Or Tiny Bomb, the brewery’s take on a Czech-style pilsner with a twist—fifty pounds of local wildflower honey.

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Miami Heat

Kaseya Center, 601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL

j wakefield brewing best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @jwakefieldbeer

Slam Dunk: J. Wakefield Brewing
120 NW 24th St, Miami, FL 33127 | 10-min drive

One of our ”18 Best Breweries in South Florida,” J. Wakefield is like the godfather of craft beer in the Sunshine State.

Known for their incredible sours and standout imperial stouts, J. Wakefield is the standard bearer in the Miami beer scene. Much like the Miami Heat.

We’ve seen breweries from far and wide come to Florida just to collab with J. Wakefield. Remember when the “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh teamed up to lead the Heat to two NBA Championships? Those were the days, right?

And wow, the Jimmy Butler-led Heat surprisingly came so close last year, too, falling just short to the Nuggets in the NBA Finals.

Just like the Heat have become synonymous with basketball success in Southern Florida, J. Wakefield has become synonymous with craft beer. Need we say more?

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Three-Pointer: OFF SITE
8250 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33138 | 14-min drive

We need to offer a disclaimer here: OFF SITE focuses heavily on its incredible beer-friendly food. While the three-barrel nano brewery technically only rocks one beer hardcore—Super Good Lager—it’s the perfect beer for all its American-inspired food.

We’re talking Wisco Brat, Chicago Dog, Country Cuban, Little River Cheesesteak, Fried Chicken Sandwich, and Mahi Fish ‘N Chips, among other dishes.

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Milwaukee Bucks

Fiserv Forum, 1111 Vel R. Phillips Ave, Milwaukee, WI

central waters brewing company taproom
Photography courtesy of @centralwaters

Slam Dunk: Central Waters Brewing Co.
1037 W Juneau Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233 | 4-min drive, 16-min walk

When the Milwaukee Bucks surprisingly fired head coach Adrian Griffin midseason, replacing him with the legendary Doc Rivers, we’re sure they expected to return to winning ways. The albeit early results have been mixed, with Rivers posting a 6-7 record at the time of publication.

But hey, there are bound to be growing pains with a new coach, right?

What isn’t new? Central Waters is one of the best breweries in Wisconsin, and now Milwaukee. The brewery originally opened in Junction City, WI, in 1998 before moving to Amherst in 2006 and launching a Milwaukee taproom in 2021.

Known for its barrel-aged beers, Central Waters also has a strong core lineup with a blonde ale, red ale, porter, and more.

All great game day beers.

But when it comes to Central Waters, you want to try something from the barrel room. Such as the 5 Year Aged Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine or the Bourbon Barrel Cassian Sunset, which we found available on the Milwaukee taproom menu.

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Three-Pointer: Pilot Project Brewing – Milwaukee
1128 N 9th St, Milwaukee, WI 53233 | 3-min drive, 13-min walk

The revolutionary brewery incubator,Pilot Project, which helped launch brands like Funkytown, one of our “14 Best Breweries of 2022,” Azadi, and Luna Bay Booch, opened up a new location in Milwaukee in November of 2022.

The test kitchen provides resources, materials, space, and assistance to underrepresented folx in craft beer who might not otherwise have a chance to open their own spot.

At the test kitchen in “Brew City,” you’ll find beers like Donna’s Pickle Beer, Black Is Beautiful – Jazz Nights Baltic porter with blackberries from Funkytown, and Kadak Mumbai cutting chai stout from Azadi.

Genuinely unique, Pilot Project should be setting up shop in cities nationwide. We sincerely hope they do.

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Jump Shot: Eagle Park Brewing Company
823 E Hamilton St, Milwaukee, WI 53202 | 6-min drive, 16-min public transit, 26-min walk

Eagle Park has quickly risen to national prominence with its Instagram-worthy milkshake IPAs and fruited sours. While East Coast breweries may have been pioneers of these styles half a decade ago, Midwest breweries like Eagle Park are bringing the hype to the middle of the country.

Beyond the in-vogue beer styles, Eagle Park makes plenty of light lagers, maltier beers, and West Coast IPAs (for the purists).

One might want to turn their nose up at a brewery dabbling in hard seltzer and opaque IPAs, but it’s undeniable that Eagle Park has completely nailed everything they try. Plus, there’s a sense of playfulness to the brewery that is incredibly endearing.

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Minnesota Timberwolves

Target Center, 600 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN

modist brewing best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @modistbrewing

Slam Dunk: Modist Brewing
505 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401 | 3-min drive, 9-min public transit, 13-min walk

Here’s a true story: Hop Culture Senior Content Editor Grace Weitz once won a shooting contest at the Target Center during a Timberwolves game; she still has the cap she won.

Although that’s about as much winning as the Target Center saw for the last three decades. To put it plainly, the Timberwolves haven’t played very well in the past thirty years.

Could that all change this year with a surprisingly hot start?

Still to be seen.

Luckily, the beer scene in Minneapolis has enjoyed the opposite trajectory, soaring with no drop in sight.

Breweries like Modist, one of Minnesota’s most innovative breweries, lead the way.

Modist bucks trends with both its beers and its taproom. There, you’ll find bold beers with intriguing ingredients.

“We make alternative beers,” Modist boldly claims on its website.

Such as Day of Another Dream, a dry-hopped West Coast IPA with malted oats, malted wheat, and tons of Citra, Citra Cryo, and Sultana hops.

Or Queen of the Rodeo, an extra special rye ale brewed with Maris Otter, rye, brown, double-roasted crystal malt, and Fuggle hops aged in oak foeders.

All in a space that makes the impossible possible. Focused on creativity and experimentation, Modist doesn’t follow traditional style guidelines but looks to hit a specific flavor or experience with each beer.

That means Modist literally built a custom brewhouse to make the beers they wanted. For example, the brewhouse includes the region’s first mash filter, equipment that allows Modist Head Brewer and Co-Founder Keigan Knee to use any grain he wants in any percentage with only a fraction of the water used in a traditional brewery.

Modist is just an uber-cool brewery at the vanguard of the craft beer scene. We expect big things from Modist in the future.

Let’s just say our hopes are up for the Timberwolves, but we’re not letting them get too high!

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Three-Pointer: Fulton Beer
414 N 6th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401 | 3-min drive, 9-min public transit, 13-min walk

Right next door to Modist is Fulton Beer, an institution in Minnesota. It’s a classic American craft beer story. Started in 2009 out of a South Minneapolis garage, Fulton founders Ryan Petzo, Jim Diley, and Brian Hoffman built the brewery into Minneapolis’ first taproom (when it officially opened in 2011).

Fulton’s one of the state’s top IPA breweries, from its flagship Sweet Child of Vine to the award-winning 300 Mosaic IPA.

But you’ll also find classics in the form of a blonde ale, a golden lager, and an amber lager, among others.

Fulton is just a damn good brewery that has been around the Northeast Minneapolis block.

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Jump Shot: Sisyphus Brewing Company
712 Ontario Ave W #100, Minneapolis, MN 55403 | 4-min drive, 14-min public transit, 22-min walk

What if Sisyphus, a mythological Greek figure doomed by Zeus to roll a boulder up a hill forever, actually made it to the top and got to chill with a cold beer in his hand, admiring the view?

Would he be drinking some from Sisyphus Brewing Company? Or perhaps he’d just open his own brewery, right?

All those who can roll that boulder up this hill, enjoy my beer!

We cannot deny or confirm this is true at the Minneapolis brewery. Still, we do know this: Sisyphus Brewing takes brewing with a grain of salt and a grin, believing that “One need not imagine Sisyphus happy, especially when his stomach is filled with beer.”

For instance, Yule Cat, an imperial Baltic porter aged in Maker’s Mark barrels with toasted coconut and cocoa nibs, achieved a 4.33 rating on Untappd. Or Samm’s, a play on the legendary Midwestern Hamm’s. And Flagship IPA, a West Coast IPA whose Untappd description reads: “Sure, you could move to California and drink a bunch of great IPA. But think of the traffic! The earthquakes! The hippies! Why not just stay here in Minnesota and enjoy this pine-forward, bitter West Coast-style IPA? Much better.”

We imagine Weitz might need one of these beers and some humor when the Timberwolves crash out of the playoffs in the first round—as they’ve done every time they’ve been there since 2004.

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New Orleans Pelicans

Smoothie King Center, 1501 Dave Dixon Dr, New Orleans, LA

brewery saint x
Photography courtesy of @brewerystx

Slam Dunk: Brewery Saint X
Corner of Loyola and Girod, 734 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113 | 3-min drive, 10-min walk

Let’s be honest: The mercurial Zion Williamson dominates any conversation around a Pelicans season, whether New Orleanians want him to or not.

Here’s the thing: When Williamson is healthy, fit, and firing on all cylinders, he can seem unstoppable.

So let’s hope he gets it together this year and can lead the currently seventh-place Pelicans into the playoffs.

If you’re looking for the whole package in New Orleans, Brewery Saint X, a ten-minute walk from Smoothie King Center, should be a must-hit.

Helmed by James Beard Foundation Award-nominated Beverage Director Greg Engert and Brewer Ro Guenzel, Brewery Saint X seemingly does it all with twelve drafts, two casks, and even a LUKR side-pull faucet to showcase a variety of German, Czech, and English-inspired beers.

But you also find a spectrum of hoppy, sour, and sessionable ales.

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Three-Pointer: The Courtyard Brewery
1160 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130 | 6-min drive, 24-min public transit

The Courtyard Brewery rotating food truck schedule makes this taproom and outdoor beer garden perfect for an after-arena ale session.

Especially after being cooped up in the Smoothie King Center, any of Courtyard’s plethora of IPAs, inventive sours (hello, prickly pear), and refreshing Belgians will do the trick.

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Jump Shot: Zony Beer Mash Project
3940 Thalia St, New Orleans, LA 70125 | 6-min drive, 28-min public transit

“What happens when a food scientist tastes his first craft beer?” That’s the question Zony Beer Mash Project poses.

And, of course, the one head brewer and co-founder Mitch Grittman answered as he pursued a career in food science, creating flavors for the Smoothie King franchise by day and making award-winning homebrews at night.

Eventually, he teamed up with co-founder Adam Ritter to open up the Zony Beer Mash Project, now in the historic Gem Theatre, one of only two remaining African American movie theaters in New Orleans.

As a food scientist, Grittman brings a massive focus on creativity to his beers—mixed-fermentation saison with black currant; fruited sour with carrot, mango, tangerine, and lactose; or fruited sour with pomegranate, apple, vanilla, and honey, to name a few. But you’ll also find some classics, too—a cream ale, kölsch, and Czech-style pilsner, for instance.

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New York Knicks

Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY

other half brewing company top of the broc ddh double ipa best breweries manhattan
Photography courtesy of Other Half Brewing Company

Slam Dunk: Other Half Brewing – Rockefeller Center
600 5th Ave A2, New York, NY 10020 | 8-min drive, 13-min public transit

Any conversation about sports in New York probably includes the Jets and some swear words, the Knicks and some swear words, and the Yankees and some swear words if you’re a Mets fan.

New Yorkers always have tall expectations for the New York Knicks, just as they do with Other Half, and the Rockefeller location is no different.

Any conversation about craft beer in New York City needs to include Other Half. The Brooklyn-based brewery has been producing highly sought-after juicy IPAs since opening. And they do it better than just about anyone.

Sure, the taproom might be exclusively hoppy beers, but Other Half has also managed to brew one of our favorite stouts, impressive sours, and even a pilsner or two.

There’s plenty of hype surrounding Other Half, but it’s well justified. The brewery’s uber popularity has helped it expand to eight locations across three states, including Manhattan.

In 2021, Other Half opened its Rockefeller Center taproom in the heart of Midtown. On the south side of Rockefeller Plaza, this Other Half lets you drink some of the best beer in the country in the heart of all the NYC action, only a thirteen-minute subway ride from Madison Square Garden.

Currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks and Other Half Rockefeller Center are riding high this year.

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Three-Pointer: Torch & Crown Brewing Company
12 Vandam St, New York, NY 10013 | 10-min drive, 9-min public transit

Torch & Crown Co-Founders Joe Correia and John Dantzler found their love of beer at the tender age of sixteen when a night out ended in confiscated IDs and no way to drink. From there, they decided they should learn how to make beer instead.

A Mr. Beer homebrew kit, an explosion in the kitchen, perseverance, and a trip to Ireland all eventually lead to Torch & Crown.

At the brewery’s OG Lower Manhattan taproom, you’ll find favorites like Almost Famous, Torch & Crown’s first-ever beer, packed with hazy goodness. Or Tenement Pilsner, a testament to the style built for a busy city.

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Oklahoma City Thunder

Paycom Center, 100 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK

skydance brewing rex dog pilsner
Photography courtesy of @skydancebrewing

Slam Dunk: Skydance Brewing
1 NE 7th St Suite A, Oklahoma City, OK 73104 | 4-min drive, 17-min public transit, 23-min walk

Tied for first place in the Western Conference with the T-Wolves, the Oklahoma City Thunder are having a great year.

One of our “12 Best New Breweries of 2021,” Skydance Brewing is also having a great year.

Founded by Jake Keyes, the Native-owned brewery leverages beer as a vehicle for Indigenous voices, aiming to be a voice for the Ioway (or Iowa) tribe.

“If we want an accurate story told, we have to be the ones to tell the story,” Keyes told us. “We’re trying to educate non-Natives more about who we are and what we’re capable of through the brewery, our beer names, and our branding.”

Skydance started brewing beer several years ago, but Keyes only opened his brand new space in 2021.

​​Before that, Keyes ran Skydance out of a cooperative space. But with the brand new taproom opening its doors, Keyes truly had the chance to outfit the brewery to represent his Indigenous heritage.

Touches in the taproom include Native American art and a wall with the word “hello” written in the Native languages of many tribes in the area.

“It’ll bring up questions and more chances to tell a story,” says Keyes. “We just want non-Natives to be surrounded by the culture when they come in. People will ask questions in the taproom, and that gives us an opportunity to tell a story.”

Skydance strives to be more than just a brewery. Keyes wants his business to be a place of inspiration for the next generation of Native Americans in his community.

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Three-Pointer: Fair-Weather Friend
314 N Klein Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73106 | 5-min drive, 30-min walk

Here is Fair-Weather Friend’s commitment to craftsmanship: “Where Beer Meets Wood-Fired Pizza,” as they proudly proclaim on their website.

Committed as much to their culinary craft as their craft beer, Fair-Weather Friend crushes both.

Scratch-made pizza and beer is undoubtedly something to sniff at. So order a Pizza Pils or 4.34-rated Ambrosia Salad fruited sour with cherry, orange, pineapple, pecan, marshmallow, coconut, and pomegranate whip. Pair that with hot honey pepperoni or three-cheese pie, and prepare for #dominance.

Just like your beloved Thunder. Boom!

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Jump Shot: Prairie Artisan Ales – OKC
3 NE 8th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73104 | 5-min drive, 17-min public transit, 25-min walk

Look, Prairie Artisan Ales makes some of the best beers in the country. Not just in Oklahoma City. So luckily for Thunder fans, in 2017, the iconic Krebs-based brewery opened an outpost at OKC’s 8th Street Market.

Drive yourself five minutes from Paycom Center to Prairie’s innovation headquarters, where they use the 3.5-bbl brewhouse to make two to four new beers weekly.

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Orlando Magic

Kia Center, 400 W Church St, Orlando, FL

deadwords brewing company best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @deadwordsbeer

Slam Dunk: Deadwords Brewing Company
23 N Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, FL 32805 | 4-min drive, 15-min public transit

Inspired by the Hymn to Ninkasi, Deadwords Brewing Company is something of a hidden gem in Orlando. Situated just a four-minute drive from Kia Center, the—cough, cough—magic of Deadwords comes from the brewery’s dedication to historical brewing.

For instance, they use an amphora, or clay pot, to make some of their beers.

You’ll notice four different series of beers. Resurrection, beers from long-forgotten recipes; Tradition, beers that adhere to classical styles and techniques; Evolution, newer, more popular beer styles; Abomination, over-the-top small-batch recipes.

Currently, you’ll find beers like Bridge, a 2022 GABF gold medal-winning American lager, and Vappu, a beer from the Resurrection series that embodies Sima, a lemon and honey-based fermented beverage from Finland.

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Three-Pointer: Broken Strings Brewery
1012 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32805 | 3-min drive, 14-min walk

Music inspires everything at Broken Strings , where third-generation brewer and managing partner Charles Frizzell pumps out eclectic and electric beers like Freestylin’, a 4.16-rated Berliner Weisse made to taste like cherry cola. And Peaches Can Come from a Can, a 4.04-rated milkshake IPA with fresh peaches and Madagascar vanilla beans.

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Philadelphia 76ers

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA

carbon copy
Photography courtesy of Carbon Copy

Slam Dunk: Carbon Copy
701 S 50th St, Philadelphia, PA 19143 |14-min drive

When 76ers star Joel Embiid recently suffered a lateral meniscus injury, the story dominated headlines.

In 2022, when Dock Street Brewery closed operations at its fifteen-year-old West Philly firehouse, handing over the space to newcomer Carbon Copy, that made headlines too.

Started by Kyle Wolak and Brendon Boudwin, Carbon Copy makes “unpretentious” beer…and wine with only “natural intention with low intervention.”

Plus, handmade pizzas, tinned fish, and soft serve round out the food options.

Sounds like a slam dunk to us.

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Three-Pointer: Second District Brewing
1939 S Bancroft St, Philadelphia, PA 19145 | 10-min drive, 21-min public transit

One of our “7 Best Breweries in Philadelphia, PA,” this five-year-old South Philly taproom emphasizes quirky and unconventional ingredients. Second District Brewing Head Brewer Ben Potts includes Dogfish Head and Tired Hands on his resume and now helms the mash tun at Second District, cranking out some of the most consistent and creative beers in Philly.

Beers like Vibrosa, a mixed-fermentation saison conditioned on fresh Valencia OJ and zest. And Sir Chadwick, an OG Philly-style porter brewed with a unique blend of roasty malts, East Kent Goldings hops, and Second District’s house ale strain. These beers prove Second District isn’t afraid to play with flavors.

Or you can never go wrong with Bancroft Beer, what the brewery calls its “daily drinker,” with Pilsner and Maris Otter malt and just Mosaic hops. You can even get a pitcher!

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Three-Pointer: Cartesian Brewing
1326 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147 | 11-min drive, 29-min public transit

At Cartesian Brewing, the brewery wants you to know everything about the beer in your glass, from the people who malted the grains and grew the hops to those who mashed in and poured your beer.

They call it “from grower-to-glass, producer-to-pint.”

Currently, you’ll find the tap list Euro-leaning with a London porter, extra stout, extraordinary bitter, best bitter, and Irish red ale. But expect a few hoppy and sour things, too.

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Phoenix Suns

Footprint Center, 201 E Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ

huss brewing co beer lineup best breweries phoenix
Photography courtesy of Huss Brewing Co.

Slam Dunk: Huss Brewing – Downtown Phoenix
225 E Monroe St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 | 3-min drive, 7-min walk

Huss Brewing makes award-winning beer like Scottsdale Blonde, a 2016 and 2018 U.S. Open medal winner, which Arizona residents also voted Best of The Valley, and The Husstler Seasonal Milk Stout, which won at the Great American Beer Fest in the Sweet Stout Category.

Opened in 2013 by Jeff and Leah Huss, Huss Brewing has become a favorite among locals for being family-owned, locally brewed, and focused on Arizona. So much so that the brewery is now one of the state’s largest independent breweries!

With a combined thirty years of experience in the beer industry, Jeff and Leah craft cult favorites like the Koffee Kölsch, the traditional light-bodied style with a kick of cold-steeped roasted caramel and hazelnut coffee beans. And the Hopaloosa Hazy IPA (named for the Native American Appaloosa horse), a wild ride of Falconer’s Flight, Amarillo, and Citra hops.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find another top-class brewery so close to Footprint Center.

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Three-Pointer: Roses by the Stairs
509 W McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85003 | 8-min drive, 23-min public transit

You’ll find a gem if you’re willing to drive a little further. Roses by the Stairs makes beers that highlight local and seasonal ingredients. Many through the lens of farmhouse ales.

Like Wanderers in Overcoats, an Arizona saison with 100 percent local grains from Grain R&D and Saaz, Mittelfrüh, and Loral hops.

But you’ll also find hoppy ales galore. For instance, Buzzwords, a triple dry-hopped hazy DIPA with Mosaic Incognito, Citra, Nelson, Nelson CGX, a new cryogenically processed hop from Crosby Hops, and Mega Motueka, a hop blend of Phantasm and a unique thiol-enriched Motueka hop lot from Freestyle Hops.

And even highly rated stouts like Six Gold Coins, a Bourbon barrel-aged stout with local Zaks Chocolate cacao nibs and Madagascar vanilla beans that hit a 4.4 rating on Untappd.

Beautiful, elegant, refined Roses by the Stairs only opened in May 2022, but the brewery has already impacted Phoenix. And perhaps you could say Phoenix has dramatically impacted its beers, too!

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Portland Trail Blazers

Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct St, Portland, OR

upright brewing taproom best breweries by nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @uprightbrewing

Slam Dunk: Upright Brewing Company
240 N Broadway, Portland, OR 97227 | 2-min drive, 5-min public transit, 8-min walk

A farmhouse-focused brewery, Upright Brewing sources its inspiration from traditional French and Belgian beers, combining these traditions with Pacific Northwestern flair. It’s a cash-only, casual spot for drinkers interested in intimately enjoying their beers.

Look, we understand that change is scary. When the Trail Blazers traded Damien Lillard to the Bucks, it signaled the end of an era. Lillard spent eleven seasons in Portland. He became endemic to “The City of Roses.”

Much like, one might say, Upright’s beers reflect the terroir of Portland, except this brewery hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, it’s only an eight-minute walk from Moda Center.

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Three-Pointer: StormBreaker Brewing
832 N Beech St, Portland, OR 97227 | 5-min drive, 13-min public transit

As a little-known nickname for Mt. Hood, the 11,000ft volcano that breaks storms coming off the Pacific Ocean, StormBreaker Brewing has a pretty big name to live up to.

From uber-hoppy beers like Cloud Ripper to Total ReKolsch, StormBreaker lives up to its namesake and then some.

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Jump Shot: Culmination Brewing Company
2117 NE Oregon St, Portland, OR 97232 | 8-min drive, 20-min public transit

Sustainability is the keystone to Culmination Brewing’s existence. “Great beer, with good food and community, can be brought together in one concept, under one roof,” Tomas Sluiter, their brewmaster, says; hence the name: Culmination.

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Sacramento Kings

Golden 1 Center, 500 David J Stern Walk, Sacramento, CA

urban roots brewery and smokehouse
Photography courtesy of @urbanrootsbeer

Slam Dunk: Urban Roots Brewery & Smokehouse
1322 V St, Sacramento, CA 95818 | 5-min drive, 17-minute public transit

The Sacramento Kings might have been the Cinderella feel-good story of last season, spotlighting California’s capital, which often gets lost amongst a state with cities like Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

But Sacramento shouldn’t get the shaft.

Because then you’d miss out on places like Urban Roots and people like Urban Roots Owner Rob Archie, who is something of a legend in Sacramento. But you might not know it. Kind of like Sacrmento’s own friendly neighbor, Archie makes friends with everyone. Often over a beer.

He founded Pangaea Bier Cafe in 2008, creating a place where professionals and homebrewers could come together and drink incredible beer.

A former pro player in an Italian basketball league, Archie is just as likely to spit game with you as talk about the next European-style beer head brewer and fellow Urban Roots Co-Founder Peter Hoey is brewing.

We’d know, because we spent time talking a little b-ball with Archie at Cellarmaker during SF Beer Week, where we also enjoyed an Urban Roots German pilsner collab called 10 Forty that we named one of the best beers we drank in February.

Driving five minutes from Golden 1 Center, you’ll find Urban Roots’ quintessentially cool taproom.

And if you call yourself a carnivore, you should save your appetite for Urban Roots.

Smoke and sizzling meat are the two things you smell immediately when walking into the humongous 15,600-sq-ft, 15-bbl taproom with an attached smokehouse and 2,400-sq-ft outdoor patio.

On the beer side, with about twenty on tap, there’s something to satisfy everyone (especially alongside some ‘cue).

It doesn’t get much better than sitting in their beer garden, soaking in the sounds of a quiet Sacramento neighborhood (after a loud Kings game), crushing some ‘cue and brews.

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Three-Pointer: At Ease Brewing Company
1825 I St, Sacramento, CA 95811 | 5-min drive, 12-min public transit, 23-min walk

Founded by retired Army Colonel Mike Conrad, At Ease offers beers “Now in Service,” as the brewery likes to call it.

There are lots to choose from, like a Bivouac Graham Cracker Porter with a 4.03 rating on Untappd. Or Black Hawk, a black saison.

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San Antonio Spurs

Frost Bank Center, 1 Frost Bank Center Dr, San Antonio, TX

back unturned brewing co founder ricardo a. garcia
Photography courtesy of Back Unturned Brewing Co.

Slam Dunk: Back Unturned Brewing Co.
516 Brooklyn Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215 | 9-min drive, 29-min public transit

Not even thrilling draft pick Victor Wembanyama can propel the struggling Spurs to stardom this year. But, if you’re a true fan, you won’t turn your back on the Spurs even in this downturn.

A lesson Back Unturned Brewing Co. Founder & CEO Ricardo A. Garcia knows well. A homebrewer since 2012, Garcia never thought he’d open a brewery, believing that dream to be too big.

Until one day, he just thought: Why not? “This is our only chance at life, and this is not a practice game, damn it!” the brewery writes on its website.

Good thing Garcia didn’t turn his back on his dream.

Because now, only a nine-minute drive from Frost Bank Center, you can enjoy beers like Rio Reserve ’23, a Texas Craft Brewers Cup bronze-winning milk stout aged in bourbon barrels.

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Three Pointer: Künstler Brewing
302 E Lachapelle, San Antonio, TX 78204 | 12-min drive

Born from Künstler Brewing Head Brewer and Owner Vera Deckard’s German heritage, this brewery focuses on European-inspired beers and food.

Like Red Couch, a 4.23-rated Bière de Garde aged in red wine barrels. Or a whole host of styles from pilsners, doppelbocks, and Vienna lagers to wheat beers, brown ales, oatmeal stouts, and hazies.

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Toronto Raptors

Scotiabank Arena, 40 Bay St, Toronto, ON, Canada

bellwoods brewery taproom
Photography courtesy of Bellwoods Brewery

Slam Dunk: Bellwoods Brewery
124 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z5, Canada | 12-min drive

Oh, we’re stoked that the NBA features one Canadian team. Mainly so we can praise Bellwoods Brewery. Because we certainly can’t praise the Raptors’ subpar playing this year.

Weitz stopped by their Toronto taproom way back in 2016 when she and her wife packed up their Volkswagen Tiguan and drove halfway across the country from Chicago to New York City.

Still a newbie to the craft beer industry at the time, Weitz still recognized greatness when she drank it.

And she wasn’t the only one. Bellwoods has racked up awards since it first opened in 2012.

Most recently, rated Bellwoods one of The Top 100 Brewers in the World, the Top Brewer in Ontario, and The Best Place To Have A Beer in Canada.

Take a twelve-minute drive from Scotiabank Arena to the gorgeous brewpub. Once there, grab a classic like the Premium Pilsner or Hot Wings pale ale, accompany said beers with Chicken Liver Mousse on Pullman’s toast or a Grilled Mushroom Salad, and feel classy AF in one of Canada’s best taprooms.

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Three-Pointer: Blood Brothers Brewing
165 Geary Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 2B8, Canada | 15-min drive

You can’t miss Blood Brothers Brewing. We mean literally and figuratively. The brewery’s mystical allure has drawn in hundreds of Torontonians.

Started by Brayden and Dustin Jones, Blood Brothers doesn’t make you take a blood oath to join their cult; just drinking a few beers will convince you.

Such as Balam (2023), a barrel-aged imperial bourbon stout with Propeller Skyhawk coffee and Madagascar vanilla beans that hit an incredible 4.46 on Untappd in just a few months.

Or Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Three Orange Whips, a smoothie sour mimicking Orange Crush soft serve that hit 4.44 on Untappd.

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Jump Shot: Bandit Brewery
2125 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6R 1X1, Canada | 11-min drive, 25-min public transit

A small 10-bbl brewery in the Roncesvalles neighborhood of Toronto, Bandit Brewery will steal your heart with its German beer garden-esque space and juicy hazies, funky Brett beers, and dry-hopped sours.

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Utah Jazz

Delta Center, 301 S Temple, Salt Lake City, UT

t.f. brewing templin family
Photography courtesy of @tfbrewing

Slam Dunk: T.F. Brewing – Templin Family
936 S 300 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 | 5-min drive, 21-min public transit

The once-legendary Utah Jazz are on the edge this year, fighting for relevance at the cut-off for a playoff spot.

One could say the same thing about lagers, fighting for relevance in a hop-dominated world. Every year, we proclaim this will be the year consumers finally understand the love of lager.

T.F. Brewing takes this to heart. Located in the Granary District, a five-minute drive from Delta Center, the brewery focuses on traditional lagers.

Like Granary Kellerbier, named one of Craft Beer & Brewing’s Best 20 Beers in 2023.

But don’t worry. If you haven’t entirely jumped headfirst into the lager lake yet, T.F Brewing still dabbles in a little bit of everything—IPA, tripel, imperial stout, wheat beer, hazies, sours, and more.

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Three-Pointer: Bewilder Brewing Co.
445 S 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 | 3-min drive, 17-min walk

Officially Utah’s thirty-third brewery, Bewilder Brewing Co. makes two things: craft beer and handmade sausage. That’s a powerful combination on par with Karl Malone and John Stockton if you know what we mean! (Did we just date ourselves?)

Start with a Bewilder ESB, the brewery’s first-ever beer out of the tanks, Utah’s Best Ale, and a 2022 North American Beer Awards (NABA) bronze winner.

Pause for a traditional bratwurst topped with Bewilder’s Kölsch sauerkraut and sauteed onions.

Continue with a Kolsch, voted in the top three best local beers by City Weekly and a fellow 2022 NABA bronze medal winner.

Pause for a sweet Italian sausage topped with roasted red peppers.


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Jump Shot: Squatters® Craft Beers
147 W Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 | 2-min drive, 15-min walk

Squatters is like the city-slicker brewery of the Beehive state.

Contemporary, convivial, and community-driven, Squatters has set the bar for craft beer in Utah for over three decades.

After visiting more than forty brewpubs across the West and Northwest, business partners Jeff Polychronis and Peter Cole wanted to bring a local hangout to Salt Lake City.

Opened in downtown Salt Lake City on Sept. 5th, 1989, Squatters Pub Brewery ended a more than two-decade-long drought of beer in this metropolitan city.

In fact, when Squatters officially threw open its doors at 147 West Broadway in Salt Lake City, it was only Utah’s second brewery and pub. The first? Wasatch Brewery in Park City, of course, started by Greg Schirf in Park City, UT, in 1986.

Editor’s Note: Although separate breweries, Squatters and Wasatch joined forces in 2000 to cut down on costs and make distribution, production, and shipping easier and more efficient.

And for the last thirty-three years, Squatters has grown into one of the most successful breweries in the entire state.

Squatters beers have nabbed twenty-six Great American Beer Festival medals, including fourteen gold and fourteen medals (six gold) from the World Beer Cup, one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the world.

Perhaps most well-known for its Hop Rising® Double IPA, one of the best-selling beers in Utah that has gained recognition nationwide, and Juicy IPA, Utah’s number one IPA, Squatters recently kicked up its innovation.

For instance, Squatters Juicy Imperial IPA, an amped-up, higher-alcohol, even juicier imperial hoppy beer.

For a brewery that literally opened as just the second in the state, Squatters is keeping us on our toes, even thirty-six years later.

We only wish we could say the same about the Utah Jazz!

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Washington Wizards

Capital One Arena, 601 F St NW, Washington, DC

aslin beer company best breweries near nba arenas
Photography courtesy of @aslin.dc

Slam Dunk: Aslin Beer Company
1740 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 | 9-min drive, 17-min public transit

Let’s be honest: If you’re a Wizards fan, you probably need some good news this year with your team sitting one away from rock bottom in the Eastern Conference (second only to the losing record-breaking Pistons).

Well, here is the good news. One of our “11 Best Breweries in Washington, DC,” is only a nine-minute drive from Capital One Arena.

Aslin has a newish 211-seat location in Logan Circle featuring over twenty Aslin drafts and the very first Aslin Coffee bar. So, if you go before the game, you can make your caffeinated and craft friends happy.

From our point of view, Aslin has a great lager menu, including The Fragile Kind Bohemian pilsner and Old Town Lager.

But we understand if you go for Aslin’s more classic funky sours and IPAs. For instance, Volcano Sauce, conditioned on blackberries, blueberries, and vanilla. Or Power Moves, dry hopped with Chinook, Simcoe, Citra, and Mosaic.

Even with the Wizards waning, you can’t go wrong at Aslin.

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Three-Pointer: Lost Generation Brewing Company
327 S St NE, Washington, DC 20002 | 10-min drive, 19-min public transit

Taking inspiration from the Gertrude Stein quote, “You are all a Lost Generation,” this D.C.-based brewery aims to bring us all together over a beer.

Lost Generation stays true to that motto with up to sixteen taps offering a little something for everyone, whether that’s a Grave Shift dark lager, Shift Beer American lager, or 4.13-Untappd-rated Edge of Consciousness DNEIPA.

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Jump Shot: Red Bear Brewing Company
209 M St NE, Washington, DC 20002 | 7-min drive, 13-min public transit

Washington, D.C.’s first entirely gay-owned brewery brought an incredible taproom to the NoMa neighborhood when it opened in the spring of 2019. Red Bear Owner and Director of Marketing and Events Bryan Van Den Oever oversees operations, giving life and spirit to the brewery.

A focus on West Coast-style ales is a nod to Van Den Oever and his partners’ Pacific Northwest roots, but you can also find excellent sours, imperial stouts, and a PNW red ale called Skookum.

This is a true community center that warmly welcomes every single human being to come inside its doors and enjoy delicious beer.

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