San Diego County lands two in the 25 Best Craft Breweries in America

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breweries1The Daily Meal  recently conducted a survey to find the top 25 craft breweries in the United States. The survey elicited a massive response from America over the past week (more than 11,000 votes!), after dozens of the nation’s leading beer experts helped select the nominees. Escondido’s Stone Brewery grabbed the #2 spot, while Green Flash came in at #19!

What was once just a trend is now a full-blown, happening movement that’s swept the country: craft beer. Ask just about anyone with an of-age license and taste buds, and people will have an opinion about who makes the best beer around. And despite the fact that craft beer still makes up just less than 7 percent of the total beer market in the U.S., the number of craft breweries has imploded in just the past decade: now at 2,360 operating breweries in 2012, according to the Brewer’s Association.

Which is why we wanted to know: what are America’s best craft breweries?

Over the past month, dozens of authorities in the craft beer space (57, to be exact) assisted us in nominating the best craft breweries in the country. There were 72 nominees in all, representing 21 different states. Some breweries were nominated over and over again, and some breweries were hometown favorites that our panelists themselves admitted were obscure. But no matter how big (Sierra Nevada) or small (Chicago’s Piece Pizzeria and Brewery) they are, these were the craft breweries our panelists believed should be recognized.

We then turned it over to America to vote on which of those nominees deserved the crown. In the end, more than 11,500 votes came in from across the country!

Here are the top 10:

1. Dogfish Head (Lewes, Del.)

2. Stone Brewing Company (Escondido, Calif.)breweries2

3. Boulevard Brewing Company (Kansas City, Mo.)

4. Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

5. Cigar City Brewing Company (Tampa, Fla.)

6. New Belgium Brewery (Fort Collins, Colo.)

7. Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, Calif.)

8. Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, Mich.)

9. Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa, Calif.) breweries4

10. Sierra Nevada (Chico, Calif.)

For more information, and the complete list: http://www.thedailymeal.com/25-best-craft-breweries-america

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