Two Six-Packs of Truly American Beers for the 4th of July

June 23, 2008 by Latest

Due to the resurgence of the commercial craft brewing industry in the 1980s, the United States now features many beers, offered by over 1400 brewpubs, microbreweries and regional brewers.

To help get you started in your quest to Drink American, here is a list of the top six craft and microbreweries according to the Brewers Association of Boulder, Colorado.

1. The Boston Beer Company, brewers of about 20 different varietes of Samuel Adams, is probably the best known “craft brewer” in the United States (and is, in fact, the largest). Sam Adams beers are “contract-brewed” meaning, they are so large that not all of it comes from one brewery. Hence, Sam Adams can be found nationwide. With a name like Samuel Adams–an American patriot famous for his role in the American Revolution–it is one of your best beverage choices for patriotic consumption this Fourth of July. For a hot summer weekend, try Sam's Summer Ale, Sam Adams Light, and the original Sam Adams Lager.

2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, CA, produces almost 700,000 barrels of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale a year, making them the second largest craft brewer. They also have a Summerfest Lager this time of the year.

3. New Belgium in Fort Collins, Colorado–the third largest craft brewer–makes one of my favorites–Fat Tire Amber Ale. Though only in about 18 states, it's worth looking for.

4. The Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX is the fourth largest craft brewer. They make Shiner Bock, a delicious German/Czech-style beer that is is now distributed in 41 states.

5. Pyramid Breweries of Seattle, WA, brews Thunderhead IPA, and a nice Kölsch summer seasonal called Curve Ball.

6. Matt Brewing in Utica, New York serves up the Saranac line of beers. A nice light option to replace Budweiser on Independence Day would be their Traditional American Lager (a.k.a. pilsner in most of the world).

And a six-more-pack of some of my personal favorites not in the top six:

1. D.G. Yuengling & Son, commonly called Yuengling, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, is the oldest operating brewing company in the United States, having been established in 1829, and is one of the largest breweries by volume in the country. They produce, among others, the popular Yuengling Lager.

2. Shipyard Brewing Co. in Portland, Maine makes the fantastic Shipyard Export Ale as well as a Summer Ale that is slightly less hoppy, perfect on a warmer day.

3. Abita Brewing Co. in Louisana makes Abita Amber and Purple Haze for the warmer days and Turbo Dog for those cooler nights.

4. Anchor Brewing Company, in San Francisco, CA, makes the very popular and easy-to-find Anchor Steam as well as a seasonal summer wheat beer.

5. Magic Hat Brewing Company in Vermont, makes the easy-to-find-east-coast beer #9.

6. Pete's Brewing Company of San Antonio, TX, makes Pete's Wicked Ale, an American Brown Ale. One of my personal favorites–if I can ever find it again–is Pete's Strawberry Blonde, a summer brew.

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40 Comments on "Two Six-Packs of Truly American Beers for the 4th of July"

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Vernon Walace

I just found your site and found it very informative. I have four beers on tap Sam Lager, S N Nooner, Evolution #3 and Miller Lite for non believers. I will be checking you out for more info. Vern

Rich Chapman

And here I’ve been buying Miller Lite thinking they were American! only to find out they are owned by South Africa?! Which is the reason I stopped drinking Budweiser. I could just kick myself for not researching more. Thanks for the info! I like light beer but my choices now are limited!!!

Dave Tompkins

For those that are not aware Papst Blue Ribbon has been purchased by a Russian company.

Michael Fox

Russians can be nice, when their not messing up the internet.


Well I just drank my last Pabst beer. Putin can bathe in it for all I care.


Sadly, what is American made anymore??

Terry Enter

Schell’s Brewing Company, New Ulm, Minnesota, is a German founded beer company byAugust Schell, in late 1800’s.
They have numerous Schell’s branded beers & have bought other Minnesota breweries like Grain Belt & I think Hamm’s beers.

Robert Matzuga

thank you for establishing your site


Love Saranac by Matt’s, Yuengling and Sam Adams. American beers only.


Unfortunately a Costa Rican food/beverage co. owns Magic Hat and Pyramid since 2012


There are LOTS of great “micro brews”.


You forgot Dogfish Head in Delaware.


What about Yuengling?


Never mind, I just saw it in the second list. I didn’t recognize the full name.


I have been clean & sober for 8 years but I do have a good beer now and again. Used to be MGD but the next one when ever it is will be a Sam Adams. I’m a vet from the army and proud to be American.


So true Chris. I remember back in 68 drinking warm Carling and some other brands during standdowns as a Marine in Nam. I too am proud to be American. Welcome home Vet.


Shiner Bock is currently distributed to all 50 states, I was at the brewery tour recently. For a nice summer beer try the Shiner Prickly Pear, its made with cactus fruit!


Thank you for this enlightening article

Russell Ault

From Kansas city where does Boulevard Brewery sit at one point they were a micro brew and since been sold to the Belgium ‘s also I think but their brew’s were pretty good.


Drinking Bud is anything but American, Too bad. Go Yuengling


Great websites, I was looking for info In Re: the ABInBev SABMIller buy, merger/whatever. I wanted to know if any of my fav beers/ales were owned by these Macro-Giant Companies…sorta proud to say I drink nothing on any of their ownership lists…most of which is brewed in those Rhode Island size vats Sam Miller used to talk about (do the brew in big tanks now?, don’t all the majors?) My love of late is local brewpubs, I have a choice of several in my semi-rural location 40 miles East of Sacramento CA. But I also drink a lot of other brands too small for your lists, notably Lagunitas Brewery. I have ong been a fan of Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, since they made less than 30,000 barrels a year. Their Celebration Ale can be aged for a few years. They make 20 beers/ales.

Brian M

Sadly lagunitas is now owned by Heineken


My cousin in Athens GA just opened a Brewery “Creature Comforts” and makes fantastic beers. My dilemma is I live in FL.


I believe the Stevens Point Brewery from Stevens Point, WI is American owned. Two WI investors bought the brand from Barton Beers about 10 years ago.

Mike St.James

Great summary of one of my favorite drinking activities. Now if if only I could find the favorites…😗

Clarke Williamson

being from Canada maybe the water or slightly more alcohol but our beer is better and sorry but anything bud is the worst ever made, except the Chezech bud of coarse. Anyway I have be come a cottage beer drinker which is way better than any big company beers either country. When ever I’m down in the US I look for nothing but cottage beer which can be hard to find in some places which is disappointing cause you have some great cottage beers.

Think Mash

Great site. I will be referencing it in some upcoming posts at where I am just getting started trying to stimulate thought. In terms of “America First” it seems some people should be examining that beer in their hand. I see a lot of pro Trump folks pouring foreign owned/brewed beer down their guzzle. Seems a bit hypocritical if you are a true Trump zealot. Personally, I am in the middle politically, but will be switching over to some fine American beers in order to highlight the hypocrisy of those that shout Trumps agenda. If you want to swallow everything Trump stands for then that needs to start with your beer. This should be fun (but I may end up a lonely old man lol). Every reason to drink American now – +Trump for America, -Trump for Hypocrisy.

David Crawford

Only I could do this I quit drinking Coors Light and switched to Miller Light because I heard Coors here in Denver supported Trump after finding Coors and Miller were connected I switched to Bud Light and now I learn that all of them are connected I’m just going to take my liberal ass down and buy me some Sam Adams or so many good micro beers here in Colorado Springs I have a wide choice …


Terrapin from Athens, Ga for me. And Creature Comforts is also from Athens.


Terrapin was sold to MillerCoors. No longer American owned, sadly.


I hate InBEV it is the worst company in the world, they destroy every beer company they buy.


I hate InBEV, they destroy every beer brand they buy…
Don’t drink their beer (if you want to call it that).


Yuengling isn’t in all States 🙁


Yuengling isn’t in all states yet! 🙁


Here’s the Brewers Association’s top 10 list for 2015:
1.D.G. Yuengling and Son (Pennsylvania)
2.Boston Beer (Massachusetts)
3.Sierra Nevada Brewing (California)
4.New Belgium Brewing (Colorado)
5.Gambrinus (Texas)
6.Lagunitas Brewing (California)
7.Bell’s Brewery (Michigan)
8.Deschutes Brewery (Oregon)
9.Minhas Craft Brewery (Wisconsin)
10.Stone Brewing (California)


My favorite American owned beer is Kraftig. It is owned by William Busch, the only Busch family member who fought the sale to Inbev. His beer is the best.

Thomas Giancarlo

I also found your site very informative, not too opinioated, seems pretty factural.


No American beer list is complete without The Great Lakes Brewing Company. The have a beer finder to help you find local stores, bars, restaurants, etc.. that carry their beers. I highly suggest giving them a try.


Anchor is now Sapporo Steam beer


Don’t do Anchor since they sold out. Not tried Magic Hat nor will I because of their stupid lawsuit. The rest are ok, though I haven’t tried Abita beers.

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