What makes a beer an icon? Longevity? Sure, that’s a factor. Impact? Absolutely. Being digitized and placed on the desktop of a Macbook? Yes, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
We set out to identify the most iconic beer brewed in each of the 50 states -- yes, the beer must be at least partially brewed within the state it represents, which meant passing over some beloved brands that were gobbled up and saw their production moved elsewhere. Because of the varied nature of the brewing scene state-to-state, some of these are recognizable, generations-old standbys, while other are more of the “instant classic” variety, but regardless, each of these beers is more than just a beer.
Luckily, they’re also still beers. You should drink them all, but not before appreciating their significance. Let’s get rolling.
Back Forty Paw Paw's Peach Wheat
Fruit beer, 4.5%
When Back Forty’s Jason Wilson got into the brewing game in 2009, Alabama was a pretty lonely place. The fifth-generation Roll Tider discovered that, thanks to some antiquated liquor laws, his baby business venture was, in fact, super-duper illegal. So he marched down to the capital, argued to overturn the Prohibition-era legislation, was elected President of the Alabama Brewers Guild, and soon after Paw Paw’s Peach Wheat was born. The peach-packed sessionable wheat beer is basically the definition of a porch beer, and there’s nothing more Alabaman than idly passing a sticky summer afternoon with plenty of cold, light beer and a rickety porch swing. Well, nothing except for calling your gramps Paw Paw, I guess.