Surly Brewing Co. (address and info)
Weren't Midwesterners supposed to be all nice and friendly? Surly made a name for itself with the aggressive, addictive bitterness of Furious, and it hasn't looked back, turning out big, bold, must-have beers like the Abrasive Ale (a double IPA) and Darkness, its excellent rendition of the must-have, released-once-a-year, hoard-worthy stout. Minnesota's not lacking for exciting breweries, but nothing has come close to challenging Surly's supremacy.
Southern Prohibition Brewing (address and info)
Like so many other breweries in the South, the Hattiesburg operation is young, but in a few short years it's quickly expanded into and experimented with more styles of beer than many of its counterparts, canning regular rotations like the Suzy B blonde, Fire Ant red ale, and Jack the Sipper ESB, plus a new commemorative IPA each year. But for the envelope-pushers, look to the Wild and Wood series, with offerings like Barley Legal English barleywine and Hipster Breakfast oatmeal stout getting a kick by sitting in bourbon barrels until they've got the perfect bite.