Santa Rosa, CA
Russian River almost needs no introduction, since they're the creators of the most cultishly sought-after beer in the country, Pliny the Younger. Still, if you're not a fan of the triple IPA beer geeks all over the world still seek out, there's their regular Blind Pig IPA and their double Pliny the Elder. Russian River also led the industry with one of the first sour beer programs in the United States, making more than a dozen different barrel-aged fruit beers of world-class quality. In other words, they tickle beer geeks in all the right places.
Maui Brewing proves Hawaii is not all surf, sand, and Mai Tais: they also make some pretty damn good beer. Touted as Hawaii's largest brewery, Maui Brewing Co. brews and cans 100% of their beer in the state unlike competitor Kona Brewing now owned by Widmer's Craft Brew Alliance in Portland. Maui beers of note include the delicious Coconut Porter and the Maui Onion Mild Ale brewed with the world-famous sweet Maui onions grilled to perfection and only made once a year for the annual Onion Festival.
Ezra Johnson-Greenough founded the New School Beer blog, and is the man behind Portland Beer Week, the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, and the Portland Farmhouse & Wild Ale Fest.