Gone are the days of burgers and wings at the mall. Today’s craft breweries are more like innovative culinary labs, serving high-end, globally influenced cuisine in dramatic, adventure-friendly locations. They’re even doing brunch. Here are the country’s best of the best.
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For diners looking beyond the bun, Asian-inspired brewpubs offer pairings possible only when restaurateurs control both the kitchen and the brew kettle. One of the most original pubs in this regard is Brewery Bhavana, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
It’s equal parts brewpub, flower shop, bookstore, and dim sum restaurant, offering duck egg rolls, lobster-stuffed dumplings, and scallion pancakes served with coconut-oxtail jam. The beers are Belgian-influenced with a hint of Asian flare, like Glean, a saison flavored with mango and peppercorns. “Dim sum and Cantonese cuisine tend to focus on subtle flavors that are more nuanced than bold,” says co-owner and head brewer Patrick Woodson. “No single flavor outshines the overall experience.”
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A similar understated elegance informs Sato Brewpub, a Japanese-style izakaya and brewery in the basement of Buffalo, New York’s first high-rise, finished in 1895. Here, husband and wife team Joshua and Satomi Smith offer yakitori, or grilled chicken, complemented by genre-blurring beers incorporating white miso, which lends salinity and umami to Bento, a rich cream ale.