First We Feast is back with another great beer round-up (previously: IPAs you need to drink before you die), this time all about craft breweries to watch in 2013.

The website rounded up a group of booze experts to weigh in on new breweries that have opened in the past several years. The verdict? This is a great time for craft beer.

Take a look at some of the country's up-and-coming breweries, courtesy First We Feast:

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  • Wicked Weed Brewing

    <strong>Location: </strong>Asheville, NC <strong>Founded:</strong> 2012 <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://wickedweedbrewing.com" target="_blank">wickedweedbrewing.com</a> Poking fun at King Henry VIII’s claim that hops were a “pernicious and wicked weed,” the Asheville brewpub uses the flowers to make some of the South’s finest bitter beers—namely, the earthy, citrusy Zealot and Hop Burglar, which contains blood-orange purée and grapefruit zest. The region’s agricultural bounty also informs Wicked’s experimental ales, such as a saisons made with grits, peaches, apricots, or honeydew melons. Keep on the lookout for oak-aged releases like Wild Abbey, a Belgian dubbel dosed with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus, and aged in wine barrels.—Josh Bernstein <strong>Try this:</strong> The Freak, a marijuana-stinky double IPA in the West Coast tradition. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/drink/30-epic-ways-to-open-a-beer-in-gifs/" target="_blank">30 Epic Ways to Open a Beer without a Bottle Opener</a>

  • Perennial Artisan Ales

    <strong>Location:</strong> St. Louis, MO <strong>Founded:</strong> 2011 <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.perennialbeer.com" target="_blank">perennialbeer.com</a> Former Goose Island brewer Phil Wymore moved from Chicago to St. Louis to open Perennial, which traffics in a range of Belgian-inspired beers (hop-forward Hommel Bier pale ale, Saison de Lis flavored with chamomile). Additionally, Wymore has a deft touch with high-alcohol sippers, such as the minty Perennial 17 chocolate stout and the barrel-aged Sump coffee stout, as well as fruit-forward sour ales such as the Blueberry Flanders and the Peach Berliner Weisse. When the barrel-aging program really hits its stride, expect Perennial to be regarded as one of the Midwest’s best, most inventive breweries.—Josh Bernstein <strong>Try this:</strong> Heart of Gold, a warming, caramel-nuanced wheat wine packing plenty of America hops. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/laugh/the-25-stages-of-being-a-beer-nerd-in-gifs/" target="_blank">The 25 Stages of Being a Beer Nerd</a>

  • Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

    <strong>Location: </strong>Denver, CO <strong>Founded:</strong> 2011 <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.crookedstave.com" target="_blank">crookedstave.com</a> Colorado’s Chad Yakobson was so obsessed with Brettanomyces that it became the subject of his Masters dissertation. Now, he’s turned his research into a brewery specializing in beers fully fermented with unique, assiduously sourced strains of wild yeast. The ingenious releases include the Wild Wild Brett Series that replicates the colors of the rainbow (red is made with hibiscus and rose hips, yellow is spiced with turmeric and mangos) and limited-edition ales such as Blackberry Petite Sour and Sentience, a potent Belgian quadrupel aged in bourbon barrels. Put simply, Yakobson is expanding drinkers’ perceptions of what’s possible with Brettanomyces.—Josh Bernstein <strong>Try this:</strong> Surette, a tart, oak-aged saison of the sort once found in the early 20th century. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-15-most-exciting-new-stadium-snacks-in-major-league-baseball/" target="_blank">The 15 Most Exciting New Snacks in Major League Baseball</a>

  • Firestone Walker Barrelworks

    <strong>Location:</strong> Buellton, CA <strong>Founded:</strong> 2013 <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://firstonebeer.com/barrelworks" target="_blank">firstonebeer.com/barrelworks</a> Over the last decade, California’s Firestone Walker has blossomed into one of the country’s most multifaceted breweries, cranking out medal-winning pale ales, IPAs, and imperial stouts with equal aplomb. Recently, Firestone’s barrel-aging program has garnered boatloads of buzz, spurring the brewery to open this chandelier-lit “cathedral of barrels”—a 7,000-square-foot tasting room filled with nearly 1,500 wooden casks containing sour, funky, and strong ales that are on tap in the tasting room. Firestone is poised to become one of the country’s preeminent producers of barrel-aged beers.—Josh Bernstein <strong>Try this:</strong> §ucaba, a brawny, barrel-aged barley wine redolent of dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, and cherries. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/hey-chef-whats-your-favorite-hot-dog/" target="_blank">Chefs Choose Their Favorite Hot Dogs in the Country</a>

  • Jester King Craft Brewery

    <strong>Location:</strong> Austin, Texas <strong>Founded:</strong> 2011 <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.jesterkingbrewery.com" target="_blank">jesterkingbrewery.com</a> Outside of longnecks of Lone Star and Shiner Bock, Texas has never been known as a hotbed of craft beer. That changed with the arrival of the Austin area’s Jester King, which brews and ferments some of America’s most intriguing farmhouse ales. From the hoppy, low-alcohol Le Petit Prince table beer (just 2.9% ABV) to the floral, peppery Black Metal imperial stout and citrusy and sour Bonnie the Rare Berliner Weisse, the brewery consistently bucks expectations of Texas beer. More intriguingly, Jester King is dabbling in wild ales fermented with yeast harvested from the surrounding Hill Country.—Josh Bernstein <strong>Try this:</strong> Das Wunderkind! Saison, which is a blend of fresh dry-hopped beer and oak-aged beer fermented with wild yeast and souring bacteria. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/ramen-goes-gonzo/" target="_blank">The Craziest Ramen Bowls to Try Now </a>

  • Night Shift Brewing

    <strong>Location:</strong> Everett, MA <strong>Founded:</strong> 2012 <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.nightshiftbrewing.com" target="_blank">nightshiftbrewing.com</a> Sometimes, homebrew doesn't translate well into commercial beer. But the three friends who started Night Shift are out to change that perception. They opened a nanobrewery last year to rave reviews, thanks in part to some pretty unusual ingredients. The offbeat approach shines through in their two year-round beers: Viva Habanera uses rye, agave nectar, and habanero peppers, and Trifecta is a Belgian pale ale aged on vanilla beans. Knowing that inconsistencies are a fact of life as homebrewers, they log tasting notes from each of their 3 1/2-barrel batches on their website.—Chris O'Leary <strong>Try this:</strong> The Somer Weisse, named for nearby Somerville, where the brewery has its homebrewing roots, is a sour ale brewed with lemongrass and ginger root. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/gif-tutorial-essential-knife-skills-with-a-mission-chinese-cook/" target="_blank">GIF Tutorial: Essential Knife Skills with a Mission Chinese Chef</a>

  • Monday Night Brewing

    <strong>Location:</strong> Atlanta, GA <strong>Founded:</strong> 2011 <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.mondaynightbrewing.com" target="_blank">mondaynightbrewing.com</a> What started as an intimate Monday-night Bible study group for Jonathan Baker, Joel Iverson, and Jeff Heck transformed first into a homebrewing club, and then into one of Atlanta's hottest new breweries. After blessing local bars with the revered Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale, hoppy Eye Patch India Pale Ale, and refreshing Fu Man Brew Belgian-style wit, these guys ended their contract brewing with a bang by opening a jaw-dropping, 20,000 square-foot brewery on ATL’s west side and adding seasoned head brewer Adam Bishop to the team. Yep, the “J-Crew” plus Adam continue to live out their slogan: “Weekends are overrated." Look for big things as the new facility kicks into high gear.—Ale Sharpton <strong>Try this:</strong> The Blind Pirate—a well-crafted double IPA at 8.2% ABV and 85 IBUs—is MNB's new sipper and its first brew sold in a bomber, which hop heads will gladly spend their booty on. A limited coffee version is on deck, too. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-year-of-the-food-film-10-gastronomic-flicks-to-look-out-for-this-summer/" target="_blank">The Year of the Food Film: 10 Gastronomic Flicks to Look Out for This Summer</a>

  • Prairie Artisan Ales

    <strong>Location:</strong> Krebs, OK <strong>Founded: </strong>2012 <strong>Website: </strong><a href="http://www.prarieales.com" target="_blank">prarieales.com</a> Run by brothers Colin and Chase Healey, the Oklahoma-based gypsy brewery (they’re crafted at Krebs Brewing Company) has made national waves with its collection of complex, bottle-conditioned Belgian saisons, such as the hoppy Prairie Standard and the dry, tropical Prairie Hop. While wild yeasts and bacteria are deftly deployed in beers such as the dry, bubbly Prairie Gold, the brothers also dabble in aging beers in wood—the Prairie Noir imperial oatmeal stout takes a slumber in bourbon barrels. Take note of their interest in oak: a recently funded Kickstarter drive will allow Prairie to open a facility specializing in wood-aged beers. <strong>Try this: </strong>Prairie Ale, a saison brewed with spicy Saaz hops and fermented with ale, wine, and <em>Brettanomyces </em>yeasts. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-best-new-burgers-in-nyc-with-gifs/" target="_blank">The Best New Burgers in NYC</a>

  • Two Roads Brewing

    <strong>Location:</strong> Stratford, CT <strong>Founded:</strong> 2012 <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.tworoadsbrewing.com" target="_blank">tworoadsbrewing.com</a> When brewer Phil Markowski left Southampton to start Two Roads, New York's loss became Connecticut's gain. The brewery hasn't reached its first birthday and it's already winning acclaim from beer geeks for straightforward beers like the Road to Ruin IPA and Ol' Factory Pils, named for the brewery's location in a hundred-year old factory. That massive space allows Two Roads to generously offer up their brewhouse for gypsy brewing; Stillwater's Brian Strumke is already making use of the space to expand his own offerings.—Chris O'Leary <strong>Try this:</strong> Worker's Comp Saison can't be missed; after all, Markowski literally wrote the book on farmhouse ales. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-25-greatest-food-lyrics-in-rap/" target="_blank">The 25 Best Rap Lyrics About Food</a>

  • Breakside Brewing

    <strong>Location:</strong> Portland, OR <strong>Founded:</strong> 2010 <strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.breakside.com" target="_blank">breakside.com</a> In a city chockablock with excellent breweries, it can be tough to separate yourself from the sudsy pack. Breakside’s Ben Edmunds has done so with a series of offbeat projects, including a collection of cocktail-inspired beers (a Sazerac, a bramble, and a whiskey ginger) and chef-brewer collaborations like the French Fennel Farmhouse, which was made in conjunction with Le Pigeon’s Gabriel Rucker. This winter saw the nanobrewery expand into a full-fledged production brewery, with a taproom offering 24 taps of mad-scientist beers such as the Cedarbaumbier, made with foraged cedar tips, and the Coconut Pumpkin Sweet Stout.—Josh Bernstein <strong>Try this:</strong> Breakside Aztec, a warming “Mexican strong ale” made with chocolate and chiles. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/best-italian-recipes-to-cook-at-home/" target="_blank">The 25 Best Italian Recipes on the Internet</a>

  • More Breweries To Watch

    See more breweries to watch over at <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/drink/25-breweries-to-watch-in-2013/s/westbrook-brewing/" target="_blank">First We Feast</a>.

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