For a certain type of craft beer geek (hop-loving, competitive and possibly residing in California), this time of year means one thing: Pliny the Younger. The legendary Russian River Brewing Co. releases its most acclaimed beer -- a more intense version of its flagship Pliny the Elder -- at the beginning of every February. And every year, thousands of aficionados drive to Santa Rosa, California, to wait in line for hours to get a taste of what they consider to be one of the finest IPAs on the planet.
That sounds a little crazy. And it is. But it's not unique. In fact, well over a dozen limited-edition American craft beers attract similar levels of devotion. All of these beers make regular appearances on lists of the best beers in America. So they're delicious, without a doubt.
But in order to instigate the kind of mass fervor that leads people to line up for hours, or plan a special trip to a brewery in the middle of Indiana, a beer has to be more than good. It has to be rare. None are quite as hard to find as, say, a bottle of 15-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. But in each case, demand far outstrips supply -- even though these beers often cost as much as fine wines. Breweries have responded to this excess demand in a variety of ways, making it difficult to figure out how to get your hands on some of the most acclaimed beers in America.
That's where HuffPost Taste comes in. Here are 17 of the most sought after beers in America -- and how you can find them yourself. One final note: Some of the explanations mention that the beer in question is available at any good store that sells beer by that same brewery. If you're not familiar with that brewery, and aren't sure whether you can buy it in your state, the best place to check is the wonderful site SeekABrew, which tracks breweries' distribution across the country.