Homebrewer champion Gahr Smith-Gahrsen was the obvious choice when the local investor group decided to start an ambitious microbrewery in the city of Bergen. The beers that have hit the market are solid and tasteful, and we expect to see much more from 7 Fjell in the future. Fun fact: 7 Fjell (fjell means "mountain" in Norwegian) is named for the 7 mountains surrounding Bergen. So far three of them have eponymous beers from the brewery.
The first Western-style craft microbrewery to open in Croatia, Zmajska Pivovara, spearheaded by the pillar of the Croatian homebrewing scene - Andrej Čapka, with renowned homebrewer Bojan Pap as head brewer, opened, finally, in September 2014 after a series of equipment delivery delays, giving full momentum to the country's long-awaited craft revolution that had started mere months before. Their beers proved to be well worth the wait, as both their Pale Ale and their Porter turned out to be of the highest quality - the latter making the top 15 in style for 2014 at RateBeer Best.
De Kaapse Brouwers is a project exploring beer-making as an integral part of the culinary arts. Matching their beers to local available foods, and hosting tasting clinics, they aim to educate as much as entertain. The brewery is located in the Feijenoord district of the Netherlands second city, Rotterdam.
Other Half is Sam Richardson and Matt Monahan who both gained experience at Greenpoint Beer Works (Brooklyn). This Best New Brewer In New York 2014 has caught the attention of our beer reviewers primarily for their hop-forward beers, including Other Half All Green Everything Triple India Pale Ale which scored an impressive 98 by style. While new in town, they've already collaborated with Top 100 RateBeer brewer and borough neighbor, Evil Twin.
Birbant's exceptional rookie performance is the product of the exact and uncompromising work of new brewer, Krzysztof Kula, and veteran brewmaster, Jarek Sosnowski. The brewery's focus and best received beers have been hop-forward IPAs, however they've also proven their breadth with style scores for their Porter, Brown Ale, and American Wheat.
Lindheim Ølkompani is the new star on the Norwegian beer scene, exploding out of nowhere in late 2013. Their collaborations with the Pizza Port/Lost Abbey/Port Brewing guys sure made them shine, and they've also released several interesting beers in solo projects. The couple who own the brewery are good company and the experience at the brewery is comfortable as well as impressive. Hopefully, you can try the cherry saison.
When based at Dark Star, Mark Tranter had an affinity with sessionable hop forward beers, so news that he was setting up his own brewery excited everyone in the know. Focusing on pales and saisons for all seasons, Mark has also released wild yeast and/ or barrel-aged specials with no disappointments among them. Being the best new UK brewer and 4th out of over 3800 openings in the last 15 months will be the icing on the cake for an award-laden year for him.
Cellarmaker was founded by Tim Sciascia and Connor Casey who immediately sought to update San Francisco's beer scene with excellent low bitterness, dry pale ales and IPAs as inspired by top internationally-regarded breweries. They've rounded out their very popular Kiwi hop-focused offerings with popular examples of bretted saison, a smoked porter and a big imperial stout and have joined the vanguard ranks of Northern California breweries like Sante Adairius, Almanac, Faction and Rare Barrel.
Doctor Brew is a contract brewery founded by two homebrewers, Lukasz Lis and Marcin Olszewski, who've set up shop in southwest Poland in the city of Wroclaw. Already well known in their country as a rising start, where they've been awarded with many accolades most frequently for their progressive hop-forward creations, this RateBeer Best Award marks its first time ever on the international brewing scene.
While the worldwide craft beer culture's West Coast US origins are rightly questioned in places of substantial and influential beer history such as England and Belgium, Edge Brewing is a Spanish brewery that makes the connection quite clear. The brewery was founded by two Americans, Scott Vanover and Alan Sheppard, and uses American equipment, ingredients and brewing techniques to produce what are unabashedly American style beers.