A Year (or more) of BeerI joined Untappd about 16 months ago as a way to track what I liked (and didn't like) while enjoying the craft beer revolution. Typically if I drink more than one of a particular brew in a night, I only check it in once. That being said, here are my top check-ins (first is most - go Foothills!):
1. Foothills Hoppyum IPA
2. Starpoint Brewing Duh! DIPA
3. New Belgium Rampant DIPA
4. Bell's Two Hearted Ale
5. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
6. Victory DirtWolf DIPA
7. Catawba Firewater IPA
8. Carolina Brewery Flagship IPA
9. Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA
10. Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA
Foothills has done a great job getting Hoppyum into restaurants and sports arenas in the Carolinas (doesn't hurt that it's really good) and of course dinner at Margaret's with a couple of Tim's Duh!'s is the highlight of any week. If I'm heading up to our family place in the NC mountains, I'll usually pick up some Catawba Firewater at Ingles.
While I rarely rate anything less than 3, I've never rated anything a 5 and I've only had a handful of 4.5s:
Bell's Two Hearted Ale
NoDa Hop, Drop and Roll
Terrapin's Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout
Terrapin's Hopzilla DIPA
Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale
AlphaDog's Imperial IPA
Foothills Seeing Double IPA
Obviously I like the strong stuff as 6 of the 9 are 8% ABV or higher. The DirtWolf is as close to a 5 as I've ever had and if I don't find anything better in the next few months, I'll revise their score up.
In terms of breweries, I've never had anything from Terrapin in Athens, GA that I didn't think was fantastic. NoDa from Charlotte and Olde Hickory (from Hickory, of course) do some really interesting things. Locally I'm not going to go wrong with Starpoint or Steel String or Carolina Brewery or Top of the Hill. But one of the things I find remarkable is the excellent beer one can find in some out-of-the-way places. If you're in the northwestern part of the state, drop in at Dry County Brewery and Pizza Shop in Spruce Pine for some really good beer and some excellent pies. Even further afield, Blind Squirrel Brewery in Plumtree does a fine IPA. Catawba Brewing Co. in Morganton is doing some good stuff outside of the huge Asheville beernanza.
It's a good time to be a beer lover.