After reading a few books, my wife and I decided to put the effort in and become big supporters of our local farms and businesses. Beer naturally became part of the mix and it has become so enjoyable. With the same idea behind food, Closer = fresher = tastes better and Local business = not a mini mall or factory size store, we have found some excellent brewers in our area.
Most are within an hour drive enabling us to visits them and witness how they're making the product we're putting into our bodies (can't do that with "The Great American Lager"). We've also learned so much about the brewing process in general.
Depending on your area you may have breweries close like we do, or maybe a little further away. But they're working with the distribution chain to ensure their product is available to you. Take the time to visit them. By devoting the day or maybe afternoon to driving out and meeting with your brewers, it will show them that what they are doing is worth while in more ways than just the paycheck. Some of the breweries may be small with almost no signs in the front. Others are bigger like Sam Adams now is. And then you may have brew pubs. Each one will have different things to see and cool people to meet.
It's taken some time, but we have found most of the brewers in our area though word of mouth. But recently I found a great website making the whole process quick and easy. Check it out...