On a long stretch of road just outside the small Iowa town of Rippey, where thousands of cyclists were passing through during a 100-plus mile day on the world’s longest and oldest recreational ride, five men and two women rode single-file down the left side, each wearing a jersey worth remembering.

If you’re a beer connoisseur.

There was one from Toppling Goliath with images from its flagship Pseudo Sue pale ale. Another from Exile Brewing Company, based in the state capital of Des Moines. And another from Big Grove Brewery.

Hundreds of other breweries also can be seen on the backs of the estimated 50,000 riders taking part in RAGBRAI, the annual bike ride across Iowa. And together, the small- and medium-sized breweries are a testament to not just how rapidly the craft beer industry has expanded but to its fast-growing importance in rural America.

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