Beer Travel

Breweries Near Me: How to Seek Out and Find the Best Local Breweries When Traveling

With craft breweries now located practically everywhere, beer enthusiasts often choose to try out new ones whenever they travel away from their home cities. While checking out breweries on the road can be a lot of fun, it can also be a bit difficult to find the right one to visit in an unfamiliar city. Fortunately, it isn’t too hard for beer lovers to find a great brewery, provided they know what they’re looking for and do a little bit of basic research. Here are a few of the things all craft beer enthusiasts should know to help them find the best breweries and brewpubs in new locales.

Deciding on the Kind of Place to Visit

The first step in finding the best spot in a local beer scene is knowing what to look for. Some breweries offer only beers, while others operate full kitchens where visitors can get dinner or munch on appetizers. Likewise, some breweries are quiet, subtle environments where guests can sit and have a relaxed drink, while others will be more upbeat and geared toward the night life. Another factor worth considering is whether a given brewery offers games or activities, since many enthusiasts like to have some fun while they sip their beers. Every craft brewery has its own unique character and clientele, and choosing the right one is very much a matter of personal taste. Of course, another major factor when deciding which brewery to go to is the beer selection available at each one. While most breweries will offer several different styles of beer, enthusiasts should at least check out the beers made by a brewery before deciding to go to it. Needless to say, a dedicated IPA lover won’t be able to find many of his or her favorite beers at a brewery that specializes in stouts or Belgian quads.

Best Cities to Visit for Craft Beer

Today, you can find at least one brewery or brewpub in most cities of any size. With that said, some cities are definitely better than others when it comes to finding a great local brewery. Large cities today frequently have many breweries scattered throughout them, giving visitors a chance to choose the best one for them. Some of the top craft beer cities in the United States include:

To be clear, this list is not exhaustive. In fact, there are so many craft breweries in the United States today that almost all cities have at least one. Because of this, beer enthusiasts can find great craft beer spots practically anywhere they may be traveling.

In fact, the problem for traveling beer lovers is usually locating all of the breweries and brewpubs a given city has to offer. Luckily, BeerMaps offers a convenient solution. By simply plugging in the name of a city in the BeerMaps search tool, users can quickly access a complete list and map of all the craft beer spots in that city. From there, it’s easy to go through the listings for a bit of extra information on each brewery and select the best one to visit. Using BeerMaps, craft beer lovers can narrow down their search for breweries and spend more time enjoying great beer than looking for it.

How to Spot a Great Brewery Right Away

Going to a new brewery or brewpub for the first time is always exciting, but there are a few key hints beer lovers can look for that will help them know they’ve found a spot that is just right for them. The first of these things to look for is the general atmosphere of the place. For a beer lover to have a great time at a brewery, it’s character should match his or her own reasonably well. If a person doesn’t like the feel of a place right away, he or she may want to go to another nearby brewery for a better fit.

Another thing to look for is great customer service. Whether a brewery offers only a bar or includes a complete restaurant, the waitstaff should be friendly and knowledgeable. Ideally, servers or bartenders should be able to recommend specific beers based on a visitor’s tastes and style preferences. This level of knowledge is much more important in a craft brewery context than in an ordinary bar, since first-time visitors will likely never have tried any of the beers made by that brewery before.

Finally, it’s important to look for a few critical amenities that all good breweries should have. These include large tables, more casual sitting areas with padded chairs or couches and a spacious bar area. The best breweries will also usually have outdoor seating for dining and drinking on pleasant evenings. The more comfortable the accommodations are in a particular brewery, the better the overall experience will likely be.

By deciding on the kind of place to go, using the BeerMaps search tool to do some preliminary research and knowing how to spot a great brewery right away, beer lovers can easily find great spots in cities they’ve never even visited before. Of course, a bit of a sense of adventure is also needed when trying new breweries. Even if a given city doesn’t seem to have an ideal brewery, it’s often worth taking a chance on one of the local hot spots in the interest of trying something entirely new.

02/25/2019 / by / in
3 Best Cities to Visit Breweries

Opportunities abound when checking out a new city. The sights and sounds assault your senses – so much to see and do, but where to start? There are only so many tourist attractions you can take in before they all begin to look the same and the lustre wears off. After you hit up all the usual attractions, museums, and architectural marvels, there’s only one thing left to do – check out the local breweries, of course!

But unless your vacation was planned around hops and ale, where do you start? Planning a microbrewery tour on your next vacation begins with one question: what cities have the best breweries? If your trip is a bit spontaneous, it can be a bit challenging to decide which brewery to visit first, since new ones pop up every day. In fact, according to the Brewers Association, around 100 new microbreweries opened in the United States in 2010 – and that number skyrocketed to nearly 800 new microbreweries by 2017. The number of breweries overall was just shy of 4,000 in 2014 and is now hovering near 7,500.

So, how do you decide if a brewery is a must-visit? Well, there are a few prerequisites:

  • Excellent beer, of course!
  • How much fun is the tap room?
  • Do they offer tours?
  • Is it centrally located?

The following list of must-visit breweries includes two not-to-miss cities in the US, and one in a country whose name conjures images of tall frosty mugs upon mention – see if you agree…

3. Denver, Colorado

It’s no secret that Colorado is a beer state. Coors, Odell, and Oskar Blues call the state home. Just outside Denver, Fort Collins is a Colorado city obsessed with the frothy stuff. But Denver has become not just a local Coloradan’s beer destination, but one that people from around the country visit. The Great American Beer Festival has been held here since 1984. This festival is all about celebrating a great American pastime – beer drinking – and the people who make craft brewing possible. While the festival is officially held in the Colorado Convention Center, the whole city joins in the celebration with beer-themed events taking place throughout the city. And while most think of snow when they think of Colorado, Denver enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine every year, promising sunny weather for the festival and allowing many of the local breweries to sport outdoor taprooms.

Some of the best breweries to come out of Colorado include Blue Moon and Wynkoop, the latter of which was the first microbrewery in Denver. In fact, the man who started Wynkoop became the Mayor of Denver and went on the be the Governor of Colorado – bit of a weird path to take, but such are Denver’s deep roots of beerdom.

2. Seattle, Washington

If you’ve ever considered a good old-fashioned beer pilgrimage, one of your stops has to be in Seattle. This Pacific Northwest city was one of the first in the nation to begin crafting brews, probably before some self-proclaimed marketing guru ever even coined the term “craft brewed”.

Pike Brewing Company is definitely one of the first spots in the city you have to hit as soon as you arrive. In putting together your brewery itinerary, next stops will include Fremont and Georgetown. Afterwards, Holy Brewing. If you’re up for it, after that head to Optimism or Urban Family. And the list goes on. There aren’t any bad breweries in Seattle, so if you have the time, check out Perihelion, too.

Aside from breweries, Seattle is chock-full of fantastic, no-name dive bars and gastropubs. Burgers and fries take on a whole new meaning when paired with some of Seattle’s best microbrews.

And our no. 1 brewery city?

1. Bamberg, Germany

It’s definitely no secret that Germany is a country built on beer. In fact, if you know brewers or journalists with a beer section in the local paper, your conversations have most likely included Bamberg at some point. The Kellerwald is located in a Franconian forest – the setting is likened to legendary myths, but it does exist. Think moss-covered hills, chestnut and large oak trees surrounding you, complete with the best lagers in the world. When breweries in Germany look to make a dent in the craft brewing scene, their inspiration comes from Bamberg and Kellerwald.

Munich’s Oktoberfest can only hope to be what Kellerwald’s Annafest has become. These festival grounds tout beer gardens, carnival rides, and food trucks spattered throughout the Kellerwald – a true paradise of craft brewing. On a whirlwind, worldwide beer-scapade, Annafest in the Kellerwald in the pinnacle – the mark all other craft brewing regions hope to be.

In downtown Bamberg, check out breweries Greifenklau, Torchuster, Knoblach, and Holzlein. One of the only smoked beers in the world, Schlenkerla, should not be missed.

So whether you pair your beer with a pair of skis in Denver, some oysters at Pike Place Market in Seattle, or in an enchanted forest in Germany, you’re sure to make some lasting friendships – with the brewery owners, of course!

01/04/2019 / by / in