So we all know wine tourism is a big business, people will shell out a ton of money to explore the vineyards of Napa or sample the finest wines of the Loire Valley in France, and that’s all fine and good, wine just isn’t my thing. I mean I certainly drink it, I enjoy it, I’ve been to a couple of wineries, but at the end of the day I’m a beer drinker. A beer snob? Probably. Do I enjoy a peach habanero pumpkin stout? Quite possibly. But I got to wondering is beer tourism a thing yet? I mean there’s the obvious events like Oktoberfest, or the Great American Beer Festival, but is anyone planning their trips out around breweries the way some people do wineries. My guess is not yet, maybe someday it’ll get there, but I don’t know, I’d be interested to see if anyone does. I mean I definitely will look and see if there are any good breweries in the area when I travel however, and I bet a growing number of people do the same thing.
Someone asked me recently how many breweries I’ve been to, and I had to think about it, write out a list, and it was more than I should probably have been to, but short story is I’ve been to breweries in 15 states and in four countries, and i hope to be adding to that list, going to hit up my first California and Alaska breweries this spring.
Best brewery experience so far: Allagash in Portland, Maine. First off they give you like six drinks before you even start the tour, which is all you really want out of a brewery tour, nobody really gives two shits about the process of making beer if we’re honest. So you’re already feeling pretty happy and then they take you behind the scenes, and if you know Allagash you know they do a lot of bourbon and wine barrel aged beers…..just the smell of all those bourbon barrels…mmmmm.
Honorable mention: Duel in Santa Fe, it’s in the middle of nowhere, but I love a brewery that has a ton of really good strong Belgian style beers and meat and cheese boards. Also Wild Heaven in Decatur, GA, good beer, a great large taproom and they allow dogs, so I’m biased.
Worst brewery: Magic Hat in Burlington, VT. Granted it was like 4th of July weekend, but the tour guide was like 15, and then the tasting after is like a 2oz pour. They do have a great shop, but any brewery tour where you can’t even get a buzz going is a waste of time.
What about you guys any positive or negative brewery reviews?