Brew in Brooklyn
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The outer NYC boroughs like Brooklyn are serving up craft concoctions like they have something to prove. That’s right, the good people of the “Borough of Trees” love a tasty brew the way a hipster treasures the perfect pair of skinny jeans. You’ll find no short supply of microbreweries housed—where else—in quintessential Brooklyn brownstones, serving up everything from sweet pale ales to seasonal crafts. Sign up for a Brooklyn brewery tour, and you’ll be swigging on the best of the best in no time. Better yet, visit NYC between late September and early October for German celebrations like Blocktoberfest and The Edible Oktoberfest. Ready to sink your teeth into a soft pretzel amid a sea of nutty trend-setters? We think a brewery tour in BK is calling your name.
Mile-High hops in Denver
Flickr/Creative Commons/Adam Bruderer/Via/https://flic.kr/p/e5uUwo
Breweries, tap houses, and malt… oh, yeah! Denver doesn’t mess around when it comes to beer. It’s safe to say craft brewing is an art form here. If the number of breweries per capita has anything to do with quality of life, the Mile High City is practically a utopia. Going on a Denver brewery tour isn’t as easy as it sounds, though, since there are dozens of places boasting their own barrels. Where will you start? Fear not, fair reader, guided brewery tours will point you towards some of the best tasting rooms in Denver, from trendy LoDo to suburban Aurora. The mountains really come alive with the sound of popping bottle tops at the end of September, when a Germanic spirit takes over for Oktoberfest. Celebrate with a little thing called keg bowling, or just sit down at the Biergartens of Boulder and order up an extra wurst in honor of the occasion. If you missed Oktoberfest, just sip away your sorrows on a walking tour in the River North Art District.
Swigs in San Diego
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Saying craft brewing has exploded in San Diego is like saying Elton John’s wedding was a bit eccentric. In other words: duh. Cure your thirst at a trendy North Park brew house with faux brick walls, or sample award-winning stout as you play bocce ball at local favorite Stone Brewery. The community is making beer and taking names, so your choices are pretty impressive. Still not convinced this city by the bay is taking the brewing world by storm? The number and quality of Oktoberfest events in San Diego speaks for itself. If you can’t make it to SD from late September to mid-October, San Diego brewery tours will quench your craving for craft all year long. Enjoy weekday microbrewery visits with lunch so you can grub while you glug.
Drafts in Portland
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Some folks call Portland “Beervana,” because the amount of brew in Stumptown elevates it to a higher plane (if you ask a beer connoisseur, anyway). From mainstays like Bridgeport Brewing Co. that have been in business since the 1980s, to up-and-coming spots with unique flavor, Portland breweries make it a heavy-weight contender in the beer arena, indeed. With nearly a quarter of Oregon residents claiming German heritage, it’s no surprise that Oktoberfest is a big deal here. However, other beer festivals and Portland brewery tours crop up all year long, and private beer tours are in no short supply. Go ahead; travel to the Northwest and help keep Portland weird.
Ale in Atlanta
Flickr/Creative Commons/Fado Irish Pub/Via/https://flic.kr/p/8Kjjnu
You’ve heard about the Georgia peach, but what about an A-Town brew? Apparently Southern charm includes supplying an ample amount of ale, stout, and other craft beer. While state law prohibits brewers from selling their own product, they can stock the taps of local bars—and they do so generously. Plus, beer makers are allowed to give complimentary samples during Atlanta brewery tours (hint, hint). Fans of oompah bands, German food, and brewskies flock to Das Best Oktoberfest™ each year, and you should too. And, seriously, snag a ticket to a brewery tour for those samples.
Which city is your go-to for a good craft brew?
**Header photo courtesy of Flickr/Creative Commons/Arup Malakar/Via/https://flic.kr/p/dCBoJN