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This post is sponsored by New Belgium Brewing.

CRAFT BEER in America is more popular than ever. Today’s drinkers become more educated by the day, and the breadth of choices available to them has never been so extensive. This is great for beer lovers, and beneficial on the supply side as well, as a high-quality product created by friendly, local brewers gets consumers to open their wallets a little wider.

It’s no longer uncommon for enthusiasts to plan a brewery visit into their vacation. In fact, the opposite is trending: Plenty of people I know actually plan their vacations around a great beer destination. Remote, highly respected breweries such as Russian River (Santa Rosa, CA) and Hill Farmstead (Greensboro, VT) are regularly hit up by this crowd.

Here are 20 recommended cities to visit on your beer-based travels (listed in no particular order).

Trip PlanningBeer

 

About The Author

Thomas Berg

Thomas Berg is an admitted beer geek with a soft spot in his heart for attending special releases. In his spare time, he enjoys geography quizzes and watching Community.

  • Joseph Hartley

    Asheville, NC is a glaring omission from this list. It was named “Beer City, USA” the past 4 years.

    • Rutina Wesley

      my classmate’s sister-in-law makes $68 every hour on the computer. She has been unemployed for seven months but last month her check was $13256 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more… http://www.Jax3.cℴm

    • Julia Ann

      my classmate’s step-aunt makes $85 every hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for six months but last month her income was $16947 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more here… http://www.Jax3.cℴm

    • williamsmith325

      My mothers neighbour is functioning half time and averaging $9000 a month. i am one mum and simply got my 1st bank check for $6546! I still cannot believe it. i attempted it out cause I got very desperate and currently i could not be happier. Heres what I do, http://www.pro67.com

    • Drew G. Hookway

      Maybe by a NC based magazine… Grand Rapids, MI is widely proclaimed Beer City, USA by the majority.

    • Thomas Berg

      I’ll cede that a NC town (probably Asheville) is worthy of the list, but I had a tough time justifying it over any of the 20 above. The bubble was Asheville vs Atlanta, and my (admittedly biased) love of The Brick Store won out. I’m a fan of Olde Hickory, Duck-Rabbit, and Foothills though :)

    • Bradley Seastrand Jr

      NC in general have some great micro brews. I was at a job in Appalachian and went to a local pub that served Micros. Tried the “flight” (aka sampler) and all but the Wheat were very very good (not a fan of wheat beer at all)

  • Matt Szymkow

    No Bend Oregon, Asheville North Carolina, or Seattle Washington? Yikes… I mean Bend, OR has the most craft breweries per capita in the entire USA. Did a Anheuser-Busch drinker write this list?

  • Matt Szymkow

    No Bend Oregon, Asheville North Carolina, or Seattle Washington? Yikes… I mean Bend, OR has the most craft breweries per capita in the entire USA. Did a Anheuser-Busch drinker write this list?

    • Thomas Berg

      And a food court has far more restaurants-per-square-foot than anywhere else, but that doesn’t mean it should be mentioned on a foodie’s blog. Deschutes hails from Bend and was mentioned in the Portland blurb. Familiarize yourself with the best offerings from some of the breweries I included and you’ll see why there wasn’t room for Bend or Seattle.

  • Matt Szymkow

    No Bend Oregon, Asheville North Carolina, or Seattle Washington? Yikes… I mean Bend, OR has the most craft breweries per capita in the entire USA. Did a Anheuser-Busch drinker write this list?

  • Matt Szymkow

    No Bend Oregon, Asheville North Carolina, or Seattle Washington? Yikes… I mean Bend, OR has the most craft breweries per capita in the entire USA. Did a Anheuser-Busch drinker write this list?

  • Eric Hill

    No Milwaukee? No Madison?!? LOL

    • Eric La Nguyen

      yeah. this list does suck

    • Matt Rehberg

      a truly embarrassing list

    • Matt Rehberg

      a truly embarrassing list

    • Eric Hill

      shoddy journalism!

    • Hal Amen

      throw out your top 20 eric

    • Eric Hill

      I’ll write it up if you post it, Hal.

    • Hal Amen

      article’s already published. i’d just like to see you back up your previous comment.

  • Jimmy Garcia

    Seriously – Miami, FL and not Asheville, NC? Miami is more of a cocktail-drinking town. I also noted that Sweetwater was glaringly missing from the Atlanta entry.

    • Heide Faith

      Good call Jimmy. The pic was from Sweetwater for the ATL entry but no mention! LOVE Sweetwater.

  • Tripeese

    Awesome round up! Some really good towns in there. Good to see Philadelphia on the list. Great beers in the Northeast.

  • Ryan Chamberlain

    In order to call it a “beer town,” doesn’t it have to do more than just have a decent brewery? Doesn’t beer culture have to permeate? Perhaps it hosts destination festivals? Goodbye Miami, Tampa, LA, NY.

    And for the sake of travel plans…can’t you lump some together? I mean, if a flight and a rental car can get you a multi-town brewery vacation…can’t you consider a whole metro footprint?

    So San Marcos joins San Diego.

    Then you add Bend, Eugene, and Hood River to Portland…

    Give Ft. Collins to Denver.

    And you give Marin & Sonoma County to San Francisco (Russian River, Bear Republic…)

    There’s my 1/2/3/4.

    • Joseph Allen Yancey

      You can’t just lump beer towns together. I’m upset that Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are grouped, as well as Ann Arbor and Detroit. These cities have very different beer cultures. They all belong on this list, but give them each their due.

    • Joseph Allen Yancey

      You can’t just lump beer towns together. I’m upset that Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are grouped, as well as Ann Arbor and Detroit. These cities have very different beer cultures. They all belong on this list, but give them each their due.

    • Lindsay Laubenstein

      Joseph: eh…I’m from Kalamazoo, and people in that area are pretty inclusive of the main handful–Bell’s, Founders, New Holland, and Dark Horse (though, as much as I love Dark Horse, I feel Marshall is a bit of a stretch for the “area”). I had a split second of “harumph!” but it really does make enough sense–at least in that realm–to “group” that area.

    • Lindsay Laubenstein

      Joseph: eh…I’m from Kalamazoo, and people in that area are pretty inclusive of the main handful–Bell’s, Founders, New Holland, and Dark Horse (though, as much as I love Dark Horse, I feel Marshall is a bit of a stretch for the “area”). I had a split second of “harumph!” but it really does make enough sense–at least in that realm–to “group” that area.

  • Chuck U Farley

    For someone who enjoys “geography quizzes”, this author needs to cram a bit more. The Bruery, located in Placentia, is NOT found in Los Angeles, but in Orange County, where you’ll also find such notable breweries as Noble Ale Works, Valiant, Anaheim Brewery, Bootlegger’s, TAPS, Old Orange, Tustin Brewing Co., et al.

  • David O’Neal

    That lady in the J Wakefield picture is smoking hot.

  • Anonymous

    Seattle Washington is not on the list? That is beyond ridiculous. I live in LA. I have been to San Diego and San Francisco many times. None of those cities is even in the same stratosphere as Seattle for beer. Are you kidding?

    • Thomas Berg

      In terms of quality of breweries in each of the cities you mentioned, both CA cities are way ahead of Seattle. And even in terms of bars to frequent, both win quite handily over Seattle IMO. And I’m a big fan of Bottleworks.

    • Thomas Berg

      In terms of quality of breweries in each of the cities you mentioned, both CA cities are way ahead of Seattle. And even in terms of bars to frequent, both win quite handily over Seattle IMO. And I’m a big fan of Bottleworks.

  • Anonymous

    A horribly written article. Some minor technical flaws such as Oskar Blues and Left Hand are in Longmont which is closer to Boulder than FT. Collins. and Boulder has Avery, Upslope, Boulder Beer, etc. Stone is in Escondido, not San Marcos. The Bruery is in Orange County, not Los Angeles. Including Miami and a few other suspect places makes this list a total joke. Seattle, Phoenix and Asheville all deserve to be in the top 10 and aren’t even on the list. The author hobby is geography quizzes? Bet he has a hard time with them or doesn’t check his answers.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, RICHMOND, VA….2 local colleges VCU and UR; countless local breweries, Hardywood, Legends, Midnight, etc…over 100 local restaurants most of which only carry the best beer has to offer….Thomas Berg come to town and I’ll coach you up!

  • Drew G. Hookway

    You left Sam Adams off of Boston, MA :(

  • Bradley Seastrand Jr

    Thirsty Dog in Akron should be added to the “Cleveland” list as they are also a fantastic Brewery. I’m glad Cleveland made the list though. Often snubbed from these lists due to location and its a shame because they often rank highly in the style beer they craft…from Ales to Stouts I have had many type of Christmas Ales and have had none better (so far) than 12 Dog Days of Christmas. Also, Founders (in MI) is IMO one of THE BEST crafters of IPA’s I have ever had. Their Centenial is exceptional. Still, with the recent release of “Alchemy Hour” I imagine Great Lakes may actually improve on the ranking here by next year.

  • arkay808

    Southern CT/New Haven area is no joke these days. New England Brewing Co, Bru Room at BAR, Southport Brewing Company, Two Roads, Charter Oak, Thimble Island, etc.

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