There’s a lot to consider when planning a vacation. The cost, climate, and sightseeing, are of course, major factors. But, what about the beers that are brewed in that city? Regardless if you want to party like a frat boy or sip on a craft beer during dinner, beer can say a lot about the city of it’s origin. Whether it’s a revolutionary technique used for brewing, unique flavors or just a local favorite, each city that brews their own beer puts their own stamp on beer. So, before you book anything, check out the 10 American cities that beer the best beer.
10. Cleveland, OH
You may be thinking that who in their right mind would want to go to Cleveland? But, seriously, the city is a pretty neat place to visit. After spending the day at the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, enjoy the old-school beertown that is Cleveland. Places like the Nano Brew Cleveland will “pour you a bready amber ale while they tune your bike,” then there’s also the Market Garden Brewery, Fat Heads, the Brew Kettle and, of course, Great Lakes Brewing Company. Even towns nearby, like Strongsville and Akron, are great places to check out if you’re a beer enthusiast.
9. St. Louis, MO
Despite the Gateway City being home to Budweiser, it still has over a dozen breweries and brewpubs. Places like Schlafly Tap Room and the International Tap House are home to a number of fresh draft beers that will put Bud completely out of your mind. But, the best time to check out the beer scene in St. Louis is during June. Every year the Brewers Heritage Festival is held in Forest Park, which brings together local craft breweries and the area’s most talented home-brewers.
8. Burlington, VT
New England is home to several great beer towns, but the current microbrewing industry has it’s roots in Burlington, Vermont. In 1988, The Vermont Pub and Brewery first opened, which pretty much started the microbrew craze across the U.S. Besides being home to one of the founding microbreweries in the country, Burlington is also home to the unique Magic Hat Brewery, where you can take a tour and sample beers like Circus Boy or #9. And, Burlington is home to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, which may be a hangover cure for some of you out there.
7. San Francisco, CA
Since San Francisco is the foodie capital of the U.S., it only makes sense that they would create some delicious beer. For example, there’s the Almanac and Pacific Brewing Labs, who both use unusual and seasonal ingredients, like plums and hibiscus. There’s also 21st Amendment Brewery, who have won awards for their canned bar, and our course, the legendary microbrew champ Anchor Brewery is based in San Fran.
6. Boston, MA
Beantown can probably thank Cheers and Sam Adams for putting it on the map as one of America’s favorite beer cities. Besides checking out the Sam Adams Brewery, you could also head to Southie to visit Harpoon. There’s also the Cambridge Brewing Company and the Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project in Somerville. Or, you could walk into any number of Boston pubs, like Streetcar, The Publick House or Boston Beer Works to sample some of the local brews.
5. Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque may seem a bit out there, but a trip to the Southwest shouldn’t be overlooked. Some of the award-winning beer coming out of Albuquerque have been influenced by the city’s cultural diversity, authentic landscapes and genuine characters. There’s the barrel-aged Belgian ale called From the Wood by Marble Brewery, the six different houses beers from the Chama River Brewing Company or the opportunity to make your own beer at Kelly’s Brew Pub.
4. Chicago, IL
Whether you’re in Wrigleyville or The Loop, you’re bound to discover beers from a number of local craft breweries, like Metropolitan Brewing Co., Goose Island, or Indiana’s Three Floyds Brewing Co. And, Chicago is proud of each and every one of their hometown beers. Whether you’re grabbing something to eat at Piece, Publican, or a deep dish pizza, or just exploring the bar scene, locals will be more than happy to suggest some of the Second City’s finest brews.
3. Philadelphia, PA
The City of Brotherly Love is perhaps the best city to pub crawl in, which is probably why it’s arguable America’s top beer drinking city. Every June, the city hosts Philly Beer Week, which contains beer dinners, tastings, and pub crawls. It’s pretty much a craft beer lover’s dream. Even if you can’t make beer week, you can always find favorite brews from Victory, Yards, Dock St., Triumph or nearby Dogfish Head on tap at number of brewpubs across Philly. After throwing a couple back at the City Tap House, go out and soak that beer up with a soft pretzel, hoagie or cheesesteak.
2. Denver, CO
No surprise here. Coloridians love their beer, which is probably one of the reasons why the Great American Beer Festival is held in Denver every October. While the city, and state, are home to brewing giants like Coors, there’s more than enough microbrew producers to make Denver worth the trip for any beer lover. Places like Wynkoop Brewing Co. and Falling Rock Taphouse are just two of many suggestions for the Mile High City. And, the best part about Denver, is that if you want to escape the city, you could always take a short drive to Boulder or Ft. Collins to continue your beer excursion.
1. Portland, OR
Portland, Oregon is nirvana for any beer lover. The city is home to some 39 operating breweries, which is more than any other city in the world. The Rose City is home to breweries such as MacTarnahan’s, BridgePort, Central Oregon’s Deschutes, and of course, Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. Portland’s Downtown Waterfront Park also hosts the Oregon Brewers Festival during the last weekend of July, which is probably a clue that that’s the best time to visit the Northwest. We’re not sure why Portland loves beer so much, maybe it’s the city’s personality that is the muse, but we’re glad that they’re making so many quality brews.
Images Via Wikipedia Commons