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.