Travel is one of the most popular summertime activities. Families, couples and singles travel across the country for vacations and relaxation. Most of the time, the destination is chosen for what it offers in the way of activities and amenities – proximity to the beach, golf courses, mountain views, theme parks and the like. However, a growing number of travelers are choosing their destination not on how nice the beach is or on how tall a rollercoaster might be, but on what it offers in the way of craft beer.
The incredible explosion in the world of craft beer has done an immense amount for the travel industry, and offers travelers a tremendous range of destinations where they can enjoy some of the nation’s most delectable craft brews. Of course, not all US cities are created equal and if you’re contemplating a beer-cation, then you’ll need to know what cities in the country have the most to offer you. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll find out there, from coast to coast.
Head Off to Portland
The city with the most options to offer beer lovers is Portland. In fact, there are almost 40 microbreweries operating in the city, giving you an immense number of options to explore. You’ll also find that Portland has the highest number of “all-natural” craft beers, which is fitting considering just how eco-conscious the city has become.
Time to Go Mile-High
It should come as no surprise at all that Denver ranks very high on the top beer cities in the United States. While it might not have quite as many microbreweries operating as Portland, Denver is definitely on its way to catching up. Besides that, you’ll find that this is an ideal destination for those who love the outdoors and want to enjoy some of the stunning area in addition to exploring their beer options.
Head to Coffee-Town
For the third best city in the nation for craft beers, it’s time to head back into the Pacific Northwest – to Seattle, to be specific. While the city is probably more famous for the Space Needle, its rain and the number of coffee shops it boasts, there are some excellent options for the confirmed craft beer lover here too. You can head downtown to the Pike Place Market where you can enjoy fresh, farm grown produce and even get your mitts on some local craft beer all in one place.
Heading Back East
For those who prefer a destination that’s not all the way across the nation (or those favoring an East Coast trip this summer), then Providence, Rhode Island, is a great place to head. While you will find a great selection of microbrews in the city, you will also find some great eateries that serve local craft beers, and even a downtown brewery that sells growlers that you can take home with you (over at Trinity Brewhouse).
A Quiet Place for a Great Beer
If you are looking for a place that serves great craft beer but isn’t necessarily a ‘party town’ or a place that has a rollicking nightlife, then you should head up to another Portland – Portland, Maine. It’s a quiet, relaxing place that offers a significant range of excellent craft beers, local breweries and watering holes where you can enjoy a good beer without having to worry about the partying crowd. Portland, ME, is also well known for the number of older, established microbreweries.
Moving Down South
The South has a lot of things going for it, including a good number of microbrews. You’ll need to head down to Georgia – Savannah to be specific. Along with its famous riverfront, its historic buildings and incredible dining options, you will also find that Savannah is a haven for beer lovers. You will even find a retailer in town that offers more than 500 different varieties of craft beer from different brewers around the world. Make sure you take the time to stroll the streets here and take in the history though. It’s all part and parcel of a trip to this jewel of the South.
The Home of Sam Adams
When it comes to beer cities in the US, few are as recognizable as Boston. The home of Samuel Adams is also home to quite a few other microbreweries, brewpubs, brewhouses and other options ripe for exploring. Of course, there’s lots of other things to do in Beantown, with plenty of history to explore, as well as nightlife and much more. Some of the best cultural attractions in town include the city’s wide range of museums and art galleries.
The Lone Star State
Texas does things big – it’s just the way things are. Like everything else in Texas, the craft brew scene is huge. You’ll find that while Dallas and San Antonio certainly have their attractions, Austin is the best place to go to enjoy some excellent craft beer on a Texan vacation. You will also find that Austin is an incredible place for those who love live music, as well as those who enjoy finding unique, one-of-a-kind watering holes to enjoy during their stay.
The City by the Bay
San Francisco is well known for a great many things, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and for being one of the best spots for dining in the world. However, the City by the Bay has also earned a reputation for being extremely craft beer-friendly. For those adventuring out to San Francisco, you’ll find some of the most unique craft beer packaging, a very wide variety of eco-friendly microbreweries and some of the best beers in the country. The fact that you can find most of those craft beers in many of the city’s most popular dining establishments is also a plus.
The list of cities above is only the tip of the iceberg as far as great American craft beer cities. In fact, if you explore a little bit you might actually find something just as good a bit closer to home.