The Best Beercations Across the United States
Beer lovers, rejoice: There are a plethora of regions across the U.S. where you can sample inventive local brews. Here are eight regions with designated beer trails, making your beercation even easier to plan.
By Amy Plitt, CNTraveler.com
GRAND RAPIDS BEER CITY ALE TRAIL
The Great Lakes State is home to some of the country’s most celebrated breweries, including Founders Brewing Co. (creators of the cultish Kentucky Bourbon Stout) and Bell’s Brewery—and those are two of the spots you can visit on this suds-focused route. (Well, okay, the Bell’s locale is a brewpub at the Grand Rapids airport, but it still counts.) Hit more than 30 breweries throughout the region: In addition to those larger beer-makers, you can sample suds from local nanobrewers like White Flame Brewing.
PHOTO COURTESY OF EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS
DENVER BEER TRAIL
Sure, you could visit the massive Coors brewery if you’re visiting Colorado, but there are far more interesting beers being produced in the heart of the Mile High City. For a sampling of what the city has to offer, travel along the Denver Beer Trail, with 14 participating breweries throughout the area. A booklet produced by Denver’s visitors bureau makes it easy to track which beers you’ve sampled: Great Divide Brewing Co.’s award-winning Denver Pale Ale is a sure bet, while more adventurous types can try Wynkoop Brewing Company’s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, made with—gulp—bull testicles.
PHOTO: ART HEFFRON PHOTOGRAPHY
MAINE BEER TRAIL
Created by the Maine Brewers’ Guild—an organization dedicated to promoting the state’s craft-beer creators, with members like Allagash and Peak Organic Brewing Company—the Maine Beer Trail includes more than 40 participating breweries throughout the state. The guild offers a passport of sorts, so you can keep track of how many beer-makers you’ve visited; hit at least 20, and you’ll get a free T-shirt. (One caveat: The breweries are all over the place, so if you want to hit that many in a short trip, you’ll need a car. Just be responsible about driving.)