6 U.S. Breweries Worth a Trip

Two of my favorite things in the world are traveling and craft beer. The only thing better than either is when I get the opportunity to combine them. Over my course of traveling the United States, I’ve had the chance to visit a lot of great breweries and brewpubs in the Midwest and East Coast. Visiting these breweries gave me a chance to see where some of my favorite beers are made, to taste the freshest or newest beers, and to have an individual unique experience. Here are of my favorite breweries, each offering something different.

 

New Glarus Brewery, New Glarus, WI

Most of the breweries I have been to have a cold, industrial feel, but when I arrived at New Glarus, I found a scenic area that felt homey. It’s the most laid-back, peaceful brewery. Since it’s positioned at the top of a hill, it overlooks the entire town and an endless sea of green trees. After the free, self-guided tour, I purchased my sampler glass which gave me three samples of the fresh beers they had on tap, which included staples and new ones.

New Glarus

New Glarus

 

Great Lakes Brewing, Cleveland, OH

After glancing at the menu, I opted to visit the brewpub instead of the brewery. And after eating, I was happy with my decision. Just around the corner from the brewery, the food was phenomenal, and best of all, made with the beer. The Alaskan cod was fried in an Edmund Fitzgerald Porter batter, and it was crispy, fresh, and delicious. After trying ten samples of the beer on tap, including two exclusively brewed at the brewpub, I popped by the store to grab my favorites to go.

Great Lakes

Great Lakes

 

Samuel Adams Brewery, Boston, MA

Taking the Sam Adams Brewery tour was like taking a 30 minute beer education course. From the brewing process, getting the chance to touch dried hops, how to properly taste the beer, and the dynamics of their special tulip shaped glass, I walked away a little smarter about beer. And thanks to the ample samples in the tasting room after the tour, I also walked away a little buzzed.

Samuel Adams Brewery

Samuel Adams Brewery

Three Floyds Brewery, IN

I’ve visited Three Floyds several times for lunch and for their famous Dark Lord Day festival. I was initially slightly intimidated by the metal vibe at this small brewery, but I quickly got over it. Their main focus is their complex beers, but the food at the brewpub is a close second. The ever changing menu gives an approachable feel to gourmet food like duck confit, caviar, and mussels.

Three Floyds Brewery

Three Floyds Brewery

 

Bells Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI

Bells’s Eccentric Café exceeded my expectations for a brewery bar. The high quality beers are reasonably priced, and the tap list is filled with beers you can’t get anywhere else. They do a great job of clearly outlining which beers are rare or limited and having descriptions of each beer. It’s a lively atmosphere filled with eclectic group of people ranging from young beer fanatics, people just getting off work, and retirees.

 

Dogfish Head Brewery, Rehooboth Beach, DE

I stumbled upon Dogfish Head’s brewpub by chance after getting lost on my way to the brewery, but I’m glad I did. They have dozens of beers on tap including a few you’ll only find there. Almost everything on the menu is cooked with their beer, like the wood grilled wings smothered with Palo Santo Marron barbeque sauce or the dog fish breaded with 60 Minute IPA batter, which were both phenomenal. The real charm of the brewpub is the unique surrounding area. It’s just a few blocks away from the Atlantic Ocean and a boardwalk filled with other restaurants, bars, and shops.

Dogfish Head Brewery

Dogfish Head Brewery

What breweries would you recommend?

35 Comments

  1. Cassie on July 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Ohhh, Dogfish Head is at the top of the list of ones I want to visit! I’m hoping to go down there after my sister’s wedding in New Jersey next year.

    I’m most familiar with West Coast breweries and some of my favorites are Anderson Valley and Bear Republic in Northern CA, Rogue in Oregon, and Odell and New Belgium in Colorado.

    • suki on October 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      North Coast Brewing and Russian River Brewing are on my NorCal list! 🙂

  2. Cassie on July 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Ohhh, Dogfish Head is at the top of the list of ones I want to visit! I’m hoping to go down there after my sister’s wedding in New Jersey next year.

    I’m most familiar with West Coast breweries and some of my favorites are Anderson Valley and Bear Republic in Northern CA, Rogue in Oregon, and Odell and New Belgium in Colorado.

    • suki on October 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      North Coast Brewing and Russian River Brewing are on my NorCal list! 🙂

  3. Amanda @ Farsickness on July 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Bell’s is my favorite brewery. Hands down. I’m probably slightly biased, though, as a Michigander. Their Two Hearted Ale is my go to beer when I’m in the US.

    I really liked Boston’s Harpoon Brewery tour. A little more intimate than Sam Adam’s, IMO.

  4. Amanda @ Farsickness on July 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Bell’s is my favorite brewery. Hands down. I’m probably slightly biased, though, as a Michigander. Their Two Hearted Ale is my go to beer when I’m in the US.

    I really liked Boston’s Harpoon Brewery tour. A little more intimate than Sam Adam’s, IMO.

  5. Francesca on July 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    I’m diggin’ the Midwest love! We do have some tremendous beer in this region, Bell’s being the best, IMO. It’s a shame I haven’t visited the brewery, though – or Three Floyds – since I’m so close. This post shall be my motivation!

    • Michael on July 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

      I just found out how amazing and how many options the Midwest have this summer. Quite a selection you have!

  6. Francesca on July 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I’m diggin’ the Midwest love! We do have some tremendous beer in this region, Bell’s being the best, IMO. It’s a shame I haven’t visited the brewery, though – or Three Floyds – since I’m so close. This post shall be my motivation!

    • Michael on July 13, 2012 at 10:16 am

      I just found out how amazing and how many options the Midwest have this summer. Quite a selection you have!

  7. Tom on July 11, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Mmmmmm, breweries….beer….food 😀

    Dogfish head beers look especially scrumptious!

  8. Tom on July 11, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Mmmmmm, breweries….beer….food 😀

    Dogfish head beers look especially scrumptious!

  9. Jarmo on July 11, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Haven’t visited any breweries in US yet, but I always love visiting breweries, distilleries and any other places that make alcohol. I’ll have to keep these in mind.

  10. Jarmo on July 11, 2012 at 5:17 am

    Haven’t visited any breweries in US yet, but I always love visiting breweries, distilleries and any other places that make alcohol. I’ll have to keep these in mind.

  11. acoupletravelers on July 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Not so much a brewery but more of a tasting room with a bit of history into the company – Harpoon Brewery in Boston has free 1 hour long tours/tastings on weekdays at 2 and 4 (I think) where you can sample all their beers (as many times as you want over the course of the hour). Usually the guides are petty funny/entertaining as well! 

    • Michael on July 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

      Definitely adding this to my list.

      • acoupletravelers on July 19, 2012 at 7:30 am

        You’ve got to! It”s kind of annoying to get to because it’s not metro accessible but there are buses that run from the South Station metro station but it’s definitely a great way to spend an afternoon! 

  12. acoupletravelers on July 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Not so much a brewery but more of a tasting room with a bit of history into the company – Harpoon Brewery in Boston has free 1 hour long tours/tastings on weekdays at 2 and 4 (I think) where you can sample all their beers (as many times as you want over the course of the hour). Usually the guides are petty funny/entertaining as well! 

    • Michael on July 13, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Definitely adding this to my list.

      • acoupletravelers on July 19, 2012 at 8:30 am

        You’ve got to! It”s kind of annoying to get to because it’s not metro accessible but there are buses that run from the South Station metro station but it’s definitely a great way to spend an afternoon! 

  13. Stephen Bugno on July 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    ah…my dream is to visit Great Lakes Brewery

  14. Stephen Bugno on July 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    ah…my dream is to visit Great Lakes Brewery

  15. thetravelchica on July 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I just had a three of the Three Floyds brews smuggled back from Indiana for me.  Really good stuff!

    And you must come back to Ohio during Christmas time to try the Great Lakes Christmas Ale.   It is a perfect winter beer.

  16. thetravelchica on July 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I just had a three of the Three Floyds brews smuggled back from Indiana for me.  Really good stuff!

    And you must come back to Ohio during Christmas time to try the Great Lakes Christmas Ale.   It is a perfect winter beer.

  17. ChrisS on July 13, 2012 at 7:47 am

    In central NY, just outside of Cooperstown, stop into Brewery Ommegang (
    http://www.ommegang.com/), which is a traditional Belgian-style brewery nestled away amongst beautiful rolling hills and rural countryside.  In the fall is best when the leaves are a’changing.  They do a summer concert series, cycling events, and free tours and tastings.  And the beer is pretty tasty to boot.

    Saranac (brewed at FX Matt in Utica) is in a more industrial part of town, but it’s the gateway to the ADK from the thruway and the beer always tastes better at the brewery.

  18. ChrisS on July 13, 2012 at 8:47 am

    In central NY, just outside of Cooperstown, stop into Brewery Ommegang (
    http://www.ommegang.com/), which is a traditional Belgian-style brewery nestled away amongst beautiful rolling hills and rural countryside.  In the fall is best when the leaves are a’changing.  They do a summer concert series, cycling events, and free tours and tastings.  And the beer is pretty tasty to boot.

    Saranac (brewed at FX Matt in Utica) is in a more industrial part of town, but it’s the gateway to the ADK from the thruway and the beer always tastes better at the brewery.

  19. Michael on July 13, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Love this article. I haven’t been to any of these. Stephanie and I are checking out Dogfish Head this summer though and I can’t wait!

  20. Michael on July 13, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Love this article. I haven’t been to any of these. Stephanie and I are checking out Dogfish Head this summer though and I can’t wait!

  21. Tamara Arends on July 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    The Anheuser Busch brewery in St Louis is def worth to visit. Free tour and two free drinks!!

  22. Tamara Arends on July 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    The Anheuser Busch brewery in St Louis is def worth to visit. Free tour and two free drinks!!

  23. jenny on February 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    More of a museum/factory, but the view of Dublin from top of the Guinness Storehouse gravity bar is awesome. Plus, you get a free Guinness 🙂

    • Michael on February 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

      Free Guinness? I’ll go anywhere for that!

  24. jenny on February 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    More of a museum/factory, but the view of Dublin from top of the Guinness Storehouse gravity bar is awesome. Plus, you get a free Guinness 🙂

    • Michael on February 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

      Free Guinness? I’ll go anywhere for that!

  25. Max on January 27, 2014 at 7:16 am

    You need to visit the Pacific Northwest if you love craft beer. There are So many craft breweries around the Puget sound that make fantastic beer.

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