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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What breweries would you recommend?