Whether it’s of the craft or mass produced variety, beer always tastes best in the place where it’s made. Along with a taste of their lovingly tended produce, brewery tours offer insight into the methods (and madness) behind the brewing of a beer. Taking into consideration both a beer’s taste and how interesting the telling of the story of its making is, here’s our pick of the five best brewery tours in the US.
- Brooklyn Brewery – New York City, NY
Brooklyn Brewery has played a huge role in the regeneration of Williamsburg, Brooklyn from dangerous neighborhood to hipster hangout. There’s a small-batch tour (no more than 30 people) lasting just over half an hour at 5pm on Mondays through Thursdays where you can taste four beers and see the brewhouse for only $8.
- Stone Brewing Company – Escondido, CA
For $3 you get a 45-minute tour and a guided tasting of all of Stone’s beers. Alternatively check out sporadically scheduled events like ‘Beer 101: History of Beer’ where resident brewers guide you through 10,000 years of brewing – naturally a few tasty study aids are included.
- Flying Dog Brewery – Frederick, MD
Flying Dog takes educating patrons seriously. Their tours – run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays – last two hours and include five beer samples, all for five bucks.
- MillerCoors – Golden, CO
While they may not be known for their quality, MillerCoors’ beers are certainly remarkable for their quantity. Their facility in Golden, Colorado is the biggest single-site brewer in the world, turning out up to 22 million barrels a year. A free half-hour tour offers insight into what it takes to make beer on a massive scale. And why not – a sample or two while you’re there won’t hurt.
- Road Dog’s Brewery Tour – Seattle, WA
How can you know how good a brewery is if you have nothing to compare it to? With visits to three of Seattle’s craft and microbreweries, the Road Dogs brewery tour is the solution. Their ‘join-in’ tour lasts around three hours and costs $79.
NOTE: Tastings are available to folks over 21 only, so remember to bring a government-issued ID!
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