Nothing says vacation like sitting back without a care in the world and knocking back a nice, cold beer. We’ve all been there, so why not make that the focus of your next vacation – or perhaps “beercation?” With more than 2,400 breweries and brewpubs in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association craft beer industry group, just about any vacation destination in the U.S. is going to have one. And, chances are, wherever you’re going on your next trip may just have a brewery just around the corner from your destination.
In this issue of COMO Living, we delve into the various BeerCATION locales. While you can visit Denver, Saint Louis or just about any town in Oregon for a great craft beer travel experience, we highlighted four off-beat regions that might offer you something different this summer.
Think Frommers for Beer, a complete literary guide state by state outlying some the greatest craft breweries in any region.
Going on a road trip? Plot your course and discover the plethora of breweries along the way as you fuel up for the next leg of journey.
Bonus: Take the “perfect” brewery road trip this summer crisscrossing the USA visiting over 70 of the nations top breweries in under 200 hours. Whoah!
Visiting Europe? Try Bonbeer or Beer Trips to book your next trip touring the world renown Belgian breweries and learn about the storied tradition of this classic style.
Destination: Asheville, NC
They don’t call Asheville Beer City USA for the heck of it. The Southern city has 11 breweries — and counting! Asheville’s brewing community is diverse, with operations that range from the nanobrewery at the Thirsty Monk pub to the heavyweight Highland Brewing Company, the third largest brewery in the Southeast.
Destination: San Diego, CA
New York, New England, and the Pacific Northwest are great places to enjoy a tasty pint, but here’s a better idea: drink beer on the beach! If you’re traveling west for your next vacation, be sure to stop in Southern California. Southern California has been pushing the hoppy envelope lately, helping define what the world now refers to as a West Coast IPA, and ensuring it’s only a matter of time before West Coast and East Coast IPAs start killing each other with strands of barley. While you should try to hit AleSmith, Green Flash, and Ballast Point, don’t even think about skipping town without experiencing Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens.
Destination: Napa Country
Why are we dumping beer lovers into a region known primarily for wine? Because that’s actually where some of the best beer in the country is located! From Petaluma to Santa Rosa, northern California boasts some of the most storied breweries that you enjoy everyday. There, beer geeks pack in to sample Pliny the Elder straight from the tap and sample beers that brew masters haven’t even made available beyond California and select parts of Oregon. What could make a better vacation then wine and beer meant for two?
Destination: Upstate NY
To most people, Cooperstown is most recognized by being the home to the baseball Hall of Fame. Lucky for you, it’s also the center of a beverage trail in upstate New York. Brewery Ommegang is the heavy hitter in the lineup, and its spacious property and European-inspired design are bound to impress. Spend a night at the Inn at Cooperstown (which offers bed and brew packages), and you’ll be able to drink your way to four nearby breweries. Just make sure you get a designated driver for the night.