The holidays are the perfect time for travel (and the worst time for travel delays). Whether you’re meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time, racing home to see your family via road trip (or flight), or visiting Siberia solo to avoid all this nonsense — being on the move is likely in your near future. Embrace it.
As long as you’re already on the move, you might as well visit a brewery or two and sip on some frosty beverages. No matter where you’re headed, there’s sure to be a top-notch craft brewery in the area. To make sure you don’t miss a gem, we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us which US breweries you really ought to see this holiday season.
Check out all of their answers below and tell us about your favorite brewery in the comments.
Dogfish Head — Milton, Delaware
Jared Boller, lead mixologist at The St. Regis in Toronto
“Dogfish Head is an amazing brewery known for experimental beer and tucked away in a cute little town in Milton, Delaware. They have one of my favorite IPA’s of all time (90 Minute). Enjoy the town, the people, and the scenery.”
Stone Brewing — Escondito, California
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Had an amazing birthday weekend. Ate dinner at Stone Brewery had some of the best Duck Al Pastor tacos ever! Was fortunate enough to spend it with @deeloredo_ . Had some bomb ass Mexican seafood in the middle of nowhere (San Marcos) came back to take the brewery tour with tasting which we highly recommend! Got me a 2 Litter of Cola = Delicious IPA & D got @ 42 OZ of White Geist – White Ghost, such a sour brew.
Tara Shadzi, bartender at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood
“What’s the best brewery for beer fans to visit? I love Stone Brewery in Escondido. Beautiful outdoor gardens, modern design, good food, and amazing beer.”
Lagunitas Chicago — Chicago, Illinois
Don Hernandez, beverage director at Holston House in Nashville
“Lagunitas’s brewery in Chicago, IL. It’s one of the coolest places that I’ve visited yet. It’s the kind of place Willy Wonka would design if he brewed craft beer. There are games to play in the tasting room, magicians, video games, and bands that play in the tap room. If that isn’t enough they’re a dog-friendly company, all of their fermenters is named after a four-legged fur baby that has crossed over into Rainbow Bridge.”
Abita Brewing — New Orleans, Lousiana
Matthias Hinrichs, bartender at Public Belt bar and Lounge in New Orleans
“Abita Brewery is the best brewery in the New Orleans area. They are a big brewery and there are many products to taste including a lot of seasonal beers, so it makes a visit there always fun and unique.”
Martin House Brewing — Fort Worth, Texas
Jason Miller, general manager at Little Red Wasp in Fort Worth, Texas
“What’s the best brewery for beer fans to visit? Martin House Brewing in Fort Worth, Texas. There’s a large selection on tap and they always have a nice crowd. The view of downtown Fort Worth can’t be beat.”
Anheuser-Busch — Williamsburg, Virginia
Jim Lunchick, mixologist at Merriman’s Waimea in Honolulu
“It’s decidedly un-hipster, but I just read that the Anheuser-Busch facility in Williamsburg, Virginia is going to resume giving tours this summer, after a 20-year hiatus from doing so. Give the craft guys a break and go see how ‘The Bigs’ do it. I can’t wait to go there again. I remember being shocked, many many years ago at that facility, at how good Budweiser tastes when you’re getting it right out of the tank. Really.”
BearWaters Brewing — Canton, North Carolina
Jeremy Martin, beverage director at The Workshop Lounge in Asheville, North Carolina
“The best brewery for beer lovers to visit when in Asheville is definitely BearWaters Brewing Company in Canton, North Carolina. Offering nearly forty different hand-crafted beer varieties from sours to pilsners, this home-grown brewery truly embodies the spirit and passion of Blue Ridge Mountains.”
Modist Brewing — Minneapolis, Minnesota
Britt Tracy, bartender at Eastside in Minneapolis
“Modist Brewing. The production is committed to making great beer that is both creative and not bound to traditional styles or rules. Modist focuses on taking their beers to an elevated level experimentation, and by doing so they are creating some of my favorite beers in Minnesota.”
Bearded Iris Brewing — Nashville, Tennesee
Andrew Hannigan, bartender at Bastion in Nashville
“I really think the best brewery is the one with beer you like the most! For me, in Nashville, it’s Bearded Iris. They really focus on well-made and balanced beers, IPAs specifically. I don’t generally love IPAs but theirs are truly great. They’re unfiltered and balanced with lots of flavors without being overly hoppy.
The Guinness Brewery — Dublin, Ireland (And Baltimore, Maryland)
Richard Hanauer, beverage director of RPM Restaurants in Chicago and Washington, DC
“The Guinness brewery in Dublin, Ireland, is the ultimate beer-cation. Though it’s been years since I’ve visited (and it may be a bit more touristy these days), the tour was fascinating, with loads of historic facts and, of course, incredible beer to go along with it. They’re now open in Baltimore if tou want to stay closer to home.”
Brooklyn Brewery — Brooklyn, New York
Nick Rini, head bartender at Refinery Rooftop in New York City
“What’s the best brewery for beer fans to visit? That one will really depend where you are and how far you want to travel. As a native New Yorker, I’d say Brooklyn Brewery.”
Goose Island Brewing — Chicago, Illinois
David Mor, beverage manager at Cindy’s in Chicago
“Goose Island Brewery offers an incredible warehouse filled with all their well-known expressions. They also have barrels of experimental beers that are nowhere to be found. It’s huge, interesting, and the team there has an awesome sense of humor and hospitality when curating the tours.