Anyone can sneak a few brown-bagged bottles into her luggage and transform even the dodgiest motel room into a private pub. (Other people do this, right?) But for those seeking slightly more elevated experiences, several American breweries offer overnight accommodations, either at or adjacent to production facilities. Boutique hotels are also getting in on the act, hiring staff dedicated to beer, and organizing itineraries to cult area breweries like the Alchemist.
Pack your drinking pants. These are five of our favorite hotels for people who truly love beer.
A short walk from Delaware’s Lewes Harbor lies this 16-room hangout opened by Dogfish Head in 2014. “It’s for people who embrace the beach lifestyle,” Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head founder and president, said in an interview. Dogfish Inn’s staff, called INNmates, provide bicycles to take to the beach or Cape Henlopen State Park, and the production brewery is a short drive away in Milton, Delaware. There’s also cornhole, a fire pit, and lots of places to drink your favorite brews.
Home to Pabst Brewery from 1882 to 1996, this 90-room boutique hotel in downtown Milwaukee embraces Wisconsin’s beer heritage. Clever design details include the front desk, constructed from 1,500 beer bottles, and a stained-glass portrayal of King Gambrinus, the patron saint of brewing. Jackson Blue Ribbon Pub serves more than 60 beers, including 13 local Wisconsin brews on tap, and some 50 by the bottle or can, ranging from Black Butte and Dogfish Head to Schlitz.
Twelve guest rooms are located above brewing operations in this 1890s structure just 90 minutes west of Austin. (Pro tip: Jester King is conveniently located about 30 minutes into the drive from Austin.) The complex houses Texas’s oldest brewpub, but the operation is hardly resting on its laurels: Its Hauptstrasse Helles, a German-style Helles, won a gold medal at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival. Reservations include a nightly pint of beer for each guest.
Beer concierge Matt Canning (fun fact: his father founded the Vermont Beer Festival) leads beer tours and helps guests procure souvenir Heady Toppers at this Pendleton-chic boutique hotel in downtown Burlington. The hotel has bicycles on loan for those who want to explore city breweries like Switchback or Magic Hat, or Canning leads monthly beer tours featuring stops at Hill Farmstead, the Alchemist, and Prohibition Pig, among others.
No beer lodging series would be complete without McMenamins. The fleet of 24 Pacific Northwestern breweries includes nine with hotels on site. We’re partial to McMenamins Kennedy School in a former elementary school in Portland. It features its own movie theater, 57 guest rooms (some with chalkboards), a ceramic soaking pool in the former teachers’ lounge, and six bars and restaurants pouring McMenamins ales and special releases, like a Winter Solstice barrel-aged barleywine.