Over the last 15 months, brewers have faced pandemic-related challenges, navigating shifting government mandates, shutting down tasting rooms, and remaining agile in the face of disrupted supply and distribution chains — all while continuing to keep brewing operations and hopes afloat.
So, it’s safe to say that, now as travel is opening back up, brewers are anxious to step away from their tanks and tasting rooms and make travel plans (plans, remember those?). Some aim to cross off a bucket-list brewery, while others are heading back to the source to reconnect with the places and people that first ignited their passion for beer. Still others are looking to take a break from the brewing world and are seeking out more spirit- or wine-driven destinations.
From sipping beer in a historic brewery’s storage room to catching up with mentors over English-style cask ales, these are brewers’ top drinks destinations.
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The Top Post-Pandemic Drinks Destinations Recommended by Brewers:
- San Francisco
- Mount Joy, Penn.
- Kihei, Hawaii
- Rocky Mount, N.C.
- Madison, Wisc.
- Hudson Valley, N.Y.
Keep reading for details about all of the recommended destinations!
“San Francisco! First, I would visit Barebottle Brewing Co.’s original brewery and taproom in Bernal Heights. I love their inventive sours (a blackberry basil one stands out) and I’ve been craving their Torcido Lager. Next, I’d head to wine country. My first stop would be Ashes & Diamonds for their food-friendly heritage varietal wines and swanky tasting room. Then, I’d head to Occidental Wines for their superb Pinot Noirs and beautiful views.” —Tara Hankinson, Co-Founder, Talea Beer Co., Brooklyn
“Bube’s Brewery in Mount Joy, Penn. My passion is brewing, but what drew me to want to visit Bube’s was the history of the location. It was founded in the mid-1800s by a Bavarian immigrant named Alois Bube after he learned of the nearby caves that would work well for underground storage. It’s also fun to eat in the old catacombs — 43 feet below street level where Bube stored his beer.” —Joe David, Founder/Head Brewer, Descendants Brewing Company at the Old Ship Inn, Milford, N.J.
“Martinique. It’s been on my list since the pirate captain weaned me from my mother on rum and limes. The draw? Warm water, Caribbean sun, and Rhum Agricole. First stop will be Clément Distillery and we’ll be seeking out… Rhum Agricole! My father and I have both enjoyed Rhum Agricole for well over a decade, and I would see the island with my family, visit the distilleries, and swim in the sea.” —Kenny Richards, Co-founder and Brewer, Halyard Brewing, Burlington, Vt.
“Taiwan. I’d first stop by Draft Land in Taipei, which started the ‘cocktails on draft’ movement here. Then I’d visit Taihu Brewing in Taichung, which is famed for creative brews like a Salted Caramel Ice Cream Ale and an Umami Oyster Stout. Last month, they released a beer featuring the adaptogen Siberian ginseng in collaboration with a popular local energy drink, Tiger Tooth, so I’m curious to see how this tastes!” —Kevin Wong, Co-founder, Lunar Hard Seltzer, Brooklyn
“Kihei, Hawaii. Every year we do a collaboration brew, Pono Life, with our good friends at Maui Brewing Company. It’s a celebration of the friendship between our breweries and our shared passions for beer and adventure, so having my first business trip this year be a reconnection through this collaborative brew just feels right. While I’m typically a beer drinker, I make time to try local craft spirits and love the uniqueness of the deep-sea products Hawaii Sea Spirits is producing.” —Colby Cox, Co-founder, Roadhouse Brewing Co., Jackson Hole, Wyo.
“Rocky Mount, N.C., to visit Spaceway Brewing Co. and have conversations with Briana Brake, the brewer. It’s got a nice vibe, great beers, and is next door to an art gallery and Moe & D’s Restaurant. I especially love the Pirate Jenny Double IPA. Plus, Rocky Mount is home to jazz great Thelonious Monk, baseball great Buck Leonard, and boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard, among others.” —Celeste Beatty, Brewer and Founder, Harlem Brewing Company and Harlem Brew South, New York
“Our big trip is going to be the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. We’re actually in the planning stages of opening a distillery ourselves and bourbon is my preferred drink. It’ll be fun and a little bit of learning, too. We’ll spend most of our time in Lexington, definitely visiting Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, and Woodford Reserve. We’ll venture out a little ways from Lexington to visit a smaller distillery called Wilderness Trail.” —Bryan Summerson, President & Head Brewer, Big Lick Brewing Company, Roanoke, Va.
“Any venue with great beer and great live music! Last time I was in Chicago, I was bummed that I couldn’t head to a show at the Hideout or Metro. I can pretty much always guarantee great music and amazing local brews there, like 3 Floyds and Half Acre. Live music surrounded by the energy of a crowd is definitely on my to-do list as everything starts to open back up.” —Alia Midoun, Head Production Brewer, Burial Beer Co., Asheville, N.C.
“The first summer trip will be back to my home state, Massachusetts, for [my] wedding. The first brewery on my list is the excellent and classic New England gem, Wachusett [Brewing Co.]. I’ve been told that there is another newer brewery in the area as well, Sterling Street [Brewery], so I will likely check that out. Also on the list is Tree House [Brewing Company]. The whole facility is gorgeous inside and out, so I’m definitely excited to get back and check out whatever they’re serving.” —Bill Hyland, Head Brewer, Bozeman Brewing Company, Bozeman, Mont.
“Madison, Wis. I cut my teeth there as a brewer and have many friends in the industry and homebrew community. My first stop will be Great Dane Pub & Brewing on Doty Street, where I will catch up with my mentor and favorite brewer, Michael Fay. At the Dane, I’m after one or many of their amazing English-style cask ales, pulled through a beer engine. Outside of the Dane I’ll be chasing down some Funk Factory [Geuzeria], Karben4 [Brewing], and whatever my homebrew friends are excited about. I know I’ll also find myself at Brasserie V and Longtable Beer Cafe, over in Middleton.” —Nick VanCourt, Brewer/Co-Founder, Barrel + Beam, Marquette, Mich.
“Tops on my list is a late summer trip to the Hudson Valley. I’m struck by how the region has a strong agricultural sense of place — much like North Carolina. I’m very eager to explore the region’s renowned farm breweries, especially The Drowned Lands (their Slow River, a 4 percent ABV mixed culture foeder saison, sounds just about perfect right now), Plan Bee Farm Brewery, and Suarez Family Brewery. I interviewed years ago at Brewery Ommegang, so it’d be great to make a return visit and enjoy some of their classic offerings. From there, it’d be all new to me!” —Sean Lilly Wilson, Chief Executive Optimist, Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, N.C.