Eat & Drink

The 5 Best US States To Visit If You Love Craft Beer

The rise of craft beer is giving travellers the chance to enjoy chocolate stouts, fruity sours and a world of ales in-between.

While countries like Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic were once known as the go-to destinations for beer lovers, the craft beer revolution is changing things up. Much like Australia, the US has been taken over by the craft beer craze.

Instead of just ordering a litre of German lager, the rise of craft beer gives travellers the chance to enjoy chocolate stouts, fruity sours and a world of ales in-between. As a country that has enthusiastically embraced this trend, here are the top five states all beer nerds should add to their US itinerary.

#1 Oregon

Portland Brewery. Photo: Danielle Griscti/Flickr CC

It’s no surprise that hipster central, AKA Portland, is a ‘must’ on beer lovers’ lists. As the second largest hop producer in the US, Oregon has around 185 beer companies and breweries to make for one helluva road trip (with a responsible designated driver of course!). No matter what month you visit, there’s bound to be a beer festival happening, with the most famous being the Portland Craft Beer Festival in June and the Oregon Brewers Festival in July. What could beat summer on the west coast with a beer in hand?

#2 California

California-SierraNevada-OfficialFBPage

Photo: California, Sierra Nevada/Facebook

From the state that brought us Sierra Nevada and Anchor Steam, California has a reputation as the home of American craft brewing. As well as being home to over 750 breweries across the state, cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego are known for their unique brewpubs. If you find yourself in San Francisco, the Barebottle Brewing Company offers interesting beers like the tea-infused saison or the espresso macchiato milk stout. And you can even try your hand at some vintage arcade games and brews at Brewcade.

#3 Michigan

detroit beer

Detroit River Front. Photo: Atwater Beer/ Instagram.

Because not all your US beer adventures should take place on the west coast, a trip up north to Michigan will give you a whole different experience of the American craft beer scene. Fifth in the country for its number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, the trend isn’t just apparent in Detroit. Known for seasonal beers, all you have to do is step into any Michigan grocery store to know that craft beer is king.

#4 Colorado

In America’s mid-west, Colorado isn’t just known for its wine production. The beverage capital of Denver is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts, with breweries to be found in just about every second street across the city. With over 270 breweries in Colorado, it’s no surprise that Denver plays host to more than 1800 different beers at the Great American Beer Festival in October. Like any good craft beer state, they also have their own festival to feature local beers at the Colorado Brewers’ Festival held in June.

#5 Vermont

Now for the state you least expected. Vermont isn’t just known for hiking and maple syrup. Just east of New York, Vermont has more breweries per capita than any other state. For the diehard beer fan, head to Hill Farmstead Brewery. Why? This place has definitely got the goods, topping the list for Best Brewery In The World more than once. Many of Vermont’s breweries are located close together so it’s easy to check off a few breweries in a day by hopping on board one of Vermont’s famous beer tours.

(Lead image: Great American Beer Festival/Facebook)