One of the best ways to discover new craft beer for your bar, is to tour the brewery itself. With more than 4,000 across the country, nearly 75 percent of all Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery. When the Brewers Association conducted its most recent annual survey, 92.8 percent of breweries responded that they offer tours. This is great news for the industry, and a fun way to sample new products for your establishment.
Visiting a brewery will also help you to connect with the background, the people, region, and way the beer is crafted; which can only serve to help you sell the beer in your bar. Like taking a peek under the hood, on many tours you can check out the fermenters, chat up the staff, and even sample straight from the tanks. But why go on a stuffy tour, when there are so many unique ones across the states? The following are some of the country’s best!
This Wilmington, NC brewery is inspired by the ships built in the nearby Beery’s Shipyard for the Civil War. The Ironclad Brewery is known for it’s ironclad English ales, and cool wooden decor. Teach’s Chocolate Stout and Old Baldy Ale are some local favorites, so grab your sword and get to sampling!
Moon River Brewing Company
Who doesn’t need a few ghosts to join you on your tour? Savannah, GA is known as one of the most haunted cities in America, so a haunted brewery just makes sense. The brewery is a local staple featured on countless travel and ghost hunting T.V. shows, and is just an all around fun tour. Moon River also has an amazing 5,400-square-foot beer garden to enjoy those warm southern nights. You can even bring your dog!
Spencer Trappist Ale
Located in Spencer, MA, in the middle of the woods, this is only Trappist Ale brewery in the country. St. Joseph’s Abbey houses the brewery, and the beer can only be called “trappist” because it is made by monks on a monastic property. Although the actual brewery is off limits, the grounds, shops, and staff can all help introduce you to this rare and sought after craft beer.
Trapp Family Lodge Brewery
Sound familiar? Located in Stowe, VT this is indeed the family “The Sound of Music” was based off of and they opened the Trapp Family Lodge in 1950. It wasn’t until 2010 that Johannes von Trapp realized his dream of brewing the Austrian-style beer the family has made so popular. The lodge sits on 2,500 acres in a pristine, alpine setting, and is truly a unique experience.
If you find yourself in a city that has a ton of breweries, like Boston, San Diego, or Portland, you can hit up several a day, on a multitude of different tours. Whether you’re biking, hiking, or boating, these tours are a great way to cover a lot of the city, in a short amount of time.
Starting out in Portland, this type of tour is powered by you and your pals. The Brewcycle is basically a 16-seat bike that you peddle around Portland hitting up the best spots. The tour features fun beer facts, rock n’ roll, and of course, the best craft beer the city has to offer.
The Portland tour will bring you around to some of the most famous breweries in town, like: The Lucky Labrador Brewing Company, Bridgeport Ales and Deschutes Brewery. The three hour tour is not for the faint of heart, and you will definitely get your workout in for the day!
Find more info at www.brewgrouppdx.com/brewcycle/
Scavengers Beer and Adventures Tour
Think urban safari on this tour, because you won’t be riding a bus, but rather a 14-seat, open-air, Swiss military vehicle called a Pinzgauer. The 6-hour San Diego tour features ocean views and in-transit drinks. You’ll hit up the hottest breweries in the city, like: The Stone Brewing Co., The Lost Abbey and Iron Fist Brewing Co. Each tour guide has their own home brewery, and they even pass out samples of their unique brews along the ride.
Find more info at www.brewerytoursandiego.com/