Underrated Cities for Craft Beer Lovers
As any beer aficionado knows, the craft beer scene across the country is booming. In 2017 alone, the craft beer industry was worth $26 billion, and was spread out across 6,266 craft breweries in the U.S.
That’s a lot of breweries to visit. But if you’re on the lookout for some fresh beer and up for a fun road trip, these seven cities offer some of the densest concentrations of breweries on a per capita basis, and per 100,000 residents, according to research firm Datafiniti. And better yet, they’re affordable places to visit.
Important Note: Remember to always practice safe driving, which means when we say “beer road trip” it doesn’t mean literally drinking beer while driving the road trip. Obviously.
1. Boulder, Colorado
Offering a record-setting 13.3 breweries per capita, Boulder is definitely the place to be if you like good beer. You might recognize names like Avery Brewing, Upslope Brewing, and Boulder Beer (the self-proclaimed “first craft brewery in Colorado”) from your local liquor store, but there are many other hidden gems here, too. Make sure to check out smaller breweries like Finkel and Garf, which won the 2017 Great American Beer Festival gold award for their Oatmeal Milk Stout, or Twisted Pine Brewing Company, which offers a rotating tap list of 24 beers.
When it’s time to hit the hay, you can find lodging in Boulder from $85–$120 per night.
And in the unlikely event you run out of beers to try, you can always drive an hour north to Fort Collins, or about 40 minutes south to Denver, which also have some of the highest concentrations of breweries in the country. (See also: 5 Laid-Back Girls’ Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford)
2. Bend, Oregon
Home to the famous Deschutes Brewery and just a couple hours away from the golden Willamette Valley hop-growing fields, you can expect some fresh and flavorful beers in Bend. This town boasts a brewery density of 11.6 breweries per capita. Worthy Brewing Company offers an urban hop-filled garden, complete with the “Hopservatory,” a real-life working observatory.
Don’t miss out on the rustic mountain lodge at Cascade Lakes Brewing Company, where you can order everything from street tacos to Columbia River steelhead to go along with one of their 13 beers on tap.
Lodging in Bend, Oregon runs from $120 per night.
3. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville boasts an impressive 8.8 breweries per capita. If you’re looking for a beer with a big, boisterous flavor, you can find it at Wicked Weed Brewing, along with Belgian-style ales and free tours to boot.
If high-gravity, barrel-aged, or sour beers are more your style, be sure to check out Green Man Brewery, which offers a range of beers such as Bootsy, a sour black ale, or Snozzberry, a blond wheat sour ale aged in oak barrels for a full year.
If you need a place to stay while in Asheville, you can find hotels starting from $77.