These bucket-list breweries are notorious for good reason. They are some of the biggest and best-known destination spots for craft beer in the country, and their impressive, picturesque, and even historical facilities are must-hits on your next beercation.
Anchor Brewing Company (San Francisco, California)
Many a beer pilgrimage has been made to the historic copper brewhouse at Anchor Brewing in San Francisco, a destination that’s often thought of as ground zero for craft brewing in the United States. Enjoying an Anchor Steam Beer at the source has practically become a rite of passage.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, California)
Firestone Walker has a new taproom restaurant/pilot brewhouse in the works on Washington Boulevard in Venice that promises to be just as enchanting as its Paso Robles brewery. But both the taproom restaurant in Paso Robles, next to their main brewing facility, and the one in Buellton, which also houses Barrelworks, Firestone Walker’s wild ale project, are equally worth the trip.
New Belgium Brewing Company (Fort Collins, Colorado)
Another classic brewery is New Belgium Brewing. The brewery’s original Fort Collins location is a sprawling campus complete with electric vehicle charging stations and a slide that transports visitors from the end of the free tour to the tasting room. New Belgium is also opening a facility in North Carolina; the new Asheville location has already begun brewing this winter.
Deschutes Brewery (Bend Oregon)
This Class of ’88 brewery is home to Jubelale and the famous Black Butte Porter. Taste these classic beers at Deschutes’ original pub in quaint and quirky downtown Bend.
Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
The original Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, the new Upperhand Brewery (a division of Bell’s Brewery) in Escanaba, and the Bell’s Farm are a trifecta of Michigan must-visits for beer geeks. Have a Lager of the Lakes for me.
Full Sail Brewing Company (Hood River, Oregon)
Home of the session lager, this riverside brewpub sports a view of the kite surfers on Hood River. They flock to the area for its high winds and local brews.
Stone World Bistro & Gardens (Escondido, California)
Stone Brewing in Escondido is well worth the trek from San Diego proper. Go hungry for one of the better brewery-served meals you’ll have in your life.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (Milton, Delaware)
When you head off to tour the famed Dogfish Head facility in Milton, don’t forget an item to add to the Off-Centered Wall that’s full of art, phrases, postcards, and drawings created by guests.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (Chico, California)
Home to the Torpedo and one of the country’s favorite pale ales, the California mecca that is Sierra Nevada has four different tour varieties—a self-guided tour, a tour that focuses on the brewing process, a sustainability tour that features 10,500 solar panels and ends on the brewery’s 8-acre hops field, and a 3-hour in-depth beer geek tour. The new Sierra Nevada facility in Mills River, North Carolina, also has a beer geek tour that visits the 20-barrel pilot brewhouse, a brewhouse tour with beer tasting, a natural resources tour, and a limited-time IPA tour celebrating hoppy goodness.