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sycotik

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Where is it at?

I am about to be done working in the Middle East after about 18 months here. Anyway, I am planning a trip to go somewhere in the US with 3 friends. I am looking for a place to try alot of micro-brews and do a few tours. I am from WV so we do not have alot here. I have been looking at Portland, Denver, and Boston. I am open to anywhere though.

If you could go anywhere in the US to go on a 3 day "sampling" which city would you go to and why?

Thanks in advance.
 

carnevoodoo

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Southern CA is another good option.
Yes. And I'd go as far as to say you could get away with just going to San Diego for three days and being happy.

I do have to ask what your favorite beer styles are though, as it'll make a difference in where you should go.
 

bad67z

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Welcome home, there are alot of possibilities. I agree with carnevoodoo, try to narrow down our style interests with your buddies. Both coasts have a lot to offer. But the south west does have beaches and babes to go along with great beer, just my .02 worth. Where are you returning to in W.V.


Enjoy your trip where ever it takes you,


Cheers...:mug:
 

mullenite

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Asheville, NC was voted Beer City USA twice in a row in an online poll... if that means anything you. It doesn't to me but it is a great city.

Portland and San Diego are also considered to be two of the best but Asheville will probably have more beers that aren't as widely distributed.
 
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sycotik

sycotik

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Thanks for the replies. In our group we have a pale ale guy, stout and porter gal, BMC chick and then me who is willing to try anything new but kind of sticks to ales mostly. It is kind of a mixed batch but all of us are interested in trying something we can not get regularly here in WV ( I will be coming back to the Fayetteville area Bad67z). SOCAL sounds fun but I have had my fill of sand and heat for the time being (no offense). But I am sure the other 3 would love to go there so I might get out-voted on this one. I never thought about Asheville though. I will have to check it out.

Keep the ideas coming and if you guys know of any places in the areas mentioned that might do tours, I would love to get on that as well.

Thanks again
 

mullenite

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Um, that place only tours three breweries per tour... not sure what your point is? That is the same number the Asheville tour does and the Asheville tour is less than half the price.
 

uwjester

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I might suggest Fort Collins. You can hit up New Belgium, Odells, Avery (Boulder), Left Hand (Longmont), and Oskar Blues (Lyons) all in 3 days easy. There is also a Budweiser brewery for your BMC friend to tour. Lots of green this time of year and it is still pretty cool.
 

northernlad

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Its got to be Portland. Breweries for sure, but more to offer in scenery and other stuff too.
 

Beerrific

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If money was option and all cities were equally easy to get to, I personally would probably choose:

1. Portland (never been)
2. San Diego area
3. SF area
4. Denver (never been)
5. Asheville
6. Philly
 

carnevoodoo

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Portland is prettier and has more beer, and more of the stout and porter type beers. San Diego has the best IPAs in the country and overall some of the best beer in the country. Asheville winning that poll two years in a row is just silly. If you see how skewed the numbers are, there's some obvious BS going on there. How Portland comes in second two years in a row is just silly.

Chicago is also a pretty great beer town, because you get a ton off stuff in the midwest.

Denver area is pretty damn cool.

There's a lot of great beer out there. You won't be disappointed.
 

bosco_NJ

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If i could go anywhere it would be Portland for sure. Many micros & you can't beat the green scenery;)
 

BadgerBrewer

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I might suggest Fort Collins. You can hit up New Belgium, Odells, Avery (Boulder), Left Hand (Longmont), and Oskar Blues (Lyons) all in 3 days easy. There is also a Budweiser brewery for your BMC friend to tour. Lots of green this time of year and it is still pretty cool.
You also left out Breckenridge, Great Divide, Dry Dock, Dillon Dam Brewery, and Tommyknocker, which are all in the greater Denver area. Best bang for the buck in my opinion! Gonna hit them all for a week during the GABF
 

chrispykid

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I seriously doubt you'll find anything approaching a general consensus here since threads like this tend to encourage people to recommend their favorite/home towns. I also wouldn't put all that much stock in which city has the most brewpubs on a tour - I'd rank quality far above quality. My top of the head thoughts beyond that:

I went on to Madison, Wisconsin for a bachelor party this past fall and had a great time and was amazed at what a great bar town it was. Huge numbers of really cool massive bars, great micro distribution - they tend to get all the Wisconsin beers as well as a good selection from Colorado, New Belgium was everywhere and I practically live on New Glarus for those few days. Oh and they had one of the coolest German style beer halls I've ever seen, it's called the Essen Haus. If you go there and don't have a good time you might want to check your pulse and make sure you're actually still alive.

On the East Coast I'd love to say NY because it's where I'm from, but Philly definitely has it going on these days especially when it comes to Belgian bars - Monks and Eulogy are two of my favorite bars on earth.

But, if I were planning a trip like this I'd go to the Pacific Northwest/Northern California - it's the birthplace of the American craft beer movement and still in many ways the leading region to this day. Haven't been there so I can't really get more specific.

Have fun on your trip wherever you go.
 

Edcculus

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Its a little odd, and probably not the most attractive vacation destination, but Cleveland OH is a decent beer town. You have the Great Lakes brewery and brewpub (hit up the West Side Market while you are there). Right across the street from Great Lakes is Andy Tveekrem's new brewery the Market Garden Brewery. Its actually still under construction. Probably won't be finished by the time you get back. There are also a good many small brewpubs: Fatheads, The Brew Kettle, Rocky River Brewing Co, The Buckeye Beer Engine and probably a few more I'm missing. You can also hit up Hoppin Frog and Thirsty Dog down in Akron while you are at it. Like I said, not the #1 destination, but a pretty good beer scene.
 

weirdboy

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Um, that place only tours three breweries per tour... not sure what your point is? That is the same number the Asheville tour does and the Asheville tour is less than half the price.
Right...look at the list of breweries you can choose from in SD. Alesmith, Ballast Point, Lost Abbey, Stone, Port...you could pick any three and spend the whole time drinking world-class gold-medal winning beers.
 

Jughead

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I would suggest Portland and not just because I'm from here. There is a great range of brewing going on. You can hit up Bridgeport and Widmer, Hair of the dog or Rogue (pub, not brewery). There are soo many small local breweries my head is gonna explode. I could spend the rest of my life just drinking Portland beers and not get through all of them. The homebrew scene here is great, everyone's making their own beer. Breweries/Bars are open to trying new beer styles and people are eager to drink them. Rogue has this great place in town called the Green Dragon. They have rotating taps of small batches done by the Oregon Brew Crew. Also, Portland has a lot more going on than just beer, **** I should work for Portland travel bureau :drunk: I don't think you can go wrong wherever you pick, good brew is starting to take hold everywhere.:rockin:
 

wreals

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San Diego
- Good beer
- Great weather
- Lots of other stuff to do, places to eat or to just sit around looking at the scenery.

I'd stay in the Mission Beach area, as it's pretty central and well, it's on the beach.

The only issue with San Diego is how spread out it is and the almost utter lack of public transportation. For example, Stone Brewery and Ballast Point are about a 40 min drive away from each other, but still are still in the same county.
 

BackshoreJake

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I'd go to Portland. Portland has the most breweries per capita of any city in the United States. The place is beautiful, and the people are some of the nicest you'll meet!
 

carnevoodoo

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Yeah, if I came to SD, I'd stay in the North Park area. Somewhere close to 30th Street so I could hit up all the amazing beer bars. The beach is nice and all, but for a beer vacation, you don't need to be close to it. Unless you want to go to Pizza Port, which totally ****ing rocks.
 

Homercidal

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First I'll preface my post with a disclaimer: I am from the area.

I'd recommend Grand Rapids / Kalamazoo. Why? Founders. Bells. New Holland. Arcadia. and more.

But it depends on whether you want to go to a brewpub, or just sit in a bar and drink the beer. Grand Rapids has Founders, which is an excellent brewery, and they also have The Hopcat, a small brewery which has, I think, 48 beers on tap from the region, US, and World.

There are places with more, well-known breweries, but how much beer are you going to be drinking in 3 days? Fact is, there are plenty of great breweries that will do the job. California, PNW, Colorado, etc. It's all good!
 

carnevoodoo

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First I'll preface my post with a disclaimer: I am from the area.

I'd recommend Grand Rapids / Kalamazoo. Why? Founders. Bells. New Holland. Arcadia. and more.

But it depends on whether you want to go to a brewpub, or just sit in a bar and drink the beer. Grand Rapids has Founders, which is an excellent brewery, and they also have The Hopcat, a small brewery which has, I think, 48 beers on tap from the region, US, and World.

There are places with more, well-known breweries, but how much beer are you going to be drinking in 3 days? Fact is, there are plenty of great breweries that will do the job. California, PNW, Colorado, etc. It's all good!
Hell, for three days you could go to Wisconsin and drink nothing but New Glarus and be happy.
 

HoppyDaze

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Portland...Ive been to all the other places suggested and they don't compare. Portland has much better landscape to view. The beer options absolutley blow the others away. That doesn't necessarily mean Portland will have your favorite beer. But Id be surprised if you weren't extremely impressed with your decision. The downtown area is awesome and the Columbia River Gorge is something everyone should see before they kick the bucket. Bridgeport is in the Gorge....Tons of other outdoor activities to do if you are the adventurous type. Oh yeah...I forgot; the Oregon coast is only an hour and a half away from Portland. Go take a tour of Rogue Ales brewery and do some whale watching
 

Jughead

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Man, reading all these posts makes me want get in my van and do some brew rambling. I've got SWMBO convinced to cash in some vacation and hit the road.:rockin:
 

carnevoodoo

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Portland has much better landscape to view. The beer options absolutley blow the others away.
I disagree with this. I think that Portland is as good as many other places in the states, but I don't think it "blows away" anyone anymore. Top 5 in the states? Yes. Top in the states? Maybe, but not with as big of a lead as it used to have. Portland has tradition behind it, and yes, it is beautiful, but in terms of JUST beer, I wouldn't say it is ahead of SD, Chicago, and a few other areas.
 

mrgstiffler

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I disagree with this. I think that Portland is as good as many other places in the states, but I don't think it "blows away" anyone anymore. Top 5 in the states? Yes. Top in the states? Maybe, but not with as big of a lead as it used to have. Portland has tradition behind it, and yes, it is beautiful, but in terms of JUST beer, I wouldn't say it is ahead of SD, Chicago, and a few other areas.
I think tradition has a lot to do with it. I wouldn't say that Portland specifically has the best beers, but the Portland area does by far. It also has the best atmosphere for relaxing and drinking beer.
 

dap325

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I might suggest Fort Collins. You can hit up New Belgium, Odells, Avery (Boulder), Left Hand (Longmont), and Oskar Blues (Lyons) all in 3 days easy. There is also a Budweiser brewery for your BMC friend to tour. Lots of green this time of year and it is still pretty cool.
I'd love to visit the west coast and Portland sounds like micro brew heaven, but I'd have a hard time choosing between that and Colorado. The post regarding Ft. Collins lists some damn good breweries. I'm sure a weekend in the Rockies with intentions of visiting those breweries would be nuts.
 

boostsr20

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Thanks for the replies. In our group we have a pale ale guy, stout and porter gal, BMC chick and then me who is willing to try anything new but kind of sticks to ales mostly. It is kind of a mixed batch but all of us are interested in trying something we can not get regularly here in WV ( I will be coming back to the Fayetteville area Bad67z). SOCAL sounds fun but I have had my fill of sand and heat for the time being (no offense). But I am sure the other 3 would love to go there so I might get out-voted on this one. I never thought about Asheville though. I will have to check it out.

Keep the ideas coming and if you guys know of any places in the areas mentioned that might do tours, I would love to get on that as well.

Thanks again

If you don't mind driving in between your places Michigan has some great breweries. It would be more of a 1 brewery per day kinda thing though as they are spread out. The ones worth stopping at would be Dark Horse Kuhnhenn, Bells, Founders, Shorts, and Jolly Pumpkin, Right Brain for a smaller non distributed but awesome beer.

Look at Beer Advocates Top 50 beers and you will see that Bells and Founders both have multiples up there. Kuhnhenn has their Raspberry Eisbock up there too.


If your looking for a concentrated amount of actual breweries in one area, San Diego is by far the best place to go. Philly has some great beer bars that carry a bunch of different things. You could try NorCal around SF and hit up Russian River and Anchor.


If you do want to do the Michigan thing, there is tons of outdoor stuff to do. Traverse City area (right brain/Jolly) has lots of vineyards and winery tours (hop farms too). Shorts isn't too far from the Mackinac Bridge. Founders is about 45 minutes east of where I live which has beautiful sandy beaches on awesome lake Michigan. If your into kayaking, I can set something up for you. Depending on when you come there are always beer tents. Yes, tents setup with beer, broads, and bands. Its my job. Or some other type of event going on.
 

bonzombiekitty

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I have to suggest Philadelphia just because that's what I'm most familiar with :p

We have some awesome beer bars in the city here, a number of which serve only craft beer. There's also some great places that serve nearly nothing but craft beer; Kraftwork opened up recently and has 20 beers on tap where the only macro brew is PBR (gotta appease the hipsters in the neighborhood), and another new gem is the City Tap House which has, IIRC, 60+ taps and just set the record for the most varieties of Bells on tap at once (more than 30).

We also have several breweries in the area:

Yards
Philadelphia Brewing company
Victory
Flying Fish
Dogfish Head (in Delaware but under a 2hr drive).
Stoudts (about an hour away)
Prism (brand new)

Not to mention, we have Beer Week, which is currently happening now.
 

Wayne1

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Give some very deep thought into spending your three days in Colorado.

At this year's Great American Beer Fest Colorado breweries accumulated more awards than any other state! In fact, Colorado gathered six more awards than California, a state with thirty-one-million more people, and a slightly higher number of breweries. A rather gratifying accomplishment for the 38th state of the republic..

To help you find your way around, I suggest you pick up one of these.
 
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