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Travelling to the US, opinions on best beers to try!

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Chrispy92

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Hey all,

So I have a trip planned in August to head to the US (I am from Australia). I have done many travels to the us here and there but really wanted some of you guys who are in the "know" to help me out with some of your favourite beers that you would buy from your local liquor store.

I'm heading to Southern California, Colorado, Indiana then Chicago. If you're from any of these places I'd love to hear what your favourite or recommended beers are? Something I can head into the local liquor store and pick up to try!

I'm quite excited, although the craft beer scene here in Oz is good, it's no where near on the same level as the US... Nor as affordable!!

Hit me up with your opinions and suggestions!! Cheers and thanks!
 

mbobhat

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Those are some really good beer areas! Being from Indiana and now living in Pacific Northwest, and also visited SoCal I would say Ballast Point or Stone in SoCal, there are others as well. For Indiana to Chicago you have Bell's Brewery, try to find Three Floyd's it is in Munster Indiana, near Chicago, but you can find in liquor stores as well. Good ones from there are pretty much any beer, Gumballhead, Zombie Dust. If you are in Colorado I would think there are many good beers, gotta check out a few breweries there are a billion there...
 

catdaddy66

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When you're in Colorado you need to try anything by Oscar Blues... I like Dale's Pale Ale and Mama's Lil Yellow Pils. Old Chub is good as is Ten Fiddy. You can't go wrong with any of their offerings!
 

Braufessor

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Three Floyds for sure if you are in Indiana/Chicago area
Half Acre is another very good brewery in the chicago area
Pipeworks is another one in that area that has some good stuff
 

dmtaylor

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I agree with all those mentioned above. My choicest choices:

California - Stone, Lagunitas (still good even though it's owned by Heineken)
Colorado - Crooked Stave, Oskar Blues, Boulder
Chicago - Piece, Goose Island (still great even though it's owned by ABInbev)
Indiana - Three Floyds, Flat 12

Cheers!
 

jack13

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If you decide on Stone as one of your stops why not dip down into Mexico? :)

There are several breweries just over the border in Tijuana.

Also, be aware there are a few Stone locations. There are two in San Diego. One is a large restaurant with a really cool outdoor area and the other seems to be (haven't been there) a much smaller tap room.
 

CGVT

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No specific recommendation, but I would suggest that where ever you are, search out local brew pubs. I try to do that when ever I travel and have found some gems. Of course, I have found some dud too...
 

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I'm in northern Indiana, and love the abundance of Bell's Two Hearted, which just topped the annual Zymergy poll. As far as Colorado goes, I think Avalanche Duet is tops. For CA, can't beat Firestone Walker.

Sounds like you're going to have a great trip!
 

JONNYROTTEN

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Budweiser.... Its the king of beers :D

The amount of micro brews popping up everywhere is dizzying. It seems everyday theres something new
Your sampling palate will be exhausted
 

thunderwagn

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Where in Colorado will you be? We have so many good breweries here, offerings will be different throughout the state.
I agree with all the offerings above, and also recommend:
Odell
Funkwerks
Odd13
Great Divide
Upslope (brown)
Lefthand
Avery
Telluride
Strange Craft
And it may be as widespread as Bud these days, but I guess it would be unethical to not mention New Belgium.
There are many, many more and you can and will find some gems, but I just listed things that you probably hear about and can walk in to just about any CO liquor store and grab...like you mentioned you're looking for.
 

bford

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I use to try and plan out every brewery visit when I vacationed across the US, but now I get to where I'm going and play it by ear.

I ask around for the best craft bars in the area. Look up what breweries are close on google. It has worked out well for me.

Two summers ago in Maine I pulled into our hotel. Parked the car and saw a sign for Maine Beer Company. I had to walk about 100 feet or so to get to their door. That was amazing.

If you end up in San Diego I would look into Modern Times. After that you can find about 40 great breweries there.
 

applescrap

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Three Floyds for sure if you are in Indiana/Chicago area
Half Acre is another very good brewery in the chicago area
Pipeworks is another one in that area that has some good stuff
Yeah that half acre gone away ipa is killer. In chicago at the airport I was able to try Bourbon County Barrel Stout from Goose Island. So you should be able to find that in that area pretty easily as it's from there. Pipeworks Lizard King and Ninja vs unicorn are very good
 

applescrap

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Hi from colorado. Glad you are coming! We have bars, a few of them that have a hundred taps, if you go to one of those places you can find everything from everybody. Also Google our best beer stores and you will be able to find some of the best beers from around the nation. I don't go to a lot of breweries, but here are some beers that you can find here that are worth trying.

Oskar blues ten fidy and or the barrell aged version.
Elevated ipa, la cumbre brewing new mexico
Odd13 noob and codename superfan ipa
Croked stave sours are pretty famous
Dads and dudes....never been there but they brew mary jane into the beer.
Avery has a lot of good beers from gold foil barleywines to maharajah a dipa which is killer
Melvin ipas and double ipas from wyoming
Epic brewery a lot of people like big bad baptist
In my home town fort collins new belgian and odells are nice places but coopersmith is one of the locals favorites. Left hand brewery is in Longmont. There are so many breweries and brew pubs and most are good, food and beer, so its hard to say. I have friends that like declaration Brewery, because I guess it's an awesome place but their beer isn't our best or anything. I heard locavore is good. The original Oskar Blues is on your way to Estes Park from Denver. Speaking of Estes I would probably rather drink a bad beer in Estes Park then a good one in Denver. Then if you get here and realize how legal and prevalent the MJ is everywhere, and use it you will be confused and wander around and enjoy probably any Brewery go to ;)
We have a brewery inside the baseball park where the Colorado Rockies play and it's one of my favorite, because you get to enjoy a baseball game and some good Brew. Happy travels let me know if you need any other travel ideas, things to do, places for kids etc. here.
 

thunderwagn

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In my home town fort collins new belgian and odells are nice places but coopersmith is one of the locals favorites.
Coopersmiths is so often overlooked, but I am a huge fan of their offerings. My wife and I were talking about how much we enjoy it just the other night. I mentioned the fact that I think Coopersmiths was my first dabbling into craft/micro's way back in 89/90? Can't recall, but many moons ago!:mug:
 

jay_seconds

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L.A. County:
Highland Park Brewery (@ The Hermosillo)
El Segundo Brewing
Monkish Brewing Co.

S.D. County:

Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery
Soceite Brewing Company
Abnormal Beer Co.
Burgeon Beer Co. (newish but awesome)
Pizza Port Brewing Company
Council Brewing

many more!
 

brewcat

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Going to Colorado. Odell, New Belgium, and Coors.
 

k1ngl1ves

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Chicagoland area favorites:

Half Acre
Pipeworks
Pollyanna
Revolution
18th Street (NW Indiana)
3 Floyd's (NW Indiana)

All amazing beers.


Binny's and Kenwood Liquors are the 2 liquor stores that carry a vast amount of beer from coast to coast. Thay won't have the real small breweries in further away states, but they carry any midsize breweries and up. Plus, all the local little guys. Fair prices too.

:mug:
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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I agree with the find your own adventure suggestion that someone posted here. You're right about the craft beer explosion here in America it is huge and almost everywhere you go you can find good and bad beer. To me the bad beer is just as much part of the adventure as the good. Like anything breweries rise and decline and even though you may get a solid recommendation online here, the word on the street is likely your best indicator. Welcome to the U.S.!
 

chalkboardbrewer

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Also, don't just limit yourself to local brews. Think about other breweries you have read about, such as Dogfish Head or Cigar City. Both located on the east coast but get distribution in Colorado and Illinois.
 

applescrap

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Coopersmiths is so often overlooked, but I am a huge fan of their offerings. My wife and I were talking about how much we enjoy it just the other night. I mentioned the fact that I think Coopersmiths was my first dabbling into craft/micro's way back in 89/90? Can't recall, but many moons ago!:mug:
I have been drinking punjabi since 92, definitely my first IPa, and I'm from Loveland to. I grew up in between Loveland and Fort Collins.
 

applescrap

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This place looks cool, they have crooked stave petit rasberry, dry dock apricot, elevated ipa, pipeworks lizard king (for crying out loud), station 26 juicy banger, great divide yeti, and left hand nitro milk stout. As well as delirium tremens and duvel amongst many others.

View attachment 1499571253615.jpg
 
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Chrispy92

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Oh man that looks AMAZING ^^

Really appreciate the opinions of all. As much as j would love to be cruising around finding breweries and stumbling upon tap houses my trip is going to be pretty packed with other things, hence why I asked for opinions on those favourites I can stumble upon at the local liquor store.

As for those who asked I'll be around Orange County in California and probably head down to San Diego at some point. In CO I'll unfortunately not be in Denver but around Glenwood springs (actually staying at the brewpub there, so that's a win win!) In Indy I'll be down in b-town then drive up through the state to Chicago.

Man oh man I cannot wait now..... Bring on the BEERS! :D:D
 

applescrap

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Oh man that looks AMAZING ^^

Really appreciate the opinions of all. As much as j would love to be cruising around finding breweries and stumbling upon tap houses my trip is going to be pretty packed with other things, hence why I asked for opinions on those favourites I can stumble upon at the local liquor store.

As for those who asked I'll be around Orange County in California and probably head down to San Diego at some point. In CO I'll unfortunately not be in Denver but around Glenwood springs (actually staying at the brewpub there, so that's a win win!) In Indy I'll be down in b-town then drive up through the state to Chicago.

Man oh man I cannot wait now..... Bring on the BEERS! :D:D
Glenwood springs is one of my favorite places in the world, hope you love it. There is a lot of history there at the worlds largest hot springs pool. Oh, its really expensive to get in btw. That brewery is ok, but there are many others there too and they will have all the beers from up and down the valley and the mountains. Its a little late in the year to ride big waves, but they do half trips and day trips up and down the Colorado River leaving right from Glenwood. They cross class 3 and 4 rapids and will be the best 60 dollars you will spend on your trip. If you want to get more hardcore you can find that too. Hope you bring golf clubs, the golf is amazing. Let me know if you need any tips up there.
 

jmcquesten

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Oh man that looks AMAZING ^^

Really appreciate the opinions of all. As much as j would love to be cruising around finding breweries and stumbling upon tap houses my trip is going to be pretty packed with other things, hence why I asked for opinions on those favourites I can stumble upon at the local liquor store.

As for those who asked I'll be around Orange County in California and probably head down to San Diego at some point. In CO I'll unfortunately not be in Denver but around Glenwood springs (actually staying at the brewpub there, so that's a win win!) In Indy I'll be down in b-town then drive up through the state to Chicago.

Man oh man I cannot wait now..... Bring on the BEERS! :D:D
Don't forget, Colorado has other things worth sampling too.
 

FoCobrewguy

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If you are going to Glenwood and like sour beers one of the best in the US is right down the street from you. Hit up Casey Blending and Brewing, amazing fruited/hopped sours. The liquor stores there should be plenty stocked up on Odd13 and Melvin as well as lots of others just ask the staff for what they recommend most bottle shops are very helpful. If you are driving from denver, stop in Frisco at Outer Range brewing and Base Camp Liquors is in the same shopping center. Awesome bottle shop huge walk in cooler.
 

jmartie13

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If you're in Chicago, you might as well hop in a plane and take a short 2hr flight to the Northeast . It will be worth your time.
 
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Chrispy92

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Well the trip is up, thanks all for your suggestions. I definitely got my fill and sampled just over 140 different beers in three weeks :drunk: :drunk:

There were some names I wanted to find that I couldn't (any of the tree house brews/ heady topper/ Pliny ) but there were plenty more good beers that filled their spot!

I think I'd have to say the west coast IPAs really amazed me, don't think the Aussie breweries quite have these down, especially the abundance of imperial versions.

If anyone was curious I could probably do a list of all the beers I drank haha :tank:
 

applescrap

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Sounds like you had a great trip! How did you like the Hot Springs pool and Glenwood? I wouldn't mind seeing a list of some of your favorites.
 
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Chrispy92

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Loved CO, have been a few times before but it was awesome as always. Did some rafting and amazing hikes through Glenwood canyon.

Here's a list of the beers that I would order more than one of at a bar. Honestly I didn't really have a bad drop as I purposely ordered/ chose beers I thought I would enjoy.

In all honesty I really enjoyed pretty much everything from Stone and Ballast point and lagunitas in CA. Minus the watermelon el dorado from BP, it was a bit like candy.
I was fairly restricted in CO with exploring as I was with family but still tried a fair few. Same as in Chicago, only had two days to explore. Really got a good spread in CA!

Here's a list of my faves:
California---

Stone:
21 hail to the hop theif double IPA
Enjoy by 09.04.17
Reuination double IPA
Delicious IPA

Lagunitas:
Hop Stoopid
Maximus

Ballast Point:
ALL sculpins were gooood

Port Brewing:
Shark attack double red IPA
Hop-15 double IPA

Beachwood brewco:
Citraholic double IPA

Firestone walker:
pale

Karl Strauss:
Tower 10
Aurora hoppialis
Mosaic session IPA

Laguna beach beer:
Greeters pale ale

Bear republic:
Racer 5 IPA

Alesmith:
IPA
Wee Heavy

Knee Deep brewco:
Hoptologist double IPA

Modern Times:
IPA

Left Coast Brewing:
Hop juice triple IPA

Noble Ale works:
Nose candy

Colorado ---

Great Divide brewco:
Claymore Scotch ale

Periodic Brewing:
Hope pass IPA

New Belgium:
Voodoo ranger
Voodoo ranger imperial IPA - loved this

Left hand:
Milk stout

Odell:
Drumroll
IPA

Glenwood brewco:
AB project : lemondrop
Belgian quad

Bonfire brewing:
Kindler pale

Ska brewing:
Modus hoperandi

Indiana---
3 Floyds:
Zombie Dust
Gumballhead
Space station middle finger
Necron 99
Apocolypse cow
Alpha king

Peoples brewing co:
East of West Point IPA

Sun King:
Grapefruit Jungle

Upland brewco:
Darken (barrel aged sour)
Coastbuster Double IPA

Against the grain:
Jackyale bourbon aged brown ale

Black acre brewing co:
Hop pun double IPA

Warpigs brew pub:
Foggy geezer

Bells brewery:
Two hearted ale

Rhinegeist brewery (OH):
Juicy Truth grapefruit IPA

Urban Artifact (OH):
Hippodrome double IPA

Chicago...
brickstone brewing:
Hopskip pale ale -- prob my favourite local

New Holland Brew Co:
Dragons milk

Revolution brewing:
Enjoyed pretty much all the Heros with the tropic being my favourite, fun way to interpret different hops in commercial brews.

Others---

Founders:
Doom double IPA

Flying dog:
Double Dog

Dogfish head:
120min -- EPIC
90min -- good a bit sweet
60min -- meh

Elysian brewco:
Space Dust
 
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