Enjoy a Pint at One of the Best Craft Breweries Around the United States
A must-visit brewery's taproom presents more than suds. There's so much style and personal expression, you can't wait to return.
Nearly every city in the U.S. is bursting at the seams with a growing craft beer scene. Now you can practice yoga at a brewery (right next to the tanks!), partake in food-truck fare, learn how to make beer on a tour, or feel like you're in a beer garden in Germany. Brewery taprooms boast a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, and are great spots for meeting friends or kicking back after a long day.
In 2020 there were 8,764 craft breweries across the United States, according to the Brewers Association. This also represents a $94 billion market where hospitality—inviting guests to sip and learn—is key. While there are certain long-time meccas for craft-beer innovation—such as Michigan, Colorado, Northern California, and Wisconsin—new markets have emerged across the country, many in quaint smaller towns and in restored buildings like former fire stations, churches, or other historic structures. Belly up to the bar to inquire about what's on tap as—being so close to the brewery source—options change daily and often include exclusives or limited-edition beers.
From a beer farm in Southern Illinois that forages for infused ingredients on its property and rims a national forest to a brewery-to-table taproom or restaurant in Maui where beers are inspired by locally grown tropical fruits, here are 10 brewery taprooms to visit across the U.S. Come hungry as the opportunity to pair beers with food is strong—and many dishes even fold in beer as a central ingredient.
Scratch Brewing in Ava, Illinois
Five miles from the Shawnee National Forest, this farmhouse brewery folds foraged ingredients found on property (for example, sassafras leaves and wild cherry bark) into its beers, those recipes inspired by the owners' (2020 James Beard Award-nominated Aaron Kleidon and Marika Josephson) The Homebrewers Almanac and paired with pizzas baked in a wood-fired brick oven.
Door County Brewing Co., in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin
Literally across the state from Lake Michigan, the brewery's beer garden—pouring pints that are nods to locals, like The Polka King Porter, named after late polka act Freddie K.—is a welcome haven each summer and fall for hikers and kayakers, also hosting live music acts and serving up 'cue via DCBC Eats.
Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, Michigan
This creative reuse of the church within a former funeral parlor earned Brewery Vivant LEED Silver certification (the country's first for a brewery) and is where Belgian- and French-style beers are brewed and tapped—fitting as "bon vivant" means, in French, "the good life."
Station 26 Brewing Co. in Denver, Colorado
This former (1960s) fire station turned brewery in Denver's Park Hill neighborhood coaxes locals for its dog-friendly patio and indoor seating—not to mention beers (from the fruit-infused Tangerine Cream to a traditional, German-style Kolsch), hard seltzers and a rotating roster of food trucks.
SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo, California
At SLO Brew's The Rock, there's plenty of room to spread out alfresco by the fire pits and enjoy a pint (the brewery's fun names include the SLO Death Hazy Double IPA and Churro Stout)—you might even spontaneously sign up for a tour.
Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York
Order a Belgian-style beer and food (such as poutine and croque madame) in the brewery's cafe (on the 140-acre grounds) or time your visit with a live-music concert, from Afternoon Jams (Sundays) to Firepit Fridays.
Jester King in Austin, Texas
Beer brewed at this 165-acre ranch in Texas Hill Country isn't run of the mill—instead, there are unique options like a beer featuring 100-percent Texas ingredients and farmhouse cider crafted from Texas apples—the perfect pairing with pizzas baked on site.
Dogfish Head, Milton, Delaware
Not far from the coast, the brewery's tasting room (look for the Steampunk Treehouse sculpture) hosts beer-release parties, drop-in tastings of exclusives on tap, and fun events like Vintage & Vinyl.
Maui Brewing Company in Maui, Hawaii
The Aloha State's largest craft brewery makes its beer in Kihei, near Wailea, and encourages "brewery to table" dining at an on-site restaurant where 36 beers are on tap—all Hawaiian-inspired, like Pineapple Mana and Coconut Hiwa.
Central Standard Brewing in Wichita, Kansas
So hip that the tasting room sells onesies for the baby in your life, this Douglas Design District brewery—founded by friends with a love for home brewing—snagged a Silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival only a year after its 2015 opening.