To truly see this country, visit a brewery. Gathered there are curious individuals of all ages, backgrounds and callings, sharing a communal love of beer. With more than 4,000 breweries in operation, your next pint is never far away, and these cities show the great diversity of flavors and cultures.
Asheville, North Carolina
It’s the unofficial brewing capitol of the South, and Wicked Weed Brewing is known for hoppy, barrel-aged and wild ales that can make even the most hardened beer geek salivate. Asheville Brewing Company offers inventive recipes, and Oyster House Brewing Company has great seafood that will make you forget you’re in the mountains.
The state has more than 230 breweries, with more than 90 operating in the PDX metro area, meaning there’s a brewery for every whim and palate. Visit Hair of the Dog Brewing Company for unusual goodies, Cascade Brewing Barrel House for fruited beers, The Commons Brewery for more traditional European-style options, and tiny Gigantic Brewing Company for collaborations and one-offs.
Hops & Grain opens daily at 8:00 a.m. for coffee, but if you politely ask, staff will pour beer samples. Visit Adelbert’s Brewery for Belgian-inspired brews, Black Star Co-Op Pub and Brewery for dinner and Austin Beerworks, the largest craft brewer in the city. Jester King Brewery, on a sprawling ranch along the city line, serves some of the country’s finest farmhouse and wild ales.
San Diego, California
A hop-lovers paradise. Bursting with breweries, Southern California brings the bitter and aromatic. Stalwarts like Karl Strauss Brewing Company, The Lost Abbey and AleSmith Brewery should be on every bucket list. Newcomers, like the diverse offerings from Societe Brewing Company and award-winning Rip Current Brewing, leave little time for the beach, and that’s O.K.