Touring a good brewery is the grown-up version of touring Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Actually, it's far superior, because instead of crazy magical candy and violent lessons in morality from a reclusive lunatic, you get beer. And oftentimes food. Good food. And did we mention the beer? These seven breweries make us want to sneak in a cot and set up camp behind the fermenting tanks for good.
Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, CA Located in the always-sunny San Diego County, Stone produces a lineup of legendary hop-heavy beer. In addition to an amazing restaurant that serves up gourmet bar grub and the healthy portions of beer included with the tour, Stone gives visitors an opportunity to visit the brewery’s sprawling beer garden where they can get in touch with their inner Zen. Or just drink more beer. More info: stonebrew.com
Samuel Adams, Boston, MA Despite their big-brand status, Samuel Adams still produces some of the tastiest beer in the states. As it's the unofficial brew of patriots everywhere, a visit to the Adams headquarters is a must for the American beer lover. More info: samueladams.com
Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, CA Founded in 1896, Anchor’s brewery is located in the Portrero Hill district of San Francisco. The building has been around since 1937, and while Anchor only moved in sometime in the mid-70s, the brewhouse has a classic structure and features that make it look like it’s been in operation since the company’s inception in the late 19th century. It’s a popular destination for beer lovers, and visitors are encouraged to make reservations up to six months in advance. More info: anchorbrewing.com
Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE Great beer? Check. Beautiful brewery grounds? Check. Giant metal steampunk treehouse that the brewmasters hauled back to Delaware after falling in love with it at the Burning Man festival? Yeah, check. This place is worth a visit for the personality alone. More info: dogfish.com
Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY If you're skilled enough to fight your way through Williamsburg's mustachioed hordes, you'll come upon the Brooklyn Brewery, home to over 50 beers ranging from a Russian imperial stout to a healthy variety of hefeweizens. Cruise through on a Sunday and you’ll be treated to a mini food festival called SmorgasBrewery, which will give you something to chew on while you throw back fresh-brewed pints. More info: brooklynbrewery.com
New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO The New Belgium headquarters is sort of like the Disneyland of breweries. It’s an enormous facility, people ride bikes everywhere and they’ve got this old-timey rambling circus theme going on that lends the place a distinct character you’re not likely to find elsewhere. Oh, and the beer kicks a significant amount of ass. More info: newbelgium.com
Yuengling, Pottsville, PA It’s the oldest operating brewery in America, established in 1829. That means it’s basically a requirement on your list of beer landmarks to visit. It helps that the beer is pretty good stuff, despite its exceptionally low price point. More info: yuengling.com