The craft beer scene in the United States continues to rapidly grow. NPR reports over 5,300 US breweries currently exist and over 5,200 of them are craft beer places (in 2012 there were only 2,000 breweries).
This article lists some great craft beer places around the United States. I include only one per state and some travel writer friends also provided suggestions. These are merely suggestions, a starting point, and I encourage you to explore the craft beer scene and let me know what you discover and like.
Great Craft Beer Places to Celebrate in USA
Virginia – Crooked Run Brewing
Since I live in Virginia it was difficult to choose only one craft brewery. I love craft beer places with magnificent views, great beer (of course), fun people, or inspiring stories. The most unique—yes, I am going with unique—selection of beers I have found is brewed at Crooked Run Brewing in gorgeous Loudoun County.
While sipping the Cherry Cayenne blend (yummy) I asked the brewmaster how many unsuccessful batches he has produced. He said 1 out of over 150 was just too weird to serve to the public. Love the creativity and pushing of boundaries here.
Crooked Run Brewing: 205 Harrison Street Street SE, Leesburg, VA | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
New York – Grist Iron
OK, for this craft beer place I AM selecting a gorgeous view. Grist Iron overlooks Seneca Lake (in the Finger Lakes area of New York state). The modern brewery building has a lot of patio space to enjoy the views along with comfortable indoor space to enjoy the vibe. They serve great food and the property also has a magnificent lodge to stay in.
Grist Iron Brewing: 4880 Route 414, Burdett, NY | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Oregon – Pelican Brewing
Perhaps their slogan of #BornAtTheBeach attracted me. Their beer tap handles most definitely appeal to me. Pelican Brewing is a convenient day trip from Tualatin Valley for a pint of excellent Oregon craft beer a short stroll from Haystack Rock.
They also serve great food; try the clam chowder, fish & chips, salmon, and clams.
Pelican Brewing: 1371 S. Hemlock Street, Cannon Beach, OR | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Colorado – Grist Brewing
Grist Brewing is run by a few science geeks. Nothing wrong with that, since most brewmasters are amateur chemists. At Grist, though, they are proud to flaunt that they combine science and creativity. The Grist Brewing nerds create small batch experiments so you should visit often.
Grist Brewing Company: 9150 Commerce Center Circle Suite 300, Highlands Ranch, CO | website | Facebook | Twitter
Florida – Naples Beach Brewery
McCool Travel note: Naples Beach Brewery is currently closed but may re-open in a different location. Try these other wonderful Florida Gulf Coast breweries.
There is just something about the Florida craft beer scene. Well, not just the beer but pretty much everything in Florida. How else to explain Moon Pie stouts?
Indeed, Naples Beach Brewery in Naples, Florida takes some liberties with their brew concoctions but that makes it interesting. Definitely try their tropical fruit infused brews, plenty of watermelon, pineapple, and mango varieties to make your taste buds dance.
Naples Beach Brewery: 4120 Enterprise Avenue Suite 115, Naples, FL | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Louisiana – Crying Eagle
The brewing passion project that is Crying Eagle in Lake Charles launched after extensive research; that is, visiting countless brews around the US. In other words, these guys did not take the traditional path from home brewers to opening up shop in a warehouse.
Amazing craft beer was their goal from day one and they have a magnificent facility for their product line, which complements (not overpowers) the spectacular southwest Louisiana food.
Crying Eagle Brewing: 1165 E. McNeese Street Street SE, Lake Charles, LA | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Alabama – Big Beach
Summertime lasts a little longer at Alabama’s beaches than most of the USA and the living is always easy. Alabama’s southernmost brewery brews a variety of beers and correlates them to popular mass produced beers. For instance, they will tell you, if you like the big brewer’s ABC, then try Big Beach’s XYZ. Nothing complicated here, just relaxed refreshments among friends (old and new).
Big Beach Brewing: 300 E. 24th Avenue, Gulf Shores, AL | website | Twitter | Instagram
Pennsylvania – Aldus
Aldus is named for the 14th century genius from Venice, Italy who invented the italic font but also first produced books for the masses. The latter is the passion of this brewer who wants to take the fear out of craft beer and create craft beer thats easy to drink.
Plus Aldus Brewing occupies the original Snyder’s Pretzel factory so that is very cool.
Also see Fantastic Places to Eat in Gettysburg
Aldus Brewing: 555 Centennial Avenue, Hanover, PA | Facebook
Delaware – Crooked Hammock
In the shadow of the big fish, Crooked Hammock is a family-friendly, fun place to get your beer groove on. Enjoy the plentiful outside space, games and activities, live music, and, yes, hammocks. The brewed on site beer compliments the scrumptious food (mmmm, pulled pork sandwich!) or makes a splash on its own.
Crooked Run Brewing: 36707 Crooked Hammock Way, Lewes, DE | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Hawaii – Kona Brewing
Kona Brewing is probably the largest craft brewer on this list. While buying a six pack of liquid Aloha from my local grocery store in Northern Virginia is fun, visiting the real place in Kona is so much better. Mahalo!
See also 8 Great Reasons to Stay at Kona Beach Hotel
Kona Brewing: 74-5612 Pawai Place, Kailua Kona, HI | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Maine – Sea Dog Brewing
Sea Dog might be the oldest craft brewery on this list—founded in 1993—and has locations in three states. I am a long-time fan of their Wild Blueberry beer. It is perfect with fresh steamed lobster and while on a Maine Windjammer Cruise.
Also try the Sea Dog location on Treasure Island, Florida, part of St Pete Beach. It is one of our favorite Florida Breweries.
Sea Dog Brewing: 26 Front Door, Bangor, ME | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
See some of our favorite US Gulf Coast craft breweries: Mississippi Gulf Coast craft beer and Beaumont TX craft beer.
Suggestions of other great craft beer places from some travel writer friends:
North Carolina – Fullsteam Brewery
I can’t mention craft beer in the Research Triangle (my home) without mentioning Fullsteam. The owner Sean Lilly Wilson is a big deal in the craft beer world, considering he was a big factor behind the “Pop the Cap NC” movement that led to the state’s removal of the six percent alcohol level cap in 2005. By the way, Fullsteam makes some wonderful beer (Rocket Science is my favorite and supposedly Wilson’s, too) and serves flights in the most fitting container I’ve seen.
See also Fantastic Things to Do in Durham North Carolina
Fullsteam Brewery: 726 Rigsbee Avenue, Durham, NC | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Suggested by Carl Hedinger | TravelThroughLife.net | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Illinois – Dovetail Brewery
We love German beer and Dovetail Brewery gets as close as we’ve ever had this side of the Atlantic. These brewers have such respect for the traditional brewery methods that they shipped a copper beer kettle from a 1000-year-old brewery in Germany to Chicago to brew their beer. The water they use is carefully filtered and formulated to replicate German water. It’s also individually formulated for each beer. To say they take their brewing seriously is a huge understatement.
Dovetail Brewery: 18 W. Belle Plaine Avenue, Chicago, IL | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Suggested by Sue Reddel | FoodTravelist.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Massachusetts – Brew Practitioners
Brew Practitioners in Western Massachusetts is a unique experience in every way. Step into this converted auto repair garage, and you’ll be struck be the fun design. Taste their beers and you will realize that they have a true passion for brewing. Their mega flight is a beer lovers delight, with generous portions and multiple varieties ranging from special IPAs to smooth stouts. Each is amazing in its own way.
Brew Practitioners: 36 Main Street, Florence, MA | website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Suggested by Frank Parrott | NothingButNewEngland.com| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
As you road trip around the USA, make sure you spend a little time at some of the amazing and creative great craft beer places.
Do you have any other great craft beer places to recommend?
37 thoughts on “Great Craft Beer Places to Celebrate in USA”
America used to produce piss water, but now with the craft beer scene booming, it has some of the best brews anywhere! My favorite brewery is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a great beer city. Glad to see some of the staff available in… Paris. Even if I have to pay 6€ for a small bottle. #nostalgia
Michigan would be fun to explore for the beer and cuisine. I should!
It’s amazing how creative these brewers are (like the Pelican Dirty Bird). I can see why craft beer is so popular!
I love the clever beer names. They all have to be unique and some places get creative.
So much beer, so little time to drink it. I’m just back from Mammoth Lakes in California and discovered a few more places to add to the master list.
Wonderful. Cali craft beer is certainly very popular.
Charles, you’re going to have to get to Minnesota one of these days. Craft breweries are springing up all over here, including two within walking distance of my home. Lucky me.
Quite lucky. Walking distance there, stumbling back. Ha!
We haven’t visited many craft breweries, but your photos sure make the idea enticing. Our style is more for wineries and distilleries, although now we will have to start watching for great craft beer places.
Many places have beverage trails, including breweries, wineries, and distilleries (and sometimes meaderies). Love them!
It’s amazing how many craft breweries are popping up all over the country. I think that may be one of the fastest growing industries!
I think you are right. So many breweries. Most are run by passionate and talented people so it is a great benefit for tasters.
Yes, a good starting point for brew discoveries in each of these states! I’m amazed I’m still finding new places right here in my hometown.
Seems like every time I turn my head there is another craft beer place opening. Not a bad thing at all.
Nice to see a few from New England on your list! Vermont is my go-to for great craft beer, but Maine and Mass have some amazing spots also. Looking forward to checking out your suggestions! 🙂
Obviously I should do articles for each state. So much research. Stay tuned.
What a great encyclopedia for craft beer lovers!
Thank you, Irene. Just a starting point, as there are 1000s of craft brew places. Do you have a favorite?
Have never tried Pelican Brewing, but I would love to, as I’m gaga over pelicans! Tried the Orange Blossom Beer while in AZ last week and loved it.
Gaga about pelicans? Who knew? Very cool. I am in Florida now and see pelicans all the time. Love them.
I love beer! I’ve been to Pelican Brewing in Oregon, and have added Kona Brewing to my list from your list so that I can check it out next time I’m on that island.
Did you go to the Pelican in Cannon Beach? A couple of months ago I went to the Fieldwork Brewing location in Napa. I only mention it because of the Berkeley in your name!
Great article on a variety of craft beer makers. We visited one in Wichita, Kansas and had a great time learning about beer making. Thanks for sharing these other locations.
My pleasure! What was the name of the brewery in Wichita?
I recently embarked on a road trip on the The Great River Road. One of my favorite finds was the the Mark Twain Brewery in Hannibal, Mo.
Sounds like a super cool road trip, Jim. Thank you for the suggestion of Mark Twain Brewery.
Nice post. I am an avid lover of micro brews myself and love to chase down new breweries in all the countries I visit.
Sounds like a wonderful mission, Claus!
The Pelican Brewing in Pacific City on the Oregon Coast is awesome! Their deck is right on the sand with the most amazing view.
Thank you for the note, Sarah. Pelican Brewing in Cannon Beach is wonderful but I bet the beach setting is even better.
Thanks for including Fullsteam! I’ll be happy to take you there when you’re in the area:)
Count on it. Hope to visit Fullsteam very soon!
So happy to see our local favorite Dovetail Brewing included in your list Charles.
More research needed so I appreciate the suggestion.
Thanks for including Nothing But New England on their first contribution!
Love it. My pleasure. Looking forward to more awesomeness from Nothing But NE. Need a research assistant?
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