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Beercation Destinations?

Saw this on CNN’s website today and got me to wondering about what other destinations folks on the forum might share. http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/08/travel/us … pt=hp_bn10

The CNN story listed McMenamins Edgefield and Chatoe Rogue here in Oregon. People may recall from my previous posts that I find McMenamins’ beer mediocre, but their properties are amazing and Edgefield is their crown jewel. The story got it partially wrong. The reason it is such a sprawling place is that it was once the county poor farm, back when such things existed. I haven’t been to Chatoe Rogue, but I am a big fan of their beers.

We go up to Chicago periodically, they have some great bars and brewpubs. And the St Louis beer scene is exploding, dozens of good brewpubs there. Many right in the downtown area.

I’m hoping this doesn’t offend the Portlanders, but I’m honestly not a huge fan of Rogue’s beers. I’ve bought them, and they don’t impress me. Then, they had them paired with Paxton’s meal at the AHAC Grand Banquet, and I didn’t really dig either.

Not to be a total h8r, but I have to say I’m getting a bit spent on the brewery tour as well. “AND THIS IS OUR MASH TUN, WHERE WE STEEP THE GRAINS IN HOT WATER TO EXTRACT THEIR SUGARS”…bang my head into a wall. I’m actually much more of a fan of hitting up a cool city that has a great beer scene and relaxing with friends over a few (too many) pints.

ANNNNYWHO…to the question, my top 10 (no particular order, visited or not):

-Stone
-Ommegang (beautiful area of the country - underrated)
-Russian River
-Bear Republic (mainly because Healdsburg is simply amazing)
-Denver (great taprooms like Great Divide, plenty of daytrips, beer bars, and brewery tours available)
-Portland, OR
-Brooklyn
-Portland, ME (such an underrated city - Novare Res, Duck Fat, Lion’s Pride, Great Lost Bear, day trip to Ebenezer’s in Lovell)
-Madison, WI
-Dogfish (worth the “mash tun” lecture)

I think I may have to sneak Minneapolis in there somewhere. Heading there in a month or so for a wedding, and have to say I’m pretty pumped. Have an extra day to explore and check out breweries/beer bars. Never been, hopefully I’m not gassing it up too much.

I highly recommend San Diego. I also just went on a trip to Denver which was a great time.

When in Portland, OR cross the bridge into downtown Vancouver, WA. There are three breweries within a very short walk: Old Ivy (formerly Salmon Creek), Mt. Tabor, Loowit, and I just saw a sign in a window announcing “Dirty Hands Brewing, coming soon.” Old Ivy is next door to a pretty good bottle shop: By The Bottle. Not too far away is a Mcmenamins on the river. Plus at least two or three others a bit farther out including a second Mcm.

A great time to visit would be in august for the second Vancouver Beerfest.

I saw that CNN.com article too. I was surprised to see the place in Saratogo, WY mentioned. I stopped in there last summer during a bicycle tour. The food was good, but the beer definitely was not. Their brewer needs to do a little homework on water chemistry, I think.

I think the article focuses more on the quality of the properties than it does on the beer, which is fine I guess. I was more interested in responses about actual B&Bs and the like such as are listed in the articles. I agree with Pietro, I’m not particularly interested in more brewery tours. I am also not offended if somebody doesn’t like a beer I like. Rogue makes good beer, as evidenced by their popularity with craft beer drinkers, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everybody that likes craft beer. Music, food, beer, it’s all a matter of tastes and thankfully tastes differ. It makes the world a much more interesting place.

Last year I went to Cali and hit 11 breweries in 5 days…was the best beercation ! 65 beers tested during the trip.

Lagunitas
Russian River
Marin
Green Flash
AleSmith
Lightning
Iron Fist
Lost Abbey
Stone
Mother Earth
Ballast Point

I just got back from a trip in Michigan. Hit up four breweries near Traverse city and another 4 around the Detroit area. I will say this — Michigan is definitely near the top in the brewing game. For the next trip I’m going to the western side of the state — Grand Rapids area (Bell’s, Founders, New Holland, Arcadia)

The Chicago area is starting to catch up. You have a bunch of places in the city (Half Acre, Metropolitan and some others) and the suburbs have Tighthead, Church Street, Two Brothers, Emmetts and a bunch of others. You have Three Floyds in Indiana, Bell’s in Michigan, New Glarus and Minhaus in SW Wisconsin (The town of New Glarus is a great destination… a very “central European” feel complete with schnitzel and the brewery and beer are fantastic!) and there are new breweries in Galena as well. Pair that with some of the great breweries in Milwaukee (Lakefront, Milwaukee Ale House, etc) and you have yourself a nice, relatively compact beer destination. I just got back from Vienna, Brataslava, Prague and Munich so I am a little beer-spoiled at the moment. :expressionless: Cheers Beerheads.

[quote=“Pietro”]I’m hoping this doesn’t offend the Portlanders, but I’m honestly not a huge fan of Rogue’s beers. I’ve bought them, and they don’t impress me. Then, they had them paired with Paxton’s meal at the AHAC Grand Banquet, and I didn’t really dig either.
[/quote]

No offense taken, Rogue is made in Newport Oregon :cheers:

I’m not fond of Rogue either. If i’m going to drink a one of the big oregon breweries beer, I almost always choose Deschutes. Deschutes is made in Bend Oregon, but they also have a restaurant and brewery in portland where they make their own individual beers outside of the regular Deschutes lineup (rogue has similar locations in portland, but nothing special IMO). Portland also has many great specialty beer bars and stores. Not to mention all the great breweries (hopworks, hair of the dog, upright, lompoc, laurelwood, burnside, cascade, etc…) If anyone is looking for a beercation, the northwest is certainly worth looking into.

:cheers:

Thats like when I tell people I am from New York and they ask “how far from the city?”. When I say 6 hours driving they are always surprised.

I am dying to get out to Portland. It sounds like Mecca to me.

I had Deschutes for the first time @ GABF last year. People had overhyped it a bit to me, so I was a little underwhelmed, but definitely a solid mid-tier brewery. I feel like they are equivalent to Saranac here in NY. Actually, they are way better than Saranac. Forget what I said.

You should go to Grand Rapids for AHAC next year! It should be a great time. God willing I will be making the trip.

You should go to Grand Rapids for AHAC next year! It should be a great time. God willing I will be making the trip.[/quote]

Planning on it!

I saw Denver mentioned, but let me expand that to Colorado in general. There’s so much to drink within a couple hour drive of DIA.

Renegade and Great Divide are both in Denver
Oskar Blues in Lyons,
New Belgium in Ft. Collins
Breckenridge, in Breckenridge (go figure)
Trinity in Colorado Springs

I love Colorado Mountain Brewery, the one at the northern edge of Colorado Springs. The beer is a step above OK, as is the food. What makes it though, is sitting on their patio, with the sun setting over the Rockies’ front range; you get a clear view of the Air Force Academy visible in the distance, and Pike’s Peak and Cheyenne Mountain visible further to the South. As the sun starts to drop behind the mountains, it creates that perfect " 'Merica, F@#k Yea!!" moment. Especially since all the beers get AF Academy themed names. Except possibly Unibrau.

While I gave it up ~20 years ago, I understand you-know-what is pretty much legal there now too; sitting in a brew pub when the munchies hits might be cool.

Oh and I’m not a local.

[quote=“Pietro”]I’m hoping this doesn’t offend the Portlanders, but I’m honestly not a huge fan of Rogue’s beers. I’ve bought them, and they don’t impress me. Then, they had them paired with Paxton’s meal at the AHAC Grand Banquet, and I didn’t really dig either.

Not to be a total h8r, but I have to say I’m getting a bit spent on the brewery tour as well. “AND THIS IS OUR MASH TUN, WHERE WE STEEP THE GRAINS IN HOT WATER TO EXTRACT THEIR SUGARS”…bang my head into a wall. I’m actually much more of a fan of hitting up a cool city that has a great beer scene and relaxing with friends over a few (too many) pints.

ANNNNYWHO…to the question, my top 10 (no particular order, visited or not):

-Stone
-Ommegang (beautiful area of the country - underrated)
-Russian River
-Bear Republic (mainly because Healdsburg is simply amazing)
-Denver (great taprooms like Great Divide, plenty of daytrips, beer bars, and brewery tours available)
-Portland, OR
-Brooklyn
-Portland, ME (such an underrated city - Novare Res, Duck Fat, Lion’s Pride, Great Lost Bear, day trip to Ebenezer’s in Lovell)
-Madison, WI
-Dogfish (worth the “mash tun” lecture)

I think I may have to sneak Minneapolis in there somewhere. Heading there in a month or so for a wedding, and have to say I’m pretty pumped. Have an extra day to explore and check out breweries/beer bars. Never been, hopefully I’m not gassing it up too much.[/quote]

Just make sure you do your beer buying on Saturday, there is no liquor store sales on Sundays in this wretched state. Bars are okay but many of the breweries do not do tours on Sunday that I’ve noticed as well.

[quote=“Pietro”]
I had Deschutes for the first time @ GABF last year. People had overhyped it a bit to me, so I was a little underwhelmed, but definitely a solid mid-tier brewery. I feel like they are equivalent to Saranac here in NY. Actually, they are way better than Saranac. Forget what I said.[/quote]

Haha, i’m sure that i am one of those people who overhype Deschutes. Most the time i will chose a smaller brewery, but if i’m going to choose one of the “Macro, Micro breweries” i’ll choose Deschutes. If you get the chance try their special releases in 22oz bottles, those are my favorite. I’m also biased being an Oregonian, haha
:cheers:

If your in (near) the Southeast it’s Asheville, NC. Highland Brewing, Pisgah, Wedge, Green Man. East coast outposts of Oskar Blue’s and New Belgium. Supposedly Asheville has more breweries per capita then anywhere in the US.

Sierra Nevada is supposed to open up by 2015 in Asheville too. Saw their fermentors arrive by boat in the Charleston harbor! Boy was it a beautiful sight!

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