Editor’s note: Summer travel season has officially begun! The following guest post was written by Robert Reid, the US travel editor for Lonely Planet. He will be guest blogging on Savvy for the next two months, helping you find some great ideas of how to get your vacation on this Summer.
It’s July and it’s hot. Anyone up for some beer?
American microbreweries – so termed after an English term, developed for cask ales in the 1970s – justify a detour in their own right. But not all are equal. So I’ve assembled some of the country’s best. You can also download a free mini-trip of the best beer spots in Oregon at Lonely Planet’s 15 Weekends of Summer website.
Born on the bayou, Abita Brew Pub is in a north shore village outside New Orleans that got on the map over a century ago for its curative (gator-free) waters. Not all the liquids come carbonated. The brewery, nine miles west of town, and the brew pub are both attractions, for a tour and a sip of the nine beers. Work up your thirst – easy in summer heat – along parts of the 31-mile Tammy Trace hiking trail.
Laverne and Shirley, of ‘70s sit-com fame, bottled lesser beers of Milwaukee, but the city’s finest and most loved is from the Lakefront Brewery, which offers afternoon tours and unbeatable fish-fry Friday nights, complete with 16 beers on tap – AND live polka. Nothing makes beer tastes better than oompah.
Read on for more great beer places to visit.
For beer fans, Colorado has to hold a special place on your palate, particularly when the state governor champions beer so much. Before going political, governor John Hickenlooper — greatest name of all time — kick-started Denver’s beer scene (or at least steered it away from Coors) with his Wynkoop Brewing Company, heart of the rising eat-drink-look cool district of LoDo.
In New England, Vermont is the place to go. Long Trail Brewing Company — west of the lovely village of Woodstock, and north of the underrated Calvin Coolidge Historical Site – has a riverside setting for the state’s top-selling craft beer. It’s named for the country’s oldest long-distance hiking trail, spanning 272 miles and connecting with the Appalachian Trail in the southern part of the state.
The ultimate destination for microbrew fans? The Pacific Northwest, where beer rivals coffee and wine in terms of powerhouse libation. In Eugene, Oregon – home of the ducks – to sample the Rogue Ales at Eugene City Brewery; while in Portland — where "hipsters go to retire," some say — Hopworks Urban Brewery celebrates the local tone, with a "bicycle bar" and a 100% ecobrew policy: all organic ales, using local ingredients. Our free itinerary this week for you is a brewery tour of Oregon by train — visit Lonely Planet’s 15 Weekends of Summer site to download your copy today.