Now that summer has finally begun, it is time to hit the open road and visit many of the great beer and brewery stops we have available to us in the area – but where to begin?
There are a lot of great local stops, like Breaker Brewing Company’s wonderful taproom in Wilkes-Barre, where you can now get some fantastic food with your pint. There is also Nimble Hill in Tunkhannock, where you can sample tasty beers and great wines as well. We cannot forget Susquehanna Brewing Company in Pittston, where you can take a tour of its state-of-the-art brewery and sample great beer.
However, since the weather is warming up and the sun has decided to shine again, it is time get on the road for some fun-filled beer trips. South to the Philadelphia area is the first stop, as there is not short supply of great breweries there to visit. There’s Yards Brewing Company, Victory Brewing Company, Sly Fox, Dock Street Brewing, and Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company, all of which allow you to partake of their beers on site.
And there are many great beer-centric locations in Philadelphia to visit outside of the breweries. For a lovely afternoon with great food and amazing beer, try visiting Monk’s Cafe, a Belgian-themed café that will most certainly be a place you want to stay for a while. If you want to take in some history while you are there, visit McGillin’s Olde Ale House; not only do they always have some great beer on tap, but it is also Philadelphia’s oldest continuously operating tavern.
If you are feeling the urge to go north, there are more than enough stops to visit. The Cooperstown Beverage Trail in Cooperstown, New York is an absolute must-visit and also has something for everyone. The trail itself consists of three breweries, two wineries, and a cider mill, and after completing your visit, you get to take home a commemorative glass. The breweries on this trail are Cooperstown Brewing Company, Butternuts Beer, and Brewery Ommegang. Ommegang has a breathtaking tasting room and Belgian-themed café on-site with fantastic food.
If you are looking for a beer-filled weekend trip, keep heading north and take your pick: head east towards Boston and visit the legendary Sam Adams Brewery, or move further north into Vermont and hit what many consider beer geek heaven.
This state has undergone a true craft beer revolution, boasting some of the most sought-after breweries in the country, if not the world, right now. In 2011 and 2012, the Brewers Association ranked Vermont as the state with the greatest number of breweries per capita. Using the 2010 U.S. Census population estimate of 625,741 and 26 breweries, there is one brewery for every 24,067 people.
Vermont is the headquarters for The Alchemist, the brewery made famous for producing the much in-demand Double IPA Heady Topper, and this is currently the only state where you can purchase the beer. Vermont not only houses The Alchemist, but many other fantastic breweries to visit, such as Hill Farmstead Brewery, Harpoon Brewery, Magic Hat, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Long Trail, and Otter Creek, among many others.
Now is the time to become a true beer geek and make a pilgrimage to these centers for craft beer! Just remember to bring a designated driver, because these are places where you will want to sample many beers.