Published On: May 06 2013 11:18:23 AM CDTUpdated On: May 13 2014 07:55:26 AM CDT
In honor of American Craft Beer Week, take a look at these U.S. cities that are a must for anyone who loves good beer. CNN compiled the list based on each city's beer history, breweries, bars and brew-related events.
8. Asheville, N.C.
Asheville is relatively new to the beer scene, but with 11 breweries yielding the highest per-capita total in the country, it's already building a global rep. A day trip to Asheville offers a chance to try roughly 50 local beers, almost all of which can be tasted at The Thirsty Monk, a must-see on any Ashevillian beer pilgrimage. Top Draws: Top Draws: Asheville Shiva IPA, French Broad Ryehopper
7. Bend, Ore.
With one brewery for every 9,111 people, descriptors for Bend include "beervana" and "Beer City, USA." Already cemented into Bend beer culture is Deschutes, the godfather of local craft brewing, which recently expanded its flagship location, and there are plenty of newer options. If you visit, your itinerary is bound to overlap with one of Bend's many annual beer celebrations. Top Draws: Deschutes Inversion IPA, Silver Moon Hound's Tooth Amber
Philadelphia outfits like Victory, Sly Fox, Nodding Head, Yards and Flying Fish have been vanguards of local brewing since the city's barley rush of the 1990s. And since 1860, McGillin's Olde Ale House has been a beloved showcase for those and other local brews longer than any in Philly. Top Draws: Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale, Victoria Hop Devil IPA
Colorado is fourth out of 50 states in breweries per capita, and while there are only a handful in Denver proper, there are loads of notable breweries outside town and in nearby Boulder. The Mile-High City also stages what is widely regarded the largest, most prestigious beer festival in the country, the annual Great American Beer Festival, drawing sudsmeliers from all over the world to taste more than 2,200 brews. Top Draws: Denver Graham Cracker Porter, Renegade Hammer and Sickle
Boston has been home to breweries since the time of the Pilgrims. Today, it's home tothe best-selling craft brewer in America, Boston Beer Co. -- producer of Samuel Adams -- and Harpoon Brewery, among others. With this lively scene, it's not hard to believe that Boston consumes the most beer per capita in the United States. It's also home to the American Craft Beer Fest, the East Coast's largest celebration of domestic micros, featuring 600-plus varieties from 125-plus American brewers. Top draws: Harpoon IPA, Beer Works Bunker Hill Blueberry Ale
3. San Diego
With 30-plus breweries in the county and its own IPA category, San Diego's a beacon on any beer explorer's map.As for events, San Diego was chosen to host the 2012 World Beer Cup -- the "Olympics of Beer" -- and San Diego Beer Week draws crowds from all over to celebrate 10 days of tastings, pairings and live music. Top draws: Alpine Ale, Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze
2. San Francisco
The Bay Area is bursting with micro- and nanobreweries that have been experimenting with food-inspired brews like nowhere else. Take Almanac, which uses seasonal produce in its brews, or Moonlight Brewing Company, which picks redwood twigs and cedar bark from brewer Brian Hunt's own backyard. There's history here, too. The sale of Anchor Steam Brewery in the 1960s precipitated the production of several signature beers at a time when mass-marketed light beers were the trend. Since then, a slew of new breweries have opened. Top draws: Moylan's Tipperary Pale Ale, 21st Amendment Brew
1. Portland, Ore.
Portland has 52 breweries, more than any other city in the world, and 69 breweries in its metro area, making it a must-visit for craft beer enthusiasts.