Brewery Trails will show you the different routes and things I do to optimize my brewery tour in each city I visit. Whether I am visiting somewhere for family, business, or specifically for a brewery tour this is how I best plot out my trip.
First things first where are you going? Are you visiting family for a holiday? Do you just want a get away to try some new brews? Once you determine where you are going and the length of time you are staying you will need to determine how much time you have to dedicate to visiting the breweries. When I visited Florida for Thanksgiving last year and my cousins wanted to meet for lunch so I found a brewpub that we could meet at. Most of the time brewpubs will have amazing food and it gives you the opportunity to continue your beer journey. I also new that even though I was with family for the holiday I had one day for myself so I dedicated it to a Ft. Meyers brew tour.
Place to stay is next! If you are lucky to have family to stay with that is a bonus, but if not then you can chose to go with a standard hotel or Airbnb. When selecting your location if you are not staying with family it is helpful to stay closer to the breweries so you can walk or Uber. Of course if you have someone who is driving because they are not drinking then you can stay anywhere you chose in the vicinity. When we were in Asheville we chose to stay in the mountains and then drive in since the price was better.
So now that you have your location, duration, and sleeping arrangements figured out next it’s time to find out what breweries are near your location. I personally use the Brewers Association’s official directory this allows you to search by state, country, and even the type of brewery you may be looking for. I have taken this information and entered it into excel so I have a way to sort by city and track where I visit.
I also use an app called Brewery Explorer. It will show you breweries by state and even the location around you. It will map them out so you can see where each one is. As you visit them you get points for each brewery 100 points when you are there and 1 point if you have visited, but forgot to check in while you were there. This is also helpful when you are walking your route.
The next thing on the list is plot them out and determine the order to go to each one. You will need to make sure that you are considering their open and close times and food during your trip. Most important things to remember are lots of water in between, FOOD, and a safe way to get around. So in order to map out the best route I find it easiest to go to Google Maps and search for breweries in the area you are visiting. This gives you a starting point of how to group them together. Now google maps may not have all of the breweries listed so that is why I like to compare it to my list from the Brewers Association. You need to determine the address, hours of operation, and what group to put each brewery into.
When determining your groups you need to take into consideration what time you are starting and where you are staying. I always go the furthest out and work my way back in. One of the benefits of putting them in groups is that if you don’t finish the two or three groups you may have set for that day then you can just pick up at the group you missed the next day. You also need to consider which day the groups should go on. I usually do a quick weekend trip so you have to remember not all are open on Sunday’s and you can not start until noon usually.
Once you have all of these steps completed you are ready for your brew tour! Take a look at some of my trails I have already completed. I will continue to add the new ones I make. You can keep an eye out on the home page for my countdown calendars to my next tours as well.