The Brewer’s Guide to Travel

Summer’s almost here, and chances are a lot of you are going on vacation. Maybe you’re off to a familiar family favorite. Or you’re going to check out a sporting or arts event, and making a trip out of that. But imagine a vacation centered on beer, and the area’s brew culture.

The good people over at Matador have compiled a list of the 17 best cities for craft beer, and yes, every single one is worth checking out. Whenever you see these kinds of lists you grit your teeth and hope that it’s not too America-centric; when it comes to things like food, drink, and music, there are gems all over. But when Matador means “the world”, they deliver. Less than half of those numbered are cities in the US, and the others are range from Chile to Tokyo.

If there’s one thing to take away from this list, it’s an encouragement to travel the off-beaten path. Don’t look for alternatives for the sake of being “indie”, but because they can give you something that some bigger cities can’t.

Ok, an example would be great here.

In America, when you think “craft beer”, no one would fault you if you’re first thought was “Portland”. But were you thinking of Portland, Oregon? Or several thousand miles east, to Portland, Maine? While craft beer in the former is surely in abundance, the small New England town has the most restaurants per capita in the nation, which means they’re all scrambling to support a vibrant craft beer scene. And as for the Oregonian analogue? Sure, you could check that out, but it’s also worth it to head a few miles south to Eugene, home of the Eugene Ale Trail. Similarly, skip Baltimore and D.C. for Frederick, Maryland; Raleigh for Asheville, and OKC for Tulsa.

And worldwide, there are the usual contenders, like Munich and Bruges. But other cities are coming into their own as well, like Puebla, Mexico, which is embracing craft beer from their own homegrown brew masters. Giving yourself an itinerary for drink goes hand in hand with one for food as well! Check out these hidden gems and be ready to tell your friends stories all year long.

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