Asheville may be a craft beer mecca, but the US is brimming with hidden gems waiting to tantalize your taste buds. Forget the crowds and venture off the beaten path to discover these five rising craft beer havens, each with its own unique brew scene, vibrant atmosphere, and mouthwatering local eats.
1. Portland, Maine: Coastal Charm & Maritime Malts
Lobster rolls and crisp lagers? Yes, please! Portland's waterfront setting is the perfect backdrop for a salty-sweet beer adventure. Sample crisp pilsners at Allagash Brewing, dive into juicy IPAs at Maine Beer Co., or explore the farmhouse ales at Oxbow Brewing. Fuel up with lobster rolls at Eventide Oyster Co. and soak in the harbor views at Portland Head Light.
2. Fort Collins, Colorado: Mountain Brews & Outdoor Bliss
Nestled in the foothills of the Rockies, Fort Collins is a haven for nature lovers and hopheads alike. Start your day with a coffee stout at Odell Brewing, then wander through New Belgium Brewery's sprawling campus. Don't miss the award-winning IPAs at Funkwerks or the barrel-aged sours at Crooked Stave Artisan Ales. Hike the trails in Horsetooth Mountain Park and grab a juicy burger at The Colorado Room for a truly satisfying experience.
3. San Diego, California: Surf & Suds on Sunshine Coast
Craft beer and California sunshine go hand-in-hand, and San Diego is the perfect marriage of the two. Explore the diverse scene in Pacific Beach, from the classic West Coast IPAs at Stone Brewing to the experimental sours at Mikkeller San Diego. Head to Mira Mesa for the hop-forward goodness of Toronado Brewing or sip on sessionable ales at AleSmith Brewing. Soak up the sun on Coronado Beach and treat yourself to fresh seafood tacos at Baja California-inspired places like The Taco Stand.
4. Birmingham, Alabama: Steel City Surprises & Southern Brews
Birmingham's revitalized downtown is home to a thriving craft beer scene with southern charm. Start your journey at Good People Brewing, known for its award-winning IPA, then hit up Avondale Brewing for their Belgian-inspired ales. Explore the retro arcade bar at Ghost Train Brewing or sip on farmhouse beers at Cahaba Brewing Co. Grab some finger-lickin' barbecue at Saw's Soul Kitchen or indulge in classic southern fare at Big Bob's Grill.
5. Burlington, Vermont: Farm-to-Glass Goodness & Green Mountain Magic
Nestled in the rolling hills of Vermont, Burlington is a paradise for eco-conscious brewers and beer lovers alike. Sample organic ales and lagers at Hill Farmstead Brewery, a hidden gem in the countryside. Sip on farmhouse saisons at Farmhouse Brewery or try the barrel-aged sour program at The Alchemist. Hike the scenic trails in Mount Philo State Park for breathtaking views, then refuel with wood-fired pizzas at Pizzeria Verita.