Jeremy Miville: Joining the craft beer movement

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Craft beer brew tours are just as fun as Wine Country. As long as you like beer.

I’m a beer guy. Luckily, I married a beer girl. We know the vernacular, like wine connoisseurs know merlot from shiraz. For instance, if you are having fish – go with a Curious Traveler shandy, the lemon flavors will play well with your palette.

Because of our joint love for beer, it wasn’t a hard fight to convince my wife to spend a weekend away, and have the focal point of our trip be a visit to Wachussett Brewery. In all honesty, I should mention we stayed at a place with a pool too, which also sweetened the deal. Regardless, Wachussett is home to our favorite blueberry beer and a porter that makes other porters look like pale ales.

Much like visiting a winery, there was a wonderful tour of the facility. We spent the first part of our visit sipping a sample of the dozen or so beers on tap that day. It was great to see nearly everyone in our tour had a personal favorite, but opted to try something they wouldn’t usually pour at home.

Their IPA was tempting, but I went with their new Moscow Shandy. It was a blend of lime and ginger, and on first taste I was not a fan. But then, as I worked my way down the glass I started to appreciate the distinctness of the flavors. By the end, it had won me over.

Our tour guide was the Head Brewmaster, so we were treated with some in depth knowledge, from growing hops at home to ingredient selection and yeast production. This is a great perk to going to a craft brew house; the most experience show you around the joint. The layout was tight, but seeing the ferment-to-bottle process was great. Heading back to the taste room for another round was well received too.

Founded in 1993, the Wachusett Brewing Co. hit the market with its Country Pale Ale and has never stopped.

We’ve gathered some other great brewery locations from around the country to give your next trip a little more “flavor”:

Maine Beer Company – Located in Freeport, Maine. You can treat yourself to a delicious Maine brunch and then head on over to the tasting room for the famous brews, Lunch or Dinner (if you can get luckily enough to be there when they release it).  You can grab some bottles of your favorite brew, but no growlers are available. They don’t serve food, however, if you are into BBQ, you’ll need to check out the business across the street.

Hill Farmstead – Located in North Greensboro, Vermont. Finding Hill Farmstead beers on draft anywhere else but in Vermont is very rare. Check out their Retail Shop for tastings and their limited bottle supply. They have a section on their website that highlights bottle release events – keep that in mind. Let the hunt begin!

Russian River Brewing – Located in Santa Rosa, California, is a craft beer mecca in the middle of wine country.  If you are interested in trying some great beers complimented with delicious food and an excellent atmosphere, this place is for you to check out!

Cigar City Brewing – Located in Tampa, Florida. You could be visiting the most manly of all brew pubs. Not only can you try delicious craft brews, but you can do it while sampling a freshly  hand rolled cigar.  While they don’t have their own menu, each day they are visited by a different food truck – you can check out their website for the schedule.

Boulevard Brewing – Located in Kansas City, Missouri, you can handpick your type of brewery tour. Whether you are a looking for the most economical (free) or a little leg up against the masses (to see hidden parts of the brewery), you can find what meets your needs here. Plus, you get the benefit of tasting delicious brews at the same time!

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