26 Cities In The US Every Beer Lover Should Visit

Whether you prefer to frequent charming little brewpubs in sleepy mountain towns or sun-drenched beer gardens hidden from the bustle of the city, there are so many excellent beer destinations to choose from in the United States. Sip on craft ales while overlooking the vast expanse of the Rocky Mountains, enjoy live music and grub alongside a flight of your soon-to-be favorites, or ponder history over an ale in one of the oldest pubs in America. There are so many ways to sip and savor suds that surmising where to do it is half the fun.

Spend a quiet weekend up in Portland, Maine imbibing some of the hoppiest, fruitiest New England IPAs the northeast can offer, or live it up in Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World, while cheers-ing with some of Texas' best crafts. Ready to go? Find some inspiration for your next beer-cation in this roundup of the best beer cities in the U.S.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon's strong reputation for good brews has made it one of the best cities in the U.S. for beer lovers, earning it the nickname Beervana. The city is home to more than 70 breweries, many of which are crafting small-batch beers that are exclusive specifically to Portland.

At Occidental Brewing Company on the outskirts, you can find German-style ales and lagers like kölsch ales and hefeweizen — don't forget a wurst from Urban German right next door. For foggy IPAs and fruited sours, there's Great Notion Brewing, and for a quirky pub-style find, there's Steeplejack Brewing Company, a century-old church-turned-brewery that opened in 2021 and quickly became a staple in Portland's beer scene.

Asheville, North Carolina

With more than 50 breweries to choose from and even an annual Beer Week, this eclectic mountain town makes for an excellent getaway for beer lovers. For some macabre pints, go to Burial Beer Co., a quirky (and wildly successful) brewery that takes inspiration from New Orleans' celebratory mourning traditions. 

Book a tour of Asheville's first post-Prohibition brewery, Highland Brewing, and learn how they've been one of the best in Asheville's craft beer scene for nearly 30 years. For Blue Ridge Mountain views go for a tasting on Green Man's Green Mansion rooftop and enjoy your pick from 18 varieties on tap. For something a little more casual, Wicked Weed Brewing's Funkatorium (yep, you read that right), a sour beer taproom with no less than a dozen on tap, is where it's at.

Denver, Colorado

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the Mile High City is known and loved for its beer culture, even boasting its own Denver Beer Trail. With more than 150 brewpubs, taprooms, breweries, and micro-breweries, it's easy to see why this Colorado metropolis is one of the best cities in the U.S. for beer lovers.

Go to Station 26 Brewing Co., once a Denver fire station that is now one of the city's coolest hangout spots, complete with food trucks and seasonal brews like the summery sparkling brut IPA with raspberries and hibiscus. For a more industrial look into Denver brewing, check out Great Divide, and for an evening of bites and brews, there's no better place than Denver Chophouse and Brewery.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

With a Beer City Ale Trail and 40 breweries within a 30-minute drive, Grand Rapids has quickly become one of the best cities in the U.S. for beer lovers. Start in the heart of downtown at Grand Rapids Brewing Company, a staple brewery in the Grand Rapids beer scene. First opening in 1893, Grand Rapids Brewing Company was closed during prohibition and would not open for another 119 years in 2012; despite such a long hiatus, they still utilize the same old-school recipes. 

For something a little more obscure, taste a flight at Brewery Vivant, a brewery known for its European-inspired beers and the fact that it's located in a historic funeral home. Alternatively, create your own tasting adventure through the city by hunting down Michigan's best craft beers.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is a southern darling famed for its historic quarter, homestyle cuisine, and charming architecture — it's also quickly becoming a top spot for brew heads with dozens of microbreweries and craft beer spots. Head to the banks of the Ashley River to enjoy nature and artisanal ales at Firehouse Brewery, or hang out at Beer and Brewer for two of life's greatest pleasures: beer and pizza. 

For a more traditional brewery experience, go for a rooftop tasting at Revelry Brewing where the sunsets are fiery and the beers are cold. For something crisp and refreshing, Revelry's citrusy and hoppy Up Sh*m Creek India pale lager was made with Charleston's hot summers in mind.

Indianapolis, Indiana

With nearly 200 breweries inside Indiana's borders, it's no surprise that its capital is a prime location to enjoy the Hoosier State's best brews. Whether you're looking for a cozy taproom, traditional brewery, or something a little more inventive, Indianapolis has you covered. 

Spend an afternoon on the 8,000-square-foot patio of Daredevil Brewing Co. where you can enjoy live music and a variety of beers like the citrus and pine Lift Off IPA. Or sip on some Belgian dubbels and German hefeweizen at Bier Brewery, a family-run, award-winning brewery that takes its small-batch "bier" brews seriously. Make sure to also carve out time for Fountain Square Brew Co. whose Preacher's Daughter amber ale with notes of caramel and citrus is the stuff of gods.

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio is one of the best destinations in the U.S. for beer lovers with its plethora of craft beer bars, long-hailed Brewery District, and more than 50 craft breweries in its vicinity. With so many unique breweries in the area, you'll want to tackle the Columbus Ale Trail during your stay and collect stamps from your visits in your "beer passport."

Wander the Brewery District, a quirky enclave of brick streets lined with refurbished Victorian breweries built by German settlers long, long ago. For some of the state's best sours, the Brewery District offers Antiques on High, while downtown you can find Seventh Son Brewing, whose Seventh Son American strong ale, impressive craft draught selection, and historic Italian village setting make for a great afternoon. For a day of sun, pints, and bites, head to Land-Grant Brewing Company, a tap house and brewery that's home to Columbus' largest beer garden.

Austin, Texas

The Live Music Capital of the World and capital of the Lone Star State is also one of the best destinations for beer lovers. Its claim to frothy fame is not just its thriving breweries and taprooms, but also its food scene — what's better than a hot bowl of queso with crispy chips and an icy pint on a summer day? Basically nothing.

For mouthwatering pizzas, an envious selection of craft brews, and pulsating live music, there's no better place to hang out than the Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. Throw some mother nature in the mix and spend an afternoon in the surrounds of Friends and Allies Brewing where you can kayak the river before sipping on their Blackberry Bearliner Weisse, Sturdy Boat Amber, or Hilltoppers Bock.

Birmingham, Alabama

With four main production breweries — Good People Brewing Co., Avondale Brewing, Cahaba Brewing, and Trim Tab Brewing — along with plenty of craft beer pubs and microbreweries, Birmingham has a lot to offer beer aficionados. Head to Avondale Brewing for an afternoon of live music and cold pints like the citrus and spice-loaded Spring Street Saison farmhouse ale. 

Take a tour of one of the city's most beloved microbreweries, Birmingham District Brewing Company, whose award-winning craft brews pay homage to the city's mining heritage. Or, drink like the locals do and pop into The Garage, a fun, bustling dive bar with impressive offerings like the Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout and Cahaba's Seal Your Face double IPA.

Ithaca, New York

For a getaway that's equal parts nature and beer, head to upstate New York where rolling hills, peaceful falls, and crystal-clear lakes await. Situated in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region, Ithaca is not only a nature lover's paradise — it's also a beer lover's one with cozy craft hideaways popping up left and right. 

Stop by Liquid State Brewing Company's beer hall for excellent brews and food. Or venture out to Hopshire Farm and Brewery, a family-run establishment that leans into New York's 19th-century fame as America's number one hop producer, and uses many of the same tactics today to create craft ales the old-school way. Want a few bottles to take home? The Finger Lakes Beverage Center keeps over 1,000 beers in stock and a rotation of 10 growlers.

Portland, Maine

With 18 breweries per 50,000 people, Portland, Maine boasts the highest concentration of breweries per capita nationwide. IPA fan? Carve out some time for a stein or two at Bissell Brothers Brewing Company, a Portland favorite known for its delectably hoppy IPAs — especially New England IPAs — and fun atmosphere. 

Another contender in the IPA field is Lone Pine Brewing Company whose imperial New England IPA, Money Gun, is a bit of a local legend. For Belgian brews, head to Allagash Brewing Company's taproom and sip on some tripels or take a tour of the cellars for an immersive experience.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Hailed for its starry skies and dense, ponderosa pine forest (the world's largest, in fact), and thriving beer scene, Flagstaff is a great destination for adventurous beer lovers. This cozy country town offers eight craft breweries and more than a few brew pubs perfect for enjoying a cold pint in the desert. 

For the best of all things Flagstaff, Dark Sky Brewing Co. Beer Garden and Atmosphere Kitchen (say that five times fast) is where you want to be; here you'll find a myriad of night sky-inspired brews from midnight-hued stouts to brown ales. For a glimpse into the city's heyday in the lumber industry, go to Lumberyard Brewing Company, where you can enjoy their Railhead Red amber ale and First Light lager.

Stowe, Vermont

The sleepy hideaway of Stowe has a blossoming beer scene to add to its small-town charm and idyllic scenery. It makes sense, too; one of the most important components of beer making isn't necessarily the grains or hops, often, it's the water, and Vermont has no shortage of natural springs whose pure waters aid the brewing process. 

Spend some idle time at Idletyme for Bavarian weizens and double IPAs, plus great food in cozy digs. And be sure to sip an afternoon away at The Alchemist, a much-loved family-run brewery whose weekend beer garden get-togethers beckon beer lovers from all over the Northeast and beyond. This sustainability-focused brewery is known and loved for its Heady Topper IPA, a double IPA made with a unique "conan" yeast strain. 

San Diego, California

San Diego's love affair with beer can be traced all the way back to 1896 when the city's first commercial brewery, San Diego Brewery first opened. More than 125 years later, there are over 150 local breweries (and counting!) in San Diego Country. For some solid Mexican craft beer, head to San Diego's first Latino-owned and operated brewery, Border X Brewing, for a pint or two of their Blood Saison with hibiscus and agave or Horchata Golden Stout with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. 

For other creative brews, there's AleSmith Brewing Company, an award-winning artisanal micro-brewery with a legendary Speedway Stout. To add some adventure to your beer trip, hit a local trail with a few cans from Societe Brewing Company whose 4.5% ABV Light Beer was voted one of the best canned beers for summer.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Trailing behind Portland, Maine for most breweries per capita, Raleigh is foaming over with craft breweries and beer bars. Whether you're looking for a buzzing beer garden with live music and a community atmosphere, or something more akin to a local dive, Raleigh's got it all. 

Go for a flight at Clouds Brewing brewhouse for beer that is German-inspired, American-made, and enjoyed by all with 18 beers on tap from pilsners to doppelbocks, you can't go wrong. For a fun taproom atmosphere, spend an afternoon at Compass Rose Brewery whose brews are inspired by the owners' travels and 5,500-square-foot premises make for the perfect backdrop to try them all.

Missoula, Montana

What better place to adventure through jaw-dropping scenery and indulge in some of the Rocky Mountains' finest craft beers than the halfway point between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park? For some of America's best beer, you've got to head to Big Sky Country — Missoula, a Rocky Mountain gem that really knows its way around a craft pint.  

Have a taste of Bavaria at Bayern Brewing, a one-of-a-kind German microbrewery whose Dragon's Breath Dark Hefeweizen will take you right back to medieval Germany. Sip a flight at Highlander Beer, a historic craft brewery and taproom dating to 1910 with a gorgeous outside area and 12 crafts on tap that you won't want to miss. For something a little more laid back but equally satisfying, go to Kettlehouse Brewing Company and sip on some Hellgate honey hefeweizen or the Cold Smoke scotch ale; take your pick from their South and North locations, the latter of which is housed in an old railroad district warehouse.

Bend, Oregon

With over 30 breweries in this charming Cascade Mountains town, Bend is like the cool rural cousin of Portland and easily one of the best beer cities in the U.S. Topping the chart for most breweries per capita with Asheville and Portland, you can rest assured that your ale-venture itinerary will be packed.

Go to Monkless Belgian Ales for an experience of Belgian-style beer — spice-brewed shepplekofeggan, anyone? — fit for monastic brewing (minus the monks, of course). The stellar views of the Deschutes River and the Old Mill District are an added bonus. Transport yourself to an old English pub at The Cellar, an underground hideaway of English cask ales served from hand-pumped taps at cellar temperature. Head out to Worthy Brewery and Pub, a solar-powered "Earth first, beer second" brewery known for delicious pub fare alongside seasonal craft brews and creative IPAs in an expansive space that includes a large outdoor area and a "hopservatory" for stargazing.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is not only the birthplace of the American Revolution, it's also the birthplace of Samuel Adams (both the founding father and the beer), Dogfish Head, Boston Beer Company, and Harpoon. Beyond the big names though, Boston offers a kaleidoscope of bustling beer halls, lively taprooms, and historic pubs. 

Democracy Brewing, a unique craft brewery owned entirely by its workforce whose main aim is to bring the community together via beer in an old-school pub house setting, is worth a visit. Go for its 1916 Rising, an Irish stout inspired by the armed Irish uprising against the English on Easter Day 1916. Test your pinball and shuffleboard skills at Dorchester Brewing Company, an uber-fun taproom with 20 beers on tap and stunning downtown views; order a pint of the Baja Jaja fruited blonde ale or the Parish Pilsner German-style pilsner for a crisp summer refreshment.

Seattle, Washington

Often overshadowed by its Portland, Denver, and San Diego counterparts, Seattle's beer scene is buzzing with independent breweries perfect for building a whole trip around. Fortunately, Seattle's walkability and sheer concentration of breweries makes it great for DIY beer crawls. 

Start with Lucky Envelope Brewing, a Ballard favorite whose name pays homage to the red envelopes gifted throughout the Lunar New Year and whose culturally inspired brews like the Black Tea IPA and Lychee Sour Ale delight. For tangy saisons and sours, there's Fair Isle Brewing and for Seattle's best Baltic brews, there's Standard Brewing. Be sure to check out The Good Society Brewery & Public House, a West Seattle brewpub as committed to good beer as they are local causes — grab their malty Schwartzbier or a crisp Beach Party pale ale.

Kansas City, Missouri

Known and loved for its jazz, barbecue, and thriving gastro-scene, Kansas City has music, food, and beer all rolled into one. Visiting in the fall? Don't miss the KC Beerfest, a rowdy annual beer festival that features more than 200 craft beers from around the world. 

Relax on Brewery Emperial's airy patio where highly sought-after pints like the hybrid American pale ale English ESB, Biscuit, and golden Vienna lager, Festbier, keep the party going. For authentic German lagers and ales, check out KC Bier Co., a seriously Deutsch brewery, beer hall, and beer garden that sources its yeast straight from 15th-century Andechs Abbey in Upper Bavaria, Germany. For an American contrast, head to Callsign Brewing, a community-driven favorite whose mission is to honor service members and veterans by crafting top-tier beers like the Freedom Lager and Bomber Brown Ale.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee's first brewery was established in 1840 by Welsh settlers. In the nearly 200 years since, it has solidified itself as one of the best beer destinations in the US, giving way to big names like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller, Old Milwaukee, and an abundance of craft breweries that keep the city's beer scene fresh. 

Crack open a few cans at Broken Bat Brewing Co., a Walker's Point institution that pays homage to America's favorite pastime: baseball. Go for the Ball & Glove cream ale, the Concession Stand sour, or the Mick New England IPA. For a slow-beer brewery dedicated to its craft, there's 1840, an urban farmhouse slash brewery known for its barrel-aged brews, fruity sours, deliciously hazy IPAs, and a commitment to upholding the city's rich brewing history. Fill up on tasty pub grub and frothy provisions like the malty River West Stein amber ale and Bumble Bear honey brown ale at Lakefront Brewery.

New York CIty, New York

New York City is one of the best beer cities in the U.S. — full of storied taverns, craft hangouts, industrial breweries, and quirky taprooms galore, the Big Apple has it all. In addition to a thriving culture and arts scene, and some of the best, most diverse food in the world, the concrete jungle also boasts 24 breweries within its boundaries.

Sip on Williamsburg's best at Grimm Artisanal Ales where you'll find creative brews like the Hot 100 cold IPA, the barrel-aged Sumi Zest imperial stout, and Queenside brett saison, in a stylish, funky taproom. Grab a seat and a flight at Manhattan's Torch & Crown Brewing Company, an airy three-story space serving up delights like the Tenement pilsner and seasonal varieties like the Caramel Lion imperial stout at the borough's only brewery.

Anaheim, California

Take a trot or a cycle down La Palma Beer Trail, a five-mile strip lined with 12 of Anaheim's 19 breweries, and you'll quickly see why it's among the beer cities in the country. Anaheim's history of beer dates back to the 1800s when Anaheim Brewery first opened. In the centuries since, Anaheim has slowly but surely solidified itself as a Golden State brew hub.

Try The Bruery, an award-winning and ultra-inventive brewery with over 40 beers on tap, and another 50 available to take home. Taste its Hips Don't Lie Belgian ale with hints of rosehip or the rum barrel-aged The Floor is Baklava wheatwine ale. Order a flight at Unsung Brewing Company, a comic-themed brewery known for its mouthwatering, hero-inspired beers and finger-licking BBQ.

Chicago, Illinois

What goes better with a warm, hearty Chicago-style deep-dish pizza than an ice-cold craft beer? The Windy City has plenty of beer establishments from just-minted breweries to world-class taprooms and even its own affectionately named "Malt Row."

Pay a visit to Hopewell Brewing Co., a small brewery and taproom with a big reputation for top-notch beers like the Ride or Die pale ale and Clover Club raspberry sour. Go Scandy at Orkenoy, a super sleek brewpub and Scandinavian kitchen that draws on Nordic traditions for delectable beers like the Finnish-style Lady Flucom sahti and small bites. Carve out time for Revolution Brewing, Illinois' largest independent brewer beloved for its inventive and wide-ranging brews including the limited Deep Wood Series of barrel-aged concoctions like the Thundertaker imperial rye stout clocking in at 16.2% ABV.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia has a strong brewing history dating all the way back to the 17th century and even has its own "Brewerytown" neighborhood. Once upon a time, the City of Brotherly Love brewed more beer than any other place in the Western Hemisphere and though the same can't be said today, Philadelphia's love for beer has endured through the centuries with countless historic taprooms and beloved craft breweries.

Take your pick from more than 30 beers on tap at Philadelphia Brewing Co., a historic 19th-century brewery with a passion for crafting old-world beer styles for every type of palate. Spend an afternoon soaking up the sun with a few pints in Love City Brewing's spacious beer garden where the canned Sylvie oatmeal stout and Destination Unknown pale ale will make a regular out of you.

Oakland, California

Oakland's thriving beer scene offers craft breweries, cozy brewpubs, and dive-y gems galore. Whether you want full-on brewery tours or prefer to craft your own beer crawl along the Oakland Ale Trail, you'll find plenty of liquid gold to sip and see on the "bright side of the bay." 

Sit and sip a spell at Original Pattern Brewing, a highly acclaimed, employee-owned tasting room and brewery hailed for its diverse drafts like the Clouds of Cashmere IPA, Bean Me Up! smoked coffee porter and Yamagata rice lager. Clink a few glasses at Federation Brewing, a no-frills tavern and hangout with a reimagined shipping container in the beer garden and more than a few award-winning brews on tap. Don't miss the Low Boy stout or Zero Charisma hazy IPA. Go buck wild at Buck Wild Brewing with a burger feast and a beer flight, and don't skip its award-winning Salvaje Mexican-style lager.