The number of breweries in the USA recently reached an all time high. It’s good news for locals and travelers alike, because there are lots of cool places to enjoy a brew or brewcation. Grabbing a bear at a locally owned craft brewery is a fun way to soak in local culture and perhaps meet a local or two. From St Louis to South Carolina, check out these top craft breweries.
#1 Lost 40 Brewing in Little Rock
At Lost 40 Brewing, a microbrewery in Little Rock, Arkansas, craft beers made right on site have a distinctively Arkansas flavor, like Love Honey Bock. Every 90 barrel batch is made using 300 pounds of Arkansas honey. With Arkansas’ long growing season, you’ll also find beer produced using Arkansas peaches, strawberries, blackberries and beyond. Sounds healthy, right?
Owner Scott McGhee sat down with me and helped me pair my Love Honey Bock brew with another special restaurant creation… savory food. Hungarian style kielbasa is made onsite and paired with pickled vegetables and house made mustard, so you can tour this brewery, enjoy the beer and a hearty meal!
#2 Burley Oak Brewing Company in Berlin
Located in the charming town of Berlin, Maryland close to Ocean City, Burley Oak Brewing Company features everything from coffee & cream ale and robust porters to Belgian blonde ales, all of which you can try in their taproom, housed in a 125-year-old building that used to be a cooperage. A must try is the pale ale, which is grown locally in Wooster County and combined with Centennial and Cascade hops to make a true all-American pale ale, giving it some floral notes. This is a bar and brewing company that locals and travelers frequent.
#3 Square One Brewery and Distillery
The first micro-distillery restaurant in Missouri, at Square One Brewery and Distillery you can only buy what they produce on site, though you can take what you like away in a growler. Try one of their twelve draft beers or their English style cask ale. Located in historic Lafayette Square, a beautiful, historic neighborhood great for touring on foot, what’s on tap is constantly changing, including interesting brews like Maple Irish Brown.
I tried the Belgian Spicey Blonde, their version of a Belgian wit, an unfiltered wheat beer fermented with a Belgian yeast and spiced with coriander, orange peel, lemongrass and ginger. Best of all, we enjoyed our beer in a shaded, peaceful courtyard.
#4 Swamp Rabbit Brewery in Travelers Rest
You can ride your bike, drive or walk to the this cool craft brewery in the funky town of Travelers Rest just down the Swamp Rabbit Trail from Greenville, South Carolina. Swamp Rabbit Brewery has won awards for its Double IPA, Belgian Strong Ale and Fruit Beer and is popular with cyclists, many of whom bike from downtown Greenville along the relatively flat Swamp Rabbit Trail to enjoy lunch and a beer in Travelers Rest. From amber, malty and smooth Maibock to an English style IPA, there are lots of choices once you arrive.
Just a few of the many great places to grab a pint and enjoy craft beer in the USA.