I’m going to be honest, I don’t really enjoy going on brewery tours anymore. Purely because it’s the same process, different direction kind of thinking (It’s still interesting, though). I am however into tasting rooms, *especially if they’re free*. If not, whatever; good beer is where the heart is. Or liver.
So here is a list of Breweries, in which I would recommend, any day (and my favorite beer that they brew.) If this is too much, then don’t read on–otherwise do!
1. Upland Brewing– Bloomington, Indiana. (http://www.uplandbeer.com)
I will forever sing praises about this brewery; mainly because I’m biased and they were my introduction to “good beer” in college. Also, they’re located in one of my favorite towns in the state of Indiana. For those of you who know college football– Indiana University makes this town a college town. (Go IU!) I also hail forty minutes north of Bloomington-so it was that place you went to, if you didn’t want to be in C-bus, and didn’t want to drive to Indy. Anyways, back to Upland; they’re delicious, and they make a mean local bison burger. They’re sold mostly in southern Indiana which was great, because I went to Indiana State, and you could buy a six pack, or you could make a six pack with some of the selection. If you are ever in southern Indiana, I suggest you stop there for a drink and food, and if you’re around town and you’re not quite feeling pub food– Mother Bear’s pizza is DIVINE.
Recommendation: Bad Elmer’s Porter. “The porter style takes its name from the dock workers and street laborers of London who favored the style in the days when it was first developed in the 18th century. In the spirit of these hardworking men, Bad Elmer personifies the hardy settlers of the rugged and heavily wooded land of the Norman and Crawford Uplands of southern Indiana. Bad Elmer’s Porter is a medium-bodied beer, brewed with lots of roasted malt, giving it flavors of coffee, liquorice, and chocolate. This porter is characteristically dark but extremely smooth.”
2. Sun King Brewery– Indianapolis, Indiana (http://www.sunkingbrewing.com/home.html)
I wasn’t always sold on Sun King, but they’ve come out with some pretty wicked selections lately. Located off of College Avenue, in Indianapolis it’s hard to find them. Once you do though– you won’t regret it. Their beers are more on the hoppy side, so those in favor of dark stouts, beware! They have a few basic ones, that are okay (Wee Mac Scottish-Style Ale is my pick), but they recently came out with some interesting ones, one being a beer brewed with popcorn! It was delicious!
Recommendation: Popcorn Pilsner “Popcorn Pilsner puts a local spin on brewing
tradition with the addition of Indiana-grown Riehle’s Select popcorn, popped by our friends at Just Pop In, to our German-Style pilsner recipe.The result is a crisp, balanced, and refreshing beer with a dry finish and just enough hop character to keep things interesting.”
3. Due South Brewery– Boynton Beach, Florida (http://www.duesouthbrewing.com/)
This was an accidental find on our trip down to Key West to see my dad-in-law (when he still lived there). There’s a fantastic bar in Key West (of which I’ve forgotten the name). That place was interesting because Shipyard was on tap… but I digress. Anywho, Kyle and I had clearly ordered wrong– and he ended up with the creamiest, mouthiest, stout (that was utterly delicious) that I have ever tasted. Of course you can’t find it Maine (I’ve tried). This is my mystery brewery– that I’m just now piecing the puzzles together for. Mmm.
Recommendation: Due South Cream Stout. (Note: I cannot find anything on it, it’s a delicious mystery.)
4. Maine Beer Company– Freeport, Maine (http://www.mainebeercompany.com)
At this point, you’re probably saying (“finally, I mean come on, you live in Maine). I’ve been to the tasting room several times at this point. I mean, I am married to Kyle. I’ve developed a love for some of their beers. Mainly Mean Old Tom (American Stout) and Lunch, an IPA. Maine has delicious craft beer… no joke. This brewery is part of that beautiful story of delicious.
Recommendation: Lunch “Our “East Coast” version of a West Coast-style IPA. Intense hop flavors and aromas of tropical and citrus fruits and pine dominate. A subtle malt sweetness brings the beer into balance.
Lunch is a special whale that has been spotted off the Maine coast since 1982. She has what looks like a bite taken out of her fin which adds to her unique character. We dedicate this beer to her determination and persistence.”
(Bonus points for naming a delicious beer after a cool whale!).
5. Allagash Brewery– Portland, Maine (http://www.allagash.com)
I’ve met the man behind this brewery personally! (thanks, Idealware!) It’s a really cool brewery, they’ve donated for events before, their beer is delicious, and their people are totally rad. They even do their own “wild beers” (natural fermentation). It’s all utterly delicious! Plus the brewery is pretty excellent too! Just try it, is all I’ve got to say! Bonus Points: When we went to NYC last year around December, a really cool bar midtown (The Pony Bar) was having a tap take-over that next week of Allagash. Pretty rad!
Recommendation: Allagash White “Our interpretation of a traditional Belgian wheat beer. Brewed with a generous portion of wheat and spiced with coriander and Curacao orange peel, this beer is fruity, refreshing and slightly cloudy in appearance.”
Bonus Recommendation: Midnight Brett “Midnight brett is chocolate brown in color, brewed with 2-Row, midnight wheat, raw wheat and rye malt. It was hopped with a blend of Perle, Glacier and Simcoe hops, then fermented with our house strain of Brettanomyces in stainless tanks.
The finished beer has the aroma and flavor of fresh berries, sour cherries and a slight roasted character. The finish is pleasantly tart and fruity, making this beer very drinkable.”
6. Rising Tide Brewery– Portland, Maine (http://www.risingtidebrewing.com)
Okay, again another beer I had thought “it’s good, but okay” until I recently went to have some of their beers on tap at the tasting room. I’m kind of unabashedly in love with Maine Island Trail Ale. It’s delicious, and I’m sold. Go check them out, there is also a delicious Indian cart stationed outside! (Annapurna’s Thali)
Recommendation: Maine Island Trail Ale “With a bright and malt body and bold notes of citrus and pine from the hop blend including Citra and Simcoe, this hoppy American ale is the perfect accompaniment to summer in Maine.
We are honored to produce this beer in celebration of the Maine Island Trail. The Maine Island Trail Association’s thoughtful use and volunteer stewardship of Maine’s wild islands mirrors Rising Tide’s respect and love for the coast of Maine.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer benefits the Maine Island Trail Association. Learn more at mita.org”
Ah okay, I’ve nerded at you all. Go enjoy, or don’t. Whatever!