That there is a picture of liquid gold - for us anyway. As true appreciators of craft brew and followers of the industry more recently, we are happily incorporating visits to beer breweries and brew pubs in our travels. Actually, we are quite new to the scene, only having tapped into this swiftly growing industry a few years ago.
It all started with Derek looking for 'good' beer while at the beer/liquor store either at home in Canada during the summer or when we are on the road. We both think that it was in Moab, back in the fall of 2011, that we stopped at our first brew pub and purchased a growler. That definitely hooked us so to speak - we now try to make grabbing a growler of our favourite beer a habit.
While in the States we seem to have an endless amount of craft brews to choose from, however, Canada has an emerging craft brew industry of it's own. Although we have yet to visit these companies we have been enjoying beers from breweries such as Nelson Brewing Company (we enjoy Blackheart and Face Plant) and Paddock Wood Brewing Co. (Bete Noire and London Porter) for years. And although we are just dreaming of getting up there soon, Derek has already sampled Yukon Brewing's offerings.
Below are the breweries (beginning with the most recent) that we thus far visited. Each entry below the picture has at least two links - to the Brewery's website and to our post describing and showing our visit. All links are in bold red.
By the way, you will notice a common theme in our pictures and descriptions of the craft beer. We favour DARK beers particularly stouts and porters, but we also LOVE winter ales. You may see a light ale in our flight (a sample of four or five beers) because we like to try a variety of craft brew across the board.
Our preferred craft brew = Moderate to low hops. Silky, thick, dark, frothy head, malty (chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel) roasted, nutty, low carbonation.
Keep in mind: We don't like to say that a particular brewery is better than another. They all have something to offer - it depends on so many things - your preferences or taste in beer may not be the same as ours. Of course we will have our favourites because well, that's just human! It's a beer experience but it is also a brewery experience - atmosphere, music, staff friendliness, fellow patrons, food, all play into it.
Want to find your own breweries? Check out our Craft Beer Hunter Tools!
Love craft beer graphic design as much as we do? Check out our Craft Beer Artwork!
Love craft beer graphic design as much as we do? Check out our Craft Beer Artwork!
Visit our Craft Brew Hunter board @ Pinterest.
To date we've been to 68 craft breweries!
Vancouver Island Brewing
Hoyne Brewing Co.
Phillips Brewing Company
Moon Under Water Brewery
Old Bisbee Brewing Company
Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery
Telluride Brewing Co.
Philipsburg Brewing Company
North Idaho Mountain Brew
Tree Brewing Co.
Backwoods Brewing Co.
Walking Man Brewing
Thunder Island Brewing Co.
Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
Good Life Brewing Company
Cascade Lakes Brewing Company
Old Mill Brew Werks
Crux Fermentation Project
Bend Brewing Company
McMenamins Old St. Francis
Silver Moon Brewing
Three Creeks Brewing Co.
Humboldt Regeneration Brewery & Farm
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Highway 1 Brewing Company
Cambria Beer Company
Tap It Brewing Co.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.
Solvang Brewing Company
Island Brewing Co.
Barrio Brewing Company
Thunder Canyon Brewery
Rio Grande & Sierra Blanca Brewing Company
Santa Fe Brewing Co.
Taos Mesa Brewing
Blue Heron Brewing Co.
Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery
Chama River Brewing Co.
We ended our Albuquerque Craft Brew tour with Chama River Brewing Co. We enjoyed our flight there and a plate of nachos. Being a restaurant rather that a brewpub it was a little more upscale then we were expecting - we prefer the more rugged craft brew places. The Serenity Milk and Sleeping Dog Stouts were are favourites.
Il Vicino is just around the corner and down the street from La Cumbre - so we hit them both in the same evening. Again - rock solid craft beer. Nice with the music and visiting with the locals. The Roaming Pint enjoyed the selection as we did with our favourite being the Dark n' Lusty Stout.
La Cumbre Brewing Company
La Cumbre Brewing Company was our first of eight breweries we visited in New Mexico all within about a week. This Albuquerque gem is nestled in an industrial area not far off of the Interstate. It was also the place that we met up with The Roaming Pint for the first time after following their brew travels on line. We had a great few hours there sampling the craft brew and speaking with the Owner, Jeff.
Big Bend Brewing Company
Alpine Texas is the place to go to find some mighty fine brew. We stopped in a the Big Bend Brewing Co. even though they are currently under construction. Were were happy to hear that they are still giving tours and tastings. Nice. Also nice that we had had a flight the night before at the Gage Hotel in Marathon. Big Bend Brewing Co. beer can also be found at many establishments around Alpine. For us, the No.22 Porter was tops.
Padre Island Brewing Company
What a pleasant surprise we found in the Padre Island Brewing Company located on South Padre Island in southern Texas. This was our rendezvous site with a fellow blogger - Bear8Photo. Owner Mark was happy to give us the tour. Honestly, we enjoyed the entire flight. As usual - the Speckled Trout Stout was first with us. We enjoyed a great evening sampling some mighty fine beer and food. Definitely worth the trip down!
The Bastrop Brewhouse is in a lovely location. Set between the quaint Texas historic downtown of Bastrop along the Colorado River. We stopped in for a flight and dinner between Christmas and New Years. We tried two of BB's craft beer - the Pine Loop Porter and St. Camilia Honey Brown and Live Oak Brewing's Big Bark Amber and Liberation Ale. The Pine Loop Porter was our favourite of the selection. We learned from our server that the dog in BB's logo is Mary, the graphic designers dog - guess he didn't have to go far for inspiration.
Frog Level Brewing Company
We were excited about visiting the Frog Level Brewing Company ever since we found it on the internet. Something about the frog print I guess. On the way out of North Carolina over to Tennessee, we got our chance. A great night was had thanks to very good FL beer, food and music. The picture above is Derek and the Owner of FLBC, Clark. Nice that he took the time to visit with us. If you are in the area stop in and have a pint for us.
Southern Appalachian Brewery
The Southern Appalachian Brewery was a pleasant surprise. We didn't know much about it going in - just that we were in the area and thought to drop in. Nice that it was a Friday night with a lively crowd and good music. We were really impressed with all of their craft beers. A growler of the Black Bear Stout made it home with us. Derek really liked this Stout, the only way he could describe it was "a distinct, sweet malt crystal taste/sensation." The only other time he has had a similar experience is when he had a craft brew from Hopworks that he bought at a local beer and wine shop back in Alberta this summer.
Thomas Creek Brewery
We really scored during our visit to Thomas Creek Brewery - not only craft beer but a chance to listen to the sweet Celtic sounds of Emerald Road during the TCB cask night. Since I was the designated driver I only sampled a very small amount. Derek enjoyed the Pump House Porter aged in Bourbon soaked oak chips and Up the Creek extreme IPA (I say it was the 12% alcohol warming his bones on such a cold night!)
Public House Brewing Company
Next up, the Public House Brewing Company. We had the pleasure of visiting with the fine people of Rolla a few months ago. It also gave Derek an opportunity to learn about home brewing, something we would really like to get into one day. We do believe that this is the first time we have enjoyed all of the beers from a brew pub - even the lighter ales! Hefeweizen was a real nice beer with notes of banana and clove! We left with a growler of Revelation Stout!
Springfield Brewing Co.
Not long after entering the State of Missouri for the very first time we sought out the Springfield Brewing Co. in downtown Springfield. An interesting place to spend Halloween 2013. While there we also enjoyed dinner with our flight. The Mudhouse - a coffee stout was our favourite at this brew pub. The only thing that sticks in Derek's craw, is the fact that after dropping a fair amount of change they charged him for a sticker. Free advertising, is it not, especially since it goes on a highly visible spot on our van. Stickers should "always be free."
The Ft. Collins Brewery
With The Ft.Collins Brewery we were sure enjoying our time in the Ft. Collins Beermuda Triangle. While enjoying our flight of brews here we had dinner. If you go - don't leave without sampling the Bacon wrapped pretzels! Say hi to Haley too!
Odell Brewing Co.
With our beer tastes, Odell Brewing Co. really works for us. What we like so much about Odell beer is that it is what it says it is and at a very high level. These folks know what they are doing. Chocolate Milk Stout? Man oh man - it IS chocolate milk stout. And the Amuste? Don't even get us started - I think those were real tears in our eyes when the last drop of our only bottle hit our tongues. We thoroughly enjoyed our few hours there in Ft. Collins with our new friend Glenn. Odell Brewing Co. is the complete package as their labelling and graphics are tops too!
We love Tommyknocker's so much that to date it is the only brew pub that we have been to twice - on two different occasions. We first found this lovely craft brewery back in the spring of 2013 with a stop into Idaho Springs, on our way north. Back again to Colorado on our way down this fall meant a return trip. Our favourites include the Oatmeal Stout and the Rye Porter. The seasonal Cocoa Porter is also very good.
Ok - so definitely not one of the best brew pictures around. We slipped and didn't get a very good photo while we were at the Breckenridge Brewery. Guess we were having too much of a good time and the long - although enjoyable day - had burned us out somewhat. What a way to end a day though in a GREAT town! LOVE Breckenridge. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals and fine craft brew though - still dreaming about the Vanilla Porter - one of our all-time favourites.
Fredricksburg Brewing Company
For us, a trip to Texas is not complete unless we have made our annual (or bi annual) trip to Fredricksburg. It's one of our favourite all time towns to walk around the downtown - window shopping. Such was the case back in March 2013 when we stopped on our way north through the Panhandle. Although we didn't stay and sit, we stopped in for a much anticipated growler from the Fredricksburg Brewing Company. Oh did the Pioneer Porter go down well - still today one of our favourite beers.
K. Spoetzl Brewery
Sadly, by the time we arrived in the mid afternoon at the K. Spoetzl Brewery - home of Shiner Beer - on a Sunday, it was closed. Darn! We missed the tour and tasting. We hold a special fondness for Shiner's because it was one of our first American craft beers. Although a bit more main stream it can hold it's own.