Thanks to our current vaccinated reality, travel is officially a thing again. Whether you’re a habitual jetsetter or prefer the comforts of home, we’re willing to bet that the last year and change has stirred up a little wanderlust in you. After the furthest we could travel was our mailbox, it feels freeing and special and exhilarating to hit the road and explore somewhere totally new, or somewhere we totally missed, whether it’s one state over or across the country.
All of our own dreaming up itineraries and open-ended plans to roam has made us realize how many breweries are on TapRm that are total destinations in their own right. From taprooms so lovely and unique you’ve just got to see them for yourself; to Michelin-starred, life-changing meals; to beautiful hiking trails, there’s really something for every kind of traveler here, and the best part? It all comes hand-in-hand with beer!
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Lickinghole Creek CEO and cofounder Lisa Pumphrey set out to help incentivize conservation efforts in Virginia, and helped establish the state’s farm-brewery system. Today, LCCB is considered a destination of “agritourism,” meaning that, like other Virginia breweries who have followed suit, it’s a working farm with the purpose of tourism and hospitality.
What does that translate to? An absolute must-visit brewery for any beer lover who also happens to have a thing for nature. LCCB sits on 290 acres of lush land, with creeks, poplar groves, rolling hills, and all kinds of wildlife. Hikers, take note--you’re welcome to explore here. And then you can reward yourself at the brewery, itself, enjoying beers often brewed with ingredients grown right there on the farm. LCCB also has a disc golf course for more fun, and boasts a packed lineup of live music for a perfect end to a perfect day.
Moody Tongue Brewing Company
If city life is more your scene, and/or if you have a penchant for planning excursions based around discoveries of the culinary variety, Moody Tongue makes for one great excuse to get thee to the Windy City. We already knew Moody Tongue was special. Brewmaster Jared Rouben works with chef Jared Wentworth to create a unique culinary approach. Beers are brewed with an elevated focus on ingredients and innovative flavor profiles, along with how they will pair with conceptual, simply delicious dishes for every course.
Now, however, Moody Tongue’s genius has been made official in the food world with not one, but two coveted Michelin stars. It’s only the second brewpub in the country to get a star, and because the first brewpub to do so is no longer open, Moody Tongue is the only Michelin-starred brewpub you can visit in America. Beer and food fans alike will hardly need much more convincing to get to Chicago and have an unforgettable meal with unforgettable beer. Be sure to make a reservation here.
New Belgium Brewing
New Belgium is one of those breweries that is just so iconic, it’s an automatic destination for any beer enthusiast. It was founded back in 1991, and has led the charge in the evolution of America’s craft beer scene, as well as in women having leadership roles in craft beer thanks to cofounder Kim Jordan. Fat Tire Amber Ale was one of New Belgium’s two original brews and it’s still the favorite of many beer drinkers. Basically, if you care about beer, getting out to Fort Collins, Colorado is a valuable way to embrace some important beer history.
You can visit the taproom there, making your way through expertly brewed beers alongside delicious grub. Plus, there’s plenty of live music lined up. Fort Collins is a lovely city with lots to do, and is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails. Alternatively, if you’re planning a trip to explore the site of a recent craft beer boom in Asheville, North Carolina, New Belgium also has a location there.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Similar in iconic, bucket-list status to New Belgium is Dogfish Head. This brewery was founded in 1995 by Sam Calagione, and has blazed serious trails in terms of creativity in craft beer ever since, with a particular penchant for reinventing classic styles with novel ingredients and traditions from all over the world.
Tours are temporarily still suspended due to Covid-19, but keep an eye out for their return, as they’re a worthwhile activity and firsthand look at where the magic happens. You can visit the taproom in Milton, Delaware to try exclusive brews, check out a lineup of events and special releases, and feast on beer-centric cuisine. You can also find said cuisine at one Dogfish Head’s restaurants in nearby Rehoboth Beach, which will perfect your weekend because, duh, beach. The icing on the cake is the fact that Dogfish Head has its own inn, so you can stay close to the beery action. The inn has bicycles to rent for getting around, and offers packages themed around outdoor activities and your four-legged friends.
Plan Bee Farm Brewery
If you read our recent interview with Plan Bee’s cofounder and co-owner Emily Watson, then you’re probably already itching for a visit to this picturesque, idyllic brewery. If you haven’t, then go catch up and you’ll understand what we mean.
Off the beaten path in Poughkeepsie, New York, Plan Bee is a dreamy escape with plenty to do. You’ll want to savor barn beers and lagers made almost exclusively with ingredients grown right there on the farm, or with ingredients sourced from other nearby farms. You’ll want to stroll the lush green around the taproom, taking in all that scenery and getting connected to that kind of unique, farm-to-bottle brewing. Bring blankets and chairs and have a picnic with one of the rotating food trucks. Shop Plan Bee’s farm store. Play corn hole or bocce ball, and get to know the Plan Bee goats, chickens, and ducks. Need even more to do? Plan Bee has a serious music event program, with talented bands and artists playing on a stage built to capture the glow of sunset. You might even catch cofounder and co-owner Evan Watson, a professional musician, himself, playing a set.
Oxbow Brewing Company
Meanwhile, in Maine...Oxbow is its own farm getaway paradise situation. And, then are three locations, so you can make a whole Oxbow weekend out of it.Visit charming Portland, a beer and food haven, and stop by Oxbow Blending & Bottling. This spot is a super cool bar where you can geek out on aged, spontaneously fermented, and mixed-culture brews, plus you can eat gourmet fare and catch live events. Then explore the farmland, beer garden, and 200-year-old renovated barn tasting room of Oxbow in Oxford. There’s delicious pizza on the menu, and, if you actually end up going in colder months, this location is conveniently located right by Nordic skiing and snowmobile trails. You can also snowshoe or fat bike. Finally, go off the grid with Oxbow’s bucolic, rural location in Newcastle. You can expect that wonderful beer and great food, to boot, again, plus tons of trails for hiking, running, biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.