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Best brewery tours?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by slacker79, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. slacker79

    slacker79 Aficionado (180) Ohio Mar 27, 2011

    As opposed to an earlier BAD brewery tour thread. Any that really stood out?

    My favorite was Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar, Scotland.
    Only cost 5-8 pounds and was fairly long and detailed. It went through the actual production brewery and at the end you went to their tasting room for pints, which had all their beers on tap (except export biers like Wee-Heavy) and you could drink as much as you wanted for a half hour or so. You got to try out everything and then have a pint (or 2) for free. A real good deal considering the damn pints at the pubs over there were at least 5 pounds.
  2. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    I've only been on one, but it was pretty good. Did a brewery tour at Ballast Point (Old Grove location). It happened that they were shooting film for something that day during the tour, so one of the owners led it. Or maybe it was the head brewer? It was a couple years ago. Anyway, it was pretty interesting.
  3. cubbyswans

    cubbyswans Savant (405) Missouri Jun 10, 2008 Beer Trader

    Anheuser Busch in St. Louis. It's free! The brewery tour is quite good, regardless of how one might feel about the end product(s).
    cu29 and FreshmanPour77 like this.
  4. I'd say Allagash so far. The tour was free and it began with 4 pretty generous pours of what they had on tap and walked around in the barrel room. Not a favorite brewery of mine but the tour was nice. And did I mention it was free :eek:
  5. Hotmetal1

    Hotmetal1 Advocate (650) Mississippi Feb 28, 2012 Beer Trader

    Cantillion self tour 5 or 6 euro and a 2 pour beer tasting at the end.
    SmallestArt, Mgm54 and miketd like this.
  6. zekeman17

    zekeman17 Champion (915) Pennsylvania Feb 14, 2010 Beer Trader

    I really enjoyed Ommegang. Nice tour, beautiful property, and tied it in with a visit to the Baseball HOF.
  7. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Advocate (605) Wisconsin Apr 16, 2012 Verified

    Lakefront MKE; I mean this in a 100% honesty, there is no need what so ever for further conversation.
  8. Auror

    Auror Advocate (730) Massachusetts Jan 1, 2010 Beer Trader

    Odell's was good. I like their tasting room space a lot. Only one pour on tour and it was one of their mediocre offerings, but buying a flight of pretty great pilot beers beforehand and drinking them outside while playing battleship was a fun time. The tour was more extensive than some others i've been on too.
    chugalug06 likes this.
  9. epk

    epk Savant (360) New Jersey Jun 10, 2008 Verified

    This could be good or bad, but Ed Stoudt gave a crazy tour at Stoudt's. I found it humorous.
  10. I have a special place in my heart for Yard's in Philly. I've been on the tour a few times, with each being a little different. Plus, how can you be disappointed in a brewery tour when it starts like this:

    Guide: "Everyone who has received a free beer, raise your hand!"
    Group: (Collective hand raising)
    Guide: "Now, ask yourself why there isn't a beer in your raised hand, and then go back to the sample table and fix this problem!"

    Smuttynose was also pretty good, as they put a cap on the number of people in the group, the guys were willing to really shoot the shit afterwards, and the samples were never-ending.
  11. jellikit

    jellikit Savant (335) Washington Aug 17, 2012

    Bend, Oregon.
  12. dcloeren

    dcloeren Advocate (505) Texas Sep 15, 2010 Beer Trader

    New Belgium's tour was amazing. Their tasting room is fantastic, you get to bring what you are drinking with you when they call for your tour time. You are met with a tray full of beers as soon as the tour starts, get to pour your own (choice of 8 when I was there) on the next stop, glass of Lips of Faith sour (Tart Lychee when I was there) in the barrel room, plus a hand full of their other offerings along the way. 90 minutes long but it only felt like 30 to me. Very interesting, fun and full of cool info. I'll make it a point to go back and bring friends if I'm ever in the Ft. Collins area again.
  13. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Advocate (625) Massachusetts Mar 29, 2007 Beer Trader

    Smuttynose used to give a pretty solid tour. Got to stick your head into the whirlpool and get pretty close to the brewing process, then got to try some samples at the beginning and end. Did the tour one afternoon and then met my wife for dinner and the first thing she said, 'You smell like beer and bread'. Although it was hit or miss whether you got a marketing or brewing person do the tour.
  14. I second cantillion and ommegang, both great tours, but my favorite tour was Heineken. Crappy beer, great tour. Reminded me of chocolate world at hershey park
  15. FreshmanPour77

    FreshmanPour77 Savant (425) Minnesota Jul 25, 2009 Verified

    I agree with Anheuser Busch in St. Louis is pretty cool for nostalgic reason’s, Coors’s in Colorado is ok. But for smaller craftbrew joints. Summit in St. Paul Minnesota is ok but my #1 is Surly Brewing in Brooklyn Center Minnesota. It’s free, 5+ oz pours with 5 tokens. Good history lesson on how it all started. Can’t really go wrong with that!
  16. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    I had a pretty good time on the Deschutes tour. Super knowledgable tour guide, and unlimited samples in the gift shop. They also have this cool hall of fame art gallery thing with a painting of every Jubelale label, pretty cool.
    kfordham281 and onefalsemove711 like this.
  17. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Michigan Mar 17, 2010

    Anchor's tour was pretty cool, especially given their history. I also took the tour at Firestone Walker when they had just upgraded some of their equipment but were still installing more, and that was pretty neat as well.
    onefalsemove711 likes this.
  18. Hockey_Fan

    Hockey_Fan Advocate (700) Maryland Jan 13, 2013 Verified

    Last time I was in St. Louis I drove out to Schlafly Bottleworks for lunch and found that they offer a free tour along with a complimentary tasting. It starts with the history of brewing in St. Louis, then a tour of the production area, followed by a tasting.
  19. miketd

    miketd Advocate (530) Ohio Mar 2, 2006

    This is the only brewery tour I've ever really thought was worth the time. Most of them are all the same.
    Hotmetal1 likes this.
  20. Boulevard in Kansas City is my favorite. Their brewery is huge, the people are great, and the beer is fantastic.
  21. Dennoman

    Dennoman Advocate (525) Belgium Aug 20, 2011

    De Dolle, hands down. Being shown the ropes by a 95-year old lady that still does 2 tours every Sunday is awesome. She's incredibly passionate for the whole thing.
  22. Flying Dog in Frederick, MD had to be the best tour I've been on so far. I have toured breweries like Dogfish Head, 16 Mile and Tröegs – but the thing that sets Flying Dog aside was how they let the group try their Snake Dog IPA from kettle-to-keg throughout the tour. I also noticed how they kept the tour attendance level down around 20 people, which really helped make the experience more genuine, and the overall brewing facility and staff more accessible.
    jcb7472 and Jspriest like this.
  23. Brew33

    Brew33 Advocate (690) Ohio Oct 24, 2007 Beer Trader

    I agree with AB, I've done Jacksonville and Columbus and they're both great.

    Great Lakes Brewing is my favorite though.
    DStoked likes this.
  24. Domingo

    Domingo Poobah (1,135) Colorado Apr 23, 2005 Beer Trader

    I love New Belgium's. Beyond getting to see their operations and having good guides, it's really interesting to see how a craft operation of that size operates.

    While not quite the same, in Bamberg you can actually stay at a few of the breweries. I stayed at Faessla and had a key to the front door and freedom to pretty much wander wherever I wanted to. Can't beat that.
  25. Hockey_Fan

    Hockey_Fan Advocate (700) Maryland Jan 13, 2013 Verified

    I'm only about 15 minutes from them and still haven't taken a tour. I'm going to have to fix that soon.
    Jspriest and CraftBeerTastic like this.
  26. Imstillthegman

    Imstillthegman Advocate (590) Delaware Jan 30, 2006 Beer Trader

    I also had the pleasure of being in a group that Ed Stoudt gave a personal tour to. That man had some stories!
    CraftBeerTastic likes this.
  27. Monsone

    Monsone Savant (370) Illinois Jun 5, 2006

    Depends on what you are looking for. Scenery, History, Lots of beer, etc.

    Some of my favorites:
    Cantillon - The history and beer are great.
    Anchor - Free. Lots of samples. The copper kettles are cool.
    Lakefront - Most entertaining tour by a large margin
    New Belgium - Really nice tap room and the overall "vibe" was great.
    jcb7472 likes this.
  28. I've been on quite a few in my day... Two have really stood out from the rest.

    NOLA Brewing in New Orleans and Terrapin in Athens, GA. If you are in the area at the times either of these two breweries are giving tours, you OWE it to yourself to go. You won't regret it. Both are only held in two hour sessions though, so be aware of that.
    jcb7472 likes this.
  29. Mgm54

    Mgm54 Savant (430) Illinois Apr 7, 2011 Beer Trader

    Duvel was great. The women who gave the tour was very nice, and the facilities are top notch. And for 8 euro's per person, you get two beers of your choosing (Duvel Tripel Hop is a must try for any IPA fan), and a free glass.

    Delirium (Brewery Huyghe) was great, as they gave us Infinite samples (although we only had around 3 beers each, as it was 11:30 am when we got to the tasting part, we have another tour later that day, can't remember which).

    Also, while I haven't gone, I here sweet water is great, as they supposedly give you six beer tokens, which is too much for the average person doing the tour, so people give you there spares on the way out, so you can drink forever :)
    jcb7472 likes this.
  30. I love me some Stoudt's - they have one of the best Double IPAs around here in SE PA. And great food too!
  31. AB is pretty informative, although there was a boilover the day I was there and I didn't get to see the actual brewing. I was pretty shocked to find out that a giant commercial brewery could still have boilovers, but that goes to show just how unpredictable the science of brewing can be.

    Port City Brewing in Alexandria, VA gives a great tour. They are a tiny brewery, and there's not much to the operation, but they let you get as up close and personal as you want with every part of it. They also pull a pitcher off of one of the dry-hopping tanks to pass around for everyone, and require everyone to start the tour with a beer. For $7 you get the tour, plus 5 tickets each good for a 6 oz. pour of whatever you like, and they have every beer they make available in the tasting room. They also have food trucks come by on the weekends. Great place, I've gone 3 times now and done the tour twice.
    rhartogsq likes this.
  32. Drew26

    Drew26 Savant (490) Wisconsin Nov 2, 2012 Beer Trader

    Agreed. Very entertaining and very good beer!
    InVinoVeritas likes this.
  33. epk

    epk Savant (360) New Jersey Jun 10, 2008 Verified

    I had no idea where it was, thanks for saying the city. My cousin lives 20 minutes away - I know where I'm going next time I visit.
    Jspriest and CraftBeerTastic like this.
  34. epk

    epk Savant (360) New Jersey Jun 10, 2008 Verified

    He sure does. One of the most hilarious parts for me was that he was nearing the end of his spiel about the fermenters and he stopped to ask someone what time is was. Finding out it was almost 4, he cut the tour short saying something along the lines of - go buy some of my daughter's cheese, her shop is about to close.

    (the cheese shop is on the same grounds)
    CraftBeerTastic likes this.
  35. jdhende

    jdhende Savant (400) Illinois Sep 27, 2010 Beer Trader

    Half Acre is also pretty cool. It's $10 and all the people over there are great. Included you get a pint glass a nice history about the brewery and some beer to sip.
  36. I would have to give a lot of love to my two favorite Vermont breweries. That being Long Trail, whose self-guided tour is small, but they have great food at the integrated brewpub. The second is Magic Hat. They have a very cool and ecclectic approach to their tour. Cheers!
    LostTraveler likes this.
  37. Another vote for Anchor Brewing Co. Speaking of which It's been quite a few years-need to schedule another tour:D
  38. TheFunGuy

    TheFunGuy Aficionado (210) Virginia Dec 27, 2011

    Outside of Bud and Coors, cleanest brewery I have seen. You could eat off the floor.
  39. craigo19

    craigo19 Savant (305) Michigan Oct 12, 2009 Verified

    I have toured several breweries and I would say that the original Yuengling tour was the best. There was a lot of historical things to see, plus you got a couple of free samples after the tour. My wife who isn't a beer drinker loved the tour.
  40. KaiserSose

    KaiserSose Aficionado (130) Minnesota Apr 17, 2012 Beer Trader

    Surly has great beer and a great tour!
    BigBossMan likes this.