Best brewery tours?

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

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  1. Mcooly

    Mcooly Aspirant (242) Feb 19, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Don't know if I lucked out with a small group, but I really enjoyed the DFH tour. There were only about 15 people in the group and everyone that worked there seemed to really enjoy their job.
  2. heyduke

    heyduke Initiate (163) Jan 14, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Red hook in Woodinville WA was really fun!
  3. VonWeissenheimer

    VonWeissenheimer Initiate (0) Feb 26, 2009 New York

    Matt Brewing (Saranac) has a really nice tour. Great amount of history in the building and they bring you through the brewing process start to finish all through their facility. You get 2 full pints of your choosing at the end at their speakeasy type bar, though can usually manage a couple more. Great ambiance, though beer is generally average with a couple good offerings.
  4. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Initiate (84) May 25, 2005 Nebraska

    another one for new belgium

    it was so much fun
  5. Bkoop

    Bkoop Initiate (0) Apr 19, 2012 Iowa

    Lakefront in Milwaukee. Fun! Fun! Fun! Oh and great beer too!
  6. ColdPoncho

    ColdPoncho Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2009 Ohio

    The best one I've been on was at an old Kronenbourg brewery in Strasbourg, France. It was partly the circumstances, but it was a good tour. I think I was on the tour with a co-owner of Innis and Gunn or some other British Isles brewery, our tour guide was (obviously) French and spoke very poor English...It was all very strange, but still quite informative, but the best part (and this is the main thing that set it apart from other tours) is that there was a video presentation on the history of the brewery's advertising campaign, and there were some really entertaining ads playing on all sorts of stereotypes from the last 80 or whatever years. Not easy to get to, but a good tour.

    I'll also add a vote for Lakefront, that was probably my favorite domestic tour. Though, I overheard a couple of "beer fans" talking shop: "Have you ever had Left Hand? They're in New York" is the only quote I remember...but yeah...
  7. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (516) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Ones given by the brewer.
    jgluck likes this.
  8. RichD

    RichD Champion (818) Mar 18, 2012 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    I really liked Samuel Adams' tour. It's free (2 dollar donation to a charity is encouraged) you get 3 pours of their Boston Lager, the seasonal beer and another seasonal type beer. The tour guides are quite comical and they're very informative. It's a cool experience and I highly recommend it.
    jcb7472 likes this.
  9. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (739) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Sierra Nevada! They take you ALL OVER the place. Places like Stone and Lagunitas have you walk about 30 yards total, show from a distance and just talk about the history that you probably already know. Oh well, they're usually free.
    jcb7472 likes this.
  10. maxcoinage

    maxcoinage Defender (614) Apr 6, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I really enjoyed Capital Brewery, outside Madison, WI - very informative. But my all time fave has to be Lakefront Brewery as this was part of my bachelor party weekend in Milwaukee.
  11. williamjbauer

    williamjbauer Champion (889) Jan 17, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Enjoyed Lagunitas tour, the history and attitude of the brewery in unparallelled, so many good stories.
    onefalsemove711 and PaulQuinn like this.
  12. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    Guinness in Dublin was my favorite... history, fantastic presentation, fun tour people, and a beautiful tap room. Next place goes to AB in St. Louis.

    Going to New Belgium (and a few others), hopefully in May... so that sounds like it might be up there when we come back!

    How is Odell's tour?
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  13. epk

    epk Initiate (146) Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    Though can't argue with the history, presentation, people and tap room, that tour really felt more like a museum tour rather than a brewery tour. I enjoyed it all the same. And now that I think of it, considering how many breweries I've been to, it was a welcome change.
  14. imyourhero21

    imyourhero21 Zealot (505) Oct 9, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Couldnt believe it took this long for someone to say Sierra Nevada. Its at least an hour long and you get to go in the hop cooler and see everything basically. Plus you get 8 tasters at the end all for the low cost of 0.00!!.
    jcb7472 and StoutChaser7D like this.
  15. BigBossMan

    BigBossMan Aspirant (272) Jun 4, 2009 Iowa

    Surly - Omar usually gives the tours - and when I went before Christmas, they had plenty of special/rarities on tap for all to try: Smoke, Abrasive, Damien, Bandwagon, etc. It's a great tour and different every time.
    hardy008 likes this.
  16. nolabrew

    nolabrew Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2010 Louisiana

    NOLA Brewery has, in my humble opinion, the best brewery tour you could possibly have. It's 2 hours long, all the beer you can drink, all of their beers on tap, plus special one offs. The brew master is there and loves to talk shop. There's an actual tour, but you can choose to just stand around and drink beer or you can drink beer while you take the tour. There's usually a food truck there too.
  17. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (739) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Deschutes basically does the same exact tour that Sierra Nevada does, with the whole hop cooler and bottling line and everything, but you get that whole cloudy/ depressing Bend, OR thing going on instead of the warm sun of Chico, CA.
  18. Beer-A-Lot

    Beer-A-Lot Defender (681) Oct 4, 2012 Virginia

    The Temple Bar Tour, Dublin, Ireland.

    P.S., we made this up ourselves.
  19. IrishGermanAmerican

    IrishGermanAmerican Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2012 Texas

    Guinness tour in Dublin, nothing even comes close to it!
  20. johng

    johng Initiate (144) Feb 18, 2006 New York

    I second the motion to Ommegang. All for the same reasons as Zeke.
  21. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,139) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Sam Adams - 1993 was my favorite (although not repeatable). Roomate from college worked there and ran the Saturday tours. And 4 of us friends got a special "VIP" tour with the bald/bearded brewmaster dude from the commercial and he showed us "secret" beers from Europe that weren't imported to US at that time that they were trying to backwards engineer to make SA varieties. One of my friends got to guzzle either double or triple bock straight from the vat (wanted to repeat strange brew movie) and ended up sick as a dog the next day. Jim Kouck even came into the taproom and sat with us for a few minutes. All in all a pretty awesome beer tour day.
    3letters3numbers likes this.
  22. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,139) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Not impressed with Troegs brewery tour at all. Did the tour last February. It was self guided like a museum tour. Then you come out to a gift shop where they sell overpriced stuff and poor selection of their beers. Nugget Nectar was released just a week before (that was the whole reason I drove 2 hrs to go to the brewery...get some Nugget Nectar from the source) and they were sold out (sold out at the brewery..WTF???). Then I wanted to get samples from the taproom, but it was ridiculously crowded like an Oktoberfest celebration, probably 200+ people in therewith long lines at the taps. Didn't even get to sample anything. Drove 2 hrs home empty handed and no fresh beer to taste all day.
  23. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Initiate (84) May 25, 2005 Nebraska

    not super exciting, but super informative and you really get to see the entire brewery inside and out, and it's a cool brewery. tap room is super nice and (the times i've been there) not too crowded.
  24. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,139) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Whether you like Guiness or not...that had to be great experience!!! One of the 7 wonders of the world brewery tours!....oh no, I'm feeling a hijack thread forthcoming!
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  25. StoutChaser7D

    StoutChaser7D Initiate (171) Nov 16, 2012 California

    Sierra Nevada puts on a great tour, so does Deschutes as pointed out above. Can't really beat Sierra's price per drink ratio, but the gift shop placement is a bit suspect... right outside the end. Get's me everytime...
  26. TheSSG

    TheSSG Champion (850) Jul 27, 2008 Illinois

    Lakefront's tour is EPIC fun.
    Always laughter, fun people, and great conversations.

    For a bonus, as you head into Milwaukee, stop at Kopp's Frozen Custard to ensure you have the PERFECT day!
    InVinoVeritas likes this.
  27. Str8ShooterEsq

    Str8ShooterEsq Initiate (16) Mar 17, 2010 Maryland

    So far, I have toured these breweries:

    1. Sweetwater in Atlanta, GA
    2. Troegs in Hershey, PA
    3. Appalachian in Harrisburg, PA
    4. Flying Dog in Frederick, MD
    5. Monocacy in Frederick MD

    Each was different, with its own character, and each was informative and fun. When I toured Flying Dog, our tour guide was Jim Caruso, the CEO, and that was particularly fun because he is very enthusiastic about his brewery. Appalachian is a small brewery and the tour was intimate, with tastings of many of their beers.

    I also have been to many events at Heavy Seas in Baltimore, MD, although I have not done a formal tour there.

    If you have not toured a brewery - Stop. Do Not Pass Go. Proceed immediately to the closest brewery.
    jcb7472 likes this.
  28. lhteacher

    lhteacher Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2013 Massachusetts

    This tour actually got me into craft. My wife and I took a trip to the hof, had nothing else to do so we went to ommegang. After a few samples I never looked back.
  29. LostTraveler

    LostTraveler Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2011 Maine

    Ben on the tour of Boston Beer a few times, most memorable was when the intern had been giving tours all day and was quite intoxicated. He made it one to remember.
  30. BigCheese

    BigCheese Defender (689) Jul 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    nothing like opening a barnyard door to maybe the most hyped brewery. talkin beer with some crazy belgian brewmaster, going for a self tour, and then sippin lambic. best vacation ever.
    Hotmetal1 likes this.
  31. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,337) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Spezial with Herr Merz
    Bells with Larry Bell leading the group.
    Sierra Nevada (beer camp).
    Fullers and Youngs Ram Brewery in London.
    FW chatting with a guy named Matt.
    cu29 likes this.
  32. brewtus

    brewtus Zealot (556) Dec 29, 2012 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I toured elevator brewery here in columbus, the guy hooked a tap hose up to a tank and poured us dark horse right into our glasses, it was so much fun
  33. cu29

    cu29 Initiate (144) Sep 26, 2005 Wisconsin

    I was at Fässla in Bamberg and asked to see the brewery. We were told to go in to the brewery and take a look around on our own. I asked one of the brewery workers if I could buy a bottle of beer, he grabbed one off the bottling line and gave it to me at no charge. It was the freshest bottle of beer I have ever enjoyed....
  34. StylzMC

    StylzMC Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2012 Yukon (Canada)

    Saranac in Utica NY. Mainly because they didn't take our beer tickets and we got pretty drunk before the Dropkick Murphy's show AT the brewery.
  35. hornsup

    hornsup Disciple (324) Nov 29, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Harpoon was 10x better than Sam Adams.....Sam Adams gave 3 pitchers for a room of about 20 people for 3 different beers (summer, boston lager and some dubbel or doppelbock...obviously wasnt good) and Harpoon gave you a 5oz glass and poured a sample talked for 5 minutes then had an open bar of like 15 taps for 15 min, then talked for 5 more and then had a 30 min open bar again....and they gave you suggestions for mixing certain beers too. Granted they dont make the best beer in the world, their tour will require you use a hand rail on the staircase on the way out for safety purposes.....feelin' good
  36. OUJayhawk1799

    OUJayhawk1799 Zealot (524) Jan 25, 2013 Oklahoma
    Beer Trader

    Oddly enough I really enjoyed Saint Arnold's (Houston) and Cigar City's (Tampa) tours. Both are very relaxed and get to the point. The Saint Arnold tours are essentially just an excuse to let everyone come in, try two free pints and start a party. Cigar City's was kind of the same.
  37. LBIsurf

    LBIsurf Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2009 New Jersey

    It's hard to say what the best brewery tour I've been on is... they've all been so great.

    Cantillon in Brussels is awesome, because you can walk through the brewery at your own pace, and then you get two beers at the end. And additional beers don't cost much.

    Fuller's in London is really cool, they show you pretty much everything in the entire brewery, and you're right there in the action, wearing a hardhat and everything. Then at the end of the tour, the tasting is in a little museum room, and you get to taste all of their beers, and you get like half an hour.

    Dogfish Head is cool because they always have some really good beers to taste at the end.

    And Tuckahoe in NJ was great because it was the smallest brewery I've been to. I got a private tour, and they even gave me extra beer at the tasting. Great place!
  38. teorn88

    teorn88 Initiate (146) Jun 5, 2010 United Kingdom (England)
    Beer Trader

  39. 3letters3numbers

    3letters3numbers Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    The self-tour is pretty cheesy. The brothers used to do guided tours through the old brewery in Harrisburg and those were pretty good. I thought I heard that they still do them occasionally in the new place but I'm not sure.
  40. kfordham281

    kfordham281 Initiate (184) Oct 29, 2005 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    De Halve Maan in Bruges, Belgium. Very cool space, up old stairs, visit the rooftop, you see an old coolship, and the tour guide was pretty funny. It's a short walk from the main plaza in Bruges, so the scenery is amazing. Only like 5-6 euros and you get a beer at the end. Worth it if you are in Bruges.
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