Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Best brewery tours?

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

  1. Goblinmunkey7

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Posts:
    77
    Likes Received:
    345
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Otter Creek has a solid tour. They might not have the most exciting beer in the world, but it's unlimited tasting before and after the tour. If it's not on tap, they'll walk in to the cooler and crack a bottle and pour you a sample. The tour itself takes you all over the brew floor (following the brewing process of their flagship Copper Ale). They open up the kettles. I could have spit in the whirlpool. I was told if the timing is right, they even let tour participants throw some hop addition is. Pretty sweet in my book.
     
  2. Pinknuggets

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Posts:
    29
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    this is news to me i didn't even know they did tours the few times I've been there is just the tasting room/bar?

    anyways my favorite was definitely Rock Art in VT because for $4 you get 4-5 tastings a free pint glass and if you want you can walk around the brewery in the back and at least in my experience no one says anything
     
  3. Str8ShooterEsq

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Posts:
    16
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Maryland
    They have guided tours in the Hershey facility. I went on one in mid-December. The tour guide was friendly and informative. In addition to serving several samples to taste at the end of the tour, he tapped a fermenter and we had some fresh JavaHead Stout.
     
  4. epk

    epk

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Posts:
    716
    Likes Received:
    233
    Location:
    New Jersey
    When I visited SF last summer, I had tried to schedule one about a month before I would be there and they were booked. In fact, if I remember correctly, they were booked to almost a month after I would have been there.

    There site says they are taking reservations up to 6 months in advance... if anyone plans on going, even if not until the summer, book now!
     
  5. Lantern

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Posts:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    4,099
    Samuel Adams (Boston Beer) in Jamaica Plain. Best tour guide ever.
     
    stevecooks likes this.
  6. mjw52

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Posts:
    105
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Weyerbacher in Easton, PA is a great tour. Informative, got to see the newly finished expansion, and the tour guides don't "read from a script". Each time I went it was completely different, but good. Pretty much unlimited samples, FREE, and now you dont have to buy a full case of beer at the brewery since PA changed its laws.
     
    zekeman17 likes this.
  7. stevecooks

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Posts:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Anchor's tour is worth the effort. You really have to plan well in advance, a month (or more) at least. Nothing like combing my love of beer and history.
     
  8. stevecooks

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Posts:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    I love the Sam Adams tour. I haven't done it since 1996 or so. Great Boston brewing history.
     
  9. Spartan213

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Posts:
    138
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Michigan
    Have to agree on the Lakefront tour being the most fun.

    Also have a vote for Darkhorse. I think the tour was $5, nothing too special during the tour except seeing their barrel room. Asked about a few things in there and the tour guy had no clue what they were. Death Star Lover comes to mind and when we saw it on draft at a festival it was a very pleasant surprise. What makes it great is the stop in the VIP lounge at the end and a pour of everything they have on tap at the time which up there is some pretty good stuff.
     
  10. shebby

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Posts:
    145
    Likes Received:
    182
    Location:
    Utah
    I always enjoy the Boulevard tour. It's very informative, they have a great facility, and the best part is the beers at the end! Four six-ounce or so pours and they usually have an experimental beer or a seasonal beer that hasn't been released yet. It's traditionally hard to reserve spots, but they are changing their tour policy so that will probably change.

    Lakefront in Milwaukee has been mentioned a few times but I'll give the nod to Sprecher. Their beers aren't world-class, but the tour is cheap, they have an awesome gift shop, and you get four drink tokens end. Plus they make a variety of delicious house brewed sodas that are all complimentary, and a great option if you have kids along.

    Finally I'll mention Cigar City. The tour was a little disorganized at the start (not clearly delineated where to meet or who is leading), but we got beer straight from the tanks during the tour, as well as a complimentary pint to drink while our guide talked. And that was a lifesaver, because we toured in August when it was more than a little warm! You can probably see a theme...I enjoy the tours most when I get to sample a lot of new beer :).
     
    jcb7472 likes this.
  11. Ricelikesbeer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Posts:
    737
    Likes Received:
    331
    Location:
    Colorado
    I would have said Avery except for they completely changed their tour to be much more generic and don't give out any free samples anymore.

    I'm not a huge Boulder Beer fan, but their tour is amazing... They show you every room they have, and explain everything in great detail. Then, they sit you down at banquet style tables and serve you pitcher after pitcher of free beer. They have great food too. Very in depth and generous, and they were one of the first craft breweries around, and the firist in CO, so its also cool to get the historical perspective.
     
  12. chrisfromboston

    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Posts:
    116
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I'm going to ditto this. Went in 2011 and paid $10, gets you a glass + three pints (Daisy Cutter, Over, Gossamer). Then again I also remember being really happy an elderly couple gave me their extra beer tokens on top of the three I already got.
     
  13. char005

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Posts:
    49
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Pennsylvania

    Best tour I've been on as well. Five bucks for an hour tour and eight tasting tokens at then end. Cool tour guides and was able to sample some that don't show up in PA very often. Had a decent sour, which I wasn't even aware they did. Awesome Ralph Steadman art in the brewery too. Best small brewery tour I went on was appalchian brewing in harrisburg. Got to get real up and close with the brewing eqpt and how many other tours are with the head brewer?
     
  14. RockAZ

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Posts:
    529
    Likes Received:
    445
    Location:
    Arizona
    All brewery tours are awesome, and having been on so many I want to offer the Redstone Meadery tour in Boulder, CO as something a little unusual and certainly worth your time if you are beer focused like I am.
     
  15. mvdillman

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Posts:
    49
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Indiana
    I went to Half Acre this past Saturday and signed up for their brewery tour. For $10 you get a pint glass with their logo and you get to fill up that glass up to three times and choose for 4 fresh beers they have on tap at the time. They tour itself was very entertaining. The guide was very knowledgable about their business and about beer brewing in general. If in the Chicago area, I'd highly recommend it.

    What are other good tours you've been on and what kind of perks (if any) do they throw at you while you're there?

    Thanks!
     
  16. Domingo

    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Posts:
    6,346
    Likes Received:
    8,706
    Location:
    Colorado
    New Belgium's is fan-tastic. It's a great look at how much effort goes into everything in spite of their size.
    They have great guides, tons of cheap samples, and generally a pretty amazing atmosphere.

    A bit unrelated, but several breweries in Bamberg actually have tiny hotels within. I stayed at Faessla and they essentially give you a master key to the whole place. A "tour" doesn't get any better than that.
     
    mvdillman likes this.
  17. Onizilla

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Posts:
    418
    Likes Received:
    325
    Location:
    New York
    Is it just me or does this thread pop up every few days? Everyone's going to say New Belgium's is one of the best, People will be split about The Alchemist (Only screens and you don't get to see much!? RUBBISH etc) and a lot of hate towards FFF tours. Hands down though, People freaking love the New Belgium tour. I really gotta get in on that. Oh and the 'Loon tour will be top digs too.

    I've never been on a brewery tour personally but in march I have an entire four days touring around VT. Oh delicious VT.
     
  18. fineout

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Posts:
    423
    Likes Received:
    241
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    ^let me know how that goes, my friends and I are planning on doing a 3 day vermont tour in april.


    I've only been on a few brewery tours so I don't have a ton of knowledge. I would say harpoon is really good though, the workers are all super friendly and I personally am a big fan of their beers and you get a good amount of time to try anything you want after the tour.
     
  19. Chaney

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Posts:
    256
    Likes Received:
    578
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Sierra Nevada's tour was friggin awesome..... one of the best I've ever been on even. Watching Bigfoot being made was like a dream come true.

    Also, as much as I hate to admit it on some level, the Anheuser Busch tour in St. Louis is really nice. Very flashy, quite lengthy and in depth, with cool horse stables and the whole nine yards.
     
    baconman91 likes this.
  20. Mothergoose03

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Posts:
    6,033
    Likes Received:
    4,689
    Location:
    Michigan
  21. reverseapachemaster

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Posts:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    582
    Location:
    Texas
    Drunk slide at the end of the tour FTW.
     
  22. baconman91

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Posts:
    515
    Likes Received:
    785
    Location:
    Ohio
    though it's been yrs since I was a Yuengling fella, I once was and found myself in Pottsville PA. I'd go back..even Now.. it was Awesome.
    So much history, just down right Sweet...all the Original works Still, from 1829. The Underground tour & taproom was Really cool..I'd suggest it to Everyone, if you find yourself in the same Area of town..
    unlikely I know, but none-the-less...
     
  23. GRG1313

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Posts:
    581
    Likes Received:
    780
    Location:
    California
    New Belgium tour is very good but one must remember that reservations are generally needed and New Belgium is "beer Disneyland." It is a big, beautiful place that looks more like a high end modern winery in Napa than a brewery. It is always excessively crowded and there is nothing at the bar (that is usually about 8 deep) that you can't get in a bottle. ( There may be exceptions to the immediate foregoing but I've been by there about 6 times over the past 3 years and have never seen anything at the bar that was not in a bottle). Great place that I avoid only because of the crowds and because there's nothing unique about the brews on tap - which is the only reason I generally will go to a brewery.

    Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams) tour in Boston is probably my favorite. I've been 3 times. A fanstastic brewery; a historic venue for more reasons than one; incredible beer tasting; great lecture and just great facility. This is one of the best tours in Boston (and the country) period. Not terribly long; frequent tours and you taste multiple beers and get to keep a good tasting glass. All in all this one is highly recommended.

    Now, having said the foregoing I'm perhaps going to be a bit hypocritical but what I'm about to say is really very different from above. (And, I fully admit that I'm a complete beer snob and I never drink Coors.) HOWEVER, the Coors tour outside of Denver about 20 minutes is fantastic. It is hands down one of the best tours I've ever been on and my wife loves "factory tours" so I've been on many.

    It is one of the largest brewing facilities in the world. The information that you're given and what you see dwarfs every other brew tour you've been on. Truthfully, if nothing else, it is fabulously wealthy with information and just a gas to see. At the end of the tour you are given a choice of a few beers to try. The regular, original Coors Banquet Beer that you get is about a day to 2 days old and right from the brewery. Truthfully, it is like something you've never had. Again, this is not my beer and I don't think I've purchased or consumed a Coors since college (about a hundred years ago!) But, the beer from the tap at the brewery tastes and smells like the best and freshest piece of white bread you've ever tried.

    I'd actually even go back. Great tour. During the summer there is a personal guide; during winter months it's a self guided tour. Both are worth the effort.
     
  24. BWED

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Posts:
    30
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Colorado
    I went to Brooklyn and had a good time. I went during the week, on the Small Batch Tour, so the only people allowed in there were the people on the tour. It was nice and intimate, and not overly hipster, like most of their market is. Our guide was working his beer advocacy, talking about great beer, "not only at Brooklyn, but around the world." He wasn't overly talking up Brooklyn's beers, either, like some breweries do. It was 10 bucks, but I got a Brooklyn snifter (worth $8, I think) and probably a 16 oz. worth of tastes. I thought it was well worth the money. If you don't want to pay, I think the tours on the weekend are free, you just have to beat the crowd.
     
    jcb7472 likes this.
  25. johngalt12345

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Posts:
    61
    Likes Received:
    188
    Location:
    Maryland
    cool - will give it a shot. doing heavy seas (yet again) next weekend
     
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe