Craft beer. It’s an industry that’s worth billions of dollars and includes more than 7,000 breweries in the U.S. If you’re planning to quench your thirst for adventure while also sampling fine beers on a craft beer road trip, that’s a lot of pit stops. The research firm Datafini has identified five cities that offer some of the densest concentrations of breweries per capita basis, and per 100,000 residents. Another bonus: they’re affordable places to visit. We’ll drink to that!
A word of caution: Remember that “beer road trip” doesn’t mean literally drinking beer while driving on the road — always practice safe, unimpaired driving.
1. Bend, Oregon
Fresh and flavorful beers make Bend Oregon a must-see on your road trip. With 11.6 breweries per capita, Bend is home to the famous Deschutes Brewery and just a few hours away from the Willamette Valley hop-growing fields. The Worthy Brewing Company feature an urban hop-filled garden and the Worthy Garden Club Hopservatory, a working observatory that educates visitors on concepts such as scale, size, time, distance, and speed in our solar system and beyond.
2. Asheville, North Carolina
With an impressive 8.8 breweries per capita, Asheville offers hotels starting from as little as $77. Take your pick from an array of breweries featuring everything from Belgian-style ales to sour black ales to blond wheat sour ales aged in oak barrels for a full year. Many of the breweries offer free tours.
3. Portland, Maine
Portland, Oregon is one of America’s most well-known brewery cities, but this Portland boasts a higher per capita beer density with 6.8 breweries. Hop aboard the Maine Brew Bus for $70, and you’ll be able to visit a wide range of breweries in not only Portland but also the surrounding area. You’ll want to check out the waterfront Shipyard Brewing Co. and the Allagash Brewing Company, which specializes in spontaneous fermented Belgian-style ales. Quaint homes are available on Airbnb for as little as $70 per night.
4. Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa is located in Sonoma Valley, which is well known for its wine vineyards. But you don’t have to go far to tap into one of the local craft breweries. With six breweries per capita, Santa Rosa offers something for every type of beer aficionado. Hotels in the area can be a bit pricey, but you can find private Airbnbs that rent for as low as $45 per night.
5. Madison, Wisconsin
Home to 4.8 breweries per capita, Madison is home to Rockhound Brewing, which offers a variety of beers including Excessive Adjectives, an appropriately-named beer described as “nitro sour whiskey barrel-aged multigrain Belgian dark strong ale.” Hotels in Madison charge around $80 per night, but you can snag a private Airbnb for under $50.