Every craft beer drinker has a list of the quintessential beer towns to visit in their lifetime. While the cities widely regarded as beer meccas in the United States remain affixed to the top of those lists, the explosive growth of American craft beer in the past two years has propelled many other cities into the upper echelon of beer destinations. While not even close to comprehensive, here’s a list of five equally deserving cities to add to your beer travel agenda.
Of course Portland, but… Bend, Oregon
Everyone knows about Portland’s impressive beer pedigree, built on an epic 91 breweries in its metro area.
But just three hours south is Bend, Oregon, a mountain town of 81,000 people and 24 breweries. Located on the eastern edge of the Cascades along the Deschutes River, Bend’s lineup includes the award-laden Bend Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, and Deschutes Brewery—which has captured 44 of the town’s 48 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medals in the last 10 years.
Add in a host of distilleries, wineries, and outdoor activities from mountain biking to trout fishing, and Bend looks more and more like paradise.