Five cities to visit if you fricking love craft beer


"Beer! Glorious beer! As long as it's not a typical domestic!"

If you find yourself uttering this in your sleep, you might be a craft-beer fanatic. Which means your next vacay should probably be to one of the following cities known for their devotion to the art of brew:

1. Denver, CO

Denver Skyline with City Park in Foreground at SunsetAlbertPego/Getty

Colorado boasts the second-most craft breweries in the country, with only the mammoth state of California beating it out — and it's the site of the yearly Great American Beer Festival. Denver is home to some of the sweetest suds available. Check out the original Great Divide taproom downtown, the punk-rock inspired Ratio in the trendy RiNo neighborhood, and if you're up for venturing a little bit outside of town, both Fort Collins and Boulder have a plethora of fantastic microbreweries.

Oh yeah, plus it's super beautiful in Denver and there's legal weed.

2. Portland, OR

Drinking beer in a sidewalk tableJacobo Zanella via Getty Images

Portland and Denver have been battling for beer supremacy for the last few years, but now there exists a healthy respect between the two cities (as evidenced by the fact that Portland-based Voodoo Doughnut opened a location in Denver).

Portland also boasts award-winning public transportation and regularly earns high walkability ratings, so it's an easy place to travel to and get around. You can basically get beer at every business ever in Portland, but check out 10 Barrel Brewing in the Pearl District, Burnside Brewing (in, um, Burnside), or the award-winning Breakside.

3. Asheville, NC

asheville  north carolina...shutterstock

Asheville has been stealing some of Colorado's craft-thunder, with both Oskar Blues and New Belgium opening up plants nearby. But it's still just a funky North Carolina mountain town at heart, and the local breweries reflect that.

Yes, it just got bought by InBev and everyone is freaking out, but the beer still tastes fine at Wicked Weed. Additionally, try the sours at Burial Beer or the Iron Rail IPA at local favorite Wedge Brewing Company.

4. San Diego, CA

Beer sampler in downtown San Diego.
Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski

San Diego may have lost its NFL team, but it's still one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A 75-degree day overlooking the harbor with a cold brew in hand? Pretty f#*king rad.

Of course Ballast Point is likely the first stop on any aficionado's tour of America's Finest City, but there's so much more to be had. Just a couple of blocks away is Bolt Brewery, serving awesome summery IPAs, and it's extremely difficult to pick the wrong beer at The Lost Abbey or Green Flash.

5. Grand Rapids, MI



Not necessarily the first place you'd think of vacationing if you're not from the area, Grand Rapids decided to drown itself in beer with one of the highest brewery-per-square-mile ratios in the country.

Some would say Founders Brewing is the heart of Michigan's craft-beer scene. Others would point out that HopCat has a cool name — and possibly mention it's been rated the best brewpup in the country five times running.

And yes, there is actually more than beer to experience in Grand Rapids. Although there's really no reason to try anything else.

James Kerley is a Senior Editor at MapQuest, and beer curious.