Oktoberfest: Top Seven Brewery Tours

Where To Get Drinkin?

So, at this point of the month, you?ve probably missed all of the seasonal Oktoberfest beers and celebrations. But, there?s over a week left in the month and you still want to get your Oktoberfest on. Fear not my friends, you still can. Strap on your best lederhosen and head to a brewery for a tour and tasting. Will there be wiener dog racing? No, but there will be plenty of delicious beer.

My first experience with a brewery tour leads me to that conclusion. I took the Heineken tour back in the day when at the end of the tour they sat you down at a table and said, have as much beer as you want for the next 45 minutes. Since I was part of the first group that finished the tour, our time getting beer turned into 60 minutes. Best part of that time was this little conversation:

Me: ?Can I have a glass of Amstel Light??
Server: ?What tour did you just do??
Me: ?Heineken.?
Server: ?What beer do you think you?ll be served??
Me: ?Heineken.?
Server: ?What beer would you like to ask for??
Me: ?Heineken??
Server: “Coming right up.”
Me: ?Whohoo!?

(Which, since it was so fresh, was the best that a Heineken has ever tasted for me.)

The days of the unlimited beer drinking after a Heineken tour are over as far as I can tell. However, there is still brewery beer for the drinking. When I look for a brewery tour, I look for three things: free, tastes good and samples. Here are seven that have that covered in spades.

The Tours

Big Sky Brewing Co. (Missoula, Montana)

If there's a heaven, this is it.

Beers ? Moose Drool Brown Ale, Scape Goat Pale Ale, Trout Slayer Ale, Big Sky IPA
Sales on Premises ? Yes, including growlers and small batch beers.
In addition ? On Tuesdays, you can fill your growler (half gallon mug for beer) for only $5.

Deschutes Brewery (Bend, Oregon)

Beers ? Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Inversion IPA, Obsidian Stout
Sales ? Yes, including growlers.
In addition ? A few times during the year, the brewery offers beer dinners in the Mountain Room. Views of the Cascade Mountains accompany a meal and the beers that taste great with it.

New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, Colorado)

Beers ? Fat Tire Amber Ale, Summer Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsener Lager, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Sales on Premises ? Yes, including growlers.
In addition ? Before you start the tour, you receive a token for a beer to drink while you wait. At the end of the tour there?s a slide to go down before you go to the tasting room. In between, there?s more beer.

Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, California)

Beers ? Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Levitation Ale, Stone Ruination IPA, Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
Sales on Premises ? Yes, including growlers.
In addition ? Besides an on site restaurant that serves locally grown ingredients, there?s an outdoor boulder garden to explore.

Boulevard Brewing Company (Kansas City, Missouri)

Beers ? Boulevard Pale Ale, Boulevard Bully! Porter, Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer
Sales on Premises ? No.
In addition ? Once a month there is a Brewmaster Luncheon that combines one of Kansas City?s great restaurants (like Lidia?s or Jack Stack Barbecue) with a tour and Boulevard beers.

Samuel Adams (Boston, Massachusetts)

Beers ? Samuel Adams Boston Lager, several seasonal beers and beers in the Brewmaster?s Collection
Sales on Premises ? Yes, including beers exclusive to New England and Colorado; Stony Brook Red, New World Triple and American Kriek.
In addition ? The brewery recommends using the MBTA to get to them, the Stony Brook stop on the Orange Line. Which means you don?t have to worry about sampling beers and driving.

Allagash Brewing Company (Portland, Maine)

Beers ? Allagash White, Allagash Dubbel, Allagash Tripel
Sales on Premises ? Yes.
In addition ? The Allagash website offers recipes to pair with their beers, including ones for Steak Tartare with Root Chips and Glazed Pork Belly with Barley Pilaf.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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