Arrivals & Departures Top 5: Emerging USA beer towns

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Craft beer lovers, discover the next big thing in is the US.

The US is known for its strong craft beer scene, with the Pacific Northwest particularly well-known as a destination for beer lovers seeking out artisanal and smaller breweries. 

And here, the team at official tourism organisation Brand USA suggests some lesser-known beer-centric corners of the country to check out.

1. Santa Barbara, California 

It’s an easy drive along a picturesque coastline from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Over the past decade, small breweries have been popping up throughout the area. 

You can follow a beer trail or head to Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company (pictured above), where father-and-son team Jim and Jaime Dietenhofer use hand-drawn artwork depicting the local landscape on their labels.

2. Boise, Idaho

Two hours' flight north-east of Los Angeles is Boise, Idaho, the capital of a State which is putting its status as the country’s biggest barley producer and the third biggest hops grower to good use.

Idaho is ranked 10th in the US for the number breweries per capita, with more than 50 breweries. Most are concentrated in Boise, but also crisscross the state.

Next April will be the second official Idaho Craft Beer Month.

3. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah, is a one hour-and-40-minute flight east of San Francisco and might seem like an unlikely contender for a top US beer destination, but it’s been building a repertoire of craft breweries since 2009.

One is the eco-friendly brewery Uinta, with its 100 per cent solar and wind-powered production.

4. Anchorage, Alaska

Breweries in this part of the world tap into Anchorage’s glacial water flows to make brews from pilsners to porters.

With nearly a dozen breweries in Anchorage proper and more than 30 from around the State pouring in Anchorage, Anchorage is the place to be for Alaskan beer.

Try Midnight Sun Brewing Company and Glacier BrewHouse.

5. Portland, Maine

This New England city (not to be confused with Portland, Oregon) is about an hour's flight north of New York City and was one of the pioneers of the microbrewery movement in the 1990s.

Visit Rising Tide Brewing Company, which offers small-batch ales at its East Bayside taproom, or Urban Farm Fermentory, which uses local ingredients to stretch your perception of brews, from ciders to kombucha tea drinks.

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