Bars and gentlemen’s clubs traditionally have a lot of say when it comes to the selection a bachelor party location, but for those who may consider themselves amateur Cicerones (or even know what a Cicerone is) these types of locales probably aren’t going to wet your particular whistle. So while America’s relentless craft beer expansion has helped create an insufferable new character straight out of a Portlandia sketch—the craft beer snob—it’s also ushered in an amazing new trend: craft beer bachelor parties. With over 6,000 craft breweries now in operation in the U.S. alone, narrowing down a destination can be more challenging than not to breaking the seal after putting down more than a few pints (face it, your bladder just isn’t what it used to be). So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to bring you the best craft beer tours in America by region—so you’re never too far from a brew-fueled pilgrimage to serve as the base for your next bachelor party experience. This Bud’s for, well, someone else.
Rocky Mountains RegionDenver, CO, USA
Colorado is famous for snow-capped ski runs and picture-perfect alpine hikes, but an even more popular activity is sitting outside in the warm Colorado sun drinking beer at a Denver taproom. And you’ve got plenty to choose from in this Rocky Mountain brewing hub, with over 70 breweries located in the “Denver Beer Triangle” which includes nearby cities Boulder and Ft. Collins (home to New Belgium.) Everyone knows about the Coors Brewery (the world’s largest single-site brewing facility) in nearby Golden, but the Mile High City is more famous for craft icons like Great Divide and the huge concentration of breweries in the downtown and RiNo districts that make it one of the most walkable big cities for beer. Stop by for the Great American Beer Festival, the largest ticketed beer fest in the U.S., every fall.
California RegionSan Diego, CA, USA
In addition to pristine beaches and the ghost of a beloved NFL franchise, San Diego hosts one of the most dynamic craft beer scenes in the country with an absurd 120-plus breweries located in the city and nearby North County (not to mention an untold number of surfer dudes quietly homebrewing in their garages). Stone is the most famous local brewer, but Green Flash and on-the-rise Pizza Port are more than worthy of your attention as well. Known for their constant innovation and hop-heavy flavors, the beer scene here is huge yet remains as laid-back and unpretentious as a lazy 420-friendly, California afternoon. The best way to see the city is by a beer train trolley tour during San Diego Beer Week (or any time of the year, for that matter.)
Midwest RegionGrand Rapids, MI, USA
While Chicago and Milwaukee are certainly no slouches when it comes to craft beer, little Grand Rapids, Michigan, is the Midwest town that continues to keep all the beer nerds abuzz. Voted “Best Beer Town” by USA Today in 2014, the approximately 200,000 citizens of this self-proclaimed “Beer City USA” are fiercely proud and loyal to local brewers like the world-famous Founders and up-and-comers including Grand Rapids Brewing and Brewery Vivant (located in a refurbished funeral home). Grab some “crack fries” at the original location of Midwest microbrew chain Hop Cat before making the one-hour journey south to Kalamazoo, also famous for its suds as the birthplace of highly acclaimed Bell’s Brewery. Grab a “Beer City Brewsader” passport (where you collect stamps when visiting each of the city’s 35-plus breweries) or stop by in summer for Founders Fest to get a taste of what the Grand Rapids beer scene is all about.
Southeast RegionAsheville, NC, USA
With a vibrant music and arts scene set against the gorgeous backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this lively community of just 90,000 claims the most breweries per person in America with 25 breweries and brewpubs—most of which are located in a dense, walkable section of the charming downtown. Wicked Weed and its oddball Funkatorium (the East Coast’s first sour and funky beer-dedicated taproom) are among the most popular haunts, with Green Man Brewery and family-owned favorite Highland Brewing completing the must-visit destinations in a region that has been called “the Napa Valley of beer.” For a true Asheville experience, explore the friendly beer scene by pubcycle and be sure to grab some beer ice cream over at Hop Ice Cream Café.
Texas RegionAustin, TX, USA
In a city as thoroughly hipster as Austin, you might expect a craft brewery on every damn corner. Yet while live music and BBQ still reign supreme, Austin’s beer scene is a bit behind the curve thanks to the state’s archaic liquor laws, but is catching up fast. In keeping with its famous “Keep Austin Weird” motto, the state capital’s 38 breweries include everything from convenience store/Indian restaurant/live music venue/craft brewery Whip In to the beautiful farmhouse setting of Jester King located on the outskirts of town. Of course, drinking beer outdoors on huge picnic tables is mandatory in Austin, so check that off the list with the full bachelor party crew at spots like The ABGB (Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company) or St. Elmo Brewing Co.
Northwest RegionPortland, OR, USA
What do you get when you combine 50-plus strip clubs (the most per capita in the U.S.) with 75-plus breweries and a booming live music scene? You get one of the best bachelor party cities in America. Welcome to Portland, often declared the best beer city in America (or the world, according to CNN), where they’ve got growler fill stations in grocery stores and two non-profit breweries making the world a better place through beer. Famous breweries include Deschutes and Widmer Brothers, but rent a beer bus around SE Portland and you’re bound to stumble into dozens of new favorites. Beer dinners are also big here, so fuel up with the crew at a trendy spot like Burnside Brewing before making your way into the city’s glorious strip club-fueled underbelly. The massive Oregon Brewers Festival, North America’s most popular outdoor beer festival, takes over the town every summer.
Northeast RegionBoston, MA, USA
While many of Boston’s most beloved breweries fall outside city limits in places like Somerville and Everett, the city famous for Sam Adams still punches well above its weight when it comes to craft. Trillium and Harpoon are some of the big boys stomping around Boston while—in an indication of this famously educated city’s high beer nerd IQ—getting a ticket to an event hosted by Night Shift Brewing’s Barrel Society is harder to come by than Pats Super Bowl tickets. Try the famous Boom Sauce while touring Lord Hobo Brewing Company or get out of the city to appreciate nature with the help of the delicious beers of Tree House Brewing Co. Bottom line? Boston is one of the hardest-drinking towns in America, so you’ll fit right in.