Quickie Round-Up: Beer Tour edition  

Thursday, December 03, 2009

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Maybe I'm a little bit of a beer snob. I really don't like mass-market beers. And I love microbrews -- and fake microbrews. And there's a lot to be said for brewery tours and tastings if you're looking for something to do in your hometown, or the town you're visiting.

So here is a round-up of some breweries I've toured and microbrews where I've dined.

Allentown Brew Works -- Tasty food, tasty beer, reasonable prices, and they're open on Sunday evenings after everyone else has closed.

Blue Point Brewery -- Chris got me into their Blueberry beer. After the brewery tour, try free samples of most of their beers and cheap samples of the rest -- and buy a jug of your favorites.

Boston Beer Works -- Click for my previous review.

Brooklyn Brewery -- Learn about the history of the brewery and the making of the beer, then settle in their tasting room to try different varieties, order in a pizza, and maybe pet one of the cats if they'll let you.

Iron Hill Brewery -- They have several locations and some great food, and there's typically a real nice dinner special on Sunday nights. Every location I've been to has parking issues, though, so arrive a bit early to look for a spot.

John Harvard's Brew House -- They have good beer and great food. There used to be several locations in the Philadelphia area, but it's probably for the best that there's not anymore -- I could easily get addicted to their lobster bisque. And then there's the burgers and wings and specialty steaks...

Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant -- The food is hit-or-miss and the beer is a matter of taste, but it's quite pleasant to sip a sampler while overlooking the Manayunk Canal.

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery -- A tiny bit pricey for dinner, but if you get there while happy Hour is still on, you can fill up on half-price appetizers and inexpensive beers. The King of Prussia location has a brew called Billy Penn's Curse that I love.

Sam Adams Brewery Tour -- A really nice tour, and great tastings -- typically, samples of the Boston Lager, a seasonal, and a specialty brew. The suggested donation of $2 goes toward charity; you get to keep your tasting glass, which costs $2 in the gift shop anyway.

Stoudt's Brewing Company -- If you're lucky, like we were, your tour will be given by Ed Stoudt himself. The man has some very strong opinions about beer. We didn't stay for dinner, but we did snack at the oyster bar, which was very nice.

Steam Whistle Brewing -- A tour and tasting at this Canadian brewery takes place in a historical building in Toronto. They collect, sterilize, and reuse their heavy-duty bottles. Good times.

So, go forth and drink responsibly, and if you're underage or driving, just enjoy the good food.

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