Summer Road Trip: TapRm Cities Edition

It’s time to hit the open road. Everything is just…hard lately, and we all need a break. A real wind-in-your-hair break, and sitting in front of your shockingly loud window AC unit in your studio apartment doesn’t count as that wind. Summer is synonymous with road trips and adventures, and we’re ready to go explore a different city and try new things--especially new beers--with all the rest-stop snacks and painstakingly curated playlists on the way.

TapRm is now delivering delicious craft beverages to doorsteps in so many cities--New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, Nashville, Arlington, Cambridge, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Miami--the list keeps growing and it never gets old to arrive in new cities, make finding incredible drinks easier, and soak up the amazing craft scenes in each place. 

And that’s just the thing: these cities each have their own unique craft beverage scenes, full of fun taprooms and bars with so many fantastic drinks to try. Any one of these spots would make for a summer-boosting road trip. So with that in mind, we’re highlighting some must-visit beer and beverage spots along with another attraction or two in each TapRm town.

 

New York

New York City is a trendsetter in so many arenas, but its craft beer scene really only started hopping a handful of years ago. Brewers haven’t wasted a moment, though, playing catch-up and then some, and now the city enjoys dozens of breweries and even more beer bars that each offer something a little different and a lot delicious. In Brooklyn, head to metal-tinged KCBC, sleek and spacious Five Boroughs Brewing Company, a-Frenchie-named-Nelson-mascotted NS Beer, effortlessly cool Grimm Artisanal Ales, women-owned and great-snacks-featuring TALEA Beer Co., and iconic, no-itinerary-complete-without-it Brooklyn Brewery

In Queens, try the music-tuned-in SingleCut Beersmiths, or enjoy a beach day complete with the surfy-vibes Rockaway Brewing Company, or take in a Mets Game and check out EBBS Brewing Co. while you’re at the stadium.

To try some beer bar action, head to one of our favorites: Someday Bar, where neighborhood local vibes meet rock and roll and neon flamingos and an enormous can list; or BierWax, a buzzy and welcoming haven for beer lovers and music lovers alike, where the beer list and the vinyl collection are equally impressive and there’s often an event on tap. And for an extra must on your NYC agenda, head to Industry City in Brooklyn, where you can shop vintage, books, and comics, hit up the Brooklyn Flea, wander through Japan Village’s food hall and market, and try tons of other top restaurants, distilleries, and breweries.

 

Philadelphia

For a Philly-specific guide, check out one of our past blog posts, because this town has tons of unique options for craft beer destinations. There are old school spots that helped shape craft beer as we know it, new innovators, and everything in between. Experience the long-running hits at Victory Brewing Company and Yards Brewing Co., find out why Philly boasts so much underrated cool factor at Love City Brewing and Urban Village Brewing Company, and go lager-crazy at Human Robot

No beery trip to Philadelphia is complete without eating some mussels and fries with a storied Belgian brew or two at Monk’s Cafe, a beloved beer institution where many brewers first really fall in love with beer. Bar Hygge is a more recent addition, a chill spot with a stellar beer list and tasty elevated comfort food. For a fun daytime activity in Philly that’s not an overdone tourist attraction, don’t miss the Mütter Museum, a fascinating medical history museum full of mind-boggling facts, macabre models, and more curiosities and oddities than you can shake a stick at.

 

Los Angeles

While checking out breweries in LA means spending a lot of time driving, that’s not necessarily a bad thing--think of all the scenery you’ll enjoy, from beachy backdrops to lush and leafy roads to city streets lined in shops to a downtown hub filled with street art, all perfect for taking a break to explore. And every brewery is worth the trip, promising a fun, laid-back hang and fantastic beer. 

Feast on scrumptious food and creative beers not too far from the the ocean, boardwalk, and trendy shopping of Venice Beach, at Firestone Walker Brewing Company. Find out what the fuss is about with the great beer at Three Weavers Brewing Company, experience one of the OG craft beer presences in town at El Segundo Brewing Company, take a vacation within a vacation at the incredible taproom-with-a-pool Modern Times in Anaheim, and treat yourself to some of the best, most creative beer in the country at The Bruery, where you can also explore the, well, off-shoot brand Offshoot Beer Co. Indulge in fun hangs and great beer at Frogtown Brewery, Tarantula Hill Brewing Company, or Party Beer Co.

Make sure to slot in some time for Griffith Park, where you can hike, check out the observatory (and take tons of pictures of the killer views), and maybe catch a concert. Just a ten-minute drive away is the super cool Mohawk Bend, a gastropub in an old movie theater (so Hollywood) that has great vegan options and a brilliantly curated tap list of local gems--keep an eye out, for example, for beer from one of our favorite LA breweries, Crowns & Hops Brewing Co.

 

Atlanta

The brewery scene in the ATL is also relatively young, but craft beer pioneers and fans haven’t wasted a second. It will be hard to choose what breweries you pack into a visit, but rest assured you’ll find incredible beer, welcoming vibes, lots of community, fun events, and mouthwatering food options wherever you go. Atlanta Brewing Co. is an OG, scene-building spot you can’t miss, and Monday Night Brewing is another brewery that helped shape Atlanta’s vibrant craft beer world--chances are you know it from trying their amazing beer or from social media even if you haven’t been to the taproom yet. Halfway Crooks is a darling of both Atlanta and the entire American craft beer industry, with its clever nostalgia and, more importantly, its next-level lagers. Eventide Brewing is a city staple hosting everything from comedy nights to art markets, New Realm Brewing Co. is a well-known Southern favorite, especially for lovers of haze and fruity flavors, with several locations including one right in Atlanta. Hippin’ Hops is the city’s first Black-owned brewery with a permanent location, and the food is as craveable as the beer, and Three Taverns is popular with locals for both its odes to Belgian-style classics and its own innovations. 

You can try plenty of different breweries all in one spot at Wrecking Bar Brewpub, a gastropub located in a beautiful Victorian house--talk about ambiance. Walk the Atlanta BeltLine, which has turned 22 miles of a historic railway loop into a trail around downtown, with lots of both nature and art installations along the way, and make sure to stop at the Ponce City Market for shopping, food, drinks, events, and even vintage carnival games on the rooftop.

 

Denver

As one of the country’s premier craft beer destinations, Denver is an obvious must-visit for any beer fan. In this gorgeous city, game-changing brewery after game-changing brewery await you, each pouring their own takes on classics and newer inventions. Hike, drink unrivaled beer, hike, drink unrivaled beer, repeat. The hardest part is choosing where to go--actually, scratch that; the hardest part will be leaving. 

Denver Beer Co. is a great place to start. Get back to basics and remember what’s so great about traditional styles made with care at Copper Kettle Brewing Co. Bang your head and take in some heavy metal with a spontaneous- or mixed-fermentation ale at Trve Brewing Co., feel part of the neighborhood at Epic Brewing, take an unforgettable flavor journey at Crooked Stave, catch A+ food trucks at Diebolt Brewing, cozy up in the rustic taproom at Woods Boss Brewing Company, drink tasty beer and dog-watch on the patio at Station 26 Brewing Co., and drink some of the country’s best lager at Bierstadt Lagerhaus. Go beyond beer, too, and taste the beautiful flavors that cider can come in at Stem Cider

Enjoy that mountain air, old-school Oktoberfest-inspired fun, and so much good beer at the RiNo Beer Garden. Relax and #treatyourself, beer in hand of course, at an actual beer spa--only in Denver, right? And try to catch a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, easily the most breathtaking place to see a show, surrounded by nature just about a half hour outside of town.

 

Minneapolis

Minneapolis enjoys all the benefits of being an underrated destination--not everyone is talking about this city yet in terms of its craft beverage prowess and other cool perks like great vintage shopping and restaurants. But that just means we can enjoy it all the more without too much hustle and bustle. You can’t not have fun in the bright taproom at Bauhaus Brew Labs, where you can sip on craft beer, craft non-alcoholic beer, hard seltzers, and hard teas. Make sure to stop at a major craft beer institution, Surly Brewing Co., and tuck into some wood-fired pizza with your beer at Pryes Brewing. You’ve probably heard about why Modist Brewing Co. is so great on social media, or maybe even tried one of their exploding-with-flavor beers--now lean into the experience at the taproom. Another must is Fair State Brewing Cooperative, which not only offers fantastic beer, but fantastic culture, too--it’s Minnesota’s first cooperatively owned brewery, and only the third in all of the US.

Red Cow is a happening spot favored by locals where you can choose from a huge tap list and dig into great comfort food. And for a feast for the eyes, stroll through one of the country’s most-visited and best-loved art havens, the Walker Art Center.

 

Nashville

There’s already so much to draw visitors to the Music City, it feels like we’re getting spoiled with the growth of a brilliant craft beer scene. Embodying Nashville’s signature flair for creativity, quality, authenticity, and joy that shines through its music scene, the city’s craft breweries are more than holding their own and are destinations worth taking a detour from the bright lights and twangy guitars of Broadway and its bars.

Don’t miss Jackalope Brewing Company, a brewery absolutely instrumental in helping shape and expand Nashville’s brewery community. Drink beautifully balanced hazies and so much more in the rock-and-roll-flavored taproom of Bearded Iris Brewing, fall in love all over again with lager at Smith & Lentz Brewing, and try spins on beer styles you never before imagined--including non-alcoholic brews, too--at Southern Grist Brewing Co. Catch events, drink delicious beer, make friends, eat pizza at East Nashville Brew Works, get wild (as in wild ales) at Barrique Brewing & Blending, and pay homage to glorious brews at The Black Abbey Brewing Company. And keep this post flagged for summer 2023 plans, when a Hi-Wire Brewing taproom location will open in Nashville.

Choose from a plentiful tap list of all different local beers while you play vintage arcade games at Headquarters Beercade, eat hot chicken at Hattie B’s (it’s worth the line), and catch live bluegrass at Station Inn.

 

Arlington

Arlington, Virginia is a laid-back option for a guaranteed fun summer weekend: it’s a perfect quick trip if you live close by, or it’s a great stop on a south-bound road trip, or it’s an ideal hub to stay in some quieter surroundings while exploring more bustling nearby locales like Washington DC. In addition to some relaxation, all that versatility, and so many options for things to do in close proximity, Arlington features some craft breweries, pubs, beer halls, and beer gardens sure to please.

Drink exceptional brews and play board games at The Board Room Game Bar & Brewery. Feast on elevated pub fare while working your way through a huge and eclectic draft list at Craft House. Go traditional German-style at Bronson Bier Hall. Drink craft, catch live music, and belt out some karaoke at Galaxy Hut, and sip craft brews in fresh, open air at Courthaus Social. And for a break from beer, get in some history--you happen to be right by one of the country’s most well-known places to visit, Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Cambridge

Cambridge is one of those towns that kind of makes you feel like you’ve actually taken a trip to Europe--there’s so much history and lovely architecture to take in as you stroll cobblestone streets. There are plenty of cute shops, excellent restaurants, and, of course, renowned museums. Cambridge has the metropolitan feel of Boston, but is a quainter, quieter place to stay that’s dense in culture. And the geniuses here aren’t only at Harvard; they are also helming brewhouses and crafting tasty beer that makes Cambridge’s breweries a worthy add to the itinerary.

Lamplighter Brewing Co. is a hip and buzzworthy spot that’s chill, welcoming, and unique, with irresistible beer in styles for every taste. Cambridge Brewing Co. is an old school, craft beer scene-molding classic. Remnant Brewing and Aeronaut Brewing are two spacious, lively taprooms serving up great beer, great snacks, great events, and great community--they’re technically in Somerville but it’s just a hop, skip, and jump away.

Meanwhile, back in Cambridge, Beat Brew Hall is a fun place to explore a whole bunch of local brews on the tap list. Pop into boutiques and get ice cream in Harvard Square, and take a lighthearted yet informative tour of Harvard.

 

Cleveland

Don’t sleep on Cleveland: this city is more than just the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame--which, by the way, yes, is worth a visit. There are lakefront beaches to swim and catch rays at, hikes to embark on, festivals and concerts to catch, and so much good food and good beer. Cleveland is definitely a little haven of creative breweries, breweries who represent their city, a city that knows what tastes great.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. is an absolute staple, an OG craft brewery that has never rested on its laurels. Watch the game and eat pizza with your tasty beer at Masthead Brewing Co., live your best patio-hangs life at Terrestrial Brewing Company, and enjoy farm-to-table fare alongside quality craft brews at Butcher & the Brewer. Find out why Fat Head’s Brewery is another favorite in Cleveland and beyond, have a hard time choosing what beer you love most at Platform Beer Co., and zen out to riverfront views at Collision Bend Brewing Co.

Drink the house brews and/or explore other local craft beers paired with great grub at Nano Brew Cleveland, where you’ll find a lovely patio, doggos, and regular drag shows. And make sure to buy some beer to-go at your brewery visits so you can pack the cooler of your dreams and hit the beach.

 

Colorado Springs

We can’t let Colorado Springs get overshadowed by Denver--there must be something in the air and the water in the entire state of Colorado, because this city is another beautiful destination with as much craft beer appeal as it has stunning nature appeal. You’ll hike in the great outdoors, you’ll hike between fun shops and top-notch restaurants, and you’ll hike from stellar brewery to stellar brewery.

Feel part of the neighborhood at Whistle Pig Brewing Company, get lost in those dreamy mountain views as you sip equally dreamy beer at Lost Friend Brewing Company, and enjoy the sky’s-the-limit experimentation possible on a small batch system--we’re talking crisp lagers, complex sours, and decade barrel-aged beers--at Metric Brewing. Play games and make new friends at Goat Patch Brewing, go for variety with a flight at Bristol Brewing, and chill on the patio at Fossil Craft Beer Company. Of course, you also can’t miss the chance to check out seminal craft brewery Oskar Blues.

Try lots of different local beers in a friendly space at Happy Tap. And of course, you’ve got to allot a day to be absolutely wowed at Garden of the Gods.

 

Miami

Frankly, you don’t need craft beer to bring you to Miami, right? Beautiful beaches, luxe pools, fine dining, lively parties, some of the world’s best contemporary art--there’s plenty to do here. But isn’t it kind of perfect-paradise-status there are also cool, creative, high-quality craft breweries here? You didn’t think Miami could get better, but guess what, it did. And with all that to do and get to, you’d better start planning your visit.

Let the vibrant street art of the Wynwood district lead you right to Wynwood Brewing Company. We know you’ve been itching to get to the mothership of J. Wakefield Brewing, a favorite for craft fans all over the US, and now’s your opportunity. Drink beer, mead, and micheladas at Beat Culture. Embrace that party atmosphere and get refreshed by fruit-forward beers at Veza Sur Brewing Co., find out delicious innovation can be at Focal Brewing Co., and go deep on farmhouse styles at Unseen Creatures Brewing & Blending. There’s even a Miami location of iconic brewery Dogfish Head, because everyone wants to be in Miami.

Discover more local brews at cute spot The Mighty, which also boasts great food and fun events. You already know you’ll be beach-ing, pool-ing, shopping, and restaurant-ing; for something a little unexpected, check out the splendor of the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published