Weekend Trips for the Bourbon Lover

Plan your dream bourbon trip with these must-do bourbon tours, festivals and classes.

Photos

San Francisco Bay Area, California

San Francisco Bay Area, California

While San Francisco proper has been on the beer map for a bit, its new suite of craft breweries is shaking things up daily. IPAs are still king, boasting a flavor profile that is something so very Californian, but sours are moving in quickly. Many brewers are moving away from the strictly hoppy stuff that has been done before and are playing around with Belgian styles, sours, and rustic farmhouse ales, which are all making their way onto the scene in full force. Laughing Monk in the city’s Bayview district is working with local community gardens to create one-off beers that connect with the neighborhood and bring urban agriculture to the forefront of their persona. Their Bayview Gold adds chamomile at the end of the boil, giving it a soft floral aroma and light pineapple citrus flavor. This fall they’ll add local pumpkin to the Imperial Belgian stout. Their neighbors next door in San Francisco’s new Urban Point area, Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery, are distilling beer into whiskey, while also brewing their own and creating a virtuous circle they call a “Beerception: A Beer Within a Beer Within a Beer”— a beer that has been aged in a whiskey barrel that was made from that same beer. The Rare Barrel in Berkeley recently took home awards for its Apropos of Nothing and Ensorcelled – both American-style sour ales, and Headlands Brewing Co. in Mill Valley won accolades for its Pt. Bonita Rustic Lager. 960 1280

Courtesy of Laughing Monk Brewing  

Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

In laid-back Central Oregon, Bend is proving that big brother Portland isn’t the only city in this Northwestern powerhouse brewing state worthy of acclaim. The Deschutes Brewery overlooks the river of the same name, and is home to their adventurous lineup of pioneering beers—from the hoppy Bond Street series to the experimental, small-batch Reserve series. The Ale Apothecary ferments beers in old oak trees that they hollow out themselves. 10 Barrel Brewing Co. took home a prize at last year’s Great American Beer Festival for its Crush Cucumber Sour, as did Bend Brewing Co. for its creation in the same category of German-style sour ales called Volkskeet. When hunger sets in, head to the North Rim Brew Pub in the Old Mill District for good brews and good eats. 960 1280

Courtesy of Deschutes Brewery  

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Although Washington is often known for wine, the beer scene in Seattle is nothing to sneeze at. Not surprising since the state is one of the top in the country for growing hops. Ghostfish Brewing Co. won awards for its Ghostfish Grapefruit IPA and Watchstander Stout (both gluten-free beers) at the Great American Beer Festival in 2015. Rueben’s Brews Taproom took home honors at the same festival for its Gose German-Style Sour Ale and Dry Stout. Others to watch among the countless number of city hot spots: Stoup Brewing, Peddler, Urban Family Brewing Company, and don’t miss the urban beer garden at Fremont Brewing. 960 1280

Courtesy of Ghostfish Brewing Co.  

Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado

Unlike its famous neighbors Denver, Colorado Springs, and Golden, Fort Collins, Colorado is home to some of the first craft breweries in the state—and some of the newest. Odell Brewing got started in 1989 in a 1915 grain elevator. Its roots are built on British styles. 90 Shilling Ale is the brewery’s top-selling flagship, and they just released Drumroll, a citrus-inspired American pale ale in the spring. Fat Tire put New Belgium Brewing Company on the map, but their Lips of Faith releases and citrusy, hoppy IPAs are getting everyone’s attention now. Don’t miss Funkwerks’ award-winning Belgian-Style Saison, barrel-aged golden Deceit, and Raspberry Provincial. Snowbank Brewing opened in 2014 by a group of self-described nerds and tech enthusiasts, and is a second home to local outdoor groups—staying true to its mission to focus on the passion for the Colorado lifestyle. 960 1280

eal  

Twin Cities, Minnesota

Twin Cities, Minnesota

The Twin Cities are exploding with great new breweries, especially for Saison lovers. Surly Brewing – the mecca – is one of the originals, and started as a smaller brewery in a suburb and expanded into a new location last year. The high-quality beer is worth the hype (try the Cynic Saison), as is the amazing space with outside seating, fire pits, a robust food menu, and outdoor events. Minneapolis’s downtown North Loop has a concentration of breweries within walking distance, including Fulton Beer, whose super drinkable Bourbon barrel-aged rye Saison called ExPat is only released once a year. Northeast Minneapolis is home to another hot spot of beer action. Go to Bauhaus for the really industrial vibe with garage doors that open up to a huge patio. Also check out: Indeed Brewing’s flagship Day Tripper Pale Ale and their Wooden Soul series of wild, sour, and barrel-aged beer; the results of locally grown seed, grain, malting, and brewing at Able Seedhouse + Brewery; and the peanut butter stout at Dangerous Man Brewing Co. Saint Paul staple Summit Brewing is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with four special limited-release beers, including a medium-bodied, floral, West London Style-Ale. And we hear that the seasonal S’Mores Porter at Flat Earth in downtown St. Paul is unreal. 960 1280

Alexis Mersel  

Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska

A surprise candidate, Omaha is gaining national recognition as a top beer spot. Breweries are sprinkled throughout the city, so for the best taste of the beer scene start with a craft brewery tour of the area. Infusion Brewing has a taproom where hipsters drink its popular Vanilla Bean Blonde Ale and play beer pong. The Benson Brewery is a neighborhood favorite housed in a remodeled turn-of-the-century movie theater, and Farnam House Brewing Co. specializes in combining Old World styles with American hops for their artisan farmhouse ales. Or take a jaunt to Crescent Moon Ale House, Omaha’s original craft beer bar, for top brews from local producers like Zipline, Lucky Bucket Brewing, and Spilker Ales. 960 1280

Courtesy of Infusion Brewing  

Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth, and its surrounding area, is having a major craft beer boom. Styles run the gamut from wild and sour ales to unfiltered American cream ales and wheat beers. Award-winning Rahr & Sons Brewing took home accolades last year for its Oktoberfest and The Regulator (a German-style Dopplebock), using family traditions and age-old recipes passed down from ancestors. Panther Island Brewing Co.’s Allergeez, an award-winning unfiltered American wheat beer, gets attention for its name and its Texas honey, chamomile flower and rose hip-infused flavors. Stop by the brewery/taproom at The Collective Brewing Project for snacks, corn hole, yoga, and some wild, sour and funky growlers to go. 960 1280

Courtesy of Panther Island Brewing Co.  

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine

While we will never dispute that the city that shares its name on the west coast will always rank at the top of any and every beer list ever, Portland, Maine is like the quiet, small (but strong!) little sibling of its Oregon counterpoint. Well-known local Allagash Brewing Company, who won awards for both their Triple and their White in 2015, brews some of the best Belgian-style beers around. Neighborhood brewery Rising Tide Brewing Company offers a variety of styles, anchored by a rye pale ale called Daymark, and a pilot program where new brews are tried out in limited batches. The buzzworthy Bissell Brothers are pushing the limits with their hazy, opaque, ultra-hoppy beers and their bold branding and release strategy. (They sell their coveted Swish Double IPA only in the winter). And newcomers Lone Pine, Fore River, and Austin Street are becoming fast favorites, even with Austin Street only brewing their beer one barrel at a time. 960 1280

Courtesy of Bissell Brothers   

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston beer scene is making a comeback with Trillium, Lord Hobo, and Night Shift leading the charge. Trillium Brewing Company is gaining traction and reach in the area by adding a new 16,000 square foot facility and taproom in Canton to its original home in Fort Point. Draft highlights include wild ales (fermented with native New England mixed microbe culture), hazy west-coast style IPAs, along with well-received stouts and porters, and their beers can be found in more than 14 taps across the city. Night Shift’s Barrel Society membership is so popular that it is already closed for 2016 (sign-ups for 2017 begin in October), but their taproom is open daily with a solid lineup of staple and seasonal brews. And don’t miss out on Boom Sauce from Lord Hobo Brewing Company—the name says it all. 960 1280

Courtesy of Trillium Brewing Company  

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is a beer lover’s paradise. Decades-old staples are being joined by a suite of newcomers and their award-winning experimental ales and lagers. Wicked Weed specializes in West-coast style hoppy ales, open-fermented Belgian beers, and barrel-aged sours. Their location trifecta includes a brew pub in downtown Asheville, a “Funkatorium” (a sour and funky beer-dedicated taproom) in the South Slope Brewery District, and a 50-barrel production brewery in West Asheville. Altamont Brewing models a pre-prohibition style neighborhood brew pub, which means their beer never sees the light of day before it is poured into your glass. New Belgium Brewing from Fort Collins, Colorado just opened its new outpost in Asheville. In addition to Fat Tire, its thirteen year-round beers, including Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Slow Ride Session IPA, and Blue Paddle Pilsner, are receiving rave reviews. 960 1280

Michael Oppenheim  

Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires

Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires

As Argentina’s oldest cafe, this historic hangout has been a gathering spot for artists, politicians and musicians since the late 1800s. You can’t leave without ordering the local favorite -- chocolate con churros, crunchy fried dough dipped into thick hot chocolate. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Cafe Central, Vienna

Cafe Central, Vienna

A Viennese institution since 1876, this palatial coffeehouse has been a meeting place for some of the world’s greatest minds, from Sigmund Freud to Leon Trotsky. True to Viennese cafe culture, you’ll want to linger for hours in this grand cafe. 960 1280

Torsten Mangner, flickr  

Sant'Eustachio il Caffe, Rome

Sant'Eustachio il Caffe, Rome

Founded in 1938, this small stand-up cafe is a landmark in the heart of Rome, near the city’s iconic Piazza Navona. Drinking espresso standing up is the equivalent of to-go coffee for Italians. No matter how much time you have, order the local favorite "gran caffè speciale,” a shot of sweetened espresso.  960 1280

Michiel Jelijs, flickr  

La Cafeotheque, Paris

La Cafeotheque, Paris

While many cafes in Paris focus on atmosphere more than the coffee, this spot is one of the exceptions. Coffee aficionados, Parisian hipsters and tourists alike all gather at this cafe for the best beans from all over the world, which are roasted in-house. 960 1280

Premshree Pillai, flickr  

Winkel, Amsterdam

Winkel, Amsterdam

A favorite of locals and tourists alike, this charming corner café is known for its appeltaart (Dutch apple pie). But it’s also a great spot to sip on coffee, especially because of the outdoor seating, with its front-row view of the bustling farmers market nearby.  960 1280

Kathleen Rellihan  

Toma Cafe, Madrid

Toma Cafe, Madrid

To keep up with this high-energy city, you’ll need plenty of caffeine. The locals head to this tiny bustling café to refuel with favorites such as cafe con leche (espresso with milk) and alfajores (caramel biscuit sweet). 960 1280

Yukino Miyazawa, flickr  

Kaffeine, London

Kaffeine, London

While the caffeinated beverage of choice in London is tea, coffee (good coffee, too) can still be found in this city. Inspired by the cafes in Australia and New Zealand, this independent coffee spot is always packed with those in search of an expertly brewed cup of java.  960 1280

elisabet.s, flickr  

Caffe Vita, Seattle

Caffe Vita, Seattle

Virtually anywhere you go in Seattle, you’re an arm’s length away from a great cup of coffee. So if you ask a Seattleite where to find the best coffee, be prepared for a lengthy list in response. A local favorite, this cafe specializes in small-batch coffee roasting and even offers the general public a chance to learn the secret to its artisanal brewing with its Public Brewing School. 960 1280

Kathleen Rellihan   

Reslau, Auckland

Reslau, Auckland

New Zealand invented and perfected the country’s signature coffee drink -- the flat white, a shot of espresso blended with steamed milk, no froth. This award-winning cafe is one of the best spots in Auckland to enjoy an expertly crafted flat white topped off with a home-baked treat. 960 1280

Moira Clunie, flickr  

Double Tall, Japan

Double Tall, Japan

While you might think that the Japanese drink green tea all day, coffee is becoming more and more popular in this country, especially with the younger generations. While the iconic vending machine is a popular way to get your caffeine fix to-go, there is a small band of quality coffee shops in Tokyo, with Double Tall leading the pack. Known for its latte art, the coffee’s presentation -- and taste -- will wow you. 960 1280

Cloganese, flickr  

Cazuela: La Vega Central, Santiago, Chile

Cazuela: La Vega Central, Santiago, Chile

Each day thousands of people pass through the stalls of La Vega Central, the 60,000 square foot market near the north shore of the Mapocho River in Santiago, Chile. Many locals stop at the market for lunch, where a bowl of cazuela, a rustic chicken stew, is a popular choice. 960 1280

LarisaBlinova  

Sushi: Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan

Sushi: Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan

You probably won’t find fresher sushi anywhere in the world than you will at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market. Sushi lovers line up as early at 5:30 in the morning to score a seat in the market’s most famous restaurants, Sushi Dai and Daiwa-sushi. 960 1280

Tomohiro Ohsumi  

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes: Eastern Market, Washington, D.C.

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes: Eastern Market, Washington, D.C.

On weekends only, the lunch counter in Washington, D.C.’s historic Eastern Market serves blueberry buckwheat pancakes. Arrive early as the line often extends right out the door of the market. 960 1280

Tom Williams  

Kebobs: Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

Kebobs: Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

It’s easy to work up an appetite at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Several stalls within the Bazaar itself, as well as on its outskirts, serve up traditional Turkish kebobs. 960 1280

Godong  

Sausage on a Stick: Borough Market, London, England

Sausage on a Stick: Borough Market, London, England

Hungry shoppers in central London’s Borough Market, which is said to have been in operation for more than 1000 years, swear by the “sausage on a stick” from the Mountain’s Boston Sausages stall.  960 1280

  

Socca: Cours Salera, Nice, France

Socca: Cours Salera, Nice, France

Socca, thin chickpea griddle cakes cooked over an open flame, are not to be missed when visiting Nice’s classic open-air market, the Cours Salera. Teresa’s is the most famous storefront. 960 1280

  

Peameal Bacon Sandwich: St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, Canada

Peameal Bacon Sandwich: St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, Canada

Toronto’s world famous peameal bacon on a bun is the signature dish at St. Lawrence Market. Thick slabs of the bacon, which has been rolled in yellow cornmeal, are the centerpiece of this beloved sandwich, available at Carousel Bakery. 960 1280

Photo courtesy of Kevin Wong:  http://www.kxwong.yelp.com  

Tapas: Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid, Spain

Tapas: Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid, Spain

Renovated and reopened in 2009, Madrid’s Mercado San Miguel, not far from the Plaza Mayor, is less a traditional food market than it is a tapas market. Take a sampling of tapas from different stalls (we’re partial to the olives stuffed with tuna and pepper) to the tables and enjoy with a glass of sangria. 960 1280

GERARD JULIEN  

Prawns and Oysters: Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, Australia

Prawns and Oysters: Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, Australia

While some vendors serve already-prepared seafood platters, others at the world’s third-largest fish market will cook your shellfish on the spot. Enjoy the views of the working harbor while you eat your meal. 960 1280

Andrew Holt  

Tea: Khan el Khalili, Cairo, Egypt

Tea: Khan el Khalili, Cairo, Egypt

This souk is among the biggest and busiest in Cairo. For weary shoppers, nothing beats a strong cup of tea from Fisihawi’s Cafe. 960 1280

In Pictures  

Quesadillas: Bazaar del Sabado, Mexico City, Mexico

Quesadillas: Bazaar del Sabado, Mexico City, Mexico

This busy Saturday market in Mexico City is more of a craft market than a food market, but many people visit just to sample the incomparable quesadillas at the market’s cafe, especially ones with zucchini flowers or huitlacoche (a black corn fungus). 960 1280

Kelly/Mooney Photography  

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