Note: This is the 3rd post in a 5-part series called Beer Newbie Missions, a guide on how to like beer.
So far you've been really getting your feet wet. You've found beer, you've written about beer, and you've sure as hell drank a lot of beer. Now it's time to see how beer is made.
Your task for Mission #3 is to go on a brewery tour.
Brewery tours are a really fun way to learn about beer from the creative geniuses that make it. Plus there are usually free samples at the end – score.
For those who say, “But I don't have a brewery nearby”, I'll remind you that the average American lives within 10 miles of a brewery (Source: Brewers Association). So no excuses.
Find a Local Brewery
I gave you one possible way to find a brewery in Mission #1 when we found a beer store using Beer Advocate. You can simply change the search settings from “beer store” to “brewery” and be on your way.
There is another way though. The site The Beer Mapping Project basically combines beer and maps in a very cool way. We are going to use it to find a local brewery for you to tour. In this example, I'll stick with using my hometown of Williamsburg, Virginia.
1. Go to BeerMapping.com and type in your city and state in the top-left box on the homepage.
2. The results page will list all of the breweries, beer stores, and brew pubs in your area. I'm more of a visual person so I'm going to click on the “View this Search on a Map” link. Go ahead and do it too.
3. Sweet map! You can see from the legend that there is a brewery, Williamsburg AleWerks, in my area. Clicking on the red balloon gives me the name, address, phone number, and behold, the web address! I click the link and…
4. Right there on the homepage is a link for brewery tours. Sign me up!
Beers to Buy
Ready to start getting extreme? Good! In this mission we are going to drink IPA's (India Pale Ales), Doppelbocks, and Saisons. The IPA might surprise you at first with its hoppy bitterness, but it is arguably the most popular style in America and you will likely come to love them too. Enjoy!
Check in down below when you are done with the mission. Tell us what brewery you visited, what beers you had, and what you thought of both experiences.
See you in Mission #4!