From beer bus tours to cycle pubs to smart phone-savvy tools like the Ale Trail app in Bend, Oregon, beer tourism has already revolutionized the way people think about visiting cities, to say nothing about increasing the number of cities to visit. Former one-stoplight towns are now visited by legions of beer-lovers, some boasting jackets with patches from every brewery they’ve visited sewn onto the leather (trust me, I’ve seen ‘em). So naturally, hotels are following the trend, proffering beer-centric amenities and tours to attract hop-heads who already have a laser focus on spending several days imbibing in the best the region has to offer. Here are a few of the country’s best beer-centric hotels.
Ideally positioned in the quaint, historic town of Lewes—right between the Dogfish Head brewpub and distillery in Rehoboth Beach and their production brewery in Milton—this new hotel should serve as a welcome refuge to those who make the pilgrimage to Delaware’s leading craft brewery. They’ve teamed up with designers from Brooklyn and a construction company from nearby Magnolia to imbue the 16-room property with a modern aesthetic that still echoes the charming vibe of Lewes, with contemporary furniture and fire pits, alongside a retro motel-style two-story structure. And yes, the hotel is dog-friendly.
To think of this as just a hotel does this historic property a grave disservice. What was once a Catholic schoolhouse (one that dates back to 1936) has since been renovated into a veritable epicenter of hipness, right in downtown Bend. It boasts a bakery, movie theater, concert space, soaking pool, private meeting and event space, and 19 richly appointed rooms situated in the property’s former classrooms, as well as four cottages with room for up to 10 guests. Oh, and beer—of course, including an award-winning on-site brewery and a pub. McMenamins also have several other beer-centric properties in their roster of Pacific Northwest hotels, like the equally fantastic Kennedy School just outside of Portland, OR.
Photo: D’arcy Leck via Hotel Teatro/Facebook
A beer-centric package at this chill Denver hotel in the central music and theater district provides guests with arguably the best way to dive into the city’s more than 200 craft breweries. The “Brewery-by-Bike” package includes a custom charcuterie and cheese plate paired with two bottles of craft beer, a curated map of the city’s breweries (along with insider tips from locals), bikes, and—perhaps best of all—a “hair of the dog” room service breakfast.
Not all beer-centric hotels need be smack-dab in the city. This retreat in the heady environs of the Colorado Rockies offers an interesting spin on the beer craze: Brew and Renew treatments. Developed in partnership with Crazy Mountain Brewing Co, the spa treatments—which include options like an Amber Ale Foot Soak, a Black Ale Wrap, a Stout Scalp Treatment, and a full-body massage that uses hop-infused oils—employs beer’s natural skin-enhancing properties. Who’d have thought you could enjoy beer by not drinking it. That said, you’ll also get easy access to Crazy Mountain beers as well as other harder-to-find Colorado-centric brews from the likes of Funkwerks and Odells.
Dubbed “The House of Rogue” this small collection of rental one- and two-bedroom apartments sits above the Rogue Ales Public House in the working waterfront of Newport, Oregon. You get all the expected amenities—TV, microwave, dishwasher, queen-sized beds—and a beer waiting for you in the fridge. Its location on the rugged Oregon coastline affords a variety of different active distractions, from playing in the surf to watching sea lions. Or just hit the Public House, try all the beers on tap, arrange to tour the brewery in nearby South Beach, and carve time to visit the Brewers on the Bay, Rogue’s two-story tasting room overlooking the brewery floor.
San Diego, CA
You could book a room at a downtown Super 8 in San Diego and it’d probably qualify as a “beer property.” But bed down at Solamar and you’ll also benefit from the hotel’s restaurant, Jsix, whose kitchen is helmed by home-brewer Christian Graves. He hosts weekly craft beer nights and offers a nightly happy hour from 5 to 6 with craft beer and seasonal cocktails. Look for occasional beer-centric dining events like his annual tasting menu, organized with Lost Abbey. And naturally the beer list at the restaurant and bar are top notch.
Los Angeles, CA
Staying at a hotel by the airport typically happens more out of necessity than desire—especially when that airport is chaos-ridden LAX. But the beer program at Four Points may offer reason enough to avoid downtown all together. The on-site bar boasts a “Best Brews” series that delivers 100 local, regional, and imported beers, including 16 rotating taps. The program grew out of a new on-site Beer Advisory Board, whose collective love of rare beers can be seen in everything from the encyclopedic knowledge of their bartenders to the big bottle-friendly in-room refrigerators.
While PBR may be two steps removed from craft beer designation, the brew still holds a special place in the hearts of most American beer-lovers. So it should come as no surprise that you can actually bed down in the actual brewery. Experience a fun, steampunk/Victorian boutique atmosphere, stay in a two-bedroom suite or a loft, and let the two-story stained glass window of King Gambrinus—the patron saint of beer and brewing—assure you that you’re in the right place.