Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maryland Brewery Map

Coming back down the east coast from Boston, on your way to South Carolina, and passing 4 states you've already been to, you can take a stop through Maryland to visit a bunch of breweries. I never said that the Beer Trail was going to be the most efficient trip around the country. I only promised the correct chronology based on statehood.

Here are the Maryland Breweries I could find on the map. I talk a little about each of them in this post, so if you want more information, check it out. I couldn't locate a specific address for Stillwater, Natty Boh, or Baltimore-Washington Beer Works, so just wander around Baltimore until you stumble across them.

A. Eastern Shore
B. Bawlmer
C. Clipper City
E. Flying Dog
F. Baying Hound
G. Hook and Ladder

Friday, August 26, 2011

Massachusetts Brewery Map

Massachusetts has so many breweries that it would be tough to fit a tour of each into any vacation. But just in case you want to try, here is a map showing the breweries I could find addresses for on Google Maps. And if you want to read more, here is the link back to my post about these breweries.

From A-R
A - Paper City
B - Opa Opa
C - Berkshire
D - Element
E - Wachusett
F - Wormtown
G - Sherwood Forest
H - Cody
I - Mercury
J - Pretty Things
K - Endurance
L - Harpoon
M - Sam Adams
N - Blue Hills
O - Mayflower
P - Cape Cod
Q - Cisco
R - Just Beer

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Connecticut Brewery Map

After spending your last month in Georgia with all the nice Southern people, you get to drive all the way back up the East coast and get yelled and honked at people in NYC before you get to the calm of Connecticut with its welcoming feeling of being lost in a forest that you get on every road.

The state of Connecticut isn't that big, so getting around to all the breweries won't be an exercise in long term travel. I've also laid out the route so that, once you are sick of drinking beer in Connecticut, you can hop right across the border to your East and you will be in the next state on the trail, Massachusetts.

Here are the breweries from A to E: (and a link to the post about them.)

A - New England
B - Cavalry
C - Thomas Hooker
D - Olde Burnside
E - Cotrell

Monday, August 22, 2011

4 Steps to Geting Hooked on Craft Beer

Beer Flight
Source: http://www.flatironsteakhouse.com/
Since I'm not doing any new U.S. Beer Trail posts this month (in September I'll be back with Virginia), I thought I would do a quick one about ways that anyone can get involved in the world of craft beer. Craft beer is growing at a double digit pace while sales of the mass produced beer that this country has been force fed for years declines year after year. There are thousands of high quality beers out there, produced by independently owned craft breweries all over the country. Each brewery has it's own style and character that is not based on million dollar advertising campaigns. If you do these four things, I can almost assure you that you will have a good appreciation for what they do and you won't ever order a beer the same again.

1. Start a beer club:
This is how I got involved in craft beer. Grab a few friends, colleagues, or family members. Then, at a specified interval (every month, every other month, or ever quarter) have everyone buy a case of whatever craft beer they would like. Split up the cases equally amongst the group members. Any number of club members works, but try to get at least 4, and probably no more than 8. You want a good balance between number of different beers, and quantity of each beer. Try not to repeat your selections from month to month and try to branch out to different styles of beer. One month get an IPA then next month get a Hefeweizen. Set a target case price range within $10 so that no one feels like they are getting ripped off. Some people may go under or over in certain months because they see something really intriguing, but over time it evens out. And anyhow you are going to try a bunch of new beer, so stop complaining. I've been in my club for almost two years and so I've tried about 150 new beers over that time. It's helped me figure out what I like (most everything), and it's helped me hone in on my favorite breweries.

2. Variety Packs:
If you don't want to commit to the club idea, figure out what the closest brewery is to you, and then pick up their variety case at the distributor. In case you haven't been introduced to them before, this is a great way to figure out if you like them. You might get something like an IPA, an Amber, a Pale Ale, and a heavier beer, but it will vary based on which brewery you are getting it from. This is also another method of determining which styles of beer you enjoy. Plus, since they are the local brewery, you might find a new go-to beer. It will always be available at your local distributor and most likely will be on tap at most of the bars in town. So, when you aren't in the mood to search for a brand new undiscovered beer at your distributor or the bar you'll default to your local brewery's best and not to the cheapest, most watered down, option available.

3. Substitute Craft Beer for Big Beer at the bar:
Instead of getting 2 or 3 Big Beers at the bar next weekend, get 1 or 2 good craft beers. It will cost you about the same, and since Big Beers are about 4.4% ABV max, one or two 6-7% beers will do the same damage. Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a time and a place for cheap, light beer. I'll admit it. I drink it. Tailgating, drinking games, when it's later on in the night. However, it's never the first beer of the night, or the third for that matter. Any farther than that, and I'll consider it. Unless I'm at an awesome bar with a million brews. If you substitute at the beginning of the night you'll remember the beers better too. I sometimes use the beers I get out at a bar as a way of getting ideas for my next case for beer swap club.

4. Take a Brewery Tour:
The people that work at independently breweries are almost always entertaining just by nature. Plus you'll get to see how beer is really made. Every small craft brewery I've been to makes their beer by hand, (i.e., mixes the ingredients by hand, has actual people determine when they are ready, and has actual people working the bottling lines.) So it's really cool to see people putting a bunch of effort into making the highest quality product they can. And every one I've ever been to will give you free beer either during or after the tour.

If you do all four of these things and you're still not interested in trying new, great tasting craft beers, then you clearly like your liquor. Cheers.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Georgia Brewery Map

Over 800 miles separate the capital of the dirty Jerz and the capital of the dirty South. But to get from Trenton, New Jersey to Atlanta, Georgia only two major highways (I95 and I85) are required. That makes for a pretty long and monotonous journey. So stay off the interstates, use the business routes, and stop at the local bars to see what brews are being served along the East Coast.

Once you get to Georgia you won't have to travel far to sample the microbrewery culture, as most of it is centered around Atlanta and Athens is only an hour and a half east. Check out my post about Georgia for more info.

Breweries A to D:

A - Sweetwater
B - Atlanta (Red Brick)
C - Jailhouse
D - Terrapin

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Jersey Brewery Map

If you were to follow this New Jersey Beer Trail, you would get a great feel for how diverse a state New Jersey is. Starting in the north near the city, making your way southwest and passing through Trenton before ending up back near Philadelphia. The only part of the Garden State you would miss is the shore. So when you are done touring, reward yourself by grabbing a nice case and hanging out at a beach town for the weekend. And if you need a guidebook for your tour, bring this post along. Just don't read it to any locals. It's fairly disparaging of the state.

Breweries A to F:
A - High Point
B - Cricket Hill
C - New Jersey Beer Co.
D - Climax
E - River Horse
F - Flying Fish

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pennsylvania Brewery Map - West Half

This is a lot of driving for four breweries. But you don't have anything better to do. Plus there are more breweries in Western PA than I had time to read about. After spending some time in Happy Valley at Penn State book it east to Jersey to pick up the next leg on the trail. Check out my post about the West half of the state here.

Breweries A to D:
A - Troegs
B - Iron City
C - Erie
D - Otto's Brewpub

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pennsylvania Brewery Map - East Half

Since you would be coming from Delaware if you stay true to the order on my site, these directions start you off in Philadelphia, take you up to Wilkes-Barre and back down to Lancaster, where you can head west to pick up the second half of the PA trail. Before you go, read up on the first half of the Keystone State.

Here are the breweries listed from A to J:
A - Philly Brew Co
B - Yards
C -  Victory
D - Sly Fox
E - Weyerbacher
F - Lion (which is where Intercourse is also brewed)
G - Yuengling
H - Stoudt's
I - Lancaster
J - Spring House

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Delaware Brewery Map

You can literally drive to each of the 5 breweries within Delaware in 2 hours and 35 minutes, according to Google. I haven't been to all of them, but I went to Dogfish Head and 16 Mile in one day and it couldn't have been more than a 20 minute drive from DFH to 16 Mile. You have no excuse. Plus, if you go from South to North, you'll be at the second state on the trail by the time you are done sampling all the suds the state of Delaware has to offer. Check back on my first post to read about these breweries.

From A to E:
A - Evolution
B - 16 Mile
C - Dogfish Head
D - Fordham
E - Twin Lakes

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Brewery Maps and New Pages

So, I didn't know how blogger worked when I first started creating the state brewery maps. I created them as pages, rather than posts, because I wanted them to always be accessible. However, blogger only lets you keep 10 pages. So since I'm almost at 10 states, I am going to start posting the maps so that I can use the pages for other stuff, like a best-of trailies page, an about me page, a page dedicated to good music from each state, and a list of beers and breweries I've tried.

Here are some other ideas I've thrown around in my head for what to do with the newly blank pages;
- A page dedicated to listing every digit of pi.
- A page where one of those computerized midi files plays Mary Had a Little Lamb on loop.
- A page where I explain how my closet is organized.
- A page with streaming video of the Salt Lake City public library.

I don't know, now that I've written them down, those don't look like the greatest ideas. Some things seem better in my head.

Anyway, I'll be posting the brewery maps, so if you hadn't seen them before, they are new to you. If you have seen them before, use them and get out to some breweries.