Touring the many microbreweries along the Mississippi River…

Photo Apr 24, 12 07 27 PM

American makes terrible beer. At least, that’s what the rest of the world says behind America’s back. But what the rest of the world probably doesn’t yet realise is that microbreweries in the United States are now outselling the watered down urine big name beers, with almost two thousand four hundred craft breweries scattered around the country. Thirty percent of Costco’s beer sales are now craft.

One of the great joys of touring this country by car is encountering these artisan beer makers at every turn. They generally offer a free or cheap tour, along with never-ending glasses of overflowing tastings. It’s sensible to pre-prepare with a bottle of water, some painkillers and the address of your hotel written on your forehead with indelible ink.

Every brewery offers its own unique experience. Some have museums, some have restaurants, and all of them invariably have bearded hipsters pouring the pints. The beers vary too: the Potosi Snake Hollow IPA was, among others, a delightful find, but other beers I sipped were like being punched in the mouth with a decomposing reptile. That’s all part of the adventure of tasting new brews, of course.

Sip… Refreshing.

Sip… Complex.


On one brewery tour, I learned that yeast—a microscopic fungus—eats the sugar in the grain, which then gets digested and turned into alcohol. So, ummm, that means we’re drinking the urine of fungus. Cheers!

And with that, here are some pictures from some brewery tours:

Photo Apr 24, 12 30 01 PM

USA Breweries

USA Breweries Iowa

Photo Apr 26, 5 27 06 AM

USA Microbreweries

Photo Apr 26, 5 35 02 AM

Microbrewery USA

USA Microbreweries

Do you have any craft beer favourites? Is there anything in particular I should try while I’m here? 

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11 Response Comments

  • Carmel  April 28, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Although it still has a massive market share in America, the big beer companies are dead, in my opinion. Coming from Beervana (aka, Portland, OR), it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking that Americans don’t know how to brew beer, but it’s probably like British food – it’s hard to get past old stereotypes. I’m not too familiar with microbrews in the area you’re in right now, but let me know if you ever make it to the Pacific NW! We have lots of ideas.

  • Jona  April 28, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    A favorite of mine is Odell’s IPA from my hometown of Colorado. But honestly there are too many these days to choose from. A good problem to have. Love your photos Torrie.

  • Heather Sunseri  April 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    My husband and I drink almost nothing by microbrews. He’s from Oregon (like your other commenter), so we’ve been spoiled for more than 20 years with the knowledge that the US DOES make great beer, you just have to be willing to find the microbrews you like.

    Our recent favorite has been Purple Haze, made in Abita Springs, LA. Are you going near there once you get more south?

    There are some good ones in the Lexington, KY area, but I’m pretty sure you’re not going through Central KY, only far Western KY. Happy travels!!

    I recently recommended “Love w/ a Chance” to a friend, and she absolutely loved it!!

  • bruce  April 28, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Yep, what do you say when you have a mouth full of rat and the fresh-faced hipster brewery man says with great optimism “……what do you think?”

    Do you break him the news of your current experience or do you act like a fair human being and just be nice and struggle to say (avoiding to dry-reach) “…..oh its good, ahhh unique….ahhhh”.

    Love the earthy photos of crates and buildings…..

  • Katie @ The World on my Necklace  April 29, 2014 at 2:10 am

    I have had so many amazing craft beers in the States and Canada and don’t remember the names of most of them! I really loved the Wild Huckleberry Wheat Lager from Great Northern Brewing Co. in Whitefish, Montana. Also love the passionfruity Wailua Ale from Kona Brewing Company. Delicious!

  • Erin  April 29, 2014 at 2:11 am

    There are some great ones in Colorado. I’m currently drinking Good Juju by Left Hand Brewing Co. from Longmont, CO, it has just the right amount of ginger. We have some new microbreweries in Denver including: Prost, Denver Beer Co., Blackshirt Brewery, and Our Mutual Friend. I highly recommend a Colorado Beer Trip!

  • Tracey  April 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Ohhhhhh craft beers….yummmmmmm. Oh how I miss good craft beers, I have an allergy to gluten:( Lucky for me it manifested itself late in my 30s so I had many opportunities to enjoy craft beers.
    I can’t think of any American brews but if you make it North of the U.S., Canada has some outstanding ones! Tree Brewery in Kelowna B.C. and Wurst in Calgary, Alberta are 2 of my old favorites.

  • Mark  May 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    One of my favorite beer is actually brewed in October only because it is brewed with pumpkin. It really transform the taste of beer so when you get a chance, try a pumpkin beer.

  • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot  May 6, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Hi Torre,

    The cans are gorgeous works of art.

    I have a hankering for the USA too although not so much the beer. I’m a fan of the food and reckon another myth that needs to be busted is the American food is bad.

    Happy travels! And next time I wanna come too 🙂 x A

  • Julie  May 28, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Shorts in Bellaire, Michigan. Good stuff!

  • Shannon Ullman  November 26, 2015 at 5:23 am

    Thanks for appreciating American craft bar! It’s one of the biggest things I miss about being at home in the U.S after living in Asia for over two years. One of my favorite things to do is check out a new brewery with friends. I hope you get a chance to check out the beer scene in Denver sometime. It’s incredible and you totally need a sober driver to take you around. There are so many!



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