Just as the craft industry has pushed boundaries and redefined the pint, a select few breweries are looking to shake up the tired old tradition of the brewery tour. The hard-drinking institutions offer more than a long walk followed by a pint. Visitors meet with experts, get hands-on experience, and try various exotic beers. Here are nine new destinations for men looking to get both educated and inebriated.
New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium's 150,000 square-foot Fort Collins, Colorado brewery is Disney World for beer geeks. From the colorful interiors to the games and bike-centric culture to the pure size and scope of the packaging lines, the 90-minute jaunts are visually rich – to put it mildly. (There's a swirly slide connecting the first and second floors.) Among the highlights is the Foeder Forest, where 64 two-story French oak casks rest side by side, slowly imparting their flavor on the aging sours inside. VIP tours (by appointment only) get to taste the wort and a Fat Tire pre-chiller and post-chiller in the cellar, followed by fresh beers not more than a minute off the line. That only loosens up the crowd for the finale – volleyball and rolle bolle followed by a catered dinner with food and beer pairings.
Credit: New Belgium Brewing Company