The 12,299-Mile, 70 Brewery American Beer Road Trip

Nathan Yau's brewery tour loop is the ultimate beer geek road trip. Credit: Courtesy Nathan Yau

A statistician has created the world's greatest brewery road trip. Nathan Yau, the data visualization expert behind FlowingData.com, has built this algorithmically crafted, beer-fueled tour from a mountain of online data, all aimed at drinking the most delicious beer possible in the least number of car miles. Yau, whose stated mission is "to make data available and useful to those who are and aren't necessarily data experts," pulled stats and rankings from Ratebeer.com, BreweryDB.com, and the Brewer's Association to plot an efficient circuit across our country, hitting 70 of our most highly rated breweries on a 20-day road trip. The beauty is that you can start anywhere you like, eventually looping you back home noticeably happier than before you left.

The trip runs 12,299 miles, with 197 hours of drive time (get an expanded view here). You end up stopping in 28 different states for a quick pint (or two) of liquid goodness before pushing onto the next brewery. Wisely, the route includes a few hours of buffer at each stop to keep you sober and refreshed before moving on. And acknowledging that often the best parts of road trips are unplanned, Yau's route shows a thicker line when the route passes within 10 miles of another brewery. Should you attempt to stop at all of those as well, your brewery count would balloon out to more than 1,400.