Whenever I’m travelling, whether it’s to a city a short ways out of Toronto or to a city far away, one of the things I always do is find a craft brewery and try some of the local craft beers. In Toronto, there are many amazing breweries, and we haven’t even tried them all. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to partner with some of them in the city this year for my Craft Workshops, and I love that they have the idea of collaboration over competition in the space.
I’ve been to craft breweries throughout Ontario, in New York, Iceland, and Cuba, and I can’t wait to try out more! Here are a few reasons you should try craft beer on your next trip:
Chat with the locals
Rowan and I recently took a trip to see his parents north of Toronto, and we decided to check out some of the breweries in Ontario’s cottage country. By sitting down at the small brewery for a few drinks, we were able to chat with the local employees and get to know more about the land the brewery sits on, how they plan to expand, and what having a small brewery in cottage country means for the industry.
Learn more about the brewing process
While we know a lot about how brewing works for many of the Toronto breweries we’ve been to (we’ve been on many tours here!), what we didn’t know was that the process was slightly different in places like Iceland! While on a tour there, we learned that more than 90% of their craft beer is unfiltered, and that one guy is trying to make beer cheaper by growing his own hops and malt — so far, no luck.
Discover new cities
Sometimes, it’s the smaller cities that have the best breweries and can make for the best trips. Take El Paso, for example. While it has around 600,000 people, it has five breweries to check out! El Paso Brewing Co., Deadbeach Brewery, and Ode Brewery all look amazing, and there are a few other brewhouses to check out, too.
By discovering a new city and its craft beer culture, you are automatically exposed to a variety of other great city-wide attractions. There are tons of great hiking spots in and near El Paso, like Franklin Mountains State Park, cultural spots like the Plaza Theatre, and museums like the Museum of Archaeology! Plus, with lots of inexpensive IHG hotels in El Paso in the area, you’re better off sticking to a smaller city for a lot of fun!
Get out of your comfort zone
While my friends and I (mostly) are all over craft beer, sometimes others need a little push. When we were in Havana, Cuba, we stumbled upon a brewhouse on the water serving craft beer. It was definitely a surprise to find — we were so used to drinking the watery “cerveza” from the resort. Everyone loved trying something new, and sitting by the water in Cuba with a craft beer in hand was perfect.
Meet new people
When in Brooklyn, we headed to Brooklyn Brewery to try some of their brews and quickly met a lot of other people who were travelling and staying in the area, as well. The brewery had lots of tourists, and the vibe was a lot of fun! They even had games, so you could take on your new friends in the arcade.
Do you drink craft beer? What are some of your favourite craft breweries around the world? Where should I try next!?