Love beer? Live on the East Coast? Here are the best beer cities on the east coast that you need to visit.
We have the perfect coastal pub crawl built for you – from North to South. All you need is some time, a couple tanks of gas, and an adventurous spirit. These are the must-visit cities on the East Coast for every beer lover looking to make a thirsty pilgrimage down I-95.
Believe it or not, Portland has the highest breweries per capita in the United States – and some of the best restaurants to pair those beers with. Portland is no joke. With 17 (and counting) breweries pumping out some of the best brews in the world, Portland is a city on the rise. Nestled on the water, it’s a perfect place to spend the weekend hopping from pub to bar sampling some of the best microbrews in the country. Within a 5 mile radius you can visit Bissell Brothers (hazy New England IPA at its finest), Lone Pine (try their Oh-J double IPA), and Rising Tide (great session beer). Expect all three spots to be busy all day, every day. But, wait in line you must.
In addition to these smaller breweries, don’t forget to visit the classics; Shipyard, Allagash, and – for those Trader Joe’s fans – Peak Organic brewing companies. And, that’s just a taste of what Portland has to offer. After your brew tour, settle in downtown at Gritty McDuff’s – they make their own beer, too – and their food is the perfect way to end a beer drinker’s dream day. Portland is a perfect start to your East Coast beer city tour!
No beer lovers pilgrimage is complete without a visit to the home of the original pilgrims! You have all heard of Sam Adams and Harpoon – both solid breweries with very accessible beers. Let’s skip those for the moment – you can buy those almost anywhere and anytime. Instead, it’s time to introduce you to some of the best breweries in and just outside of the Commonwealth. Check out of Nightshift’s three Boston-area locations (they are expanding to Philly very soon!). With rotating seasonals and year-round classics, Nightshift is one of the fastest growing microbrews in New England.
Where else do you absolutely need to visit? How about Somerville’s Aeronaut Brewing Company’s “Hop, Hop and Away” and “A Year with Dr. Nandu” are IPA’s that are must-tries. Check out Castle Island Brewing Company and sample their gold-medal winning Czech-style pilsner, Bohemian Shine. Not done yet? Stop by Trillium’s Taproom near Fenway Park. Famous for their IPAs, we actually recommend their sour beer and revolutionary pastry stouts. Boston has never tasted so good! Drink up the beer – and if you’re in the mood – drink in the history!
Birthplace of the original lager and America’s oldest Brewery (Yuengling), Philadelphia is the crescent of liberty and a great beer city! Freedom never tasted so good! If you want to go back in time, you can visit the City Tavern in the Old City neighborhood. It’s a little touristy (with waitstaff in awkward period garb), but you can drink like the Founding Fathers and taste the ales and suds that they drank at this very pub 200+ years ago. Get ready to party like it’s 1773!
Looking for something more modern? Build your personal beer tour around 2nd Story Brewing, Yards Brewing Company (easy to get on tap, but worth seeing where the magic is made), and – if you don’t mind venturing outside the city limits – Tired Hands is well worth the drive! If you’re looking for a great spot to eat and sample these beers (and more), take your people to National Mechanics and stroll around Old City. Looking to see all the sites AND drink some beer, check out Brews & Clues – a cool, trivia, bar crawl history tour that will have you tasting all the good beers and seeing all the Philly sites in Old town.
You don’t need to drive far down I-95 for your next hidden gem. Baltimore isn’t often considered a mecca for beer drinkers, but don’t sleep on the Charm City. If you haven’t have a Natural Bohemian (Natty Boh!) yet – we highly recommend you grab some of this very drinkable regional beer as it’s hard to get anywhere outside of Maryland. We typically brick our trunk full of this beer whenever we visit – they are the brewery that invented the 6-pack. You can find it on draft just about everywhere, but we recommend grabbing some food at Nacho Mama’s before you head out on your brew tour!
Ready to drink? Here are the places that you absolutely must visit while in town! First, check out DuClaw Brewing. They love to have fun with ingredients and offer some experimental options that will NOT disappoint. Try the Sweet Baby Jesus (chocolate peanut butter porter) or anything in the Sour Me series. Our personal fave – the Dad Bod Double IPA. Still thirsty? Next, be sure to grab beers from Heavy Seas, Full Tilt, and Union Craft (the Duckpin IPA is unreal!).
Pro tip – head to the Pratt Street Ale House in the shadow of Camden Yards and enjoy some brews from the local Oliver Brewing Company who specialize in English-style ales. Looking for something that the locals love? Grab a Natty Boh draft (in a plastic cup) at Pickles Pub before you leave!
Feeling adventurous? Brews & Clues can show you the sites and tastes of Baltimore!
OK. So, you may need to fly to your final city, but you can’t miss Tampa. Forget Busch Gardens and Disney – it’s time for Mom and Dad to have a drinking vacation, and Tampa is amazing place to try some of the best beers in the US. Tampa Bay has 20 legit quality breweries! If your looking to sample a little bit of everything, then take yourself immediately to Ybor City. Start with a classy dinner at the Columbia – the country’s oldest continuously operated family restaurant – then drink your way down the street.
Looking for a quieter adventure? Check out Cigar City Brewing and sample their award-winning Jai Alai Ale – one of the hottest new beers around! Just around the corner, grab a pint at the aptly named Tampa Bay Brewing Company. Across the bridge, Big Storm Brewing has a collection of award winning beers including their Helicity Pilsner and Belgian Single. The weather is perfect and so is the beer. Enjoy.
We hope you enjoyed your East Coast beer drinking tour!