One of our favorite things about brew-culture is how near universal it is. Sure, we all have our different customs, but the appeal of a cold one is something that translates well across cultures and continents. In 2018, our writers ventured all over the United States and around the globe in search of great beers with greater stories to tell. From a brewery surrounded by the jungles of Honduras to a beer scene thriving in the streets of Detroit, here are the places we want to return to again and again.
How One Brewery Is Shaking Up a Sleepy North Carolina Town
“Mere months after opening, Brown Truck Brewery would prove everyone wrong, pulling in a fistful of medals at the Great American Beer Festival,” writes Eric Ginsburg of the nanobrewery revitalizing High Point, North Carolina. John Vaughan, one of Brown Truck Brewery’s co-founders, says, “I have a huge sense of pride about the community and the people in this town, and maybe a little bit of a chip on my shoulder for the stigma that you can’t do it in High Point. I wanted to prove people wrong. I just have a sense of responsibility, maybe, to make this place what I know it can be.”
Deep in the Honduran Jungle, an Unexpected Brewery Awaits
As Robert “Bobby” Durrette discovers, it’s not easy to open a brewery in the “murder capital of the world.” “He relays tales about his baptism by fire learning the art of brewing in a place without the necessary ingredients” to Christen Kadkhodai in this piece about raising up local communities and smuggling yeast, leading to “Mexican customs officials wanted to know why Durrette was bringing fifty pounds of white powder into the country.”
You Need More Than a Weekend to Drink Through Detroit (But We Tried)
“In my humble opinion, as someone who has eaten and drunk her way through the Midwest, Detroit is unique in that it is unabashedly itself,” says our managing editor Sarah Freeman of Detroit. “Anyone who doesn’t love it hasn’t been there.” She attempts to cram an inhuman amount of delicious food and beer into a weekend. “When it comes to eating and drinking in Detroit, the city is in the middle of a renaissance fueled by longtime natives trying to reclaim and redefine its culinary identity and outsiders who see it as an opportunity to try something new.”
The Best Little Brewery in Antigua, Guatemala
“The colorful, ancient and, at times, awe-inspiring little city of Antigua, Guatemala is known for many things: Its Mayan heritage, scattered ruins from the early Spanish settlements that followed and looming volcanic skyline. Beer is not one of those things, but it might be soon thanks to Antigua Cerveza, which celebrated its first anniversary in February,” writes Jake Emen of a destination-worthy brewery transforming the city into a haven for beer-lovers.
How to Drink Up Alaska’s Beer Scene (Without Stepping on a Cruise Ship)
When answering the wild, Andrew Parks advocates ditching the hordes of tourists, renting a car, and stopping at the breweries “spread throughout the state like veritable beacons of hope for hop heads.” This epic road trip could include stops at Denali Brewing Company for a Belgian strong brewed with locally produced birch syrup and a visit to 49th State’s bustling brewpub, a place that feels “as if Alaska decided to get hygge with it.”
Exploring Philippine Craft Beer in Metro Manila’s Coolest Neighborhood
Unlike the expat-centric Southeast Asian craft brewing hub Vietnam, the driving force behind Manila’s rapidly growing scene is powered by locals who developed a taste for IPAs and sour ales abroad. “They are among the vanguard of Filipinos transforming beer culture in a country where session drinking is practically a social obligation,” writes Tracey Paska in a guide to how to drink your way through the city.
How the Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb Sparked an Unlikely Beer Scene
By day, John Rowley works as a chemist at “the northern New Mexico laboratory builds and maintains the nation’s nuclear arsenal,” but by night an on weekends, he runs Rowley Farmhouse Ales, the co-op behind brews like the Hoppenheimer IPA. As Elizabeth Miller writes, “Pouring for a remarkable concentration of high IQs can lead to some very complex questions about the beer and a tendency for drinkers to analyze while they sip.”
A Hudson Valley Beer Tour Down the Taconic State Parkway
“The stars begin to sparkle above us as I slide off the Taconic. I can’t stop thinking about the diversity I just tasted, and I declare that beer in the Hudson Valley is shifting to something big,” writes Timothy Malcolm of a boozy brewery road trip within easy driving distance of the big city. He urges everyone to get out of Manhattan and do the same—as long as they don’t start calling this region “the new Brooklyn.”