Breweries, wineries and more foodie stops dot the map between Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, which runs between the two cities and hugs much of the West Coast—and is billed as “one of the most spectacular of all train routes”—offers a compelling way to explore the region. The entire trip from the Los Angeles Central Terminal to Seattle Amtrak Station, or vice versa, takes 35 hours without stops, but to savor a taste of the West Coast plan a leisurely trip with multiple stops. As an example, you might hop off at these six stations to visit six unique independent breweries.
The pink boots area sign that this craft brewery employs something just a little different than most breweries.Rubber boots are a necessity for workers on the production floor of a brewery—but they’re most often black. At 515 Brewing Company in Des Moines, Iowa, Barbara Becker wears pink boots. The 35-year-old is the only female brewmaster in the state of Iowa and is a self-proclaimed nerd when it comes to the science of brewing great beer. “It’s never the same day and I’m always intrigued by the microbiology of what I do,” she says. “The yeasties do what the yeasties will do.”
Nashville Beer from History Press tells the story of brewing and beer in Music City, beginning with the first German brewers who moved to Nashville from Cincinnati as part of the work force to build the needed new infrastructure after the city was named the capital of Tennessee. The Gerst Brewery dominated the industry throughout the first half of the 20th century, surviving Prohibition by selling non-alcoholic malt beverages as well as one of the first versions of Orange Crush soda.
There is no doubt about it: The boom of breweries, brewpubs and bars specializing in serving craft beers on draft, in cans and bottles is in full effect throughout the nation. Innovative concepts, stunning décor, themed fare, and untapped locations are just some of the ways producers stand out in the competitive field. Here are three extraordinary tap-pullers who take pride in both beer selection and customer experience.
“If we don’t like it, we don’t drink it. If we don’t drink it, we don’t sell it,” is the simple, corporate mission of Grumpy Old Men Brewing. Chipley McKnight, founder and former co-owner, explains that back in 2012 he and his partner were a couple of old retired guys who were home brewing in an outdoor shower before graduating to the old gas station they transformed into a modern brewery. McKnight and his partner eventually passed control of the beer taps to another Grumpy Old Man and his Grumpy Old Lady, but the mission remains the same, as does the variety of beer and ale produced to satisfy a range of palates. In between the dark Hell’s Holler Porter and the lighter Tootla Creek Blonde Ale are both Pale and India Pale Ales.