In case you didn’t get the memo, the craft beer craze is here to stay. Like many travelers, trying new beer is on our list of things to do when visiting a new place. So we are combining two of our favorite things: road trips and beer.
We are hitting the road to put a twist on the classic Route 66.
Not only are we going to explore the natural wonders, historical sites, and quirky roadside attractions on and around Route 66, but we are on a mission to discover the best breweries too!
Get Your Beer Fix on Route 66
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Revolution Brewing Company (3340 N. Kedzie Avenue) is one of the largest and treasured breweries in all of Illinois and a top contender across the United States. It’s made the Brewers Association’s, “Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies” for the last two years in a row. Stop by for a sample, pint or free tour.
Must Try Beer: Rosa (Hibiscus Ale), Anti-Hero (India Pale Ale), Working Woman (American Brown Ale)
Half Acre Beer Company (4257 N. Lincoln Avenue) is ranked THE top brewery in Chicago by Thrillist. Brewing all year long are Half Acre’s three core beers which consistently rank high among craft beer drinkers. To mix it up, there’s always something exciting being poured seasonally. Tours offered on Saturday only for a fee.
Must Try Beer: Daisy Cutter (West Coast Pale Ale), Deep Space (Imperial IPA)
Goose Island Brewery (1800 W Fulton Street) is the most well-known and oldest operating brewery in Chicago. Starting out as a small brewpub in 1988, it landed Chicago back on the map as far as beer goes. There’s been a bit of “sell-out” talk since Anheuser-Busch bought the brewery in 2011, but it doesn’t change the fact that they make great beer. Tours offered Thursday-Sunday for a fee.
Must Try Beer: 312 Urban (American Wheat Ale), Green Line (Pale Ale)
Chicago Must-See Attractions: Millennium Park, Route 66 “Start Sign”, Navy Pier, Lou Mitchell’s Diner, Grant Park, Willis Tower Skydeck
Where: Springfield, Illinois
Engrained Brewing Company (1120 Lincolnshire Blvd) is new on the scene, but the combination of a locally sourced restaurant and reviews of excellent beer has us intrigued. No tour available.
Must Try Beer: Blackberry IPA (Seasonal), Oatmeal Stout, Irish Red Ale
Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery (500 S. 6th Street) is a brewery with charm. Springfield’s first microbrewery, located in a renovated historical home, is just steps from Abraham Lincoln’s home where he lived from 1844 to 1861 before becoming the 16th President of the United States. No tour available.
Must Try Beer: Mother Road APA (American Pale Ale), Upside Brown Coffee Ale
Springfield Must-See Attractions: Lincoln’s Tomb, Old State Capitol, Cozy Dog Drive In, Abraham Lincoln’s Presidential Library and Museum
Where: St. Louis, Missouri
Civil Life Brewing Company (3714 Holt Avenue)
is a cozy brewery with wood-paneled walls and a friendly neighborhood vibe. “Be Civil” is their mantra and you definitely get that feeling even on your first visit. It’s a must-stop for beer drinkers. I can’t seem to find a beer I don’t like at Civil Life. No tour but sample away.
Must Try Beer: American Brown (Brown Ale), German Wheat, British Bitter (English Pale Ale)
4 Hands Brewing Co. (1220 S 8th St.), only a few blocks from Busch Stadium, is such a hit they needed to expand the current building to include a second floor. They offer six year-round beers and a long list of rotating ones. Tours are offered but must call the tasting room to set up.
Must Try Beer: City Wide (American Pale Ale), Divided Sky Rye IPA
Anheuser-Busch Brewery (1200 Lynch St) is a household name; everyone knows the beer that is produced here. Some of you will crinkle your nose at the fact that I’m including them on our list. But it is one of the oldest breweries in the country and they have a fabulous FREE tour that includes a FREE pint at the end. The walk includes a close-up look at the brewing process, the famous Clydesdales, and the historical buildings on the grounds.
Perennial Artisan Ales (8125 South Michigan) is considered “one of the most cutting-edge and innovative breweries in St. Louis.” Their philosophy is to brew beer with the adventurous craft beer drinker in mind and it sounds like they captured that spirit. Free tours held every Saturday.
Must Try Beer: Whatever crazy new brew they have on tap
St. Louis Must-See Attractions: The Gateway Arch, Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, Crown Candy Kitchen, City Museum, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
Where: Springfield, Missouri
Mother’s Brewing Company (215 S. Grant Avenue) is located in the heart of downtown Springfield, almost directly on the path of where the original Route 66 meandered. Having spent a lot of time exploring the state of Missouri, we’ve come across beer from Mother’s and have liked what we’ve tried so far. “This is a place to come try all kinds of beers in a cool environment.” Free tours on Saturdays only and are one a first come, first served basis.
Must Try Beer: MILF (Imperial Stout), Lil’ Helper (Indian Pale Ale)
Springfield Brewing (305 S Market Avenue) has been around for twenty years and “focuses on true to tradition English, German and American style ales and lagers. Over the years we’ve been the proud recipients of Great American Beer Festival awards for many of our beers and most recently took home World Beer Cup gold for our Mayhem Marzen.”
Must Try Beer: Hop Lobster (Red Ale), Mayhem Marzen (Lager)
Springfield Must-See Attractions: Pythian Castle, History Museum on the Square, Fantastic Caverns, Rte 66 Visitor Center
Where: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Prairie Artisan Ales Brewpub (223 N Main St) achieves multiple accolades on Beer Advocate’s Top Rated Oklahoma Beer List. They describe their unique perspective on brewing: “Sometimes that means big bold barrel aged stouts and other times it means super crisp and funky farmhouse ales. Every beer we brew is wrapped in unique, expressive, and interesting art. The experience is unlike any other you can find in beer.” No tour available.
Must Try Beer: Bomb! (Imperial Stout), Phantasmagoria (Double IPA)
Marshall Brewing Company (618 S Wheeling Ave) founder and Brewmaster, trained in the art of brewing in Germany, focuses on handcrafting full strength top quality ales and lagers. Tulsa’s first production craft microbrewery is considered a gem of the city by locals and visitors alike. Free tours offered select Saturdays.
Must Try Beer: Atlas IPA, Revival Red Ale (American Amber), This Machine (Belgian IPA)
Dead Armadillo Craft Brewing (1004 E 4th Street) began its operations gypsy brewing at another brewery outside of the city. The beer was well received and in 2016 they opened their own taproom doors. Dead Armadillo is on the fast track as a local favorite. No tour available.
Must Try Beer: Amber Ale, Black Hop (India Style Black Ale)
American Solera (1801 S 49th W Avenue) is a side project by Prairie Artisan Ales founder, Chase Healey, which allows him to be more creative with aged sours and wild ales. The brewery made Gear Patrol’s “25 Best Craft Breweries in America” list and RateBeer’s “Best New Brewers in the World” list. No tour available.
Must Try Beer: Foederville (Sour Ale), Cranbarrel (Sour Ale)
Tulsa Must-See Attractions: Golden Driller, Philbrook Museum of Art, Art Deco Buildings, Blue Whale of Catoosa, Vickery Phillips 66 Station, Woodward Park, Woody Guthrie Center
Where: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
COOP Ale Works (4745 Council Heights Rd) has earned the title of one of the most successful Oklahoma City-based breweries in operation. The word on the street is that their taproom is legit and outdoor patio the place to be. Tours available on Saturdays.
Must Try Beer: Alpha Hive Double IPA, F5 IPA, Gran Sport Porter
Stonecloud Brewing (1012 NW 1st Street) is the newest brewery in the neighborhood. Founder, Joel Irby, took everything he learned from the Colorado craft beer scene and rolled it into a labor of love in his home state of Oklahoma. No tours available.
Must Try Beer: Saddle Tramp (Hoppy Saison), Astrodog IPA (Grapefruit IPA)
Oklahoma City Must-See Attractions: Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, POPS, Bricktown Neighborhood, Cowboy Museum
Where: Amarillo, Texas
Big Texan Brewery (7701 Interstate 40 Access Rd) located inside an over-the-top, kitschy, saloon-style steakhouse on Route 66. They have BIG beer, BIG steaks and a BIG personality; we have to stop to see what this place is all about.
Must Try Beer: Raspberry Wheat, Whoop Your Donkey (Double IPA)
Amarillo Must-See Attractions: Sixth Street Historic District, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Cadillac Ranch
Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe Brewing Company (35 Fire Place), the oldest microbrewery and now the largest brewery in New Mexico, proclaims to put the spirit of the southwest in every beer they make.
Must Try Beer: Imperial Java Stout, Chicken Killer Barley Wine Ale
Second Street Brewery (1814 2nd Street) has been serving up beer since 1996 and has 60+ handcrafted beers to be proud of. The brewery confidently claims to be everything we are looking for: local neighborhood bar; the tourist attraction that is convenient to everything downtown; and the tap room the locals have been waiting for.
Must Try Beer: Kolsch, Boneshaker Bitter
Santa Fe Must-See Attractions: Santa Fe Plaza, La Fonda Hotel, Clines Corners Retail Center, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Palace of the Governors
Where: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Marble Brewery (111 Marble Ave NW) has multiple locations but was founded in the heart of downtown Albuquerque. Its production makes it the second largest brewery in New Mexico, behind Santa Fe. Free tours available every Saturday.
Must Try Beer: Marble IPA, Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout, Wildflower Wheat
La Cumbre Brewing Co. (3313 Girard Blvd NE) scored a whopping 4.8 out of 5.0 on RateBeer’s website. The score is based on ambiance, service, selection, food and value. Sounds like a must-stop to me.
Must Try Beer: Project Dank (American IPA), Elevated IPA
Il Vicino Brewery Canteen (2381 Aztec Rd) is touted as having the most drinkable beers in Albuquerque. It won its first Great American Beer Festival medal back in ’95 and has added twelve more since, plus seven World Beer Cup medals as well.
Must Try Beer: Dougie Style Amber Ale, Flashback IPA
Albuquerque Must-See Attractions: The Central Avenue, The 66 Diner, Old Town, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Sandia Peak Tramway
Where: Flagstaff, Arizona
Mother Road Brewing (7 S Mikes Pike Street) is located smack-dab on a lost portion of good ol’ Route 66 in Flagstaff. In fact, the founders conceived the idea for opening the brewery on a road trip along a two lane highway. They combined their love for adventure and beer into a thriving business.
Must Try Beer: Lost Highway (Double Black IPA),
Flagstaff Must-See Attractions: Lowell Observatory, Historic Downtown District, Weatherford Motel, Grand Canyon (side trip), 66 Motel, Museum Club, Galaxy Diner
Where: Kingman, Arizona
Black Bridge Brewery (421 E Beale Street) is located in what many people call the “Heart of Historic Route 66” and provides an ideal break from the Arizona desert. Founder and Kingman native, Tim Schritter, began operations in his garage and eventually expanded to the brewery right on America’s beloved Main Street.
Must Try Beer: Evil Red, Raspberry Poison (Wheat)
Kingman Must-See Attractions: The Trovatore Motel & The Longest Map of Route 66, Bel, Mr D’Z Route 66 Diner
Where: Los Angeles, California
Angel City Brewery (216 Alameda Street) is “proud to rough things up a bit and work beneath the shiny surface of LA.” Situated in the Arts District, Angel City combines their love of creativity and artistry with beer. Tours offered every day at various times.
Must Try Beer: Eureka Wit, Angeleno IPA
Eagle Rock Brewery (3056 Roswell Street), the city’s first brewery in 60 years, opened in 2009. Eagle Rock is a family-owned labor of love located in Glassell Park just minutes from downtown LA. Free tours offered on Saturday and Sundays.
Must Try Beer: The Populist (West Coast IPA), Manifesto (Witbier)
Mumford Brewing (416 Boyd St.) is only a few years old but is already growing a loyal following. Just blocks away from three other breweries including Angel City, the Arts District in L.A. may have to be renamed.
Must Try Beer: Black Coffee Mamba (American Black Ale)
Los Angeles Must-See Attractions: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica Pier, “The End” Route 66 Sign, Chinese Theatre, Rodeo Drive
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Would you hop on this Route 66 Brewery Road Trip?
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