As the number of U.S. craft breweries soars towards 8,000, there exists a correlating expansion in the variety of brewery atmospheres.
One can scan any social media platform and notice the increasing trend in breweries developing spaces that are just as beautiful as the beer they create. And for some establishments, that includes breathtaking views of mountains, oceans and sunsets. These 12 breweries offer patrons the most incredible views to go along with their excellent brews.
Bonfire Brewing, Eagle, Colorado
Located in the small but quickly growing town of Eagle in the majestic Vail Valley, Bonfire Brewing offers beer fans a new, expanded patio abound with great views of the nearby mountains. In fact, the outdoor space has been regularly voted as one of the best in the region. The brewery also sits within earshot of the Eagle River, so don’t be surprised to find a few kayakers around, too. While on the patio, possibly with a bonfire going, patrons can enjoy beers ranging from experimental sours and malt liquors to fruited and coffee ales, and everything in-between. There’s a little something for everyone at Bonfire.
Elevation Beer Company, Poncha Springs, Colorado
Located in the rural mountain town of Poncha Springs, Elevation Beer Company has an expansive view of the Collegiate Mountain Range in the increasingly popular Arkansas Valley. The mountains are at the southern end of Colorado’s most concentrated chain of 14,000-foot peaks, including Mount Elbert, the state’s tallest mountain. The tasting room features up to 16 beers on tap, including “a regularly rotating cask beer on a hand engine,” according to Elevation. The beers will surely hit the spot after a day of hitting the slopes on nearby Monarch Mountain.
Oskar Blues, Brevard, North Carolina
Oskar Blues, which was the first craft brewery to can its beer in 2002, proudly proclaims that its beer is “mountain crafted.” That description speaks to an attitude that embraces nature, beer, music and otherwise enjoying life. Oskar Blues operates five locations in Colorado, Asheville, North Carolina and Austin, Texas, many of which include stunning views. But, for a unique setting, try its North Carolina venue, which is quaint, cozy and opens up to both the countryside and nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. In typical Oskar Blues fashion, the brewery hosts local and regional bands five nights a week. Pisgah National Forest is a 10-minute bike ride away, so you can check out some nature with your pals before meeting back at the brewery for a pint.
Woods Beer Company Island Club, San Francisco, California
“We have beach chairs available on a first-come-first-served basis, but you are also welcome to bring your own chairs.” That statement from Woods Beer Company says all you need to know about the atmosphere. The Woods Island Club location sits on the lovely Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland. Along with palm trees and sand to squish between your toes, one can enjoy excellent beer, like an IPA flavored with minty, herbal South American tea or something from the experimental barrel room. And the beers pair well with the empanadas and deep-dish pizza on the menu.
Metropolitan Brewing, Chicago, Illinois
In 2008, Metropolitan emerged as Chicago’s first brewery to open in a decade, and it did so with a passion for lagering. In addition to the golden beers, Metro’s Black Lager—a Schwarzbier that’s roasty and rich but wonderfully light on the tongue with a dry finish—won the 2016 World Cup. In 2017, Metropolitan Brewing took over a former tannery and turned it into a brewery that offers heavenly views of the Chicago River. One can take in the sights by sitting in the taproom and peering through the floor-to-ceiling windows or by embarking on an outside stroll around the brewery. The trees that line the river provide the perfect canvas for both fall foliage and winter scenery that rival any Ansel Adams photograph.
Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, Brattleboro, Vermont
The Vermont-New Hampshire border runs smack-dab through the Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery. While this is unique, it’s the Connecticut River that makes one take notice of the space. The gorgeous beer garden sits above the river and has a bridge and abundance of trees in full view, perfect for giving customers a chance to enjoy those famous New England autumnal colors. In addition to the tasty food menu and 60 available brews, Whetstone operates an exploratory nano-brewery where they never brew the same beer twice.
Oasis Texas Brewing Company, Austin, Texas
This brewery’s website lists the local sunset time, and that should provide a clue about one of Oasis Texas Brewery Company’s chief amenities: watching the sun settle beneath gorgeous Lake Travis and the Texas Hill Country. Of course, it helps to enjoy that view while sipping on award-winning beers, enjoying food served from its craft kitchen or venturing into the barrel room for hand-crafted cocktails. And if that’s not enough, live music is routinely offered at Oasis. The view, aromas, tastes and sounds make for a true sensory experience to be had here.
Two Goats Brewing, Hector, New York
Operating out of a renovated 19th-century barn, Two Goats Brewing gives its patrons a breathtaking view of Seneca Lake, complete with spectacular sunsets. It seems appropriate that one can enjoy a New York beer in this type of setting, as the state once served as the nation’s hop farm leader, selling more than three million pounds annually in the mid-1800s. At Two Goats, it’s not hops that are king, but rather their signature dish—a roast beef sandwich made with naturally-raised beef from nearby Schrader Farms. Meanwhile, Two Goats is known for brewing its farm-style beers with only high-quality ingredients, and there’s plenty of styles from which customers can choose.
Piney River Brewing Company, Bucyrus, Missouri
Joleen and Brian Durham bought a farm and dug a deep well in 2010 to obtain better water, and then they started brewing in 2011. Neither knew what to expect, but before long, they were distributing their beer and winning a slew of medals at the U.S. Beer Championships, Great American Beer Festival and World Cup. The refurbished barn (aka BARn) is now part of an expansive farm and brewery that’s evolved into a craft-beer destination. Piney River exists in a rural region, deep within the heart of the Ozark Mountains. The views include a big sky and tons of trees, removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Escondido, California
Stone Brewing serves as a craft-brewing juggernaut, with locations both in the United States and overseas. The Escondido locale is the epitome of tranquility—the taproom is one-half brewery, one-half Garden of Eden. The bistro, complete with an open-air patio and acre-sized organic beer garden, is how Stone became “the largest restaurant purchaser of local, small-farm organic produce in San Diego County.” Along with refined dining options and an extensive beer menu, they also offer an impressive wine list.
Karl Strauss, San Diego, California
As if it wasn’t good enough to brew multi-award winning beers in a city known for its fabulous weather, the Karl Strauss Sorrento Mesa location sits next to a picturesque koi pond. A few young couples have even chosen to make it the backdrop for their wedding pictures—not a bad way to start a marriage. But you don’t have to plan a wedding to fully enjoy the Karl Strauss pond-side location. Every Sunday, the brewery hosts a brunch that is something to behold. Along with a large, chef-prepared buffet, there are plenty of Karl Strauss brews and beer-tails to pair with the food.
Rhinegeist, Cincinnati, Ohio
Rhinegeist just celebrated its sixth anniversary, growing from a small start-up in 2013 to the 28th largest brewery in the country, which is awfully impressive when you consider the nation now supports more than 7,500 brewing operations. The brewery possesses plenty of accolades and awards for its beer, and its expansive brewery and taproom is perfect for hosting a myriad of events (imagine seeing a large motorcycle show inside a brewery). But now Rhinegeist offers its patrons a stunning view. The rooftop overlooks a mix of rolling hills, the Queen City’s skyline and the historic Over the Rhine district. One can enjoy it while sipping on cocktails, wine, cider or one of its delicious brews.