I took out the map, tracing my finger from Chicago to the possible neighboring states I could visit for my upcoming birthday trip through the Midwest. It easily fell on Michigan, just one skip over from Illinois. I remembered Detroit and how I always wanted to see the birthplace of Motown, one of my favorite music eras of all time.
But I wanted to see more than just one city if I was to travel the many hours by bus to get to a new state. I started looking at the names to see if any others jumped out at me, when I saw Grand Rapids. It wasn’t a city that rang a bell but one that intrigued me, Grand Rapids – it sounded adventurous, didn’t it?
I didn’t have much in the way of expectations for the craft beer scene in Victoria, BC. I’d only heard mediocre reviews of Canadian beer as a whole from American and Canadian friends alike in the past, but I came back to Portland with a much better idea of Canadian styles of brewing. Not to mention, my taste buds were much more refreshed after taking a break from the heavy IPAs you’re apt to find in the Pacific Northwest.
I was impressed enough with the budding craft beer scene in Victoria to write up a guide for you guys on what to expect, both with specific breweries, brewpubs, and the unique liquor laws of British Columbia.
I had no idea about the craft beer scene that would welcome me when I arrived in Missoula, Montana. I had heard from a friend living there that craft beer was getting bigger around town, with quite a few recent breweries opening up, but every person and their mom says their city has the best craft beer scene in America these days.
With the quality hops that come out of the Willamette Valley and the clean water supply, it’s no big secret that Oregon has a solid craft beer scene. Portland is hyped up – a tad too much in my book – and Bend gets a nod as well, but have you heard of the other fantastic craft beer scene in the city of Eugene?
With 570 breweries up and down the state, California has more craft breweries than any other state in the USA. Born and raised in California, it was also the place I had my first experience with craft beer – Arrogant Bastard from Stone Brewery to be exact.
I have to admit, I hadn’t even heard of Bend before I moved to Oregon. Once I arrived in Portland; however, I kept hearing about a faraway mountainous outdoor-loving place that could arguably rival Portland’s craft beer scene.