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Best Brewery Tour: New Belgium Brewing Company

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Fort Collins and Asheville brewer wins for second straight year

The only thing better than sipping a pint of your favorite brew is getting a behind-the-scenes look at where it's made. We asked a panel of beer experts to nominate their favorite brewery tours in the United States, then turned it over to our readers to pick a winner. 

  • New Belgium Brewing Company
    Fort Collins, Colo. & Asheville, N.C.

    Visitors to the New Belgium facilities in both Fort Collins and Asheville are in for a treat. Free 90-minute tours include beer sampling (of course) as well as stories of the brewery's history. After the tour, guests are invited to enjoy beers in the tasting room or grab a bite to eat from a rotating list of visiting food trucks.
    Photo courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Company

  • Bell's Brewery
    Comstock, Mich.

    Bell’s, one of the oldest craft breweries east of Colorado, started out with a 15-gallon soup pot in 1985. Today, visitors can tour the facilities free of charge at both the Comstock and Kalamazoo locations to learn more about the processes of brewing, fermentation and packaging. Tours include complimentary samples.
    Photo courtesy of Bell's Brewery, Inc.

  • Boulevard Brewing Company
    Kansas City, Mo.

    Tours of Boulevard Brewing Co. are offered daily throughout the year (free on Wednesdays). These 45-minute trips through the facilities include a walking tour of the brewery, followed by samples in the tasting room. Those looking for a more in-depth experience can sign up for a two-hour Smokestack Tour & Tasting with food and beer pairings or a weekend Unfiltered Tour to areas often off-limits to visitors.
    Photo courtesy of Boulevard Brewing Company

  • Tröegs Independent Brewing
    Hershey, Penn.

    Visitors in Hershey can choose between three tour options at Tröegs Independent Brewing, a free self-guided tour through the heart of the brewery, a guided production tour or a Splinter Tour exploring the brewery's barrel-aging program. The popular production tour includes a behind-the-scenes look at the wood-aging cellar, mill room, hop cooler, brewhouse, fermentation cellar and packaging line. A welcome beer is included.
    Photo courtesy of Tröegs Independent Brewing

  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
    Milton, Del.

    The first-come, first-served free tours of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery offer a laid-back journey through the working brewhouse, cellars and bottling line for a chance to watch the magic happen. For beer lovers, grain to glass tours go into normally off-limits parts of the facilities, including cold storage, the grain handling room and the barrel-aging room.
    Photo courtesy of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
    Chico, Calif. & Mills River, N.C.

    Sierra Nevada beer fans have the opportunity to tour brewing facilities in either California or North Carolina. During each 45-minute interactive tour, visitors trace the process from grain to bottle. Smell whole-cone hops, sample sugary wort and finished with a guided tasting of Sierra Nevada beers. Heritage, Beer Geek and Hop Head tours go further in depth.
    Photo courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

  • Port City Brewing
    Alexandria, Va.

    Beer lovers get a behind-the-scenes look at Port City Brewing during tasting tours of the Alexandria facilities. Tours uncover the history and science of beer brewing and culminate in a flight tasting of six different Port City beers.
    Photo courtesy of Port City Brewing

  • Allagash Brewing Company
    Portland, Maine

    Free hour-long tours of Allagash Brewing Company in Portland take visitors through the brewing and bottling facilities for a behind-the-scenes look at how the beer is made (with samples along the way). A more in-depth Grand Cru Tour invites a small group of beer lovers to take part in the process while learning more about quality control, tasting and packaging. Allagash's tasting room pours brewery-only releases.
    Photo courtesy of Allagash Brewing Company

  • Sam Adams
    Boston

    Samuel Adams has long been a giant in the Boston beer scene, and visitors are invited to learn more about the history of the company and its famous Boston Lager during free 60-minute tours of the brewery. There are also specialty tours early in the morning or for fans of sour, wild or barrel-aged beers.
    Photo courtesy of Samuel Adams

  • Lagunitas Brewing Company
    Petaluma, Calif.

    Daily tours at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma take three forms. The free half-hour Walking Tour offers insight into just what it takes to start a brewery from the ground up, while the Tasting Tour includes tastings fresh from the source and a chance to ask questions of the popular California brewery. Those with an interest in barrel-aged beers should opt for the special Barrel-Aged Brew Tour.
    Photo courtesy of Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The top 10 winners in the category Best Brewery Tour are as follows:

  1. New Belgium Brewing Company - Fort Collins, Colo. & Asheville, N.C.
  2. Bell's Brewery - Comstock, Mich.
  3. Boulevard Brewing Company - Kansas City, Mo.
  4. Tröegs Independent Brewing - Hershey, Penn.
  5. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Milton, Del.
  6. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Chico, Calif. & Mills River, N.C.
  7. Port City Brewing - Alexandria, Va.
  8. Allagash Brewing Company - Portland, Maine
  9. Sam Adams - Boston
  10. Lagunitas Brewing Company - Petaluma, Calif.

A panel of experts (listed below) partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning breweries!

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Ruth Berman

Ruth Berman

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