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Cruising for a Brewing

Microbreweries are popping up all over. We found ten great places to grin and beer it.

close-up of beer taps

— Jason Varney

New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, Colorado
970-221-0524; newbelgium.com
The employees at the Liquid Center tasting room are cheery; each gets a fat-wheeled bike for commuting.
Popular brew: It's the Fat Tire Amber Ale—named for a 1980s Belgian bike trip by the company's cofounder.
V.I.P. view: Free tours and sampling are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Reserve online.
What else to do: Locals say nearby Horsetooth Rock is the petrified heart of an evil giant.

Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery
Woodstock, New Hampshire
603-745-3951; woodstockinnbrewery.com
Nestled in the White Mountains, Woodstock offers free tours‚ and overnight stays in 33 guest rooms.
Popular brew: Pig's Ear Brown Ale was Grand Champion at the U.S. Beer Tasting Championships in 2006.
V.I.P. view: Tours are daily at noon.
What else to do: Don't miss the gorges and waterfalls of nearby Franconia Notch State Park.

Barrio Brewing Company
Tucson, Arizona
520-791-2739; www.barriobrewing.com
Despite the drab South Tucson surroundings, the old industrial building houses an oasis of copper, wood, and breathtaking mountain views.  
Popular brew: Many like Copperhead Pale Ale; or try up to 12 brews for $12.
V.I.P. view: No tours here, but you can't beat sitting on the old loading dock, brew in hand, during a thunderstorm.
What else to do: Down I-19 South about 25 miles sits the Titan Missile Museum, a decommissioned silo where you can turn the key that once might have vaporized Moscow.

New Glarus Brewing Company
New Glarus, Wisconsin
608-527-5850; newglarusbrewing.com
At this small hilltop brewery you'll discover a reconstructed Swiss-style village and the company's new $21 million facility. You might also get to meet Deborah Carey, 50, one of the first women to found and operate a brewery in the United States.
Popular brew: To give the Old English Porter its distinctive vinegary flavor, the brewmasters of New Glarus add sour beer to new, fresh beer.
V.I.P. view: Tours and tastings ($3.50 for three samples and a glass) are daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
What else to do: Settled in 1845 by Swiss immigrants, the town of New Glarus really earns its title of  Little Switzerland, with its authentic Swiss bakery, Swiss restaurants, antiques stores, and two museums.

Full Sail Brewing Company
Hood River, Oregon
541-386-2247; fullsailbrewing.com
You'll find some of the world's best windsurfing here, where the wind-whipped Columbia River rolls by the town of Hood River. Perched on a bluff overlooking an array of rainbow-colored sails is Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub, which just might be the country's most scenic brewery.
Popular brews: Full Sail's Session Black won gold at the World Beer Cup in April. The malty Full Sail Amber is another crowd pleaser.
V.I.P. view: Tours (a taste is $1 per beer, including a free pint glass) run hourly every day from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., but you'll want to linger on the patio with your ale, watching the sails below and the snow-capped volcanic peaks in the far distance.
What else to do: Visit the Oregon Cascades Birding Trail and watch for the Lewis's woodpecker and the Clark's nutcracker, named for the state's illustrious early explorers.

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