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10 Best Craft Beer Vacation Destinations

Samuel Adams Brewery, Boston
One would think that Boston's colonial and Revolutionary War history would be enough to satiate the average visitor, but its beer history is worth mentioning as well. The Boston Beer Company's (SAM) research and development brewery sits within the site of the old Haffenreffer Brewery in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood and greets hundreds of brewery tourists a year with handfuls of hops and grain, tiny tasting glasses of Samuel Adams beer and a look into the beer background of a city that now doesn't even allow breweries to open brewpubs on site.

Company mascot Sam Adams was a brewer -- as Boston bar the Beantown Pub will remind you as it encourages patrons to drink a Sam Adams directly across the street from Sam Adams' grave in the Old Granary Burial Ground -- but Boston Beer's neighborhood in Jamaica Plain and nearby Roxbury was once dotted with breweries that used the nearby Stony Brook as a water source. Now only the name of the subway station tourists take when they want a sample of Boston Lager or Latitude 48 IPA, the Stony Brook left behind a stretch of breweries that line nearby Heath Street as either condominiums or abandoned buildings.

Boston's current brewing situation is a bit brighter, however, as Harpoon Brewing also calls the city home and offers tours and tastings at its facility along Boston Harbor in South Boston. Harpoon's tours consist of little more than a tour guide pointing at the tanks and equipment behind the glass in the tasting room and giving visitors the Cliff's Notes version of the brewing process, but Harpoon does leave a lot more time for tasting and -- unlike the Samuel Adams brewery -- lets visitors take growler jugs and six packs of the product home as souvenirs. Besides, the less time spent indoors inspecting mash tuns on a warm summer day, the more time you have to hop a ferry to a harbor island and sip your IPA or Raspberry UFO witbier in peace.
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