Last September, the Brewers Association reported that nearly two breweries are opening each day in the United States. That’s a lot of beer, and a lot of competition. So how does one choose? Well, how about seeking out those that let you sleep over? From cabins in the woods to full-service hotels, breweries have opened their doors to overnight guests, and they typically come in three styles: Cabins, Lofts, and Inns. Here are some of our favorites.
Once you understand a bit about Oskar Blues as a brand, you’ll understand why they chose to build cabins in the woods outside of their brewery in Brevard, North Carolina. After starting the original brewery in Lyons, Colorado, Owner Dale Katechis, an avid mountain biker, started his own bike company, REEB Cycles. As a tribute, he named his new farm and event center in North Carolina Reeb Ranch. It’s eight miles from the brewery in Brevard and, fittingly, sits at the foot of Dupont State Park and its myriad of mountain bike trails. Here, six campsites, a barn apartment, and a cabin by a waterfall offer the chance to soak in the rural, biking-obsessed mentality that dominates every aspect of Oskar Blues’ culture. Hit the trails for the day, and then grab a beer from the fridge and kick back, just like Dale would. “The brand in general has been grown on a grassroots level, grabbing people going for a bike ride,” said Katechis. “Our brand has grown to be more of a lifestyle than a beer brand, and [Reeb Ranch] plays into that experience.”
The fierce competition in craft beer demands that brewers expand their business models and bring beer drinkers closer to the brand. The goal is to turn a brewery from a stop on a beer map into a destination—and in the case of SLO Brew, it’s going to be one where people can eat, drink, dance, and sleep. Co-Owner Hamish Marshall said he saw the idea of creating luxury lofts above his brand-new brewpub, which includes a restaurant and music venue, as a way to kill two birds with one stone. “The lofts are giving us the ability to not only have another revenue stream, but to engulf the people who stay there in all the components of our brand, from the beer to the food and music events,” Marshall said. There will be five lofts in total ranging from 1-3 bedrooms, each with a kitchen, dining area, and fireplace, and the vibe of the entire project, according to Co-Owner Rodney Cegelski, is “where cowboys meet surfers,” a nod to SLO’s mix of rural and ocean lifestyles. The lofts, along with the new brewpub, are in their final stage of construction and are taking reservations for May and beyond.
It should come as no surprise that the granddaddys of the craft beer revolution, Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware, has undertaken a stand-alone, beer-themed hotel. Set overlooking the harbor in the coastal town of Lewes, the hotel opened in 2014 with 16 rooms. Owner Sam Calagione is as committed to his community as he is to his beer, and the creation of the hotel was, as he put it, to “celebrate the scenic beaches, charming towns, and outdoor adventures coastal Delaware has to offer.” The fact that he doesn’t sell his beer on property and the lack of in-your-face Dogfish branding would back up that claim. Guests are encouraged to bring their own beer—whatever it may be—and the hotel features only subtle undertones of the Dogfish Head brand and logo, dispersing it around in things like wool blankets, soaps, decorative labels, bottle openers, and beach bags. Overall, the rooms have a clean, minimalist feel. Still, the fact that the hotel is located between the Dogfish Head Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach and the production facility in Milton means that most of its guests have beer on the brain, and the campfire out back serves as a way to mingle with other beer lovers. Try out the All InnClusive Package that includes a private tour of the production brewery, VIP tasting, lunch at the original brewery, and roundtrip transportation.