Eat + Drink

Belly Up to the Best Brewery Tours in the World

Cheers! Prost! Cin cin! No matter how it’s said, toasting — and kicking back — with a cold beer is a time-honored tradition the world over. So why not sip the goods straight from the sources and learn a bit about them while you do so?

From beer conglomerates that offer an overview of their expansive operations to smaller craft gems off the beaten path, here are some of the best brewery tours the world has to offer.

Samuel Adams Brewery

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Much like its namesake Founding Father, Samuel Adams has been an American staple since the beer’s Boston birth in 1984. Its Beantown brewery offers two distinct tours to the general public, the most popular of which is the hour-long, $10 Morning Mash-In Tour: a daily affair that includes a tour of the premises, a history of the company, and guided tastings complete with souvenir glass to take home.

For $20, there’s also the three-day-a-week Beyond the Brewhouse Tour. This jaunt ushers beer fans into the brewery’s fermentation cellar — where the company experiments with new brews — and offers a peek at Sam Adams’ three massive Hungarian oak tuns, each of which has the capacity to hold 130 barrels (about 4,030 gallons) of beer.

Weihenstephan Brewery

Weihenstephan, Germany

beer tours
The science of beer awaits you on this German tour. (Photo: Getty Images)

You’ll be forgiven for wanting to slip into lederhosen before you venture to Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, simply known as Weihenstephan Brewery, popularly marketed as the oldest brewery in the world.

Founded in the year 1040, Weihenstephan is located in the heart of Germany’s Bavaria region. Its museum and brewery teach visitors about the origin of beer and how the brewing process came to fruition, all while letting you kick back with a taste, or two, of course.

Fuller’s Griffin Brewery

London, United Kingdom

Another part of the world richly steeped in beer’s incredible history is the United Kingdom, and Griffin Brewery, which churns out the world-renowned Fuller’s Ale, is the pinnacle of English suds-making.

Twenty tours per week given by the brewery’s stable of experts break down both the history of Fuller’s 19th-century founding and the experience of running a brewery in the present day.

To top it off, the brewery also runs an English pub next door, dubbed The Mawson Arms, in case you fancy paring a pint of Fuller’s with a plate of fish and chips.

Guinness

Dublin, Ireland

beer tours
You’ll be poured the perfect pint. (Photo: Getty Images)

Guinness, one of the globe’s signature and most recognizable beers, offers one of the world’s most popular beer headquarters. A stop at this Irish icon is a must during any trip to Dublin.

Its Storehouse, as the brewery is dubbed, offers a multilevel experience that takes visitors inside the world of Guinness, from the brewing process to an incredible history dating back to 1759 and the story of its epic 9,000-year lease (yup, you read that right).

Also offering a more advanced “Connoisseur Experience” for die-hard Guinness guzzlers, the Storehouse’s crown jewel is the 7th-floor Gravity Bar, which has expansive 360-degree views of the Irish capital.

Anchor Brewing Company

San Francisco, California, United States

Forget about Rice-A-Roni. Anchor Steam beer has been a popular San Francisco treat since 1896, thanks to its quality and the pioneering role it’s played in American craft brewing. As a result, a trip to California’s Bay Area wouldn’t be complete for beer lovers without a stop at Anchor’s historic brewery.

Sign up for a 90-minute jaunt that explores everything from the rich company history to the complicated process behind concocting its famed brews. Visitors are even treated to a flight of Anchor beers at the tour’s end. Visiting with a group? The brewery also offers extended tours for groups of 20 or more.

Coors Brewing Company

Golden, Colorado, United States

beer tours
The ultimate beer tour awaits at Coors. (Photo: Getty Images)

It stands to reason that one of the most popular beer brands in the world would be produced in the nation’s largest brewery by volume. Just outside Denver at Coors’ Golden, Colorado, headquarters, visitors are treated to a rundown of how the famed beer comes to be, from malting to packaging, all before getting a rare taste of the beer straight from the source.

Lasting a mere 30 minutes but offering a wealth of information, the tour takes place at the original location where Coors was founded in 1873.

BierVison Monstein AG

Davos Monstein, Switzerland

Located smack in the middle of the breathtakingly picturesque Swiss Alps, BierVision Monstein holds the distinction of being one of the highest up breweries on earth (or as they like to say, your last stop before heaven!).

That much is apparent to visitors who trek up a steep, single-lane road to get to its perch, a trip made worthwhile thanks to the brewery’s mountaintop serenity and informative tours, given in both German and English. The youngest brewery on this list, it was founded in 2000 by a group of friends keen on producing their own beer for parties.