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Planning a summer vacation? Check out the best cities for craft beer lovers.

The list might surprise you. As you may have figured, Seattle and Portland are on there, but Kalamazoo, Michigan? I wouldn’t have guessed it. The only thing I knew about Kalamazoo before I read Yahoo! Travel’s “10 best vacation cities for beer lovers” (originally posted on mainstreet.com) was that my aunt went to school there. Apparently though, the 50-mile stretch between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo houses roughly eight to nine breweries and constitutes the heart of Michigan craft brewing, with well-known breweries such as Bell’s and Founders thrown into the mix. Might have to make a detour the next time I go to visit my grandparents. 

The top ten cities (which the writer admits are slightly subjective, but act as a good starting point) are spread out across the country from California to Vermont. You’ll find the list below, in no particular order, with some fun facts from the article:

  • Burlington, Vermont (21 breweries for more than 625,000 residents — the most breweries per capita of any state in the country)
  • Fort Collins, Colorado (fourth-largest collection of craft breweries in America behind Oregon, Washington  and California)
  • Grand Rapids & Kalamazoo, Michigan (Kalamazoo-based Bell’s has become one of the Top 10 craft brewers in the country by volume)
  • Charlottesville, Virginia (hike and enjoy a beer as the Blue Ridge Mountains play host to what’s become known as the Brew Ridge Trail)
  • Seattle, Washington (more breweries than neighboring Oregon and craft-centric Colorado and trails only California in overall numbers)
  • Portland, Oregon (there are days’ worth of breweries and brewpubs to consume in Portland alone)
  • Asheville, North Carolina (craft beer lovers quickly learned how big of a beer town this is once Sierra Nevada and New Belgium decided to open new facilities there)
  • Portland, Maine (packs a bunch of breweries into its small, funky waterfront confines)
  • San Diego, California (known for beers that are straight hops)
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin (if you want some idea of where modern Milwaukee beer is headed, step away from the Miller signs)

Now not everyone would plan a trip soley based on craft beer, but I definitely know a few that would, including my husband and myself. I’ll be filing this article away for a sunny day. Read the full article and more about each city at Yahoo! Travel.

Side note: the map above is actually an awesome poster of US breweries crafted by Pop Chart Lab. Get your own here

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