Craft beer is the new fine wine, with everyone thinking about hops terroir and eager to try the local IPA wherever they travel. Now savvy hotels are getting in on the act, brewing their own custom small-batch beers on site. Here are eight places to raise a glass.
The Source Hotel, Denver
Of course this is happening in Colorado, an epicenter of the American craft beer scene. When the Source opens in the hip RiNo neighborhood in August, it will have an on-site brewery in partnership with the New Belgium Brewing Company (that brand’s first outpost after their Fort Collins flagship). The reception desk is separated by glass from the ten-barrel fermenting system that produces a constantly rotating tap list for the hotel’s bar and restaurant—and even at check-in—with an emphasis on sour, wild and experimental beers. The rooftop bar, called the Woods, is anchored by New Belgium’s onsite barrel-aging program with 50 oak barrels, along with a hot tub, a cantilevered pool and stunning mountain views.
The Trunk Hotel, Tokyo
The nearby Ishikawa Brewery—which has been regarded as one of the best breweries in Tokyo since it began operation in the 19th century—makes a special small-batch beer for this year-old design hotel in the trendy Harajuku district. Along with serving the beer in the hotel’s restaurant and bar, it also sells bottles in the signature Trunk(Store), which specializes in local upcycled items specially made for the hotel, such as sandals, T-shirts and snacks.
One of the additions when this storied resort emerged from a megamillion-dollar renovation earlier this year was a new pub in the Dormy (golf) Clubhouse called Aucterarder 70—after the hotel’s phone code from back in the day—that specializes in “Scottish tapas” (small plates to share) and Gleneagles’ own craft beer, also called Auchterarder 70. The lager, with hints of wild elderflower and honeysuckle, is made by nearby the Harviestoun Brewery, which has won more international awards than any other Scottish craft brewery.
The resort, which comprises the Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott Orlando, recently brought in local Cicerone-certified brewmaster Aaron Libera, to lead Whisper Creek Farm: The Brewery. The nanobrewery produces 28 gallons per week in five styles: dark, wheat/light, amber, IPA and a seasonal special brew that uses farm-fresh ingredients. The resort also collaborated with Tampa Bay’s Big Storm Brewing Co. on its flagship beer: Surplus, a signature Floridian honey citrus ale that’s infused with honey from the on-property apiaries, which is available year-round at all the food and beverage outlets.
The Savoy Hotel and Brewery, British Columbia
The name says it all about this boutique hotel in the bohemian town of Nelson, in the interior of British Columbia. Actually, not quite all: the Savoy is a restaurant, live-music venue, cocktail lounge, boutique hotel and brewpub under one roof. The Savoy brewery is a small-batch facility inside the Falls Music lounge with seven rotating tap choices. The small size of the brewery allows for some innovative varieties.
Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai
This hotel, part of the luxury Shangri-La brand, is the first five-star hotel in Shanghai to have its own craft brewery and resident brewmaster. Aptly called the Brew, the brewery doubles as a lively, contemporary bar—designed and built around the three-story stainless-steel vats used for brewing and storing beer—with pub-style dishes and live music. It offers six handcrafted beers and one cider along with plenty of other beverages. And it recently added a novel Beer Tower, a dispenser that serves fruit-infused beer, like a limited-edition British-style IPA infused with grapefruit, orange and lemon.
Beer is not made only from barley and hops. In Peru, beer is brewed with local ingredients like quinoa, corn and potatoes (and popularly called chicha). At Peruvian eco-luxury pioneer Inkaterra’s lodge in the Sacred Valley, the on-site organic farm harvests those ingredients to make chicha de jora, a beer made from fermented Urubamba corn (and other ingredients used to make the regional dishes served in the restaurant). Inkaterra also offers a complimentary chicha de jora making activity in which guests learn to make the drink and then, after it ferments, taste the fruits of their labor.
Hotel Okura, Japan
This hotel in the Fukuoka prefecture is unique in Japan for having its own brewery inside the building. The original beer is freshly brewed every day, and guests can enjoy the high-quality craft beer “Hakata Draft” with their meals at any of the restaurants in the hotel.[…]