Beer tourism is on the rise, and along with it is the rise of the beer-themed hotel and the brewery inn. From brewpub bed and breakfasts, like The Woodstock Inn & Resort and Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brewing Co. in New Hampshire, to beer-themed Airbnbs, where guests can sleep in a converted beer barrel or next door to a brewery, overnight stays offer an even more intimate beercation.
Along the summer destination of mid-coast Maine, Oxbow Brewing Co. has opened up a three-bedroom farmhouse, the original home of two of Oxbow’s owners, Dash and Geoff Masland, to travelers via Airbnb. The rustic retreat includes a $25 voucher to the tasting room and an offer to tour the brewery and 18-acre farmhouse grounds, which feature a roving flock of guinea fowl, a barn cat named Dizzy, four beehives and strawberries, raspberries and blackberries bushes along with a grove of cherry trees.
An overnight visit to the brewery can also help guests better understand the beer, says Dash Masland.
“This property has really influenced who we’ve become as a brewery. We think being up in that farmhouse, experiencing the kind of home that started it all, helps bring that all together.”
A brewery-owned inn makes sense for a destination brewery like Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, which draws beer travelers from across the country to its pub and production brewery. Since July 2014, guests have been able to take their Dogfish experience to the next level with a stay at the retro-stylish Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Delaware, featuring 16 rooms stocked with beer soap and a mini-fridge with glassware. The inn itself doesn’t have a bar, but is located 6 miles from the Dogfish pub and 11 miles from the production brewery.
Emily Tipps, owner of Tipping T ranch in Austin, Texas, estimates that 40 percent of the guests choose the ranch for its proximity, via a private path, to farmhouse brewery Jester King. Tipps caters to the crowd with a bottle of local beer stocked in every room and with recommendations for touring the beer scene—like Twisted X Brewery and Thirsty Planet, as well as distilleries and wineries—as part of the attractions.
The beer tourists have been great for business, says Tipps, although they have been known to leave their mark. The tell-tale sign? Tipps says that after one birthday guest checked out, she found 26 beer bottles neatly arranged on the dining room table.