We’ve come a long way since Sam Adams created the first airport brewpub at Boston Logan in 1993. Today, it’s practically implied that you’ll be able to take the edge off of pre-flight or post-TSA stress with locally-brewed craft beer at any number of American airports. Delays and stopovers in some cities; however, are decidedly better than others.
The Best Airport Brewpubs in the US
Deschutes Brewery – Portland International Airport
Of course Portland International Airport has beer. The city otherwise known as “Beervana” lies smack dab in one of the greatest hop corridors on the planet. The airport has several options for craft enthusiasts, but Deschutes Brewery remains the best option. Taking over the spot that was occupied by Rogue Ales for the last decade, Deschutes will be serving up their famous Black Butte Porter for the next ten years at least.
Stone Brewing – San Diego International Airport
Stone Brewing delivers heady beers to its Southern California neighbor, the San Diego International Airport. The high-octane, but typically balanced beers are fit for everything from a wee hours flight cancelation to a festive, pre-vacation toast. Plus, while airport pub grub is rarely great, Stone’s is solid.
Stone Arch Craft Lab – Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
The Twin Cities are increasingly known for their significant contributions to the American beer scene. The airport’s main ale hub is the Stone Arch Craft Lab, a partnership with the sprawling Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild. An experimental section of the pub touts experimental beers created by guild members almost exclusively the the Lab. Devoting a few days to the Minneapolis beer galaxy is the way to go but if you only visit MSP, stop here.
317 Tap Room – Indianapolis International Airport
Indy is known to have one of the best airports in the nation. It’s all the better thanks a few options for local beer, including 317 Tap Room and Granite City. The latter is out of Minnesota but the airport location is keen on showcasing some examples from the flourishing Indianapolis beer scene.
Cigar City Brewing Company – Tampa International Airport
One of Florida’s most celebrated breweries has a home at the C Terminal of Tampa International. Cigar City beers, including one-offs, are served alongside Cuban-inspired grub at its airport pub. The Tampa-style lager and Jai Alai IPA are surprisingly good even when you’re jet-lagged and everybody around you is eating breakfast and drinking coffee.
Cisco Brewpub – Logan International Airport (Boston)
Beantown is Sam Adams country but that doesn’t mean you don’t have other options. At Logan International, hop over to Cisco Brew Pub in Terminal B, where many of the Nantucket label’s beers can be tried. If you have the time, grab another from Boston Beer Works in Terminal C, a local chain covering the style gamut from lagers to reds to IPAs.
Smaller Airports Options
Some of the best airports are the smallest ones. Bozeman Yellowstone International is intimate and beautifully situated, with a Montana-dominated draft list at one restaurant Copper Horse. Here, enjoy rotating pours from the likes of Kettlehouse, MAP, Red Lodge and more.
Meanwhile, there’s bourbon country beer to be had at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport while Charleston Beer Works at Charleston International features a healthy list of local and regional labels on draft. Portland, Maine’s Shipyard Brewing has a taproom in Gate 5 of its city’s modestly-sized airport and remains the preferred stop for acclimating to a frigid Maine winter.