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Sun, Sand, and Suds: Here are Some of the Best Coastal Breweries

Summer is upon us. That means heat and the resulting desire to flee to the coast. Fortunately, you don’t have to abandon the craft beer movement as you throw on your trunks, snag a beach towel, and head towards the salty water.

(Just remember to pack a growler … and maybe some sunscreen.)

de Garde Brewing

Tillamook, Oregon

de garde brewing
De Garde Brewing/Facebook

Tillamook is mainly known as a dairy town on the north Oregon coast. Yet, de Garde’s beers are making the often-misty weather all the more tolerable. Focused fully on spontaneous fermentations, de Garde produces beer that is feral in the best sense of the word. Classically trained, barrel-aged fanatics, these guys make beer like most people make wine, offering a sense of terroir and discovery with every bottling.

Cisco Brewers

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Cisco Brewers
Cisco Brewers/Facebook

It’s been rightfully said that good food and drink carries a certain amount of context. A shitty beer, for example, tastes pretty damn tolerable on the north shore of Oahu. The tourist magnet that is Nantucket has its share of traps and related context, but Cisco is very much its own draw. They’re brewing genuinely solid beer, including a fleet of IPAs, some fine seasonal releases, and even a legitimate Flemish red. Finalize your yacht-rock playlist and head to the island for some good brews.

Pizza Port Brewing

San Diego, California

Pizza Port Bbrewing Co./Facebook

San Diego has no shortage of great breweries. But there’s something nostalgic and compelling about Pizza Port, a brewery that has bought entirely into the local surf culture and backs it up with really good brews. Open since 1987, Pizza Port is responsible for standout beers like Swami’s IPA and Ponto session IPA. And if you can’t make it to SoCal, you’ll likely find Pizza Port’s core work at your local beer shop.

Wynwood Brewing Company

Miami, Florida

wynwood brewing
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Southern Florida deserves beer that’s both refreshing and flavorful. Wynwood Brewing is turning out just that, taking humidity head-on and not sacrificing character. Based in the thriving arts community that is Wynwood, this brewery is busy enticing rum runners to dip their toes in microbrew waters. With South Beach looming, this is a great hideaway in an eclectic neighborhood well worth a visit and a pint or two.

Holy City Brewing

Charleston, South Carolina

holy city brewing
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Alright, so you can’t quite see the beach from Holy City Brewing. But the ocean is just a stroll away. Among Charleston’s best breweries, this operation is dialing itself right in. The pilsner is a must, as are the darker beers like the Pecan Dream brown ale and the Brain Squasher stout, perfect for a bonfire on the beach when the sun sets and a chill blows in.

Big Beach Brewing

Gulf Shores, Alabama

big beach brewing
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Alabama’s southernmost brewery is a small but up-and-coming operation set right on the beach. The pint-sized brewery is set right behind the bar, so you know what you’re drinking is fresh. Enjoy a Hundred Daze IPA, Hola Olas Vienna Lager, or thirst-quenching Yacht Rocker Gose as the Gulf breeze whisks through the airy taproom. 

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
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