© Muskopf Photography, LLC / Alamy

Whether you like your brews hoppy, dark, or fruity—or just something that tastes good with bratwurst—Travel + Leisure readers voted on the best cities for savoring a great local beer.

No. 16 Boston

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The biggest name in the Beantown beer scene has long been Samuel Adams, but the more recent entries could win the survey for offbeat names alone. Take, for instance, Slumbrew in Somerville, Wormtown Brewery (with a new taproom in Worcester) or the beloved Clown Shoes (with its Undead Party Crasher, an American Imperial Stout). To sample the regional beers as well as any number of global options, go to beer bars like Sunset Grill & Tap in Allston (with 380 microbrews and 113 taps) or Meadhall in Cambridge, which has more than 100 taps and each beer gets its own style of glass. The people-watching is good at both spots, too: Boston ranked at in the top 10 for smart (if rather snobby) locals.

America’s 20 Best Cities for Beer Lovers

No. 16 Boston

The biggest name in the Beantown beer scene has long been Samuel Adams, but the more recent entries could win the survey for offbeat names alone. Take, for instance, Slumbrew in Somerville, Wormtown Brewery (with a new taproom in Worcester) or the beloved Clown Shoes (with its Undead Party Crasher, an American Imperial Stout). To sample the regional beers as well as any number of global options, go to beer bars like Sunset Grill & Tap in Allston (with 380 microbrews and 113 taps) or Meadhall in Cambridge, which has more than 100 taps and each beer gets its own style of glass. The people-watching is good at both spots, too: Boston ranked at in the top 10 for smart (if rather snobby) locals.

© Muskopf Photography, LLC / Alamy

America’s 20 Best Cities for Beer Lovers

How do you tell a beer tourist from a wine tourist? One of them is much more likely to look out the windows of a tasting room.

“Wineries are as much about the beauty of the landscape as the wine,” suggests Sairey Gernes, a beer-tasting enthusiast who’s also the founder of Minneapolis-based underwear retailer Urban Undercover. “But I love the atmosphere
 and culture inside the breweries. Breweries are about the people—a lot of artistic
 people, entrepreneurs, go-getters—and the beer. They’re different experiences, but equally enjoyable.”

Whether they came for brewery tours, taproom tastings or just to fill their growlers, Travel + Leisure readers clearly enjoy beer tourism, even if it’s from a windowless warehouse. As part of this year’s America’s Favorite Cities 
survey, readers ranked 38 metro area on categories like fine dining, live music, pizza, and burgers, all of which lend themselves to another survey category: locally-made craft beer. Some of the top 20 beer cities have brewing histories that predate Prohibition, but many are still finding their own flavor—literally—using local ingredients like pecans, bourbon barrels, or even frozen lemonade. Others offer quirky settings and backstories: one city brewery came out of a weekly Bible study group; another offers regular yoga classes inside the taproom.

“I find breweries to be more approachable than wineries,” says beer travel blogger Tim Brady (who also owns Brattleboro, VT, beer bar Whetstone Station)—but he admits that the beer scene has garnered its share of snobs, too. “I proudly call myself a beer geek, not a snob,” he says. “I believe that there’s a time and a place for every beer—be it the cheap macro at a ball game, or the exclusive bourbon-barrel-aged beer at a special one-day release. It’s all about beer enhancing the experience.”

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