Getting a taste of local flavors is a must when you go somewhere new, and many travelers are turning their attention to local brews and booze, adding craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries to their itineraries. Going to local distilleries gives visitors unique insight into how liquor is made (with processes steeped in tradition and history), and who doesn't love tasting their way through well-crafted spirits?
Take, for example, Garrison Brothers Distillery, a beloved bourbon distillery in Texas Hill Country. The intense Texas heat leaves a distinct impression on the barrel-aged bourbon whiskey, creating a unique spirit that's rooted in the local environment. Or, consider Castle & Key, a once-abandoned Kentucky distillery with a fascinating history and a range of liquors, including gin, vodka, and whiskey. Of course, it's not just the spirits that attract visitors — according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, more distilleries are designing experiences with tourism in mind, and visitors can learn more about local culture and history while they taste. Get to know Maryland rye whiskey at Sagamore Spirit Distillery with a guided tasting or whiskey cocktail class. You can even learn how to craft the perfect old fashioned here.
Yelp generated a list of the top distilleries in the United States for Travel + Leisure, with Yelp trend expert, Tara Lewis, noting, "Breweries and wineries are often top of mind for Yelpers looking for a tasting experience, but local distilleries offer an extra kick to try locally made spirits."
Here are the top 25 distilleries in the U.S., according to Yelp.
Methodology: This is an all-time list of the best distilleries in the U.S., according to Yelp. Yelp identified businesses in the distillery category, then ranked those spots using a number of factors, including the total volume and ratings of reviews. We included only three businesses per state for geographic diversity. When available, all businesses on this list have a passing health score as of Jan. 11, 2021.
Some distilleries may have limited offerings or restricted hours amid the coronavirus pandemic, so be sure to check ahead before you plan your trip. Of course, if you'd like to support these distilleries in the meantime, you can purchase many of their spirits online.
1. Castle & Key in Frankfort, Kentucky
2. Napa Valley Distillery in Napa, California
3. Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey in Denver, Colorado
4. MurLarkey in Bristow, Virginia
5. Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky
6. Kalifornia Distilleries in Temecula, California
7. Dragon Distillery in Frederick, Maryland
8. Immortal Spirits & Distilling Company in Medford, Oregon
9. Elkins Distilling Co. in Ester Park, Colorado
10. Desert Door in Driftwood, Texas
11. Ko Hana Distillers in Kunia, Hawaii
12. Sagamore Spirit Distillery in Baltimore, Maryland
13. St. Augustine Distillery in St. Augustine, Florida
14. Hawaii Sea Spirits Organic Farm and Distillery in Kula, Hawaii
15. Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, Texas
16. Amalga Distillery in Juneau, Alaska
17. Leiper's Fork Distillery in Franklin, Tennessee
18. You & Yours Distilling Co. in San Diego, California
19. Angel's Envy in Louisville, Kentucky
20. Ghost Coast Distillery in Savannah, Georgia
21. Edwards Ridge Distillery in San Antonio, Texas
22. Chattanooga Whiskey in Chattanooga, Tennessee
23. McClintock Distilling in Frederick, Maryland
24. GrandTen Distilling in Boston, Massachusetts
25. Bently Heritage Estate Distillery in Minden, Nevada
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