When I was reaching college age in western Massachusetts, there was a legendary beer my friends and I longed for. It was called Coors, it didn’t ship east of the Rockies they said, and its unavailability made it instantly great in my mind. Then I went to college in Oklahoma where Coors was the everyday beer. And my interest faded quickly.
There’s a similar situation today with craft beers that are sold only locally or regionally. With one difference, of course - they are usually excellent. But how do you get your hands on them? Which is why beer lovers on business trips to certain cities have been known to bring an empty suitcase along. And increasingly, airports have noticed. More of them are selling craft beer to travellers on their way home.
A kiosk selling Colorado-produced craft beer (and wine and spirits) recently opened at Denver International Airport. At the Portland airport, travellers can buy not just bottles but also growlers of local beer. Craft beer to go is also for sale at various other airports including Anchorage, Alaska.
As for drinking on site, craft beer’s availability at airport bars has been exploding. Stone has their own bar at San Diego International. Both Rogue and Laurelwood have outposts at Portland International. New Belgium’s pouring pints at DIA. There’s DuClaw at BWI in Baltimore, Harpoon at Logan in Boston, Great Lakes in Cleveland. At Tampa International, Cigar City brews on site. And the list gets longer every day. Here are a few compilations:
And this is a good opportunity to repeat my key rule of craft beer: drink local. It’s just like food. Don’t order the steak in Maine when there’s lobster available. Find out what local water and traditions can create in a beer. Wherever you go.
And, of course, bring home as much as you can. It’s nice to open the fridge and serve a friend something he or she has only heard of. Consider it the 21st century version of my high school Coors obsession.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.