Summer might be almost over, but if you’re looking for that one last vacation, may we suggest making it the most refreshing kind — a beer-cation.
Beer-cations are those in which the breweries, not the city sights, are the destination, and with places from San Diego to Sonoma littered with a weekend’s worth of award-winning beers all crawling (or at least Ubering) distance from one another, California’s beer towns have long been an easy Angeleno getaway.
But what if you didn’t have to find a designated driver back to a crappy motel room at the end of your day-drinking explorations? What if the brewery itself was also a classy hotel with growlers of more beer delivered as room service?
That’s the growing trend around the country, with Rogue Farms’ Hop Inn in Oregon and various East Coast small-town BBBs (brewery bed and breakfasts) leading the way. And it’s just landed in California.
San Diego’s Stone Brewing Company — already known for its sprawling Stone Bistro and World Gardens property and world dominance in the hoppy-beer realm — announced last week that it was partnering with Untitled Hospitality to construct and operate the 99-room Stone Hotel next door to its flagship Escondido production facility.
The $26 million project, which will open in 2018, sits on 13 acres and will feature three bars, a ballroom, a rooftop garden and an outdoor event space so you can get married or throw your own keggers in the comfort of a plush craft beer–centered space. It’s by far the largest entry into the hotel space for a brewery and it may change the expectations for beer tourists everywhere.
If you can’t wait two years to spend the night at a brewery, head to SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo, which just reopened around the corner from its iconic original location with a multipurpose brewery, restaurant and music venue replete with Airbnb-style apartment rentals nestled above.
Dubbed SLO Brew Lofts, the plush brick-lined apartments are more vacation home than hotel, with decked-out one-, two- and three-bedroom units that have views of the historic mission and the college town’s adorable downtown. Room service is available from the brewpub below, natch, and the Knitting Factory is helping book the venue (SLO Brew Rock), meaning that a beer-cation can easily be a worthy music-cation, too.
For a Los Angeles–based beer-cation, there’s always the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, which in addition to being an architectural wonder with really fun-to-ride exterior elevators, is home to Bonaventure Brewing Company, a classic brewpub nestled on its fourth-floor pool deck.