On my recent adventure across these great United States my cousin and I made sure to try every local beer we could in each destination we stopped for the night. In Austin, TX it was Shiner Bock, which I’ve had before, but of course still love. The Shiner Bocks flowed that night. The next stop was New Orleans, and we tasted the delectable Abita Beer. For the evening I stuck with the Jockamo IPA, which is named for the tribes of dancing, singing, chanting “Mardi Gras Indians” who have marched in New Orleans for over 250 years. It was a perfectly hopped, amber brew with tons of taste, especially while walking the streets of N.O. during the evening with one or five in my hand. Next up was Big River Brew in Chattanooga, TN, which is where we got our first taste of the craft beer sampler on the trip (seen below, which was $6 for seven 4oz beers).

The second to last beer on the right was my favorite. It’s called Sweet Magnolia Brown Ale and is a great blend of British crystal and chocolate malts with Mount Hood hops adding in the right mix of spice. It’s won a World Beer Cup Gold Medal, enough said.

That's what their beer sampler looks like all finished...

That's what Big River Brew's beer sampler looks like all finished...

Finally it was time for Gettysburg’s Appalachian Brewing Company for our last stop. Talk about some damn good beer. Their beer sampler, before it decimated us, can be seen above.

My favorite one of these was the Susquehanna Stout, which was a very dark brown brew with a smooth dry roasted taste typical of an Irish Dry Stout. The best brew they had though was their specialty Black IPA, which wasn’t available in the sampler, but was an ideal blend of a stout and an IPA (I had no idea such a tasty beer even existed). I brought home a growler of it for my pops, and he finished it within two days.

Craft beers and their samplers in the places they are brewed are the way to go on any road trip. Sampling the local flavors (food, beer, and women) are the only way I will ever travel again.