You can learn a lot when your dentist runs a half-hour late. Especially if you’re brave enough to reach for that old, crusty copy of Bicycling magazine — the one with the most awesome beer + bike rides (or bike + beer rides, depending on your priorities) in the country.
Just pick a direction, your favorite bottle opener and go.
Ride: Start at Summit Brewing Company in St. Paul, the Twin Cities’ most venerable brewery, and ride to their trendiest, Surly Brewing Co., just north of Minneapolis.
Terrain: City streets, bike paths, park roads
Try: Summit Extra Pale Ale and Surly Furious
Ride: Hit the dirt in this Pacific Northwest outdoor mecca, home to seven craft breweries. Take a tour with Cog Wild or rent from Sunnyside Sports. At sundown, roll over to the Deschutes Public House as your first stop on a post-ride brewery crawl.
Try: Deschutes Black Butte Porter
San Diego County
Ride: Tour the birthplace of hoppy American IPA. Grab lunch at the Pizza Port in Carlsbad, one of the breweries to champion the style 20 years ago, and end the day at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido.
Try: Pizza Port Wipeout IPA and Stone Ruination IPA
New York City
Ride: Piece together a three-borough bike tour that connects the Queens East River bike path, Central Park, and the bottom of Manhattan, then loops back over the Williamsburg Bridge to the Brooklyn Brewery.
Terrain: Urban bike path
Try: Brooklyn Local 1
Yakima Valley, Washington
Ride: Ride the rolling hills of central Washington in September or early October for a fragrant trip through the world’s second-largest hop-growing region. Then grab lunch and a pint at the Snipes Mountain Microbrewery in Sunnyside.
Terrain: Rural roads
Try: Sunnyside Pale Ale
Ride: Take part in fall’s most popular beer celebration on the Tyranena Oktoberfest Bike Ride. The brewery’s October 1 event offers 25, 50, and 70-mile options—plus tickets for two free beers.
Try: Rocky’s Revenge
(photo: Chris Milliman)