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Monday, November 2, 2015

The Perfect "Top Breweries" Road Trip Runs Right Through St. Louis

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 11:28 AM

  • Photo by Steve Truesdell

Do you want to visit all the best craft breweries in the U.S. in the most efficient road trip possible? There's a map for that — and it'll send you right through St. Louis. Because, yes, science.

Remember that computer scientist named Randy Olson who designed the optimal road trip across the U.S. using Google maps and algorithms? His groundbreaking idea inspired writer Nathan Yau, who's now used the same algorithm to chart out a map that will take you to 70 of the top breweries in the nation, as ranked by no less an authority than RateBeer. And along the way, you can visit many, many more craft beer producers.

Naturally, the trip includes a swing through St. Louis, with stops at local powerhouses Perennial Artisan Ales and Side Project. 

The map shows beer-heavy routes with a thicker than average line. See the nice thick spots in and around St. Louis?

click to enlarge Click in for a bigger view. - IMAGE VIA

Now, this trip is not for the faint-hearted. Per Yau,

Taking the route above, a trip to 70 breweries, you get about 197 hours of drive time across 12,299 miles. You stop in 28 states and pass through a total of 40. You have to backtrack some to get to the Michigan breweries, but if you're gonna do this, you might was well do it right.

If your only goal is to sample the beers at each of the top breweries, it takes you about 20 days. This figures in a couple of hours at each stop to sample and metabolize (so you don't drive drunk), plus driving time in between each place. This assumes staying near one of the 70 breweries each night....  When you take into account opening times and more importantly, when each brewery is closed, it likely takes a bit longer.

So, not necessarily easy, but really cool, right? And anyone already in St. Louis has a head start. You could mosey on over to Perennial and Side Project and cross two off your list without even venturing across 270. The rest of it, surely, will be a piece of cake.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at

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