Groupon: Exploring Craft Beer on a Budget

Craft beer fanatics rejoice, there are a slew of options for checking out your favorite brews for less. As local breweries pop up across the country, many of us have fallen for the lure of craft beer and supporting local business. From happy hours to free tastings, the list continues in tips and tricks for indulging in the world of fine beer.

1. Volunteer to Give Back

Search your local neighborhood event pages for festivals in your city offering beer pouring. Offering to volunteer at a beer festival or any festival offer vivations is not only an excellent way to meet new people, but an opportunity to learn the art of the pour. Plus, the hundreds or thousands of fellow event attendees will be like-minded beer enthusiasts who also share your refined taste. Although volunteers are generally swapped around from one station to the next depending on volunteer capacity, by volunteering you will usually gain free admission to events and free beer not to mention sampling a selection of craft beer if you’re running the spicket. Also, the pro-bono work can also come with added premiums like t-shirts and other promotional event gear. A quick online search for festival volunteer options can be your ticket to a free drink or two.

2. Follow Your Favorite Breweries on Social Media

Keep an eye out for happy hour specials at breweries near you. To catch premium specials, follow your favorite spots on social media to keep up with promotions and highlighted deals. Often times breweries will post happy hour specials or events and offerings to bring in larger crowds and raise their brand awareness in the community. These opportunities can range from half-off half-pints for a steal or reduced prices on flights. Instead of drinks at dinner, hit a happy hour and order your meal separately. Or if you’re looking to pinch pennies, meet up with friends for half priced drinks and opt for a home cooked meal.

3. Sign Up for a Brewery Tour

Arrange for you and your crew to attend a brewery tour. More and more breweries are opening their back rooms to tours to educate craft beer lovers on the process of the perfect brew. Tour the brewery back rooms for a look at their huge vats of beer and impressive machines as you walk through the process from grain to bottling. Some tours are even offered without cost, but it would be encouraged to research the tour company or individual brewery ahead of time to reserve your tickets if need be. Multi-brewery tours have also seen recent increases in popularity given their novelty and built-in transportation from each site. Each stop will generally last no more than an hour with a tour and tasting included. Normally taste tickets are included in the boozey tour but be sure to look at how much sampling will be included and compare prices for your best deal.

4. Visit Tasting Rooms

Interested in the behind-the-scenes process of crafting beer in a more private setting? Jump the tour crowd, and head straight to your brewery of choice to see if they offer general tasting or sampling options. Many breweries will offer tasting rooms or a selection of free samples especially for breweries in densely populated upcoming towns and cities. Create a list of popular breweries you would be interested in checking out, perhaps add breweries you have yet to try with a combination of brews you bought before but have not been to their physical brewing spot. Take a short stop at each place and keep track of your favorite samples from each spot. Tasting rooms are a fun way to learn about the process if you would like to skip out on the machinery while still savoring the handiwork. As another method for more bang for your buck, sample a few options to choose the best beer of the bunch before offering your wallet. This way you can be certain that the new IPA on the menu is to your liking, and if it’s not, at least you tried it before committing your dollars to the entire glass.

5. Invest in a Growler

Growlers are large, reusable glass jugs fit for holding your favorite brew. Growlers are growing in popularity due in part to their eco-friendly nature, but also due to an increasing amount of breweries offering deals on craft beer when you opt for a refillable growler. The savings can start to add up even though you would need to pay the initial, often steep price for the growler. However, the quantity of the growler will prove to outweigh the amount of beer in your everyday six pack for a fraction of the cost. Stop by your local brewery to ask about growler options, if the cost doesn’t sway you, reducing your carbon footprint may.