If you’re looking for an epic cross-country road trip, it doesn’t get much better than Route 66. This iconic road offers something for just about everybody to see and do along the way.
While roadside attractions have dotted the route for several decades, the road has a growing reputation for having some of the best breweries in the country.
Today, we’re sharing the best breweries along Route 66 that you will want to experience while traveling. Buckle your seatbelt, and let’s get started.
About Route 66
Route 66 is one of the most famous highways in the United States. The highway originally stretched for 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles and was the United State’s first all-weather highway, paved in 1926.
You’ll find hundreds of mom-and-pop cafes, motels, gas stations, and many other tourist attractions along this route. There’s no shortage of spots to grab Route 66 memorabilia.
In the late 1950s, interstate travel replaced the slower-paced highway roads. In 1984 the final stretch of the freeway running along Route 66 was completed. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials decommissioned the highway and it eventually received the designation of Historic Route 66.
The decommissioning of Route 66 was more than just a name change. With fewer travelers passing through the small towns, mom-and-pop businesses closed up shop. While the route may look different and have fewer businesses today, it’s sure to live on as generations of travelers stop to experience life at a slower pace.
Is Route 66 Still Drivable?
While you can drive much of the original Route 66, you can’t take the original road in its entirety. You’ll need to go alongside the route in some places where the original road has not been maintained. When the official route ends, you’ll simply jump on frontage roads or highways before jumping back onto the historic Route 66 when it picks back up.
Plan out your complete drive to know where you’ll need to take modern roads. You’ll also need to know where you can get back on the original Route 66.
How Long Does It Take to Drive Route 66?
Route 66 is not a route you speed through just trying to get to your destination; Route 66 is all about the journey. At a minimum, you should plan to spend three weeks exploring the route in its entirety.
Those that want to take it all in can easily spend the entire summer navigating Route 66. To best experience this historic highway, make numerous pit stops and enjoy the fun and even quirky finds along the way.
You’ll need to find some places to stay overnight on your road trip, and we recommend these 7 best motels on Route 66.
Drink Your Way Through Route 66 (Best Breweries on the Road)
Aside from the diverse scenery, one of the best parts of driving Route 66 is discovering hometown favorites. Some of the best stops you’ll make include grabbing a bite to eat or sitting down with a cold drink after an adventurous day.
Join us as we look at just a few of the great breweries you’ll find along this famous highway.
DESTIHL Brewery (Normal, IL)
DESTIHL Brewery is the perfect stop to get you excited for your Route 66 tour. You’ll find a rich history, great brews, and a fun environment here.
It has quite an impressive production as it can produce up to 3.1 million gallons of beer a year and can bottle up to 6,000 cans an hour.
DESTIHL Brewery recently renovated its bar to include massive windows overlooking the patio. The renovation also includes a new bar and dining area with additional seating.
It has plenty of space for large groups to gather and enjoy its American-inspired pub menu, house cocktails, and the many local spirits.
Lost Signal Brewing (Springfield, Mo.)
Lost Signal Brewing is a unique brewery located in Downtown Springfield, Mo. It maintains the building formerly used by KICK-Radio.
Try one of their seasonal craft beers, a fruity mimosa, or award-winning BBQ. It has a family and pet-friendly atmosphere where you can fill your belly and enjoy each other’s company.
For those guests over 21, their tap list includes specialties like Smoked Pecan Porter, Lost Signal Lager, Tropical Saison, and several others.
You can also find cocktails, canned cocktails, and a selection of wines and ciders. Lost Signal Brewing is a popular place to stop for locals and those passing through town.
Marshall Brewing Company (Tulsa, Okla.)
Marshall Brewing Company (MBC) in Tulsa, Okla., uses a highly-trained and educated staff to “bring the art, quality, and enjoyment of craft brewing to Oklahoma.”
The brewery opened in 2008 with a full-scale production model, unlike anything Tulsa had seen at the time. The owners entered the political arena and pushed for legislative changes to allow the company to offer public tours and samples.
Several flagship beers are available year-round, including their popular Atlas IPA, Sundown Wheat, and This Land Lager. You’ll also find an army of seasonal beverages that include their Grand Lake Light, Big Jamoke, and several others. And stop by their Tap Room to treat your taste buds.
Big Texan Brewery (Amarillo, Texas)
While many know The Big Texan for their massive 72-oz steak challenge, it’s important to know that they offer much more than massive meats.
The Big Texan Brewery is one of the top 10 places to have a beer by Draft Magazine. They offer a “Real Texas” beer experience where guests can sample the deliciousness.
Some of their popular beverages are the Pecan Porter, Rattlesnake IPA, and Bomb City Rock. Order a “Big Texans” beer tray if you’re up for the challenge.
You can sample their three popular beers and the eight other drinks on their menu. It’s worth stopping for a drink or testing your stomach’s limits against their massive steaks.
Santa Fe Brewing (Santa Fe, N.M.)
Santa Fe Brewing is an oasis in the middle of the desert. It has a lush and grassy beer garden filled with trees, which stands out from the brown landscape.
The Beer Hall sits at the company’s headquarters. You can enjoy a mountain view with 27 different beers, cider, wine, and more.
Santa Fe Brewing started in 1988. However, they kicked things up a notch and took their business to a new level in the 2000s when they moved into a 13,000-sq-ft facility. They produce over 40,000 barrels of beer each year, 275 cans a minute, and are the number one selling craft beer in New Mexico.
Mother Road Brewing Co. (Flagstaff, AZ)
Mother Road Brewing Co. began in 2011 and has grown to be the third-largest independent craft brewer in Arizona. Their goal is to be “a place where everyone is welcome, where we connect and build relationships over our incredible craft beers.”
The brewery’s name comes from John Steinbeck’s nickname for the iconic Route 66 road as “The Mother Road” in the classic novel “The Grapes of Wrath.”
You’ll find fun beers to try like Tower Station, Limited Visibility, Daily Driver, and Conserve & Protect. They make incredible beer and support local charities to help conserve and protect the state’s 800 wildlife species. Care for the environment or enjoy a great beer at Mother Road Brewing Co. along Route 66.
Santa Monica Brew Works (Santa Monica, CA)
You can start or end your Route 66 trip at Santa Monica Brew Works. This is the first and only brewery in Santa Monica. Their target audience is those individuals who “live the beach brewed lifestyle.”
This independent craft brewery began in 2014 and is fun for the whole family, pets included. However, after 8 p.m., guests must be over 21.
They put effort into crafting beers and creating an aesthetically pleasing product. Their sleek cans look as good as they taste.
Their 310 California Blonde Ale, Inclined IPA, Citrus Witbier, and Head in the Clouds Juicy Double IPA are some of their delicious and popular beverages. Grab a drink and a bite to eat from one of the local food trucks and enjoy the atmosphere.
Get Your Kicks and Booze on Route 66
As you can see, Route 66 offers something for all of your senses. The taste and smells from a brewery can be equally as pleasing as the landscapes along the highway.
Stopping at one of the many breweries along the route allows you to slow the pace and take in all around you. If you plan to make this iconic trip, add some of these breweries to your itinerary.
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