The post below this is newer, but for some reason the act of posting erased this entry. Effeng blogger. Anyway, I kinda like this one, so I repasted it.
I've been on a bunch of brewery tours, of both micros and famous international-type beers. I'm here to tell you they're always waaay overrated. When you get right down to it, dumping grain into boiling water and letting it sit for a month...isn't very interesting.
Even the Guinness tour. "You're going to Dublin? OMG! You have to do the Guinness tour!" I can't tell you how many seasoned world travellers gushed about the freakin' Guinness tour. As if Arthur Guinness himself would take me, along with seven other lucky winners, around the factory in a little boat down a black-and-cream river of stout. And, one by one, each other lucky winner would do something verboten to fuck it up, and small rhyming freaks would cart them away, until it was just me and my Grandpa at the top of the brewery.
Turns out, it's a self-guided tour through the former brewery, past a bunch of old barrels and videos about how Guinness is made. The tour culminates nicely in a round glass room high atop the building, where they give you one lousy freakin' pint of Guinness, and then "hey, me boyo, why dont you hurry yer arse out of here so the next wave of American tourists has a place to stand?"
As you can imagine, touring a microbrewery is even less interesting. Usually, you're "touring" a space the size of a small apartment, while an irritated guy whose job it is to make beer, not conduct customer relations activities, points at the fermenter and says "that's the fermenter, where the beer ferments."
I guess what I'm trying to say is a brewery is like your hot neighbor's panty drawer. It's nice to see the panties serving their inteded consumer function of being removed in your presence, but much less interesting to see them just sitting, bunched up, in a drawer.
Unless you're really into that sort of thing.