What’s Brewing at Hotels?

Posted June 19, 2018 5:25 p.m. EDT

Today’s trendiest hotel amenity is an operational brewery or distillery on site, and it means that guests won’t have to worry about a designated driver after a flight of craft beers or carefully distilled whiskey.

Following the path blazed by winery inns and microbrewery hotels like McMenamins, a chain of hotels in Oregon, a new crop of U.S. hotels offers not just a comfortable bed and a leisurely stay, but also adult beverages you can’t get anywhere else.

The Source Hotel in Denver features a branch of New Belgium Brewing devoted to small batch and sour beers just off the lobby. Guests of the 100-room hotel, located at the Source food hall and market in the River North district, will receive a freshly tapped glass of beer at check-in and can order beer flights from room service. Brews aging in barrels will share the hotel rooftop with a cantilevered pool and a restaurant featuring beer-paired dishes.

Another big player in the craft beer business, Stone Brewing of Escondido, California, plans to begin construction of the Stone Brewing Hotel across the street from its brewery and its Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurant, retail and beer garden complex. The hotel is expected to add 99 rooms and three bars to the rest of the company’s attractions, all located about 30 miles north of San Diego.

For fans of craft spirits, the 1927-vintage Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia, reopened in March after a four-year, nearly $85 million renovation that included adding a working distillery. Tarnished Truth Distilling Co. makes bourbon, rye and vodka at the 85-room grand hotel and supplies its spirits to hotel bars, including the Hunt Room, which was said to serve bootleg drinks during Prohibition.

The distillery “became a homage to the history of the Cavalier,” said Mike Woodhead, a vice president of marketing for Gold Key|PHR, which owns the Cavalier Hotel. “When the hotel first opened in 1927 it was surrounded by places to get illegal whiskey.”

The historic hotel follows the 2015 opening of the boutique Distillery Inn from Marble Distilling Co. in Carbondale, Colorado, about 30 miles from Aspen, where guests can curl up by the fireplaces in its five rooms with housemade rye whiskey and toast iconic Mount Sopris.