• Cheers to 25 years: Celebrate with Us!
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Dismiss
Norwegian Escape vs. Anthem of the Seas
Best Ships for a Craft Beer Cruise
Craft Beer Celebration (Photo: qwasder1987/Shutterstock)

Best Ships for a Craft Beer Cruise

Best Ships for a Craft Beer Cruise
Craft Beer Celebration (Photo: qwasder1987/Shutterstock)
Brittany Chrusciel
Contributor
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

The shift from mass-market domestic beer to the small-batch suds available from craft breweries has finally made it out to sea. This makes sense; Americans alone consume billions of gallons of beer each year, and while on vacation, one might be inclined to drink a bit more than average.

The variety -- not to mention quality -- of craft beer appeals to the light beer drinker, the adventurous imbiber and the person who appreciates local flavors. The following cruise ships and cruise lines have made a serious effort to provide top-notch craft beer onboard, from partnerships with homeport-based breweries to their own kegs made right on the ship. If you're a beer-lover looking for a cruise, drink in these best cruises for craft beer.

Norwegian Bliss & Norwegian Escape

Norwegian Bliss District Brew House (Photo: Cruise Critic)

With the debut of its largest ships to date, Norwegian Cruise Line has also rolled out a major partnership with Miami-based Wynwood Brewing Company by developing District Brew House. Powered by the Brignoni family who started Wynwood Brewing, the bar on Bliss and Escape offers 24 rotating beers on tap (from Magic Hat, Brooklyn and Angry Orchard hard cider to Left Hand Milk Stout and others we haven't even heard of), as well as 50 different types of bottled beer. Find your favorite tap from terra firma, or try something completely new: La Rubia Blonde Ale is inspired by the founder's mother, and Pop's Porter is an award-winning robust porter named after the founder's father, "Pops." (It's a family affair.) On Bliss, a partnership with M.I.A. Beer Company adds to the lineup. District Ale is exclusive to Escape, brewed just for the ship -- can't get any more craft than that.


Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox's Gastrobar (Photo: Cruise Critic)

These is only one ship in the Celebrity fleet that has Craft Social, a craft beer lounge. With about 40 brews and bottles on hand, there's a good chance you'll find something to wash down their menu of upscale pub food with. Circle the globe at Craft Social with a glass of Delirium Tremens from Belgium, Fuller's London Pride from the U.K., La Fin Du Monde from Canada, or a good ol' Sam Adams or Brooklyn ale. Once per sailing you might notice half off all beers, which makes for a great value. Flat-screen TVs can be found around the darkly lit and comfortable lounge space, for catching the game over a pint.

Featured Videos

BOLT: We Try Carnival Mardi Gras' Roller Coaster at Sea

BOLT: We Try Carnival Mardi Gras' Roller Coaster at Sea

NCL's Restart: What It's Like On The First Norwegian Cruise Ship Back in 16 Months

NCL's Restart: What It's Like On The First Norwegian Cruise Ship Back in 16 Months

Cruise Critic and JJ Cruise : Our Experience Onboard Celebrity Edge (June 2021)

Cruise Critic and JJ Cruise : Our Experience Onboard Celebrity Edge (June 2021)

Our Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Experience: March 2020 vs. July 2021

Our Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Experience: March 2020 vs. July 2021

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Q&A with Celebrity Cruises' Captain Kate McCue (2021)

Q&A with Celebrity Cruises' Captain Kate McCue (2021)

Back on Celebrity Silhouette: Here's What It's Like On One Of Our Favorite Ships 15 Months Later

Back on Celebrity Silhouette: Here's What It's Like On One Of Our Favorite Ships 15 Months Later

Cruise Critic | EatSleepCruise: What's It Like Onboard Celebrity Edge?

Cruise Critic | EatSleepCruise: What's It Like Onboard Celebrity Edge?

Celebrity Millennium -- Video Tour & Ship Review (2021)

Celebrity Millennium -- Video Tour & Ship Review (2021)

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of The Magic Carpet

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of The Magic Carpet

Q&A: Cruisers and Crew Chat About The Joy of Cruising's Return

Q&A: Cruisers and Crew Chat About The Joy of Cruising's Return

Celebrity Apex -- Eden

Celebrity Apex -- Eden

Celebrity Apex -- The Retreat

Celebrity Apex -- The Retreat

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of the Infinite Veranda Cabin

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of the Infinite Veranda Cabin

Q&A with Celebrity Apex's Cruise Director

Q&A with Celebrity Apex's Cruise Director

Celebrity Apex -- Pools & Resort Deck

Celebrity Apex -- Pools & Resort Deck

Celebrity Apex -- Embarkation Process (2021)

Celebrity Apex -- Embarkation Process (2021)

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour - Ship Exterior

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour - Ship Exterior

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!

LIVE Interview with Frank Del Rio, NCLH President and CEO, About Company's "Safe to Sail" Campaign

LIVE Interview with Frank Del Rio, NCLH President and CEO, About Company's "Safe to Sail" Campaign

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Coin Ceremony For Celebrity Cruises' New Ship, Celebrity Beyond

Coin Ceremony For Celebrity Cruises' New Ship, Celebrity Beyond

Martini Bar Bartender Pours 15 Martinis at Once on Celebrity Cruises

Martini Bar Bartender Pours 15 Martinis at Once on Celebrity Cruises

Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

How to Make a Towel Animals Swans, Dogs and Elephants

How to Make a Towel Animals Swans, Dogs and Elephants

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make Towel Swans

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make Towel Swans

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Dog

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Dog

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Elephant

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Elephant

Bolt - Top Deck Roller-Coaster at Sea on Carnival Mardi Gras

Bolt - Top Deck Roller-Coaster at Sea on Carnival Mardi Gras

Silver Cove At Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay

Silver Cove At Norwegian Cruise Line's Great Stirrup Cay

Norwegian Encore - Hull Art Reveal - Artist Eduardo Arranz Bravo

Norwegian Encore - Hull Art Reveal - Artist Eduardo Arranz Bravo

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Cruise Critic Tours Celebrity Edge

Cruise Critic Tours Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Edge First Look: 3 Revolutionary Dining Experiences

Celebrity Edge First Look: 3 Revolutionary Dining Experiences

Celebrity Edge Sneak Peek: Why You Should Be Excited About Celebrity Cruises' Newest Ship

Celebrity Edge Sneak Peek: Why You Should Be Excited About Celebrity Cruises' Newest Ship

Celebrity Edge Shipyard Hyperlapse Tour

Celebrity Edge Shipyard Hyperlapse Tour

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Norwegian Bliss Virtual Tour - Why You Should Be Excited About Norwegian's Newest Ship

Norwegian Bliss Virtual Tour - Why You Should Be Excited About Norwegian's Newest Ship

How To Make Carnival Cruise Line's Famous Warm Chocolate Melting Cake - Video

How To Make Carnival Cruise Line's Famous Warm Chocolate Melting Cake - Video

What’s New On Celebrity Silhouette? - Video Tour

What’s New On Celebrity Silhouette? - Video Tour

Shaquille "Shaq" O'neal Named Chief Fun Officer Of Carnival Cruise Line

Shaquille "Shaq" O'neal Named Chief Fun Officer Of Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line's "Choose Fun" Commercial

Carnival Cruise Line's "Choose Fun" Commercial

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Carnival Splendor Photo Tour

Carnival Splendor Photo Tour

Norwegian Breakaway Photo Tour

Norwegian Breakaway Photo Tour

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Carnival Conquest Photo Tour

Carnival Conquest Photo Tour

Carnival Pride Photo Tour

Carnival Pride Photo Tour

Carnival Dream Photo Tour

Carnival Dream Photo Tour

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

Carnival Sunshine Photo Tour

Carnival Sunshine Photo Tour

The Waterfront On Norwegian Cruise Line - Video

The Waterfront On Norwegian Cruise Line - Video

Carnival Breeze Photo Tour

Carnival Breeze Photo Tour

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

Norwegian Getaway Photo Tour

Norwegian Getaway Photo Tour

Inside Look: The Haven On Norwegian Cruise Line

Inside Look: The Haven On Norwegian Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Photo Tour

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Photo Tour

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Photo Tour of Carnival Liberty

Photo Tour of Carnival Liberty

5 Best Restaurants for Free Eats on Carnival Sunshine

5 Best Restaurants for Free Eats on Carnival Sunshine

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Photo Tour of Celebrity Reflection

Photo Tour of Celebrity Reflection

Norwegian Escape's Ropes Course - Are You Brave Enough?

Norwegian Escape's Ropes Course - Are You Brave Enough?

Inside Look at Norwegian Sky In Cuba

Inside Look at Norwegian Sky In Cuba

Norwegian Escape Attractions - 7 Free Things You Have To Try - Video Tour

Norwegian Escape Attractions - 7 Free Things You Have To Try - Video Tour

4 Exclusive Spots On Norwegian Escape - Video Tour

4 Exclusive Spots On Norwegian Escape - Video Tour

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Norwegian Escape Photo Tour

Norwegian Escape Photo Tour

Photo Tour of Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

Photo Tour of Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

SkyRide On Carnival Vista: Cruise Critic Tries It

SkyRide On Carnival Vista: Cruise Critic Tries It

Carnival Vista Top Deck Attractions

Carnival Vista Top Deck Attractions

Behind the Scenes at CSMART - Carnival's Arison Maritime Training Center

Behind the Scenes at CSMART - Carnival's Arison Maritime Training Center

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Cruise Pier Runners In Cozumel -- Carnival Liberty

Cruise Pier Runners In Cozumel -- Carnival Liberty

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Cruise Critic Quick Chat With Carnival CEO Arnold Donald

Cruise Critic Quick Chat With Carnival CEO Arnold Donald

Norwegian Breakaway Video Tour (2013)

Norwegian Breakaway Video Tour (2013)

Celebrity Silhouette's Conveyance (2011)

Celebrity Silhouette's Conveyance (2011)

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour -- Main Dining Room (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour -- Main Dining Room (2009)


Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Playmakers Sports Bar livened up the onboard beer game when it debuted on Symphony of the Seas. Featuring 31 flat-screen TVs playing headlining sports matches, table games and gastropub grub, Playmakers serves as "barcade" blending entertainment with a variety of craft beers on tap, like Stone IPA or Hop Valley lager. Choose from domestic, international, ciders and drafts -- pitchers and flights are also on hand. On Oasis-class ships (Symphony), it's located along the Boardwalk with outdoor seating. Expect a lively atmosphere on any ship it's on.


Carnival Cruise Line Fleet

Carnival's Sunshine RedFrog Pub (Photo Cruise Critic)

Arguably the frontrunner in the craft beer crusade, Carnival has long embraced the importance of a cold one. RedFrog Pub debuted on Carnival Magic in 2011, with its own private-label draft beer: ThirstyFrog Red. With the launch of Carnival Vista, the cruise line took craft up a notch with a working brewery right onboard the ship as part of a next-generation RedFrog Pub. (Tabletop taps let you pour your own beer.) A partnership with Miami-based Concrete Beach Brewery introduced three new original brews to Vista: ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin' IPA, ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat and FriskyFrog Java Stout. In 2018, Carnival Horizon debuted with the first-ever Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse | Brewhouse, helmed by the celebrity chef long known on Carnival for his burgers.The venue has its very own brewmaster, with four rotating brews made right onboard. Tours of the mini-brewery are available.

Craft beer and microbrews are served across the fleet, varying by itinerary. Expect cans of Tampa-based Cigar City on any Florida-homeported ship. Likewise, Baltimore-based Heavy Seas Beer ise served on any Carnival cruise sailing out of Charm City. The list goes on: Shiner Bock in Galveston, Abita in New Orleans, and even local beer from Hawaii and Alaska with a Bikini Blonde or Alaskan Amber.


Beer Theme Cruises

Craft Beer (Photo: MaxyM/Shutterstock)

Any ship can instantly become a haven for craft beer aficionados when it's hosting beer-themed cruises. River cruise lines have really embraced the pairing of sailing and sipping with a number of riverboats offering regional brews as you cruise past their locales. AmaWaterways has hosted holiday/beer theme cruise with tastings, lectures about technique and a beer pairing dinner. Avalon Waterways' theme cruises provide brewery tours, tastings, enrichment and more. Meanwhile, Un-Cruise departs round trip from Seattle, exploring coastal Washington and visiting iconic local breweries along the way.

Updated January 08, 2020

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Silversea Cruise News: Live From Silver Moon, First Impressions of the Brand-New Luxury Cruise Ship
5
Live From Carnival's Mardi Gras: We Try BOLT, the First Roller Coaster at Sea
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.