Beer, Pub and Brewery Tours

 

When deciding on a short holiday or tour, it can be hard to choose between soaking up a destination’s culture and going out to have fun and party. If you like beer, you can do both at once. Beer has never been more popular than now, and brewery and pub tours give you an opportunity to enjoy great companionship while discovering an area’s culture and history. Beer festivals and tours are becoming increasingly popular additions to a holiday, especially with groups of friends who travel together. You no longer need to separate your holiday time into culture and entertainment. Beer tours come in many forms, from tasting exotic brews at a small pub to tours of large breweries, or even full scale beer festivals. Whatever you fancy trying, there is something to tickle the taste buds of all beer enthusiasts.

No visit to many of the great cities of the world would be complete without visiting their famous and historic pubs. The culture surrounding pubs is a tradition in many countries and an important part of the social order. Pubs are often community meeting places where all manner of politics, religion and important matters are vigorously debated.

Although you might love beer and have sampled most varieties, you may not have much of an idea about the processes involved and the history behind a manufacturer. Beer and brewing has helped in part to shape many societies across the world. Beer and pub tours can provide a solid history lesson, which is why many tour operators also offer literary pub tours, walking tours and day tours centered around a city’s pub culture. You will also, of course, get to try some great beer and food along the way. Whether you are mad about beer or just enjoy the odd pint, a beer tour or holiday is for you if:

  • You like to try new beers and would like to learn more about the brewing process
  • You enjoy socializing with new people and having a good time
  • You want to experience the atmosphere and traditions of a country or city, including their food and drink
  • Oktoberfest sounds like heaven

You can choose from so many different types of beer tours and holidays: whether you want to take a few days and relax while sipping a new drink in a pub or you want to really learn about how beer is made and the culture and history behind it, making a pub or brewery crawl part of your holiday is the stuff of many a great travel tale.

Wherever you go, have your travel consultant check into organized pub and beer tours as well as find the best areas to sample the local flavor. In either scenario, your agent should be able to find excellent travel opportunities and rates to help simplify your choices. Packaged prices for hotel accommodations and airfares are typically available to travel consultants at discounted rates through tour operators. In addition, your agent will have plenty of resources to help make your time on vacation efficient and well spent.

The many types of beer tours cater to a variety of different needs, budgets and appetites. If you are short on time and want to tour an area, then a simple pub or bar tour where you can sample the local products is a great way to get started. You can organize these tours yourself by doing research, or just strolling from one place to another. Many tour operators provide beer and pub tours on a designated tour route. One of the most famous and legendary of these tours is the Monopoly Pub Tour in London, which allows you to see all the major sites on the London Monopoly board, while sampling local beer products in the UK capital’s most famous drinking establishments.

Many cities in Europe have organized “pub crawls” (“pub” being a shortened form of the term “public house”, indicating a tavern licensed to sell alcohol) that use the atmosphere of the pubs as a way to meet new friends and introduce patrons to new bars. Examples include the FunkyParis pub crawl in Paris and the FunkyRiviera pub crawl in Nice. Amsterdam sports the Ultimate Party pub crawl. Not to be outdone, the Germans have their New Berlin and New Munich Pub Crawls. But the most famous of all the pub crawls may be the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, themed around the haunts of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Brendan Behan. These highly festive occasions are led by professional actors performing the works of the writers in various pub venues around the city.

If you are looking for something with a bit more information regarding the history of beer itself, then taking a brewery tour is a great option. Tours of breweries can be found across the world, providing a behind the scenes look at the beer making process. Whether you want to see how your favorite beer is made or want to try great beer straight from the source, then a brewery tour is the perfect answer. From tours of the massive Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis USA to tiny independent breweries in the UK, Europe or Sydney much can be learned – and tasted!

One of the best examples of a brewery tour is in Belgium at the Brasserie d’Achouffe. This brewery is one of the finest in the world and is best known for its La Chouffe beer, which was once named ‘Best Beer of the 20th Century’. While not all breweries offer beer tours, most of the famous names in the world of beer will offer some sort of tour, usually with a historical briefing on the making of the product followed by a tasting session. Many tours also provide food in the form of a special restaurant or buffet, often with a beer-themed menu. Organizing these tours is relatively simple, and your travel consultant can provide you with information on which brewers offer the tours.

If these tours are not enough to quench your curiosity, one way to combine a holiday with beer is to go to one of the numerous beer festivals around the world. These festivals are a celebration of all things to do with beer and run for days or even weeks. You can soak up the city atmosphere while trying beers from all around the world. You have some really amazing beer festivals to choose from, including the Great British Beer Festival and the Oregon Brewer’s festival. However, the best and largest of all the festivals has to be the ultra-famous Oktoberfest in Munich. This beer extravaganza is truly heaven for all lovers of beer, and with Munich as a backdrop, it doesn’t get much better. The first Oktoberfest occurred in 1810 to honor the marriage of Prince Ludgwig to Princess Therese. If you missed that one, no fear, the celebration is held each year and is one of the premier beer events anywhere.

If you really want to make beer part of your holiday, then take a trip to one of many historic cities that are famous for their beer. These cities not only offer some of the best beer and pubs around, but also give you the opportunity to see wonderful architecture and absorb the city’s culture. One of the best cities to visit is London, with over 6,000 pubs serving a variety of local real ales, plus beers from all around the world. Combine this with stunning architecture and world-class attractions and you have a heady mix for any beer-loving culture vulture.

Other great cities to visit include the Guinness-filled city of Dublin and the historic beer meccas of Prague Munich, and Boston.

Deciding on when and where to go can be a difficult decision, and your decisions will focus on how much of your vacation you want to be centered around beer. If you simply want to go on a few brewery tours or are curious about beer, then negotiating the crowds of Munich during Oktoberfest might not be the best idea. Instead, go where you can experience as little or as much beer culture as you want. Destinations like Dublin, London or Brussels are ideal and permit others in your party to indulge in plenty of other activities like shopping or sightseeing. Ask your travel consultant about “shoulder” and “low season” rates. During off-peak travel times, rates are almost always available at a sizeable discount over high season. The crowds are fewer, the prices better and the atmosphere in many destinations is much more intimate. However, the trade-off in weather and climate may be more than enough for you to decide to do your beer and pub studies during peak travel times.

Although many beer tours will allow younger people on tours of their facilities, there are often prohibitions on the consumption of any alcohol by persons under the age of 18. Also, be aware that while the US has a higher drinking age than most of Europe, this is not universally the case. Generally, holidays centered on beer festivals are only suitable for adults. If you intend on visiting breweries and pubs and you have children, definitely ask your travel agent to help you consider the proper logistics for your visit.

Need we suggest to a worldly person such as yourself that one of the first considerations of a beer and pub tour is that you drink in moderation? Overdoing it on the first day will only reduce your enjoyment of the holiday, as well as damage your health and potentially your relationship with any non-drinking traveling companion. Beer outside the United States often contains a higher alcohol concentration, so enjoy in moderation or suffer the consequences! But with that in mind…

So many beers, so little time.

Let R and B International Travel plan your Beer, Pub and Brewery Adventure.

60 Second Geography – Spain

Worldwide, Spain ranks as the number two tourism destination. In the early 1950’s German, French and British tourists discovered the inexpensive and lovely beaches of Spain. The rest of Europe soon followed, along with Americans. Many opt for self-drive vacations, facilitated by excellent road infrastructure. The rail system is also well developed, though concentrated on Madrid. Independent travelers also take advantage of the paradores, government owned accommodations often situated in converted monasteries or castles.

  • Spain is the second largest country of Western Europe, with only France being larger.
  • The high plateau known as the Meseta is the predominant landform of the Iberian Peninsula, separated from the coast by the mountain ranges, or sierras.
  • The vast land mass and the mountains on the interior created great cultural diversity over the centuries with regional languages such as Galician, Basque and Catalan along side the more standard Castilian Spanish.
  • The great Pyrenees mountains in the north separate and, historically, isolated Spain from the rest of Europe.
  • Only a narrow waterway separates Spain from Northern Africa and at one time all of Spain was dominated by Islamic culture.
  • The long domination by Islam and the Moorish culture came to an end in 1492 and caused a deep resurgence of and devotion to Roman Catholicism.
  • The great Catalonian city of Barcelona is home to avant-garde artists and fashion designers. The 1992 Summer Olympics were there are brought the city great reviews.
  • The Valencia region is one of Spain’s most important agricultural areas.
  • It is in the Andalucia region where the Moorish influence can be most readily observed in the picturesque architecture of the villages.
  • The 1992 World Expo was held in Seville. Holy Week processions here are particularly well attended and travelers from all over Spain and Europe descend on the city.
  • The Costa del Sol is that region extending from Gibraltar to Adra and is the focal point for much of the European package tourism. Protected by the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges this area receives generous and warm sunshine nearly year-round.

Are you ready to discover Egypt? Contact R and B International Travel and get started.

 

Be Inspired by the Rhine River with Avalon Waterways

As it winds through castle-dotted hillsides, dramatic rocky gorges and picturesque Old World villages, the Rhine River River is the essence of romance. Born as an untamed river in the Swiss Alps, the Rhine takes the scenic route to the North Sea, illuminating some of Europe’s most fascinating sights and customs. Historically and culturally, the Rhine has been a crucial source of sustenance, pride and inspiration. Fortresses and castles along the Rhine’s embankments highlight the value ancient empires placed on these waters. While ancient times saw the Rhine as a dividing force, today the cities along its shores are an intriguing blend of cultures. Vineyards along the Rhine produce world-renowned vintages and riverside cafés and restaurants celebrate the region by pairing local wines with delectably fresh fare. With scenic splendor and enriching surprises around every bend, the waters of the Rhine set the stage for the very finest moments to be had in Europe.

15th century Attractions. 21st century amenities. Contact R and B International Travel , and come experience the comfort of an Avalon Waterways Rhine river cruise.

Best of Italy

By: Mr. Francis Touschek – Insight Vacations Tour Director

 

1500 miles of undiluted history of art, architecture and above all, human endeavour. A cross section of 3000 years of history, beautifully displayed, tangibly visible and also “exhausting”.

Every moment of this tour is a constant reminder of human ingenuity and fallibility. An exhaustive trip to the roots of western civilisation. A trip of a lifetime.

From the primordial and indigenous tribes of the Italian Peninsula, to the nomadic tribes of Asia Minor, the exciting Greek influence, the glories of the Roman empire, the gloom of the dark ages and the Barbaric hords, the Arab and Norman invasions, the sophistication of the Swabe dynasty, the apotheosis of the Italian Renaissance, the gradual decline, the Spanish and French invasions and finally the utopic dream come true, the unity of Italy in 1861.

Italy is not only a beautiful and fascinating country, it is also a beautiful way of life. Every facet of this country is to be experienced, understood and frequently pardoned. It is sometimes confusing and yet proud, chaotic and efficient at the same time, a world-leading industrial and financial reality and yet politically a banana republic. A country of extreme contradictions. A country of sailors and poets, a country of frustrations and indifference.

Every moment of the “Best of Italy” is aimed to share with you a whirlwind experience of a country worthy of many repeat visits, a taste of (always) better things to come, never a dull moment. You leave with a lingering feeling of enrichment and an extraordinary feeling of humility. You will leave with a sense of achievement.

For all the above reasons and many more, you have to experience the truly Best of Italy.

Contact R and B International Travel , and get ready for the Best of Italy.

Experience “The First McDonald’s in Pompeii” and other stories of Italy with Globus

By: Globus

While wandering the superbly-preserved streets of Pompeii keep an eye out for the cauponae or early fast-food restaurants beloved by the ancient Romans. Located on several corners and looking like open-air bars, these one-room establishments were where busy citizens could grab a quick meal and glass of wine on the run. They were identified by colorful signs over their doors (one place excavated in Pompeii had a Phoenix, another, an elephant and pygmy). And like modern coffee bars in Italy today, customers stood at an L-shaped brick counter to order. There were jars full of hot and cold food, as well as amphorae of wine, which they could consume on the spot or take out to a few wooden seats provided on the street or, in some cases, a small back garden.

When you book a vacation with Globus and R and B International Travel , you’re not just seeing the world, you’re getting a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s most interesting places. Discover the stories of Italy with Globus today. What story will you discover next?

Alaska – the most mysterious land in the world.

 

Alaska

To many travelers Alaska remains a land of mystery, and that is a shame. Sure, many parts are rugged, barely accessible and nothing seems to be near anything else. Seeing Alaska by car or train will require a significant amount of time; however, the cruise lines have an answer for you. From majestic Mt. McKinley to the jagged edge of Glacier Bay, Alaska is unlike any place else in the world. One of the best (if not the best) to explore all Alaska’s offerings than with a cruise coupled with a cruise-tour.

Ketchikan s an ancient city that is both fascinating and enjoyable. Even though there are some American restaurants and stores, (and it is part of the States, of course), it is certainly not your typical American town. If Anchorage is at one end of the Alaskan spectrum, you will definitely find Ketchikan at the other end. This small city contains more totem poles than anywhere in the world, and is set at the base of Deer Mountain.

Sitka is a small yet lively town in Southeast Alaska that is full of surprises. Just when you think that you have seen all there is to see in this remote city, you stumble upon something that will instantly catch your attention. This is the case for the best restaurants and a few of the premier shopping outlets. They simply spring up out of nowhere, making for an interesting and exciting stay. There are a couple of great museums, and the scuba diving and sea kayaking in Sitka is marvelous. The calm, protected waters make these two sports very popular among both tourists and locals. Glacier Bay

Skagway is a Southeast Alaskan paradise, full of culture and brimming with life. Parts of the city seem stuck in 1897, never progressing beyond the height of the Alaskan gold rush era. This is speaking in architectural terms though, as some of the restaurants and shopping facilities offer distinctly 21st century fare. This unique blend of old and new really enhances the atmosphere of Skagway. There is so much to see and so much fascinating history to soak up. The saloons and bars, some of which date back to 1898, are splendid, full of artifacts and local heritage.

A visit to Alaska would not be complete (at least it should not be considered complete) without a visit to witness the magnificence (probably not a better word to describe them) of a glacier. One of the best glacier viewing vantage points is College Fjord — which deserves a bit of an introduction. In the summer of 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman, president of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Washington Academy of Sciences undertook a two-month expedition, intended initially as a family vacation; but eventually wound up as a scientific research trip consisting of an illustrious group of scientists, naturalists, writers, and artists. It was the Harriman Expedition party who named College Fjord as well as the glaciers that line it. The dozen or so glaciers lining this fjord were named for the Ivy League schools that members of the party attended. On the northwest side of the fjord, the glaciers were named after the women’s colleges, such as Smith, Bryn Mawr, Vassar, Wellesley, Barnard, and Holyoke. On the southeast side, the glaciers are named after men’s colleges Harvard, Yale, Amherst, and Dartmouth.

While the coastal towns are spectacular, it is recommended that travelers to Alaska take some time (preferably a few days) to explore the interior of the state. From the moment you step off the Alaska Railroad at the entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time, where skyscrapers and traffic jams have been replaced by snowcapped mountain peaks and flocks of native birds. This park truly defines the Alaskan experience. Towering above it all is Mt. McKinley, the highest point in all of North America. At 20,320 feet, its summit welcomes more than 1,000 climbers each year who brave the elements for the chance to scale its majestic face. Located 240 miles north of Anchorage, Denali encompasses 6 million acres of forests, tundra, glaciers and mountains (to put that number in perspective, think the size of Massachusetts). Yet only 90 miles of main road traverse the park, leaving the moose, caribou, sheep and bears free to roam a wide area of land untouched by man.

Explore beautiful Alaska — Contact R and B International Travel to plan your next adventure.

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