With the craft beer scene continuing to boom, beer tourism has found a solid spot in the travel industry. It has evolved quickly over the past several years so much so that it has begun to rival wine tourism. People love to search out new beers to taste and new beer adventures to experience. They want to see how the beer is made and speak to the people who make it. They want to discuss the specific hops used, where they were grown,and the thought-process the brewmaster had while creating a specific beer.
Being a beer tour operator ourselves, on top of organizing the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference and the new Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference, may make us partial to traveling to seek out delicious brews. But we think beer tourism is something a large number people can enjoy – here’s why:
Discovering Rare and Unique Beers
Many times breweries treat their own tap rooms as their testing lab. They serve up some of the craziest and peculiar beer concoctions that might not ever be distributed to the stores or bars. It’s fun to try new and interesting flavors, even if they aren’t quite ready for the public’s taste buds. But who knows, you may have the chance to be one of the first to taste that brewery’s next big hit.
Brewery culture can be summed up as friendly people who value taste. Much of the craft brew culture of today has stemmed from the homebrewing movement that began in the late 1970s. Around that time, the commercial beer companies were consolidating into larger and larger macro breweries that focused on light and low-calorie beers and touted big marketing budgets. Many homebrewers, and now most commercial craft brewers, are just really passionate beer geeks that are a lot of fun to talk to over a tasty brew.
Wherever I’m traveling, I love to try the local and regional beers. Not only because it’s fun to taste a variety of different beers than you can get at home, but you are also supporting the local community you are visiting.
Get Away From the Touristy Areas
Unless you’re going to some of the larger craft breweries, seeking out a local brewery to visit and potentially tour is a great way to take a break from more touristy areas while on vacation. Smaller breweries may still be busy with locals (which is a good sign actually) but it will give you a completely different feel for the local culture.
On our Taste Vacations beer tours, we visit a mix of big name breweries that everyone has heard of, with smaller, unique microbreweries to give our guests a little taste of everything.