Belgium Top Beer Tourism Destination

By Beer, Taste Vacations No Comments

Belgium is the number one destination for beer tourism in the world, according to the Vancouver Sun in British Columbia, which just posted an article on Belgium and its beers.

Joe Wiebe, the writer, attended one of our tours there last summer. Although he writes in the article that he attended a Taste Vacations’ tour, he actually attended our sister company Zephyr Adventures’ active Belgium Hike, Bike, & Beer Adventure.

No matter – if you are interested in taking a beer vacation, the article does a good job of giving you that flavor. Please consider joining us on either our Taste Vacations or Zephyr Adventures Belgium tours in 2015:

Taste Vacations Belgium Beer Tour: July 26 – August 1, 2015: This tour does not have the biking and hiking and so focuses on the local culture, food, and beer. We agree with Joe that Belgium is the top destination for beer tourism and this is the only beer tour on our schedule. You can book your own private tour on any date you choose with a minimum of six people.

Zephyr Adventures Belgium Hike, Bike, & Beer Adventure: August 30 – September 5, 2015: This trip combines beer, hiking, and biking but is suitable for most activity levels. The trip ends in Brussels just prior to one of the biggest beer festivals in the world, the Belgian Beer Weekend, so you can combine an awesome tour with an incredible consumer fest.

Photo is from Joe Wiebe and the Vancouver Sun. Brussels’ Restobières features a gourmet menu where beer is an ingredient in every dish.

Taste Vacations in the New York Times

By Food, Taste Vacations No Comments

Taste Vacations was included in today’s New York Times travel section.

I would like to say we were “featured” in the paper but the article was just a few paragraphs. Still, the New York Times is one of the best locations for a tour company (or any company) to appear in print and we have already received information requests from all over the country from this one article.

The article focused on Taste Vacations’ food tours and the New York Times’ interest in this shows how hot food in general and food tourism in particular is right now. Cooking shows are immensely popular on television, eating local is a priority for many people, and food tourism – actually engaging with local producers while you are traveling – is also on the upswing.

Consider joining Taste Vacations’ 2015 food tours in Peru, the Basque country of Spain, or Tuscany in Italy!

Kentucky Bourbon (Tour) Riding a High

By Spirits No Comments

I recently read an interesting Associated Press article about the Kentucky bourbon industry.

I must admit I can’t remember the last time I read an article about Kentucky Bourbon. I am sure if one lives in Louisville these articles appear all the time. But for those of us in the rest of the country, this seemed an unusual event.

It turns out the Kentucky bourbon industry is predicting a bright future for themselves:

  • Kentucky produces 95% of the world’s bourbon
  • Production has surged more than 150% in the last 15 years
  • Bourbon production is at a 44 year high
  • Bourbon storage (all bourbon has to be aged at least two years) is at a 37 year high

Apparently high-end consumers in China as well as the American public have developed a taste for Bourbon and the Kentucky industry is humming along to meet the demand. Sure seems like a good time to offer a Kentucky Bourbon Tour!

An insider’s View of the Napa Valley: A 30-year Romp!

By Taste Vacations No Comments

This is my first blog post for Taste Vacations, which only recently launched. I wanted to write about the beautiful Napa Valley and reflect the many changes since I moved there in 1982 to become one of the opening chefs at the Michelin Two Star Restaurant Auberge du Soleil. Here are a few fun facts:

1982:                                                                                              2012:

42: Actual physical wineries                                                       436

$9.00: Average Retail Price for a bottle of Cabernet              $45.00

0: Napa Valley Sub-appellations                                                16

2 million: Cases Produced                                                          50.2 million

$12,000 – $15,000: Vineyard land per acre                              $125,000 – $300,000

$1,280: Price per ton of Napa County Cabernet                      $5,499

250,000: Visitors per year                                                            2.94 million


When I moved to the “Valley” in 1982, my favorite restaurant in St. Helena was Vern’s Copper Chimney located on highway 29. I don’t think Vern’s could compete with the French Laundry today (though Vern’s pancakes were pretty awesome). The most popular wineries were Beringer Bros, Charles Krug and Louis Martini Winery. $700 bottles of cult wines weren’t invented yet, and the El Bonita Motel was the place to stay back then.

Perhaps things have changed in the Napa Valley over the years but many things remain constant – some of the most outstanding wines in the world are made there and the absolutely magnificent and bucolic scenery is mind boggling awesome to behold!

I hope you join me on a Taste Vacations tour to the Napa Valley. I look forward to seeing you there! Any questions, comments or special requests …please don’t hesitate to contact me.


David Mitchel

Note: David Mitchel is the host on Taste Vacations’ Napa Valley tours and is excited to show you his homeland!


Taste Vacations Offers Worldwide Food, Wine, Spirits, and Beer Tours

By Taste Vacations No Comments

Press Release

New Food and Drink Vacation Company Launches
Taste Vacations Offers Worldwide Food, Wine, Spirits, and Beer Tours

RED LODGE, MT – September 9, 2014 −Zephyr Adventures announces a dramatic and delectable expansion of their tour operations.  Already a leader in active travel in the U.S. and abroad for over 17 years, Zephyr is now adding upscale wine, beer, spirits, and food tours under the newly created brand Taste Vacations.

Taste Vacations was created because of growing demand for group vacations centered on beautiful wine regions, local food, craft beer, and high-end spirits. “We listen to our customers and this growth reflects the additional types of trips they’re asking for,” relays Zephyr Adventures owner and creator of Taste Vacations, Allan Wright.

Zephyr Adventures has already been running active hiking, biking, and multisport tours around the world that focus on wine, food, and beer. It is the popularity of these tours and the realization that some travelers prefer to leave the physical activity at home that brought the company to create Taste Vacations, focused solely on the local food and drink.

Some of the trips to be offered include:

o    A wine and food tour to Spain, exploring the incredible cuisine of the Basque town of San Sebastián plus the wineries of La Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region.

o    A food vacation to Peru, considered a hot bed of new and innovative culinary styles, including a visit to the top rated restaurant in Latin America and three hands-on cooking classes with different chefs, plus a day trip to the ancient city of Machu Picchu.

o    A beer-focused trip to Belgium that visits over a dozen breweries, abbeys, a beer museum, and includes pairings of the areas most distinguished beers with time-honored Belgian culinary fare.

o    A spirits tour to Kentucky that includes tasting Bourbons at boutique, famous, and up and coming distilleries; a trip to Churchill Downs to watch the races; a cooking class at a famous local chef’s private ranch and farm; and backstage passes to meet some of Kentucky’s warmest and most personable Bourbon industry figures.

“Everyone loves to focus on the local food scene while on vacation. Craft beer is hot, micro-distilleries are the new rage, and wine is still the drink of luxury,” says Wright. “Creating a luxury food and drink tour company just made sense to give discerning travelers options in all these areas.”

In addition to published group tour dates, private tours for corporate and small groups are available. For complete information visit

About Zephyr Adventures
Zephyr Adventures has been leading active travelers on group vacations around the globe since 1997.  The company also organizes the Wine Bloggers Conference, Beer Bloggers Conference, European Beer Bloggers Conference, Wine Tourism Conference, and International Food Blogger Conference.