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Beer

5 Beer Destinations for your Next Trip

5 Epic Beer Destinations For Your Next Trip

By Beer, Taste Vacations No Comments

Beer + Travel = Awesome. Exploring the top beer destinations in the world = Epic.

The Taste Vacations team has broken down five of the most epic beer havens to add to your next trip itinerary.

Beer Destination: Prague, Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has a rich beer history that dates back over a millennium. The city of Prague is considered one of the grandfathers of brewing with one of the oldest breweries being founded in 993 at Břevnov Monastery. Additionally, pilsner was invented in the town of Pilsen, near Prague. To taste a variety of Czech beers, check out Prague’s 17-day Czech Beer Festival for traditional fare, live music, and costumed servers pouring more than 70 brands of domestic beer.

Beer Destination: Colorado

Colorado lays claim to more than 10% of the nation’s breweries but is home to only 2% of the population – impressive, right? Long time host of the Great American Beer Festival, Denver’s history has been intertwined with beer since it’s founding in 1859.  Of course, you can check out the Miller Coors Brewery, but why stop there? There are nearly 230 other breweries to check out in the great state of Colorado. If you’re looking to meet other beer lovers, join us for the Colorado Beer Tour that starts with an afternoon at the Great American Beer Festival.

Beer Destination: Belgium

Another grandfather of beer, Belgium is one of the world’s beer meccas. Since the first Crusades, the church allowed abbeys to brew and distribute beer as a fundraising method. Consequently, breweries and beer cafes now abound in Belgium! Trappist monks carry on those deep traditions now with their dark, sweet, complex ales while Belgian craft brewers create their own rich brewing history and traditions by experimenting with other beer flavors. And because there are no laws dictating how Belgians should brew their beers, Belgium enjoys one of the widest selection of beer styles in the world. It’s no wonder that we chose Belgium as our first luxury beer tour destination.  There’s still room on our Belgium Beer Tour, or you can gather your friends and book a private tour on a date of your choosing.

Beer Destination: San Diego

San Diego County boasts more than 100 breweries including top craft beer titans Stone Brewing, Ballast Point, and Karl Strauss, and even has its own IPA category. San Diego has also been host to what is largely considered the biggest and best international beer competition, the World Beer Cup. Erica Reitz, editor-in-chief, DRAFT magazine puts it best, “Laid-back beach towns are my favorite getaways, so San Diego is a no-brainer when it comes to combining flip-flop casual with seriously excellent craft beer. It’s a mecca for hoppy, West Coast IPAs (found on tap just about everywhere), and there are so many spots around SD that should be on every beer lover’s itinerary (old favorites like Stone and new spots like White Labs tasting room). Sunshine, seashore, and amazing beer is just about the perfect recipe for destination drinking.”

Beer Destination: Asheville

We would be amiss if we left Asheville, NC off our epic beer destinations list. With more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the U.S., Asheville is a four-time winner of the annual Beer City USA poll, was host to last year’s Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, and now is a Taste Vacation destination.  You could easily spend a week (or more!) exploring and tasting your way around town, sampling craft beer giants such as Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues or trying more local favorites like the brewery that started the Asheville beer revolution, Highland Brewing.  

Whether you happen to be in the area of one of these amazing beer havens during your next trip or you’re planning a trip solely focused on beer, you can’t go wrong trying the tasty brews of any of these amazing beer destinations.

Travel Resolutions

Travel Resolutions for 2016

By Beer, Food, Taste Vacations, Wine No Comments

Let’s face it, even those with the best intentions find it hard to keep their New Year’s resolutions past the first few months of the year. This can sometimes be from a lack of detailed resolutions or resolutions that follow the same old patterns. Rather than the normal “I want to travel more this year,” try spicing things up by making more specific goals that can either add up to traveling more or at least make the most out of your travels.  Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

Focus on a culture’s signature dish.

Open your mind and your palate to new and exotic flavors this year.  When traveling, don’t try to find restaurants that have menus that are similar to those back home. Even if your travels keep you in the U.S., there are still opportunities to taste new cuisines.  Trying local cuisine will take you a few steps closer to understanding the culture of wherever you are visiting.

Unplug and actually relax.

Tech gadgets and travel apps can certainly make life on the road much easier, but they also can be blocking you from truly relaxing. Try to be more present and enjoy your surroundings.  You can always check your emails and post your travel photos to social media when you get back.

Be a tourist in your own town.

There may be times when you feel like you really need a vacation but either schedules or finances just won’t allow it.  Try being a tourist in your own town or region.  With a little research, you’ll be surprised at how much there is to do and see that is just a short drive (or even walk!) away.

Read an inspirational travel book.

Not quite sure where you want to travel to next? Grab an inspirational travel book to get the trip planning juices flowing. You’ll start to imagine yourself in new and exotic settings in no time. Check out Conde Nast’s 86 Greatest Travel Books of All Time and get reading!

Take that trip you’ve been talking about forever.

Bite the bullet and FINALLY take the trip you’ve talked about for years. Want to taste your way across Italy or explore the magnficent wines Argentina has to offer? Do it! And if it truly doesn’t fit into your 2016 schedule, you can resolve to plan out your itinerary for 2017 so that when December rolls around again, you’ll be starting to pack your bags and getting ready to check that trip of a lifetime off your bucket list.

No more half-hearted resolutions. Let’s make 2016 your best travel year yet!

Top 20 Most Influential Beer Brands

Top 20 Most Influential Beer Brands on the Internet

By Beer No Comments

Think you know which beer companies and brands have the most sway with beer lovers? For the past two years, the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference has conducted an analysis of the world’s most influential beer brands on the Internet. This includes beer brands, apps, organizations, restaurants, bars, and publications – basically anything that could possibly have to do with beer.  They took three factors into consideration while analyzing the most influential beer brands:

  • Alexa Rating (provides traffic data, global rankings, and other information that can be used to assess a website)
  • Facebook Likes
  • Twitter Followers

Though the big brewing companies are certainly represented, you might be surprised who else made the list.

Here’s how they stacked up:

1.   Heineken
2.   Beer Advocate
3.   Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.   New Belgium Brewing
5.   Stone Brewing Company
6.   Bud Light
7.   Budweiser
8.   Coors Light
9.   Miller Lite
10.  Untappd
11.  Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
12.  Rogue Ales
13. Samuel Adams
14. Tie Drink Craft Beer
14. Tie BJ’s Brewhouse
14. Tie Dos Equis
14. Tie BrewDog
14. Tie RateBeer.com
19. Tie Guinness
19. Tie More Beer!

The 2016 edition of this analysis will be released early next year.

So chime in – did your favorite beer brand make the list? If not, tell us who you think should be added for next year.

Frosty Cold Beer

Cheers to Great American Beers! 4th of July Beer Recommendations

By Beer, Taste Vacations No Comments

Happy soon-to-be 4th of July! Most of us celebrate America’s Independence Day by heading to a BBQ, enjoying time with friends and family, and watching exhilarating fireworks displays. And typically the drink of choice for the day is a nice, refreshing beer.  To help you pick out some righteous brews, we’ve provided some great American beer recommendations below:

Oskar Blues Brewing

 

 

 

Mama’s Lil’ Yellow Pils by Oskar Blues is a light, crisp sessional pilsner that goes great with a hot summer day.  It starts with a bready flavor and ends with a nice crisp finish accompanied by a light mouthfeel.

 

 

Rogue Ales

 

 

Dead Guy Ale by Rogue Ales & Spirits  is a well-balanced beer with a touch of floral sweetness and a bit of hoppy bitterness. The World Beer Championship Judges describe it as “Deep reddish amber hue. Generous toasty malt aromas and earthy hops follow through on a moderately full-bodied palate with fruity accents and a long spicy hop finish. A delicious hybrid style with bock-like maltiness but ale-like hopping.”

 

 

sierra-nevada-logo

 

Summerfest by Sierra Nevada is a nice delicate, yet complex, summer lager that seems like the perfect “drinking outside” kind of beer.  It’s malty with a kick of citrus and a clean mouthfeel.

 

 

Shock Top Beer

 

 

Shock Top Belgian White by Anheuser-Busch is a medium-bodied Belgian-style wheat ale that’s been brewed with orange, lemon, lime and coriander.  A refreshing American beer to have on hand while flipping some burgers on the grill.

 

 

 

 

Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

 

 

60 minute IPA by Dogfish Head is on the lighter side for an IPA which makes it is a tasty beer to sip while lounging poolside.  It has a complex malt taste that is nicely balanced.

 

 

 

Taste Vacations’ sister company, Zephyr Adventures, is the organizer of the annual Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference.  This year’s conference will be held in Asheville, NC July 17 – 19, 2015.

Friends on a patio

Private Tours – Vacationing Your Way

By Beer, Food, Taste Vacations, Wine No Comments

Have you ever spent long hours researching the perfect vacation only to find out that the listed tour dates have passed, it doesn’t fit into your schedule or the trip is sold out? Skip the hassle and consider booking a private tour. It’s not hard to fall in love with traveling exclusively with your family or friends, selecting the perfect destination and choosing exactly when you’d like to go. And one of the best parts is that you don’t have to plan the entire trip yourself.  Working with a trip coordinator, you can decide on the general trip criteria and they’ll take care of the details of booking hotels, making dinner reservations, and securing activities.Chile & Argentina - Allan Wright

Private tours can also be a perfect way to celebrate a number of life’s milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, or retirement.  We’ve also seen them successfully used as a way to motivate a team at work by creating a business incentive trip for top performers.

All of our Taste Vacations trips can be booked as private tours – and we won’t charge you extra just because it isn’t part of our public group tours, unless you request additional customized options. We also don’t require you to have large groups in order to book a private tour, with a majority of our trips only requiring a minimum of 4 people.

Sonoma County Wine Tour: Minimum 4
Tuscany Food & Wine Tour: Minimum 4
Basque Country & Rioja (Spain) Food & Wine Tour: Minimum 4
Washington Wine Tour: Minimum 4
Peru Food Tour: Minimum 4
Chile & Argentina Wine Tour: Minimum 6
Belgium Beer Tour: Minimum 6
Kentucky Bourbon Tour: Minimum 8
Napa Wine Tour: Minimum 8

So what are you waiting for? Join us on a Taste Vacations private tour today.