| Traveling and Beer Hunting
by T.J. Hinckley
Hi Bob and all his readers -
Have to admit I'm a bit excited about writing this. It would be fun to
see my letter in print but even more to know that I'm shared some
things I've learned with people who enjoy beer like me.
I love to travel. It takes a while for me to save up but then I'm off to
wherever my budget will allow. That however gives me a problem
when it comes to drinking beer and on occasion, wine. It often
seems that there are too many good places for me to visit. In fact,
the variety can be overwhelming, especially when exploring a new
place I've never seen before.
I did quite a bit of research on this and now would like to share the
best tips I learned from not only reading but talking to experts.
1. TALK TO RETAILERS. Before you travel, knowledgeable retailers
can put you in touch with distributors that bring in beer relevant to
your destination. I found that many distributors are open to e-mails
from travelers and may respond with a list of restaurants, bars and
breweries and wineries to visit at your destination. Some may even
introduce you to brewers or wine makers. So talk to places at home
where you are a regular customer and you'll be helped when you're
away from home.
2. VISIT BOTTLE SHOPS AT YOUR DESTINATION. Ask at your
hotel for a location of a good, nearby bottle shop. They can be a
valuable resource. I did that recently and left with a list of names
and e-mails of local breweries and bars that made great beer.
3. USE APPS AND INSTAGRAM Apps make the hunt for good beer
significantly easier. Also use. Beer Menus since bars post their
selections in real time, and can send aerts that keep travelers in the
loop. I also use Untappd. They too provide updated bar menus,
along with user ratings of beers.
4. SERVERS AND BARTENDERS KNOW. When an app or a
personal recommendation leads you to a knowledgeable bartender
or sommelier in a new city, seize the opportunity to ask questions.
Beer communities tend to be close-knit and rely on word of mouth,
which works in travelers’ favor. Bartenders are used to inquiries
from travelers and often gladly offer suggestions on which bars and
breweries not to miss. To tell the truth, I've never been steered
wrong by a bartender.
5. EVALUATE THE MENU. Beer and wine lists and bar taps can offer
clues for travelers who want something special. I look for what’s
being made locally in small batches by the guys on the ground in the
6. THE BOTTOM LINE. With so many states and countries offering
beer and wine trails and specific routes it's easy to contact the
tourist office for some great and accurate information. Do just a little
homework and you'll maximize the chances of having a great
beercation instead of wasting a lot of time wandering around by seat
of your pants. That's time better spent sampling some great local
I really believe those tips will help anyone to better enjoy their trip.
Hope you liked this. Thanks Bob. .
Many thanks T.J. for some really great tips. Even experienced
travelers can benefit from your suggestions. I look forward to trying a
few of them myself. You topic was a first for this column and really well
done! Please write again.
I'd like to invite everyone to send me their own columns about
anything related to beer in any way just as T.J. did. I select
the best and publish them here. So join in and get writing!
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