Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Make Your Next Vacation a Beer Vacation!

It's just about Summer here in New Jersey and that means vacations. While I've had my fair share of "beer on vacation," I never purposely set out on a Beer Vacation. You may be wondering, "What's a Beer Vacation?" Unlike a Three Martini Lunch (where the lunch is a "martini or three") a beer vacation is more like a school field trip (only instead of dinosaurs and rusty junk there's brew tanks and beer.)

Recently, my mom sent me a link to the 10 Best Craft Beer Vacation Destinations post from The Daily Freeman. A list containing more than seven things already sounds intimidating to my media-over-saturated brain-parts unless it deals with 80's pop culture, weapons to fight zombies with, or unusual ice cream flavors but I did manage to read through the whole thing. The article brings up the following points:
  • Touring Breweries is a Fun Activity
  • There are Breweries All Over the Place
  • Lots of Breweries Give Free or Cheap Tours
  • There is Usually Beer Involved
The article does this by listing breweries as if they were exotic tourist destinations, but honestly I don't think that's the point. I'm not going to hop on a plane to go to Oregon just to visit Full Sail brewery. In fact, I can only think of one occasion that I would ever hop on a plane to Oregon and it involves fleeing federal marshals, zombies, dinosaurs, and killer clowns. It's a pretty elaborate occasion; basically, I'll never go there.

It's far more likely that you have several breweries within a few hours of your house that are worth your time to tour. They might not be famous or large but you might be surprised at the quality that can be achieved. Rather than taking a "Beer Vacation," just take the time to see if a brewery tour can be incorporated into a regular vacation.

In the past couple years I've toured Shawnee Craft Brewery in PA, LoneRider in NC, Keegan Ales (sorta) in NY, St. Arnolds Brewery in TX, Beaver Street Brewing in AZ, and tons of brewpubs. I never went out of my way to visit any of these places, but the beer was always great, the people were interesting, and I highly recommend it. At LoneRider I even met one of the Imagineers from Disney who programmed the "Soarin'" ride. You meet all kinds of people.

Have you been on a brewery tour? What was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. We should go to Shawnee Craft brewery again! It's been a couple of years and I bet he's done a lot with the place!

  2. Eugene KolankowskyJune 2, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    Speaking of zombie weapons... 1911s are great because if you upgrade the grips to one's with skullz on them, it makes the gun like 10,000 times more powerful and accurate.