By definition they’re just drinks, right? Something to sip when you meet friends at the bar or an extra flavor to compliment your main course at dinner — they’re accessories to an experience. While that may be the case for some, for beer and wine-lovers, the flavors, style, and creation process are nothing short of art. As you most likely know, those “others” are no small group. Around the world, people organize festivals attracting huge numbers of beer and wine fanatics. These festivals, along with locations known for their expertise in winemaking or in beer brewing, draw both connoisseurs and the curious from all over to come together to not only drink, but to study and appreciate.
Here at AllTheRooms, we like to stay ahead of all forms of travel. With wine and beer tourism on the rise, we want to help you keep your finger on the pulse of the wine and beer travel world. From the latest trending destinations to where to stay when you get there, we’ll keep you ahead of the curve. Whether it’s a visit to Oktoberfest in Munich, or to a winery in Bordeaux, we’ll ensure you know your way around and that you have a great place to rest up when you’ve had your fill of tasting.
It can range from loud music and overflowing pitchers to a quiet, reserved vibe with small tasting glasses and attendees patiently lined up to sip a few ounces of a new artisanal brew they read about on a beer blog. Most of them will probably fall somewhere in the middle with perhaps a slight lean in the “party” direction.
The breweries in attendance will set up booths and provide samples of their newest creations and attendees can hop from booth to booth tasting away and enjoying the fun vibes as they go. Some of the more serious tasters might keep track on a taste card while others might stick with mental notes. No matter the atmosphere, attendees get plenty of beer, food and opportunities to mix and mingle with other beer-lovers. Sounds pretty hard to pass up, right?
The list is too long to name all the must-see festivals. You could stop in at the Bruges Beer Festival for the best Belgians, hoist a pint at the Great British Beer Festival, head to Colorado for the Great American Beer Festival and its endless list of attending breweries, or enjoy the Qingdao International Beer Festival, Asia’s largest beer celebration.
Wine destinations are all about climate and soil. Whether it’s France’s wine country, Northern Italy or Napa Valley in Northern California, the grapes grow right because the conditions are perfect. Lucky for travelers, regions with these conditions just so happen to have a tendency of being absolutely gorgeous. The ideal climate tends to be temperate and dry and the weather windows for planning visits are large.
France is still king in the wine game despite drops in production in recent years. Bordeaux is probably the favorite region not only for its wine production but also for the recent opening of the Cite de Vin, France’s premier wine museum where wine-lovers can study everything from production methods to makers. While Bordeaux’s name certainly rings bells, France is dotted with excellent wine regions not just in the South but farther north as well. In Italy, Tuscany and Veneto are often considered two of the country’s best for the wine-obsessed. However, much of the country’s rural areas have wine economies and you never know when you’ll stumble upon a flavor that’ll stay with you forever. For those of you not up for the trip across the pond, Northern California’s Napa Valley has a reputation for producing excellent cabernet sauvignon along with other varieties.
As the wine capital of the US, we want to give the Golden State a little extra attention. Whether it’s down in the Los Angeles area sampling wine and craft beer at Trump National, trying a new IPA in San Francisco while listening to live music, or up North in Napa Valley on a wine tour, California certainly stands out for its beer and wine tourism.
Our recommended vacation plan is to drive up the state’s coast from San Diego to Wine Country stopping at festivals and wineries along the way. This makes quite the dream vacation for both wine and beer loves looking to do a little exploring.
So why pack your bags for a wine or beer excursion? The trip gives you a chance to explore a whole world going far beyond your dinner table or your bar stool. It’s an opportunity to learn about something new and experience flavors that you may have never found otherwise.
It can also be a reason to explore a region or a city far from home that’s always interested you. What better way to tour the South of France than hopping from winery to winery in between day trips to the beach? What better way to explore one of the world’s most international cities than bar hopping around Brussels? Beer and wine can be doors to adventure.
Not to mention, it’s an opportunity to connect with a whole new community. You might be amazed at the people you meet at a beer festival. Maybe you’ll make a plan to meet them at another one in a different city. Making and tasting beer and wine is a true passion for many people and when passionate people hang out together, good friends are often made.
Read More About Beer Festivals & Wine Destinations on ATR:
Your Guide to Oktoberfest 2018