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Last week, Celebrity Cruises announced new routes leaving from Los Angeles (a first for the company), including two new beer-themed voyages: the 2014 Alaskan Brewing Company cruise, which starts at $1,684, and the California Beer Festival At Sea cruise, which starts at $639. And while themed cruises are something we’ve come across before, the growing popularity of Celebrity’s “craft beer cruises” are making us sit up and take notice.
And we’re not the only ones interested – after posting their 2013 and 2014 Alaskan Amber Craft Beer Cruise, tickets sold out in less than a month.
To make these trips happen, Celebrity links up with various breweries and beer festivals, such as Alaska Brewing Co., Sam Adams, or California Beer Festival who, in turn, supply the booze. A winning partnership that Celebrity says “has significantly increased our business.” And we believe it. We were wondering, though, how the cost and value of these cruises stacks up. After all, you’ll pay extra for alcohol on almost any big ocean cruise, and that’s not the case with these theme cruises. Here’s what we learned. Read more
For travelers in search of some culinary adventure, you can let your inner foodie geek out with these new food and drink apps – plus a few old favorites that have recently gotten an update. Here’s a sampling of what to download… Read more
Ask anyone the first thing that comes to their mind when they think of Germany, and beer is sure to come up in conversation. We know all about Oktoberfest, and we know all about Munich, and light versus dark (or at least, enough to get by). But mention the local Altbier from Dusseldorf, and prepare for blank stares.
The copper-hued ale, whose name means “old beer,” uses a pre-lager brewing method with warm top-fermenting yeast, and is entirely unique to Dusseldorf.
About a half dozen Altbier breweries make their home throughout the Altstadt (which literally means “old town”) in Dusseldorf, and while there are plenty of things to do there – with over 300 bars and restaurants within half a square kilometer – you should definitely make sure you give all the different versions of Altbier a try. Just as a brewery would offer its unique take on a lager or a pale ale, each brewery produces its own version of the ale, and all are worth a sip (or three). Read more
New York State was the beer capital of the country in the 1800s, thanks in large part to fruitful hop farms just north of Manhattan. But Prohibition and the spread of a mold that wiped out crops brought the New York beer industry to a halt in the 1900s. Recent state legislation, however, has created incentives for small breweries and paved the way for the Hudson Valley Beer Trail. Bus tour companies are already springing up, bringing Manhattanites north, but you can tour the route on your own for only the cost of gas, a few pints, and a bribe for your designated driver. Here are some key stops along the way… Read more
Summer is the perfect time to pop the top on an ice cold beer. But, not just any beer will do. Warm weather lends itself to lighter, crisper brews, and these nine offerings fit the bill as some of the best summer beers. Enjoy at home, or better yet, include a brewery tour on your summer vacation itinerary. Read more
Most cities offer plenty of reasons to visit. Whether it’s fine art or great food, window shopping or bar hopping, there’s something to entertain just about everybody. At times the number of options might actually seem overwhelming to tourists and residents. For years though, multi-day cultural festivals and restaurant weeks have successfully promoted urban exploration, encouraging people to take a fresh look at a familiar town. More recently, spurred on by the non-profit Brewer’s Association and motivated hop heads, beer weeks have started to pop up around the country, too. In essence, a celebration of American-made ales and lagers, these events tap in to the excitement surrounding the current craft beer boom. And it doesn’t matter if you can’t distinguish a Gueuze from a Gose. Above all, beer weeks are supposed to be fun. Read more
If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the brass bands warming up. Outside of Bavaria, it’s not the kind of music you’re likely to encounter at other times of year, but for the next two weeks, there’s a good chance the autumn air will be filled with the sounds of accordions, tubas, and clarinets. That’s because at noon on September 22nd, the Mayor of Munich will tap the first keg of Oktoberfest beer, ceremonially initiating a 16-day party on the Theresienwiese. Since October 1810, when the first Oktoberfest celebrated the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen with free food and drink, Germany’s third-largest city has marked the occasion with bratwurst, brezeln (Bavarian pretzels), and lots and lots of beer. Read more
Football season is back and we couldn’t be happier here at SkyMall Tuesday headquarters. Fall Sundays are all about football, junk food, and beer. There’s simply nothing better than tailgating with friends before the game, grilling up some brats, and polishing off a case of the cold stuff before heading inside the stadium and using public bathrooms. However, the trouble with tailgating – and nearly any outdoor party – is figuring out where to put down your beer. You don’t want to misplace it, allow it to get lost in the crowd of cans that everyone else has set down, or knocked over by some pesky child. Thankfully, SkyMall knows that your frosty beverage deserves a place of security. That’s why, this week, we take a look at the totally useful and not at all ridiculous Koozy Kaddy.
Summer is a time for pool parties, beach bashes, and backyard barbecues. What do all three of those have in common (other than awesome alliteration)? Beer. Hot sunny days and muggy summer nights are perfect for a cold one. But what happens when you’re also holding a hamburger, a hot dog, a wiffle ball bat, a water gun, an ice cream cone, and a tube of sunscreen in your sweaty hands? Where do you keep your beer (or your backup beer in case your current can or bottle finds itself tragically empty)? You can’t be expected to trudge all the way back to the cooler or refrigerator to procure another beverage. You really shouldn’t be overexerting yourself in the heat! Thankfully, SkyMall knows that you need to have another beer ready at a moment’s notice (and that carrying one in a holster is just plain gauche). If you’re going to party at the SkyMall Tuesday headquarters this summer, you better be packing heat cold. Keep your legs cool and your beer handy in a handsome pair of Beer Can Shorts.
Don’t know a lager from an IPA? A trip to City Swiggers beer shop and tasting room is your chance to become a true beer connoisseur.
With 14 beers on tap and 400 types of beer on sale – as well as a knowledgeable staff – City Swiggers appeals to both beer snobs and those just beginning to branch out from Bud Light.
Patrons can mix and match bottles purchased in six-packs or single bottles off the shelf or from the cooler, or fill up a growler jug with one of the brews on tap. You can even show off your beer knowledge or pick up a few pointers over a cold one in the store.
With recognition from the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, City Swiggers has fast become a new local favorite in a neighborhood better known for wine bars. www.cityswiggers.com
For general trip-planning information, see our New York City Travel Guide.
Hop over to the newly opened Hotel Ignacio in St. Louis with the Bike and Brew package for weekend stays in September and October (except September 23-25 and October 7-9 and 21-23). Each weekend, guests will get VIP tastings at four St. Louis breweries (Schlafy Brewery, Urban Chestnut, Sixth Row, and Square One Brewery) as well as breakfast daily, parking, and use of the hotel loaner bikes each day. For stays September 17-19, the package also includes two VIP tickets to Schlafy’s annual “Hop in the City,” with food, live music, and 40 beers for tasting. Guests staying from September 30-October 30 will receive passes to a haunted house and a haunted brewery tour. The two-night package starts at $479. Call 314-977-4411 to book.
That’s right. Out with abs and in with frosty brews! Up in Canada (naturally), the Queer Beer Festival taps the kegs of Toronto on Thursday, August 4. A first-of-its-kind event in North America ? gay days at Oktoberfest come the closest in Europe ? the fest aims to embrace the queer and trans communities while celebrating Canada’s rich brewing history. Expect live entertainment, food tents, visits from experts of the craft from around the world, and tastes of more than 200 brands. Mezcal might be the drink of the summer, but on our tab, it’s time for some suds.
After a long day outdoors enjoying the Rocky Mountain air, knocking back a cold one has got to be pretty nice. Capella Telluride understands. The Telluride, CO hotel has teamed up with local Smuggler’s Brewery to create four custom brews available on draft exclusively in the property’s Onyx Restaurant and Suede Bar (pictured).
These “Constellation” beers (Capella is also the name of a star) come in four very different varieties and carry flavors not often found in your typical brewski: Read more
While downing a cold Guinness yesterday, in preparation for St. Patrick’s day of course, I was inspired to write about my second favorite hobby besides travel . . . beer. Now I’m not a raging alcoholic and I don’t need 12 steps (at least I don’t think I do) – I just deeply appreciate an icy cold adult beverage, whether it be an exotic lager from a far away land or a strikingly good stout made in a local brewery. One of the best ways to sample (or chug) some suds is by checking out a beer festival. Read on to discover five noteworthy brew cities and their big booze events. Cheers – and may the luck of the Irish be with you! Read more
If there’s one thing Hong Kong does supremely well, it’s shopping – from high-end malls to vibrant open-air markets, there’s always something for sale (sans the sales tax!). While strolling in the boutique- and gallery-filled Soho neighborhood, just off trendy Hollywood Road, I happened upon Vintage HK, a very chic second-hand art, clothing, and knick-knack store run by a sharp-eyed hipster named Nadia. Equal parts kitsch and cool (mostly a combination of both), Vintage HK stocks everything from giant plastic Chinese characters (like the Cantonese word for “happiness” pictured in this store window) to funky shoes and accessories to adorable gold shaving kits decorated with animated tigers, horses, or pandas (see photo after the jump). Read more
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