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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.
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
Now that I’m in a plane en route to Hong Kong, I finally have time to reflect upon Qingdao (pronounced cheeng-dow), a city of nearly eight million people that feels refreshingly uncrowded compared to most big Chinese cities. Located across from South Korea on the Yellow Sea, Qingdao is a rapidly expanding port city known for its pleasant maritime climate, clean beaches, excellent seafood (spicy clams, seafood wonton, roasted squid, etc.), hilly streets filled with German-colonial architecture, massive apartment complexes with idiosyncratic names like Ideal City and International Mansion Settlement, and, of course, a healthy obsession with beer. Fly here after conquering the well-trod tourist trails of Beijing (just one hour and 15 minutes away) and you’ll experience a completely different side of 21st-century China. Discover seven quintessential Qingdao experiences after the jump.
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