Beer and Travel: The Best of the Best

8.02.2012

Thursday, August 2

Okay guys. Get ready to meet my other half. She loves beer and she loves to travel. That is really all you need to know, because by now you should be hooked! 
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Hi friends of A Crooked Trail!  I’m Kristin, and you can find me posting over at Skinny Jeans & a Chai Latte.  Kelley and I have become fast bloggie friends/realized we were very likely separated at birth.  I share the same love for good beer and travel that Kelley does (oh, and we’re both Georgia inhabitants...well I was at least).  
To combine our loves for good beer and travel, I figured I’d throw out a few of my favorite places I’ve traveled to and beers I’ve tried in those spots!   I couldn’t figure out which locale to start with, so I’ll start with one of my favorite domestic cities.
Philadelphia, PA.
D and I ventured to Philadelphia and New York City on a road trip last spring.  I absolutely feel in love with Philly.  If there is any city I would gladly jump on an opportunity to move to, it would be Philadelphia.  A friend recently asked me what is it that I love about Philly.  I honestly had to think for a minute.  In my opinion, it is the perfect city for an original suburban girl. Philadelphia has all the perks of a “big” city: great public transit, awesome restaurants & beer scene, tons of sights and history, with the comfort of a small town.  It is a great biking city.  It’s relatively inexpensive (in comparison to other larger cities).  The people are “towny” and hipster.
Although you’d never believe it (especially if you reviewed our recent Califnornia trip recaps), our trip didn’t revolve around beer and food!  On a quick visit to Philadelphia, I’d recommend checking out the Penitentiary, grabbing a philly cheesesteak, and checking out....bars.  
I would recommend Sidecar & Varga Bar.  Best believe you will always find great beer and stuff to do in Philly!

California wine country/Russian River.
As an east coaster who balks at $450+ flights to California when I can fly international for only a fraction more (admitedly sometimes...), my mentality was to “knock out” CA in one fair swoop.  Much to my dismay happiness, it’s not that easy.  On our recent California road trip, we visited so many awesome and beautiful places it was hard to pick one to feature.
California really has a little bit of alcohol for everyone...wine and beer galore!  Wine country accomplished both of those for me.  While there are a million wineries & cities to explore in wine country, we chose to focus on Healdsburg and Sonoma.  Both cities are perfectly quaint, and it was easy to find good food.  In Healdsburg, I’d recommend checking out Preston Organic Farm & Winery.  In Sonoma, I’d recommend Gundlach Bunschu.  I had my favorite Californian meal in Sonoma as well!
But enough about wine.  Let's talk beer in wine country.  One of the trip disappointments I have is that we didn’t get to spend longer at Russian River.  It’s located in Santa Rosa, which was on the way to wine country from San Fransisco.  Seriously, it is a beer lovers paradise!

Russian River is famous for their Blind Pig IPA, but they have a selection of practically everything at their brew pub.  One thing I loved about it is the fact that not only was the beer amazing but the food was wonderful as well!  

Europe.

I honestly couldn’t pick just one place in Europe.  D and I backpacked for a month back in 2009.  To date, it is still my favorite trip and time of my life.  Whenever I look back through all of my pictures, I’m immediately taken back to that amazing month.  And the beer...
Is there anyone who thinks of Germany without thinking of beer (minus their not-so-stellar political history)?  Augustinerkeller Bier Garten is one of my favorite memories in Munich, Germany.  Massive beers and delicious food all in a huge outside sitting area.
We found we adored the smaller cities a bit more than the larger spots.  We fell in love with Brugge, Belgium.  It could have been the amount of beer consumed at De Garre, but I like to think it was the cobblestone streets (and maybe the cheese they served with every single beer at De Garre).  You don’t need public transportation in Brugge due to its size, but you do need to check out De Garre as well as Brouwerij Taverne.  And take a boat ride through the canals too.  
And while there’s no beer scene here, Cinque Terre, Italy is my favorite place of all time.
While this post turned into a little more travel than beer, feel free to stop by and check out more about my favorite beers for my Food & Beer Friday link-up!  

6 comments:

Stephanie said...

I've never thought of Philadelphia as somewhere I wanted to visit, but now I'm intrigued! :)

Treasure Tromp said...

such lovely travels!

Niken said...

oh that canal!
what a great travel

twiggy@thedirtlife said...

i swear i've walked that SAME EXACT road in philly. the one with that brick building on the corner.

Meagan Murtagh said...

my kind of ladies!

Claire Kiefer said...

Loved this post! Matt and I were next door to Russian River Brewing Company last weekend, but he insisted that RR was too busy/trendy/crowded, so we went to the place next door (Alehouse), which was great as well. But next time I will demand we go to RR! And oh, Cinque Terre . . . how I want to visit you.