I’m always trying to think of two completely random things that, with their powers combined, create a new level of awesomeness that the world has never seen before. I’d whisper my idea to a small newsboy, who would run along cobblestone streets, cheering and yelling to the townspeople.
The elderly would dance a jig and shed tears. A simple morning stroll would create parades, and I’d end up signing babies while getting coffee. I’d have to carry Sharpies, moms would get mad at my pen choice, it’d be a whole big ordeal.
Spoiler: I haven’t come up with that combination yet, but I DO get excited when I imagine this delightful pairing:
Craft beer and traveling. Simple, yet incredibly enticing.
Oh, the possibilities! The potential pairings! The glorious perfection of it all.
In a few months, my beautiful girlfriend and I will be en route to Europe, and being self-proclaimed craft beer connoisseurs (I’m already using fancy European words!), we cannot wait to take in a few sips, or hearty swigs, as we take it all in. We’re not beer experts, we simply have the utmost respect for the creativity and devotion of brewers, and we get to enjoy the fruits of their labor of love.
We’re always trying new beers at craft beer bars. Those expansive chalk boards with ever-changing names lead to the usual questions:
“What’s the hoppiest beer that you would recommend?” (I love me some hops.)
“Have I tried that one before? I did? Did I like it?”
“Is that a limited release Curieux? Am I saying that right? Cure-e-oh?”
We’re lucky to be surrounded by award-winning breweries in San Diego, but there’s a world of beer and knowledge that await us, prompting so many more international questions.
“What ales pair best with croissants?”
“Do Belgians actually drink Belgian beers, or is it like a Foster’s Beer and Australians kinda-relationship?”
“Can I just cheers with “Prost” in all the countries we visit?”
See? Lots to learn.
I’m definitely excited for the sheer diversity of the regional beers, and how each brew is influenced by the climates and ingredient varieties. The craft of beer-making amazes me. To take four simple ingredients and create endless varieties of beers is both inspiring and tantalizing. To brewers, it is truly a dedicated and heartfelt craft.
One sip of an artfully crafted beer will conjure aromas and tastes that blend into a new sensory experience on your palate. And, to have these experiences while on the shores of the Rhine River, a garden lunch in Belgium, or in a musty English pub—that is the perfect blend of craft and culture. Immersed in new landscapes, sipping on new brews and taking it all in with a big deep breath and a simple smile.
As for our travel itinerary, we will be flying into England, then making our way to France and going east. We’ll be exploring new terrains, crossing borders by train and trying beer varieties as we go along. Part of me wants to voraciously consume online beer reviews before departing, another part of me wants to let my curiosity order for me. I’m a sucker for user reviews, full-screen images of frothy beer, and may or may not have already searched for “best beers in Europe” while typing this article. Of course, that just made my mouth water so I had to close that window (after bookmarking, of course).
The best pairings add a completely new perspective to each item, and the pairing of craft beer and European travels does just that. In traveling to the very regions that created beer varieties, we’ll come home with a new appreciation for these beers. It’s not just the regions—it’s the conversations full of laughter at pubs, the crisp pours at lunch overlooking rolling hills, and new sights and smells that blend together to create an unforgettable experience.
Craft beers and European travels— I’ll cheers to that. Prost!