The Better Beer Vacation

As I was lamenting on my blog yesterday, most of us with kids are suddenly aware of the dire truth: school’s out, school’s out, teacher let the monkeys out.  So, while the majority of us adult-types will—no doubt sullenly—continue our daily grind to put food on the table, our children will be running about free and unencumbered.

It’s just not right.

What this calls for, then, is obviously a soul-cleaning journey of personal growth: a vacation to a beach somewhere.

But let’s be honest – even the beach is really for the kids, right?  Sure, the water’s fun and everything, and it’s nice to relax and read a pulpy paperback while your skin magically transforms from its wintery shade of "guppy belly white" to a much more painful tint such as "furious crimson."

Still, the now-sore-but-hopefully-not-blistered adult needs somewhere to turn for, you know, grown-up vacation enjoyment?

The answer, for most of us, anyway, should be obvious: local craft beer.

Clearly, the idea of sampling the local craft brews whenever one finds him or herself in a strange and foreign place is not novel, by any means.  The regular Traveling Tuesdays feature here on Hoperatives is a testament to that.  Beer lovers typically search out great beer wherever they might find themselves.

Unfortunately, of the all the Hoperatives contributors, I’m probably the only one who hasn’t written a real Traveling Tuesday post.  Because…um…well, because I don’t often go anywhere.  And the places I do happen to go don’t often have a brewpub nearby.

Yes, it’s a curse.

Imagine my joy, then, as I found myself booking a fancy summer beach vacation, with overnight stops in beer-friendly cities along the way.  No, that joy wasn’t really about beach.  Yes, admittedly, it will be fun to visit the coast with the kids and build sand castles and, um, whatnot.  Really, though, my school-boy giddiness was because as I clicked the "submit" button for our hotel reservations, another half-dozen tabs in my browser were already open, each with a map covered in little blue dots of possible craft beer wonder.

Which got me thinking: have you every taken a road trip completely dedicated to craft beer?  Looking at a map of the craft breweries in the US (like these), it seems to me such an adventure is just begging to be undertaken.

In fact, I’ve half a mind to cash in my 401k, buy an RV big enough to require its own zip code, name it the Craft Beer Crusader, and play connect-the-dots with that Breweries of the US map. 

Who’s with me?

Ok, so maybe that’s a little unrealistic.  But the craft beer vacation isn’t.  So, have you ever planned a trip around a craft brewery or two?  What are your summer vacation plans for the year, and how does better beer fit into it?

I, for one, am setting out to gather a little Traveling Tuesday research.  Oh, and I guess we’ll show my kids the ocean while we’re at it.

Hopefully you’ve got some awesome plans too.


3 Replies to “The Better Beer Vacation”

  1. Seven years ago a group of us decided to visit Rehoboth Beach, DE to check out DogFish Head and it has become a tradition to do a yearly trip based around better beer every April. We have done Chicago to Asheville with many stops in between and we are already planning for Raleigh-Durham next year.

  2. Last year we stopped in Milton and Rehoboth Beach on our way to Virginia Beach to sample Dogfish Head brews. It wasn’t on the direct route, but Delaware was one of only 2 states that I had yet to visit, so we found a reason to take a detour and visit “The First State.”

  3. I’ve done trips to Asheville, and have found great beer bars in Wilmington (NC), Pensacola, Nashville, Louisville, and probably a few others.

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