Although wine tastings and visiting vineyards and wineries is a popular pursuit, many people are unaware of the incredible number of different beers and breweries that exist worldwide. From ales to malted beers, draughts to pilsners, and smoked beer to lager, breweries have something to interest everyone.
A short break beer holiday is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the beers of particular regions. Beer brewing and tasting cannot be discussed without mentioning Belgium and Germany, specifically Bavaria. Learn about the travel possibilities for beer tasting, and drinking, in each of these countries. The Czech Republic is the birthplace of pilsner and should be high on the list of places to visit.
Closer to home, the Great British Beer Festival promises to entertain beer aficionados from all over the world. Visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and do not miss a visit to the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham, North Yorkshire. Short break beer holidays, travel tickets, and accommodation are available from a variety of sources, including travel agents and online, from eBay.
Bruges is the capital of West Flanders in the northwest of Belgium. The city centre is a World Heritage Site. Like Venice and Amsterdam, Bruges features a number of canals. Visitors can see the beauty of the medieval buildings and gothic architecture. The city's museums house a wide variety of collections, from ancient artefacts to modern artworks. There is even a museum dedicated to chocolate.
Visit the De Halve Maan brewery to sample Brugse Zot and Straffe Hendrik beer. The first mention of the brewery is made in records dating back to 1564. It is the only brewery in the city offering public tours.
Sampling Belgian beer is best done in one of the many bars surrounding the city centre. Most bars have a wide selection of local beers. Each comes with its own type of glass, and bar staff are happy to explain the beer's origins to the uninitiated. Invest in a good guidebook before setting off and learn about the country's beers to make the most of the journey.
Bavaria is a German state in the southeast of the country, with Munich as its capital. It is one of the oldest states in Europe and was established as a duchy towards the middle of the first millennium. Beer brewing and drinking are key parts of Bavarian life.
Bavarian beer is brewed under the purity law established by the Duke of Bavaria in the City of Munich in 1487. According to this law, which is known as the Reinheitsgebot, only water, barley, and hops may be used to brew beer. Today, this is no longer a legal requirement, but brewers comply as a matter of principle. These beers are often suitable for those who experience mild allergy symptoms or heartburn when drinking beers that contain other ingredients or chemicals.
Beer gardens are open from May to October in Bavaria and act as a gathering place for locals and visitors to share a few glasses of beer and some local snacks. Traditional beer gardens allow guests to bring their own food. In the north, beer is served in half litre glasses; in the south, it is served in litre glasses.
The largest beer garden in Bavaria is Munich's Hirschgarten, which can accommodate 8,000 guests. The city's second largest beer garden, located in the centre of the Englischer Garten, can accommodate 7,000 people. Since size is not all that should be taken into account when choosing a beer garden, spend some time exploring the city. There is a number of smaller, more rustic locations available. Sample a range of beers or focus on specific types and indulge in the interesting and tasty foods on offer. A guidebook and book about Bavarian beer are a must.
Munich also hosts the annual 16 day Oktoberfest, running from late September to the first weekend in October. The festival celebrates beer, and millions of people flock to it each year. Other cities host events that mirror this festival. Beer connoisseurs may find beer gardens somewhat crowded during the festival.
Pilsner is a type of pale lager invented in the town of Pilsen, close to Prague. Visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery where it is possible to taste cask conditioned, unpasteurised beer, similar to that brewed in the nineteenth century. A brewery museum displays the history of brewing at Pilsen and the origins of the town. The brewery hosts a two-day Pilsner Fest each year.
Those who want to explore more of the local beers should visit during Prague's 17 day Czech Beer Festival, where more than 70 local beers are showcased. The festival is held every May. While visiting, explore the pubs and beer halls for a taste of authentic Czech nightlife. Invest in a good guidebook to learn about not-to-be missed sights, attractions, and pubs.
The Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) is an annual five-day event held in London and organised by the Campaign for Real Ale. Tens of thousands of people attend the festival each year. More than 800 real ales, cider, and foreign beers are on offer, with food and entertainment to help them down. British beers are showcased at this event, with the Champion Beer of Britain competition winners announced from the stage.
More than 5,500 beers are brewed in the UK. This includes old ales, bitters, milds, stouts, and draught beers. They come in a huge variety of flavours, with everything from chocolate overtones to floral notes.
The Guinness Storehouse is one of Ireland's top tourist attractions. Visitors are taken into the world's biggest pint glass to learn about the history of Guinness. The tour includes a visit to the cooperage where visitors are shown how beer barrels are transported. Although brewing is not part of the tour, tasting is. Tourists are served a pint in the Gravity Bar on the top floor. Learn a little about the history of Guinness before visiting the Storehouse.
The Black Sheep Brewery's first beers appeared in pubs in the Yorkshire Dales in October 1992. The brewery produces traditional beers and is housed in the renovated old Victorian maltings building that was once part of Lightfoot's Brewery. The equipment used in the brewery was saved from demolition and scrapping from breweries across the UK, and lovingly restored. The Black Sheep Brewery Visitor Centre is an all year round attraction in the Yorkshire Dales. The brewery is best known for its lead cask ale, Black Sheep Best Bitter, which is available all over the UK. The beer is brewed from water, malted barley, wheat, roasted malt, and hops. This family owned and run brewery is well worth a visit.
Finding the perfect short break beer holiday on eBay is easy. Type a phrase, for example " Prague accommodation", into the search field, which is displayed on every page, to see the listings available. Narrow your results by choosing the most appropriate category and item characteristics. If you would like more control over your search, use the advanced search feature.
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A short break beer holiday is perfect for expert and novice beer enthusiasts alike. Visit Bruges in Belgium for a taste of the local beers and take in the sights of this historic city between tastings. Bavaria should not be missed, with its age-old traditions. Sample the pure local offerings while snacking on traditional foods. Choose larger beer gardens in and around Munich, or more rustic and cosy settings. Most of those who have experienced it agree that beer lovers should visit the annual Oktoberfest at least once. However, tourists who are looking for a quiet short break should visit Munich at a different time of year. The Czech Republic is the home of pilsner and a trip to Pilsen is an excellent opportunity to taste beer as it was made in the 1800s.
A long trip is not required for a short break beer holiday. Consider visiting the Great British Beer Festival, Guinness Storehouse, or Black Sheep Brewery. The pubs around breweries and in areas known for their beers tend to stock a wide variety of local brews. Bar staff are usually knowledgeable and can recommend the best beers for every palate. eBay sellers offer everything from accommodation to tailored short break packages perfect for beer aficionados.