A Beer Lover’s Trip of a Lifetime
on 25/02/12 at 10:50 amBeer
With more than 1,300 active breweries, Germany is arguably the greatest beer country in the world. Millions of beer drinkers travel to Munich´s legendary Oktoberfest every year, and many monasteries in Bavaria have been brewing for hundreds of years. Passionate imbibers appreciate Germany for its revered purity laws, its traditional brews as well as the multitude of brewing styles resulting in distinct flavors in different regions all over the country. In May, the “German Beer Trip” will take beer lovers on a two-week-trip through many of these regions.
The organizer of the “German Beer Trip” is Lars Halter, a well-known German-American and organizer of the Steuben Parade in New York. Every year in September, this largest German-American festival in the United States brings music and culture of the old world to Manhattan´s posh Fifth Avenue, all culminating in New York´s largest Oktoberfest. Held right in Central Park, the festival adheres to strict rules: “We serve only German beer”, proclaims Halter proudly, and the strategy pays off: the party is usually sold out weeks in advance.
Proud of the beer tradition in his homeland and driven by the enthusiasm of American beer drinkers, Halter put together the “German Beer Trip” as an exclusive travel experience including private brewery tours and tastings as well as some of Germany´s most interesting cities and tourist attractions:
The trip starts in Berlin, where travelers will have a fruit-blended “Berliner Weiße” in the city´s oldest beer garden (dating back to 1837), and continues with a visit to Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle, a traditional monastery brewery that survived the socialist rule of the East German government and today turns out the most delicious “Schwarzer Abt”, a beer rarity in Germany inasmuch as it is the only brew that includes sugar and still conforms to the purity law.
The trip continues to the old Hanseatic city of Stralsund, where a local brewery stands behind the best Schwarzbier (dark stout) in the country, and on to Jever in the Frisia region, where beer has a more hoppy flavor. The tour continues on to Einbeck, home of the “bock beer” favored by reformist martin Luther, and on to Cologne and Düsseldorf, two neighboring cities with a rivalry that extends to their different brews: “Kölsch” in Cologne, and “Alt” in Düsseldorf. No trip to Germany would be complete without a visit to Franconia, and specifically to the picturesque town of Bamberg, where the legendary “Rauchbier” (smoked beer) is served. Next stop: Munich, where travelers will hit the world famous Hofbräuhaus – the largest brew pub in the world – before exploring some of Bavaria´s best breweries, including Weihenstephan, where brewing started in 1040 AD.
While the “German Beer Trip” obviously focuses on the tasting of many different beers, it does hold more in store for those who want to experience a broader slice of Germany. Regional food will be served in quaint locales throughout the trip, and travelers will visit metropolises of Berlin and Munich as well as the awesome Baroque Castle of Neuschwanstein and the medieval Castle Eltz. Other highlights include an exclusive visit to an original beer stein manufactory, where the traditional German mugs have been handcrafted for generations.
A festive High Mass at the Cologne Cathedral and tours through the historic cities of Stralsund and Bamberg will have travelers enjoy three UNESCO world heritage sites within just a few days. Other highlights include a Rhine River Cruise, a visit to a museum brewery where old methods of beer making are shown, and a trip to the “Hop Museum”, where an experienced brewer will serve and explain the best beers of the world in a rare tasting.
The “German Beer Trip” is taking reservations now. The trip is limited to 40 travelers to keep this experience exclusive. A detailed itinerary is available and reservations are accepted at www.GermanBeerTrip.com. Regular updates are available at www.facebook.com/GermanBeerTrip.