One For The Road: Your Resource Guide to Planning a Beercation
As my family gears up for a big family vacation in a few weeks it is time for me to start mapping out my beer destinations. Although not a true “beercation”, I will be looking at our route and overnight stops to find the best craft beer along the way. This can be a daunting task even for the most seasoned travel pro, so here are a few tips on resources to help you map out your summer beer destinations.
Beer Advocate: This is my favorite source for beer destinations. The website has an extensive database of breweries, beer stores, eateries and brew pubs. The listings are broken down by US states and also other countries, with separate “beer guides” for larger cities. There are listings for some of the smallest towns in the US you can often find hidden gems along the way. About two years ago we spent a few days in Rock Hill SC, not exactly a craft beer mecca, but using Beer Advocate we were able to find a great pub with a very good craft beer selection. This is the kind of resource to use when planning for your vacation, or when doing research during downtime at the hotel. I really wish they would develop an app for when you are actually out and need to find some beer! You will need to create an account to utilize the website to the fullest. Places: Beer Travel Guide at Beer Advocate
Ratebeer: Not a website I use very often, but it is actually a bit easier to navigate and read than Beer Advocate. The listings automatically listed from highest rating to lowest, which is convenient. Regardless of which of these two outstanding beer websites you prefer, both are are great travel resources. Again creating an account will be needed to access this information. Ratebeer Places
Mapping Websites/Apps: Phone and computer maps have really improved a lot over the years and are probably the easiest resource to use. If you are familiar with some of the breweries near your destination simply type in the name of the brewery and ask for directions. I was able to find out that both Three Floyds and Bell’s Brewing are both about an hour away from where we are staying in Michigan by doing this. ROAD TRIP! Google Maps for iPhone | Android
Ask A Friend: In the age of social media and facebook we all probably know at least one person almost everywhere! If they are into beer ask them where to go! I mean who knows the best beer spots better than a local? We will be stopping near Cincinnati OH on our journey and I have already reached out to our buddy Trent for guidance. In return he has provided me with a few tips on places to visit that I might have missed otherwise.
Smart Phone Apps: I have yet to find an app that is more helpful than Beer Advocate, but it is also a bit of a hassle navigating your Internet browser when you are on the go. So I have downloaded a few apps to try out on this years vacation! The most promising is called Find Craft Beer. It uses your phones GPS to find craft beer near to your current location, I feel this will be fun to use when I’m out on a vacation adventure. You can also search by city and /or zip code. The biggest plus to this app is the fact that the database includes beer stores and homebrew shops, as well as breweries and bars/brew pubs. Results can be viewed by list or by pins dropped on a map. Of course the first thing I did is look up my hometown of Savannah GA to see how accurate it is. Although a few things were missing I have to say it was pretty impressed, and if I was visiting I would have been very happy with the options given. You can also add to the database if you find something not listed. I also downloaded the apps Find My Tap and Craft Beer Directory. Both were free, so why not right? I guess we will see which one of those is the most helpful.
I hope you all enjoy your summer holidays… and you are able to find the best craft beer that you can! Just remember that all of us at BDR ask that you please don’t drink and drive! Cheers!!