We've compiled a list of ten things every beer lover should do some time in their life. Last week, we published the Beer Lovers Buck List - Part 1, containing five things and we now proudly present Part 2, containing five more.
As we mentioned in Beer Lovers Bucket List – Part 1, beer is always good and great experiences exist everywhere – that's what makes beer so amazing! But these are the experiences that will change the way you look at beer.
Attend the Borefts Beer Festival – There are beer festivals all over the world. But of the dozens and dozens we've been to, none can come close to touching the Borefts Beer Festival hosted by Brouwerij De Molen of Bodegraven, Netherlands (we included it on our list of favorite beer festivals). A handful of world-class breweries admired by De Molen are invited to attend and showcase their beers and ticket sales are limited, keep crowds manageable and ensuring that attendees have a good time. Be forewarned that De Molen and the Borefts Beer Festival are located in Bodegraven, Netherlands which has only one hotel and that one is usually fully-booked by attending brewers. Thankfully, trains in the Netherlands are frequent and reliable, so booking a hotel in a nearby town is not a problem.
Visit Bamberg, Germany – German smoked beer is not for everyone with flavors that are often overwhelming. But when you drink a few of them in Bamberg, you can taste the differences – the differences between beechwood and oak smoke, for example – and gain a new appreciation for the style. Plus, Bamberg is a UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You'd love Bamberg without drinking any beer (but why would anyone do that?)!
Visit Cantillon – Not everyone loves lambic beer. But whether or not you do, a visit to Cantillon should be on everyone beer lover's bucket list. The brewery is over 100 years old (founded in 1900) and the antique brewery, still operation and used today, is something to behold. And if you do love lambic, what could be better than enjoying a bottle or two at the original source in Brussels, Belgium?
Drink a beer that is itself of legal drinking age – The vast majority of beer tastes best when fresh. But there are some wonderful beers that, like fine wine, become more elegant with age (if you want to read about the science behind this, we recommend "Vintage Beer" by Patrick Dawson). Of course, you can buy and age bottles of beer on your own, but if you want to try something over 21 years old now, there are a handful of legendary beer bars that have well-stocked cellars of aged beer. Trust us when we tell you that Kulminator in Antwerp, Belgium (they're so old school that they don't even have a website) and Ma Che Cieta Venuti A Fà in Rome, Italy are worth the trip.
Attend a German beer festival, but not Oktoberfest – The world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany may be a raucous party, but it's no place to enjoy good beer. But every major town in Germany has a similar festival showcasing local beer. We've been to beer festivals in Augsberg, Germany and Regensburg, Germany and loved every second of our time and every drop of our beer!
Cheers! And happy travelling!