Friday, November 7, 2014

Beer is the Gateway, Not the Destination.

One thing I've learned about beer over the past few years is that beer is the gateway not a destination. When I first started getting into this beer thing I used to travel to breweries just to say I've been there. Tasting the beer wasn't good enough for me, I wanted to be able to say "Yeah, I've been to XXX Brewery. You should get there if you have the chance." I found myself victim of the weird competitive pissing contest that develops within certain hobbies. It was never anything I took too seriously, but I'd be lying if I didn't get some sort of satisfaction when I could point out that I had been somewhere that someone hadn't.

And then I learned that beer is beer, stainless steel is stainless steel, and tours of breweries almost always seem to bleed together (a few shining exceptions exist, of course). I wouldn't say they were boring or not worth the trip, but they weren't necessarily making my beer taste any more enjoyable simply because I was drinking them on site.

The reason I travel for beer is because it opens up a gateway to experience everything else. Recently, I took my honeymoon to France and Belgium. Beer is precisely the reason Belgium made it on our itinerary, but it's not the main reason I fell in love with the country. The people, the art, the architecture, the landscape, the brought me there, everything else will bring me back. That's why I travel for beer.

This post was inspired by The Session. The Session takes place on the first Friday of every month with bloggers from all across the world getting together to discuss a single topic. This month's Session was hosted by The Roaming Pint.


  1. Beer always makes its way into our travel log, but we rarely "travel for beer". In fact, I can probably say that I've only done it twice, Chicago for the Real Ale Festival, and Maine with tDoB co-founder Chuck. Oh, and I guess our yearly long weekend in Fells Point for Max's Belgian Festival probably counts, although it's not like getting on an airplane.

    Sounds like a great trip and I really enjoyed your write up on The Ghent Altarpiece.

    1. Thanks so much for the compliment. Always nice for new work to be received well.

  2. Thanks for participating! We have fallen into the trap every now and then as well of "chasing the numbers" by visiting a brewery simply to add it to our list. We learned quickly that these visit were often un-fulfilling and and certainly not the full experience.