There are few people these days who don’t love the craft brewing tradition that has taken the United States by storm. I recently came across an article that discusses a new phenomenon, the “beer cruise”, that offers passengers special presentations, onboard beer tastings and excursions to local breweries. It presents the top beer-cruises across the world for enterprising connoisseurs who are willing to pay some extra cash to taste the best beer around.
The Crystal Cruise, which has already offered cocktail courses and wine pairings, is now offering a deal for craft beer aficionados. The 14-day excursion, which goes from New York to Miami, features shore excursions to micro and nano-breweries in and around New York and Charleston. While on the ship, guests get signature beer tastings led by beer experts.
One of the great pioneers of the American craft brewing tradition is the Pacific Northwest, where most of America’s hops are grown and many of the original craft breweries started. The Alaska Beer Cruise includes seminars, onboard beer talks, beverage-themed activities and tastings. The tour itself includes specialty brews distinct to the Pacific Northwest, and the chance to visit remote breweries in the Juneau area. The cruise departs from and returns to port in Seattle. If you’d enjoy some more of the Pacific Northwest’s crisp and hoppy brews, you can board the Norwegian Cruise Line on a five-day excursion. The Astoria Ale Trail takes guests on a tour of Northern California’s local breweries, where you can enjoy varieties of beer ranging from chocolate stouts to steam beers. You can also take advantage of Un-Cruise Adventures, which offers a unique craft beer-themed cruise of the Olympic Wilderness and San Juan Islands complete with presentations, hands-on learning opportunities and specialty beer tastings. Off-ship, you can enjoy such excursions as kayaking, hiking or exploring the area by skiff. And at the end of the day, you can sit down and enjoy a tasty beer while on-ship while watching marine life pass by.
While the craft brewing craze is much bigger in America, Europe offers plenty of timeless brews for the connoisseur. Avalon offers two unique cruises: an 8-day round trip to Amsterdam and a Vienna-Munich cruise. There will be onboard tastings, visits to historic breweries (some of the oldest ones in the world) and even on-ship lectures! You can also visit the British-American Cunard Line, which offers passengers to enjoy the time-honored English pub culture. Each ship is equipped with a traditional, English-style pub that offers a wide range of bottled and draft beers, such as Guinness, Boddingtons, Bass, Old Speckled Hen and Spitfire Real Ale.