It’s that time of year again, and it actually has nothing to do with the color of the leaves. I’m talking about a ROAD TRIP!!! Every so often the stars align, and the beer gods grant me the opportunity to drive across the country to sample the finest brews… and visit my family in NJ. But this blog isn’t really about family, it’s about beer! (Sorry Mom!) And that’s exactly what I have been hunting north and south of I-80 the whole way East. Grab your drinkin boots, your growlers, and don’t you dare forget your ID. We’re going on a beer road trip!!!
Before You Go
Want to make life easier? Do some research and plan out a few things for your trip. Look up breweries in a town you might be staying in or along your travel route. I would have kicked myself if I passed 3 Floyds, which is only a 12 minute detour off of I-80.
Bring Beer To Share
The breweries and bars that you stop at will probably have people just as crazy about beer as you are. Gifting beer from your hometown to your server or bartender is a great way to make connections, and brighten up their day. I’ve frequently been given beer in return, and it’s a great feeling. Just spread the beer love!
Set Beer Goals
Looking to try new IPAs? Never tried a lambic before? Trying to hit 500 unique beers on untappd? Recognize your goals, and set out to achieve them! A great beer tool is the untappd app for your phone or tablet. It helps you keep track of beers you’ve tried, as well as rate them and gain achievements along the way. You can also connect with friends to see what they’re drinking. It’s the perfect tool for bragging to your buddies about the fresh pint of Zombie Dust you’re enjoying at Three Floyds Brewery.
Mind The Temperature
If you’re traveling during the summer, be sure to bring enough coolers stocked with ice for your precious, costly beer. Subjecting beer to harsh temperature changes will cause it to age faster, and lose all of those amazing nuances you traveled so far for. Likewise, if it’s going to be below freezing outside, don’t leave your beer in the car, lest you prefer a beer slushie.
On The Road
Prepare For The Unexpected
We never plan to get stranded in a small town like Rawlins, Wyoming, but that’s what I thought was happening to me a few days ago when my check engine light was flashing like a Christmas tree. I lucked out and carried on down the road, but my trip would have been a bit different if I hadn’t. Just roll with it. Sometimes these unplanned events result in the best, wildest experiences you simply can’t plan.
You Can’t Do It All
There was no way I could visit all 19 breweries in Fort Collins, CO in a day. I had neither the time nor the tolerance. Pick a few must-dos, and let the rest fall into place. It’s always fun to return to the same town later and try different places!
Be Open To Suggestions
The open road is the perfect place for an open mind. Not sure what to order? Ask your server. They know the menu best and usually aren’t afraid to steer you away from mediocre options, and towards their best. Not sure where to go next? Ask a local. People love showing others the best of what their town has to offer. Leave yelp out of it.
Don’t Get A DUI
It goes without saying, but I’m saying it. Don’t drink yourself silly and realize you have nowhere to go but the driver’s seat of your car. Eat food with your beer, and go slow. It won’t offend the bartender if you don’t finish your beer. Better to enjoy a few tastes and leave the remaining $3 of a pint than to slam it and end up in the slammer. Ya get me?
There’s a wide open road out there with flowing taps of golden beer just waiting on the horizon. I know the thought is stirring. You can’t hold out forever. Grab your keys and go! It’s time for a BEER ROAD TRIP!!!