|Pints Pub, Colorado 2006|
Mag and I have been doing beer trips for at least 12 years. The early ones predate this blog; the most recent one was earlier in the month to Colorado Springs. Only four days total, this trip was somewhat shorter and less intense than some of them in the early years. Those were longer, involved more driving but also involved more people. These days it's harder to coordinate schedules so either it's just the two of us or if we're lucky, another couple. Now that you have a little background, on to the planning.
|Dark Horse ceiling of mugs, Michigan 2009|
Step 2: Start determining locations (i.e. cities or breweries) that could be visited.
Step 3: Develop a sample itinerary of breweries/brewpubs.
Step 4: Book needed travel (i.e. flight and/or rental car).
Step 5: Revisit locations on the sample itinerary, modifying it to add or remove locations.
Step 6: Book accommodations.
Step 7: GET EXCITED!!!
Overall, it's pretty simple but we've discovered the importance of knowing the temperament of those going on the trip. In the early years our trips involved more driving between locations, staying in a new location every night (sometimes even forgoing a hotel/B&B for camping). These days we usually pick a central point so that we can stay at the same hotel/B&B every night and at most, do longish day trips. Additionally, we have begun adding in "touristy", non-beer things, particularly in the mornings because I can tell you from experience that starting a full day of drinking by 11 am (possibly even at breakfast) for days on end is brutal.
|Georgetown Brewing, Seattle|
The day by day planning has evolved as well. In the beginning, it was much more regimented, primarily because we had to do X, Y and Z on Day 1 since we'd be driving on to A, B and C for Day 2 with no way to go back. These days, as long as we're going to be staying in the same place for multiple nights, the itinerary can be more flexible with some "must see and do" things each day but also ones that can float around. It's those "must see and do" places that are the building blocks of my itinerary.
|Cave of the Winds|
|Pikes Peak, Day 1 addition|
So much about planning a beer trip depends on your personal style but perhaps you've picked up some tips here. Perhaps you'll find something useful reading Cal's planning strategy as well. Either way, beer trips are a blast!