Brewhaha: Ultimate Beer Adventure

Our man heads to Bavaria to partake of the national pastime.

Jul 8, 2009
Outside Magazine

In Bavaria, beer is the adventure. And if, like us, your love for artisanal brew borders on the fanatical—and you could really use six days of both-ends-of-the-candle-burning fun—head to the land of the Reinheitsgebot this summer.

The 1516 brewers’ purity law is in full effect on the new Samuel Adams Hopfenpflücken trip (hosted by outfitter Abercrombie & Kent), where you’ll join Sammy braumeisters at a 600-year-old farm specializing in high-aroma Hallertau Mittelfrüh “noble" hops (unquestionably the world's best), which are used in the company's delicious Boston Lager. It’s the highlight of a sudcentric ramble through Bavaria that hits the old biergartens of cosmopolitan Munich, the barley malters of Bamberg, the medieval town of Regensburg, and beyond, with nary an ancient brewery—including Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest (1004), and Spital (1220)—or sublime vista missed along the way. Whatever sleep you get will be in centuries-old inns, and breaks in the action include a detour to the Bavarian Alps for a (cable-car) ascent of the 9,718-foot Zugspitze, with panoramic views of Austria, Switzerland, and neighboring German states. Make the most of day six’s open itinerary by renting a bike ($17 per day;; two wheels is the best way to tour Old Town Munich.

BEER RECOMMENDATION: It's all so good, but one that just might make you weep because you can't get it in the States is the amazing Saint Katharinen Spezial, from the Spital Brewery, in medieval Regensburg.
TRIP INFO: July 31–August 6; $2,980, excluding airfare; abercrombiekent.comsamadams


P.S. Read more about Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops and great beer in my review of the perfect pint glass.

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