Many of us remember the summers of our youth including camps, sports complexes, swimming lessons and road trips. Piling into the family rig and setting a course for a resort in the north woods or a more exotic destination that promised carved heads in a mountain was a scenario that played out for many of us. I remember my parents loading us up and we would have to see a certain number of things on the side of the road before we would get a toy to play with the rest of the way. Those memories were before cell phones, portable DVD players and tablets to keep us busy. We had to look out the window and actually see the countryside with our own eyes as opposed to off of Google images.
In my fast-paced adulthood, most of my travel has been via plane. The exotic places are viewed on my television in HD and it is through the perspective of a movie or TV character as opposed to the eyes of a child in the backseat of a station wagon. As I advance in years, I long to travel. I revel in the idea of meeting new people in new places. During the last decade, as my interest in craft beer has grown exponentially, so has my desire to seek out and discover new craft breweries. A year and a half ago, my wife and I flew to Colorado to visit her cousin and try as many new craft breweries as we could over the span of 10 days. The final count was 25 craft breweries and 1 meadery. We sampled over 225 new craft beers and met some amazing new people. I fell in love with Fort Collins and its craft beer scene. I realized that the best type of trip for me is a beercation. It encompasses every thing about travel that I love with craft beer at the center of it.
That is exactly what I am doing, except that since my full-time job only goes for nine and a half months out of the year, my destinations will be more than just Fort Collins, Co. Just like when Frodo left The Shire, I am setting out on an adventure that will take me to many places I have not seen before. My itinerary includes Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and then home. The craft breweries are too many to list. The journey will span over three weeks. I am going to attempt to find the places that people have heard about and tried as well as the places that are great and lesser known. I will try to blog at least once every 2 or 3 days so that you can all see the wonders that I am unearthing in my travels. My hopes are that many of the places I am visiting are places that you, too, will consider adding to your road trip bucket list. If there is one thing that travel has taught me, it is that wonderful craft beer is everywhere, you just have to be looking for it. So, the car is packed, the coolers (3 of them) are full (Surly, New Glarus, Bent Paddle, Fair State and Steel Toe) and I am ready to hit the open road! Prost!