(No we are not bunch of drunks, and we don't leave messes... we are beer connoisseurs!)
What are BeerTrips? What is Beer Travel?
BeerTrips are organized group trips that feature multi-night stays in historic cities, fine hotels, great food, and classic breweries and beers. Our itineraries offer a balance of free time and noteworthy beer-related excursions. For more information see About Beer Travel.
What kind of people go on a Beer Trip?
When you join a BeerTrips tour, it is a pretty safe bet that the people on the trip will share your love of great beer. Our travelers are a lot like the folks you might meet at your favorite brew pub or home brewing club meeting. Most take beer fairly seriously; and with 10 -15 people ordering and tasting different beers, you'll find that you can sample dozens more beers in a beer group than you would traveling on your own. Don't worry though, we have people "dragged along" with a beer loving friend or spouse who loved the trip and discovered that beer was much better and much more interesting than they originally thought.
What is life on the trip like?
Life on vacation is generally pretty good, the same goes for Beer Trips. The itinerary is designed to blend activity and relaxation. There a few early mornings, when needed. and a handful of set meeting times for excursions. Meals are relaxed and in general the trips are unhurried. You will definitely have time to pursue your own interests and explore a variety of eating and drinking places. It is a group tour, but it is not one of "those" groups you see that make thank your lucky stars that you are not part of it.
Couldn't I do it myself for less money?
Yes and No. You could do something similar, and save a few hundred dollars. There is no question: we are not attempting to travel on the cheap. Nobody likes cheap hotels anyway. But we feel we offer a good travel value, providing all the standard travel necessities as well as many special events not open to independent travelers.
Can't I buy all those beers here?
A lot of the breweries we visit do sell beer in the States and throughout the world, but the fact is, it is just not the same. We drink the freshest or best conditioned beers the brewers have to offer. Many breweries also only export a few of the style they brew. Special local and seasonal beers are often only available in the region surrounding the breweries. And there are almost always beers you've never heard of to discover.
I don't like the idea of traveling with a group.
To tell the truth, we don't either. But beer groups are different. We exist as a cross between a traveling classroom and a traveling party. People are easy going and generally like-minded in most respects. This make for a harmonious and dynamic interaction. Plus, with lots of people ordering and tasting different beers and food, there is an opportunity to try much, much more than you could on your own.
What about airfare?
With mileage programs, consolidators, internet fares and countless fare sales, it is best to be a "free agent" when buying tickets in today's market. However, if you would prefer to have us arrange your flights we are more than happy to do so. We will resourcefully seek out the lowest available fares and advise you of your options. We advise that you do not purchase tickets until the trip is confirmed - generally 45-60 days prior to departure.
Are you a travel agency too?
We are not a travel agency, we are a specialty tour operator. We work closely with certain agencies and consolidators for air tickets.
Can I use miles?
Yes, but, be aware that it doesn't always work out. Limited availability, undesirable routes, and cancellation and alteration fees, often make using miles less attractive. Mileage tickets have to be booked directly with the airline. We advise that you do not purchase tickets until the trip is confirmed - generally 45-60 days prior to departure.
Can I go early or extend the trip?
We encourage it. We always try to plan our trips to fit as well as possible into working peoples vacation schedules. Most leave on a Thursday and return on the next Sunday, fitting almost into one week. We realize that you could spend a month in London or Munich and still not see it all. Adding a few days on to the beginning or end of the trip is a great way to combine our trip with independent travel. Sometimes we can get you our group rate at the hotels we use, and can help with other arrangements too.
Where do I meet the group?
Usually we meet in the hotel lobby for all excursions and events. Detailed itineraries are provided on tour.
When do I pay?
To hold your space we require a $400 deposit. $350 of this is refundable until the day we mail final invoices. The final payment is generally due 60 - 45 days prior to the start of the trip.
How much spending money do I need?
This varies from person to person of course. $50 a day should be more than enough. If you plan to shop a lot bring more. If you eat a big breakfast, spend less on meals and don't shop a lot, you could get by on less.
How we Travel?
Private Motor Coach:
When we travel between cities we often employ the use of a private, professionally driven, full size motor coach. Traveling by bus, despite its less than popular connotation, is often one of the best parts of the trip. Each traveler has plenty of room to spread out as we have 30-40 seats for our group of 15-18 people. Scenic roads are often part of our route; and people almost always have some beer or local food to sample and share as we drive. The coach also allows us to make special stops and add surprises to the itinerary.
Most of Europe supports a great rail system and, often, this is the preferred mode of travel. On some trips rail passes are issued which offer travelers even more freedom to find out-of-the-way breweries and cafes. Beer and trains seem to be a nice combination.
Cities like London, Brussels, Munich and Prague have excellent public transportation that is safe, efficient and easy to use. On most trips, we rely almost exclusively on public transportation while in major cities. Travel/transit passes are built into your trip cost making getting around as easy as reading a map or schedule. Using public transportation helps us feel more like locals, too. We see a very real aspect of the city.
In our view this is the best way to explore, and it is our first choice whenever possible. City tours and pub/cafe exploration are usually done on foot. When we use rail for excursions, there are often short walks to and from our final destination. The pace is always moderate and we don't cover great distances, but we do walk a fair bit.
With mileage programs, consolidators, internet fares and countless fare sales, it is best to be a "free agent" when buying tickets in today's market. However, if you would prefer to have us arrange your flights we are more than happy to do so. We will resourcefully seek out the lowest available fares and advise you of your options. We advise that you do not purchase tickets until the trip is confirmed - generally 60 days prior to departue.
Upon arrival, several options are available to get you from the airport to the hotel: private transfers with "meet and greet", public transportation, and taxis. We will do everything possible to simplify your arrival.