If you ask me, beer and travel go hand-in-hand. From trips based around the hops & barley drink to those tourists that collect and try different beers from around the world, in most backpacking circles you’ll find a fair amount of beer.
My travel history with beer
When in Dahab, Egypt I met another backpacker who collected beer labels during his travels. When I saw him peeling off the label for an Egyptian beer and pasting it into his notebook, I immediately knew what I would do to commemorate my travels. I started collecting labels and pasting them in my notebook. Flipping through my five notebooks from my travels, I’ve now got more beer labels than any other type of souvenir — and each brand reminds me of specific travel adventures and destinations. There are four stand-out memories from my round-the-world adventure that focus on beer.
- Beer in Spain
In Spain, the beer is cheap and is often served with tapas. In Madrid I discovered the amazing place that is the Museuo del Jamon. Despite its name, it’s not a museum — but instead offers up cheap bocadillo sandwiches…with beer of course.
- Beer in Thailand
In college in the US, because the drinking age is 21, beer wasn’t something I couldn’t legally consume. When I did finally hit the golden age, I was eating pretty regularly at some cheap and local Thai restaurants. Pad Thai and Singha beer will always remind me of my college days. And when my sister returned from Thailand on a trip with her husband, the souvenir they brought back for me was a Singha beer t-shirt. So, needles to say, by the time I arrived in Thailand, I was pretty excited to try out the local beer on the local turf. I quickly learned there were much better Thai beers, though!
- Beer in Vietnam
While the beer in Laos was memorable and oft-cited among backpackers (look up Beerlao), it’s the beer in Vietnam that stands out in my mind. With the cheapest beer in the world, I still remember wandering the streets of Hoi An trying to find a cheap local beer, sitting along the river and enjoying the sunset. On the streets of HCMC, I would sit at one of the plastic street-side tables drinking beer after beer with the other backpackers and the occasional cute local boy. If there’s a country in the world who knows the value in beer drinking, it must be Vietnam!
- Beer in Berlin
When I first arrived in Berlin as a tourist, I quickly learned about a few of the quintessential Berlin activities: street parties, open-air festivals and spätis. Specific to Berlin, the spätis are small convenience stores on just about every street where you can find cheap beer.
The Traveler Beer Company
It’s no surprise to discover that one beer company in the US has started to adopt the travel lifestyle for their own brand. The Traveler Beer Company launched in 2012 and offers craft beers around the travel theme. And just to make theme even more cool, they’ve adopted the European shandy style of beer. Shandys, if you don’t know, are often beers mixed with soda, lemonade or cider. In Germany, we call them Radlers.
And, just in time for summer fun, the Traveler Beer Company is launching a sweepstakes called “A Ticket to Ride” on their website and Facebook page. The Grand Prize includes 2 Eurail passes, 2 round-trip airline tickets to Europe (travel voucher for $1,000 per airline ticket,) 2 Curious Traveler backpacks and $500 traveling cash. Want to get in on it? Get going! The sweepstakes runs through May 31!
If your’e a US resident, check out the Traveler Beer collection online, be sure to enter their contest, and then share below where you’ve enjoyed your favorite beer while traveling!
awesome! do you have the names of specific beers that you’ve tried and loved? :)
Ohhh, I do have all the beer labels but not a complete list. That’s a great idea, though…and I should definitely document it somewhere. Thanks for the suggestion Esther!
I like your souvenirs! Its hard to say where I’ve had my favorite beer but it was most definitely in a bier garden either in Germany or Austria!
Yes, beer + travel, I’m all for this as well. I remember being amazed by finding good beer in Lebanon…! I’ve adopted a tradition of bringing home a beer glass from as many countries as I can. My collection is getting out of hand, but when I drink from those beer glasses at home, it brings back fun memories from past travels. (Have only had 1 glass break so far…an Angkor glass from Cambodia, which a friend replaced for me when they returned from Cambodia!)