Travel Notes and Requests

In four days I’ll be boarding a plane for London, followed by a month of European travel. I’m working on a second edition of the Beer Bible, and my travels are intended to inform me about changes since I wrote the first edition—as well as give me an opportunity to visit some new breweries along the way.

Since writing the first edition, American-style craft brewing has orbited the globe and a hazy IPA can now be found in most large cities. I am very curious to see how this explosion has begun to change local drinking culture. When I first visited London in 2011, it contained something like 20 breweries; there are now four times as many—the majority taking their cues from the US. What has changed?

In addition, I’m also interested to see whether and how the American model is being shaped and adapted in different places. Like London, Vienna has seen an explosion of new American-style craft breweries. How are London and Vienna evolving with this influx?

Here’s the full schedule, with planned brewery tours noted. (I don’t feel the need to see every ten-hectoliter American-style brewery out there—their taprooms are adequate—so I’ll be seeing dozens more on an informal basis.)

  • Sept 9-12, London, England

  • Sept 13, Lewes (Harvey’s Brewery)

  • Sept 14-17, Manchester (Cloudwater, JW Lees, Marble, possibly Track). I’m also doing two events, one with Nat West of Reverend Nat’s on the 14th and one with Cloudwater on the 16th.

  • Sept 18-20, Brussels, Belgium (Brasserie de la Senne, Girardin)

  • Sept 21-22, Antwerp

  • Sept 23-24, Ghent/Oudenaarde (Verhaeghe, Roman, Verzet)

  • Sept 25-27, Vienna, Austria (Schwechat)

  • Sept 28-Oct 1, Krakow, Poland

  • Oct 2-4, Vilnius, Lithuania

  • Oct 5-7, Berlin, Germany (Berliner-Kindl-Schultheiss-Brauerei, Strassenbrau)

Questions and Requests
I will of course be having a rich, rewarding, (and probably exhausting) experience, and I won’t be able to capture everything as the days unfold. I’ll be blogging regularly during this time—possibly more than I do now, but it will nevertheless be a selective window into the experience. So my question is this: what kind of content is most appealing to you?

My sense is that the “today I saw” stuff is boring. In the internet age, everywhere I go will be well-described already. I can punch those missives up by doing some evocative travel writing if that’s of interest. When I have a chance, I’ll try to offer analysis on local brewing scenes and how they compare/contrast with the US. I could also do posts largely composed of photos. Adobe has a very cool app that allows for quick and easy video editing, and I could create short, descriptive videos—possibly including breweries and brewers. I’ll be visiting breweries and drinking lots of beer—what would you like to know about that?

In answering this question, it might be helpful to think of it this way: I’m going to be in quite interesting destinations; what and how would you like me to convey something of those places?

Finally, I’ve got local contacts in every city but Krakow. If you happen to know someone there I should have a pint with, holler. (English-speakers, please; my Polish is rusty.)

Podcasting and Other Media
We are going to try to podcast while I’m gone. I’ll be doing interviews as I go, and Patrick will be back in the XRAY studio with producer Will prepping them for release. This will give you yet another view into this trip. Finally, I’ll be posting things on all the appropriate social media outlets. I do try to keep the content separate, so follow all four if you don’t want to miss anything:

I will be checking email, but won’t be blogging about anything but the trip, so be advised. See you on the other side—

Jeff Alworth26 Comments