Europe holds a myriad of magic in her balance between rich culture, sacred traditions, and state-of-the-art innovation. The sheer magnificence of the landscape, blended with historical architecture and the diversity of European community, opens a distinctive adventure to those who love cultural exploration. Add the sparkle of world-class beer, with the distinctive abbeys, farmhouse breweries, and specialty towns immersed in its creation, and you open the door to an experience of a lifetime!
“Travel is not only about destination – it is about experience,” says Mike Saxton, president of BeerTrips.com. Founded in 1998, Mike introduces travelers to the delights of the European experience, with an appealing focus on beer culture and the foundational heritage beneath this culture.
Beertrips.com offers a wide array of experiences – trips to Amsterdam, Belgium, France, England, Scotland, and the Bavarian countryside of Germany and Austria. For those who wish to vacation in the U.S., he offers a taste-of-the-West Salmon River Beer Float, complete with whitewater rafting, sandy beaches, hot springs and beer tastings.
The touring groups are limited to 10 -16 people - a bit like a traveling party and mobile classroom, with a common interest in beer. This makes for an easy bond of dynamic harmony among those who celebrate diversity in brewing styles. Excursions use a balanced mix of walking tours with public and private transportation, making one feel “less of a tourist, more like a traveler.”
These tours are designed with a focus on the “Beer Lover.” With his fluency in French, coupled to an immense portfolio of beer experience and contacts, Mike Saxton leads you into the best, most interesting breweries, often gaining access where larger groups are not welcome.
In medieval philosophy, quintessence was the fifth essence, or ultimate substance of which the heavenly bodies were thought to be composed – the most perfect manifestation of quality. Mike Saxton describes his most memorable beer tour as the “quintessential beer trip.” Although Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy, the monastery that brews world-class Trappist Rochefort Ales, has a reputation for limited access, beertrips.com had acquired approval for a tour of the abbey and brewhouse – with one limitation. Due to traditional beliefs, women would only be permitted to tour the exterior grounds. Several conversations (in French) between Saxton and Père Jacques would not change this, so the travelers accepted this limitation with respect.
Upon arrival, Père Jacques bent from tradition, and graciously permitted the women to enter the hallowed walls. They began with a tour and tasting, followed by admission into the mid-day service, a mysterious manifestation of age-old praise and Gregorian chanting that sent goose bumps up their necks. The experience remains one of the most vivid in his memory – quintessential!
He speaks of Fantome, a little brewery in Luxembourg, essentially run by one man in traditional style. A bit of a Cezanne, this brewing-artist of Fantome has his own brand of European charm. His brews are intense with magical variation, exhibiting flavors that range from butterscotch to currant-sherry.
BeerTrips.com infuses the excitement of a beer festival into the itinerary, whenever possible - The Zythos Beer Fest in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, where 50 Belgian brewers gather to display their talents at the onset of Spring; Munich’s Fruhlingsfest at the advent of the Easter season; The Great British Beer Festival in early August; and Oktoberfest – the gigantic Autumnal celebration of beer!
When you talk with Mike Saxton, it is easy to detect his depth of experience. In the past, he has designed group trips all over the world – to such exotic locations as New Zealand, Kenya, and Costa Rica – as well as trips in France and throughout the United States. His reputation for managing details is well-known within the ranks of the travel industry. He creates perfect harmony between adventure and structure. His choice of nice hotels in interesting cities, a fine mix of world-class brewery tours – from renowned monasteries to family-run farmhouses - and expansive knowledge makes for the ideal beer lovers vacation.
Indulge yourself in great food, world-class beer, and the opportunity to experience much more than you could as a solo traveler!
BeerTrips.com Schedule of Trips for 2005:
The Zythos Beer Fest, Ghent & Amsterdam – March 3 - 13, 2005
Munich’s Fruhlingsfest & Bavarian Country Breweries – April 28 – May 8, 2005
Farmhouse Ales of Belgium and France – May 12 – 22, 2005
Real England & The Great British Beer Festival – July 28 – August 7, 2005
Salmon River Beer Float – August 9 – 16, 2005
Czech Micro Breweries – September 1 – 11, 2005
Prague, Bamburg and Munich Oktoberfest – September 15 – 25, 2005
Belgium: Trappists and Boondocks – September 29 – October 9, 2005
Great Beers of Belgium – 6th Edition – October 13 – 23, 2005
Breweries and Distilleries of Scotland – November 10 – 20, 2005
For details about beer trips, log on at http://beertrips.com, or contact Mike Saxton by phone at 406.531.9109 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
These trips are the creamy, rocky head atop your very best brew - the premier opportunity to experience Europe and its beer heritage in Beer-loving Style!