September 7 is #NationalBeerLoversDay! It is celebrated annually to acknowledge one of the world’s most beloved refreshments and to honor those who appreciate it most. Beer is enjoyed worldwide and created in countries around the globe. Holland America Line offers international, top-rated shore excursions for beer lovers no matter where they land on the map. Whether it’s a refreshing and light IPA or a full-bodied dark stout, raise a glass to your go-to brew!
Here is a selection of shore excursions you should look for on the path of your beer journey that will not only give you variety, but a concentration of culture brewed just for you.
Bike & Brew in Juneau, Alaska
Enjoy three experiences in one: biking, visiting Mendenhall Glacier and tasting Alaskan microbrewery beers. More than just a bike ride, this excursion offers you a chance to experience the beauty that surrounds Juneau at a slower pace with friendly, knowledgeable, local guides.
Merchants Wharf is an old seaplane hangar in downtown Juneau and a landmark in aviation history, where you will taste award-winning beers from microbreweries around Alaska.
Astoria Ale Trail in Partnership with Food & Wine Magazine in Astoria, Oregon
As you pass through the town of Astoria on your way to sampling Oregon’s finest ales, sit back, relax and take in the stunning views of the Columbia River. You’re headed to Fort George Brewery & Public House, specializing in innovative and exciting flavors such as coffee stout and wasabi-flavored ginger ale. During your visit, you might want to try a Quick Wit — a Belgian-style ale that’s made with organic pale and wheat malts, ground coriander and lemongrass.
Next, you’re off to Rogue Ales, occupying a former Bumble Bee tuna cannery. Rogue sits on the Astoria Riverwalk, a five-mile river trail that’s lined with hotels, restaurants, parks and a nearly 100-year-old restored trolley train. Made with the finest hops and barley malt, Rogue Ales are bottled using an oxygen-absorbing cap and brown glass for a better shelf life. Some of the barrel-aged beers and ales you might want to try to include Chipotle Ale, which is a golden ale made with roasted chipotle peppers. It produces an eye-opening chili flavor with a malty, smoky aroma and smooth, crisp flavor.
Your last stop is at the Astoria Brewing Company, where a variety of beers are handcrafted using a wide range of hops and grains to create unique flavors. The pub’s riverfront deck is open during the summer and offers a fantastic view of the Columbia River. Here you might try Strawberry Blonde, a beer that attributes its light pink to golden opaque hue to the barley, wheat and 90 pounds of strawberries used in the brewing process.
Wismar & German Beer Tasting: UNESCO World Heritage Site in Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany
Settled near the fabled Via Regia, a Roman Road, and the former east-west trading route, Wismar has been a famous trading destination for hundreds of years.
Walk along the cobblestone streets bordered with Gothic houses, Baroque buildings and Renaissance façades to see the Classical Rathaus (Town Hall), the water tower, the historic drainage system and merchants’ houses from the Middle Ages.
If you were looking for a beer-tastic experience, you’ve come to the right place. In the Hanseatic period, the citizens of Wismar drank Mumme, a strong dark beer. Enjoy a beer tasting flight and a German pretzel within the nostalgic atmosphere of the Brauerei am Lohberg — a brewery and pub that first opened in the Middle Ages. You also will have the chance to sample the medieval Mumme beer —although it is not as strong as it used to be, it is still very tasty.
The Guinness Experience in Dublin, Ireland
Welcome to Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, steeped in ancient history and youthful energy. At the Guinness Storehouse Museum, The Guinness Experience tells a dramatic story that began more than 250 years ago. Often surprising and always entertaining, the adventure starts the moment you walk through the door. As you make your way through the Storehouse Museum, you’ll discover what goes into making the ‘black stuff’ — the ingredients, the process, the passion. The tour ends at Gravity— the sky bar where you will be treated to a pint of Guinness.
Belgian Beers by Night in Brussels, Belgium.
There is no doubt that Belgium is synonymous with beer since this tiny country offers more than 450 varieties of mankind’s favorite beverage. Belgium’s beer-brewing tradition dates back to the Middle Ages. There are approximately 178 breweries in the country — ranging from international giants to microbreweries — which produce a wide range of beers.
Discover Belgian beer culture on a stroll through Antwerp. Walking with your guide, you will visit some authentic Belgian cafés, learn about the beer-making process and hear the history of Belgian brewing. You will taste three Belgian beers at the different cafés before heading back to the ship — thankfully on foot!
Craft Beer, Chocolate & Coffee in Wellington, New Zealand
In a country of four million people, how many craft beers should be available in the marketplace? If you answered ‘more than one’, this introduction to local craft beer and to some of the best tastes of Wellington is for you. Since the late 1990s craft- and microbreweries have been popping up around Wellington like mushrooms, making the capital city the craft beer epicenter of New Zealand.
Start with a short drive through the city to one of Wellington’s best ‘Free Houses’ to grab a bite. This venue captures the essence of the Wellington — the Capital of Cool — and is the first all-organic brewery bar, coffee roastery and restaurant in the city. The ever-changing menu is matched with some small-batch, brewed-on-site beers.
Finally, finish up at the store of a Wellington chocolatier to sample some locally-made artisan chocolates.
Are you ready to go international on your beer journey? Let Holland America guide you through and say cheers to beer on #NationalBeerLoversDay!