Travel

  1. Beer City: Düsseldorf

    Beer City: Düsseldorf

    Düsseldorf is the home of the world-famous Altbier, and the reason  for Maggie Cubbler’s pilgrimage to the city. But as she discovered on an enlightening visit to this charming city, there’s much to discover besides. Well, that, and the beer

    “Entschuldigung?” He stops me as I weave my way through the mass of people in the station. I steel myself for what is coming next, knowing full well that if he doesn’t ask me to count to 20 or order him a beer, I am of no help. The man and his family look at me expectantly before I raise my hands sheepishly asking “sprechen Sie Englisch?” in response to whatever he asked me next. They shake their heads. “Français?” I offer. “Farsi,” they respond. Defeated, we mumble apologies in our respective languages as I turn to find my tour guide, Irene Thompson, for the beginning of the day in Düsseldorf.

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  2. Enjoying the Best at Weihenstephan

    The best of the best at Weihenstephan

    Our Beer Sommelier, Maggie Cubbler, recently visited Germany's Weihenstephan brewery for a tour of the world's oldest brewery. There's a reason they've been around so long.

    It pours like liquid gold. Sparkling clear. A ray of sunshine catches the bubbles as they race to the top to form a rocky head suitable for sleeping on if only the glass were bigger. It is truly one of the most attractive beers I have poured into a glass probably, well, ever. Of course it is. Nobody makes a Helles better than the experts at the Bavarian State Brewery, Weihenstephan.

    Indeed, it is here on the gorgeous campus in Freising where future masters are taught by today's best. Not only is this a working brewery producing exceptional lagers and traditional Weissbiers but it is also a university where figures carrying several honorifics before their name teach the next generations charged with carrying on German brewing traditions.

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  3. Inside Cantillon, Belgium's famous lambic brewery

    Inside Cantillon

    Beer Hawk's Patrick Gengler takes a pilgrimage to one of Belgium's most famous lambic breweries 

    Belgium is a place of long, illustrious history, in both beer and war. The beer culture there, as I discussed in my article on innovation, is well established and the locals drink great beer on a daily basis, but Cantillon remains a secret to many.

    When you get off the train at the south Brussels station, there isn’t a whole lot around to suggest that one of the world’s most famous breweries is just around the corner. I learned that less than 10 per cent of the people who visit the brewery at Cantillon are Belgian. Even when a few blocks away from the relatively non-descript building (save for its famous logo hanging on the wall), you would be lucky to find a local who has ever heard of it, much less, one who could tell you where it is.

    Once inside, the 'tap room' is dimly lit with the faint smell of

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  4. When in Rome

    When in Rome

    ... drink beer. Our Beer Sherpa, Patrick Gengler, discovers  beer Elysium in the Italian capital

    Rome, city of monolithic relics of a world long past is a world that, when considered, is unfathomable. The fact that the human race was so advanced so many years ago is mind boggling. So, when you think of Rome, you don’t immediately think ‘good craft beer’ but perhaps you should.

    Among the ancient jumble of buildings are a couple of first-rate bars that were shown to me by a friend working at the American Embassy. However, if you don’t know where you are going, I’d pretty much bet you wouldn’t find any of them; I certainly wouldn’t. It’s always good to have an inside man or woman – she loves craft beer as much as me and can navigate the city’s labyrinthine streets.

    Seemingly non-descript buildings down side streets are hiding beery wonder that could

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  5. The Best of Bristol

    The Best of Bristol

    There are few cities worldwide that can match Bristol’s verve. This was Britain’s ’24-hour city’, it is a flagship for the new localism movement, its musical heritage is renowned worldwide, and now its beer scene is often held up as one of the country’s most exciting. Daniel Neilson reports


    At Beer Hawk, we always want to go out and meet the producers, see the brewery set-up and have a beer with the guys who make the beer, so last week three of us travelled down to the south-west for to see what the buzz was all about. As we begin to expand our range significantly, especially with some more British bottled-conditioned beers and speciality lagers, it became clear we were in the right place. Expect to see some more Bristol breweries

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  6. Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival

    I can hear the din of an excited crowd who is about two-hours into a beer festival but it's just out of sight. Trying to get into the 25th Anniversary Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival, I grumble a bit at three quintessential Swedish blondes for being both beautiful and, well, between me and my festival glass. Finally they take their long legs and move along so I reach for a glass and a program. 

    Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival glass Kungsbryggeriet Dortmunder Gold

    Damn. It's all in Swedish. I guess I'm winging it. No matter. I feel at home in this great Scandinavian city for today we all speak the same language: Beer. Influenced

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  7. A Bad Ass Brew Day at Bad Seed Brewery

    Last Friday the trusty Beer Hawk team made our way on over to Malton, North Yorkshire to try our hand at brewing a beer with the great guys at Bad Seed Brewery. We'll probably stick to our day jobs (a sort of self-imposed exile) but we had such a great time.

    It's hard not to with the comedic timing of Chris--master brain behind the brewery--who, when asked how old he was, proceeded to give us what sounded like a Match.com dating profile. He likes long walks on the beach, ladies!

    Unfortunately, due to a longer-than-expected drive up there (for reasons that will forever be a part of Beer Hawk lore) we missed the best-smelling part: the mashing. For those who don't know, this is the step where the grains used in the recipe are steeped in boiling water for a time in order to extract the necessary sugars. This sugary liquid is called the "wort." At this stage the brewery smells like a sweet, grainy bread factory.

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  8. Ein Prosit! It's Oktoberfest!

    A good few years ago (hence why I look so young and vibrant) I made one of the ultimate beer-pilgrimages: Munich's Oktoberfest. So each year when the air starts getting crisp and the leaves start to change, I find myself reliving the memories of our trip to Germany. I crave those refreshing and smooth lagers. I want pretzels, and spaetzle, and sausages. I wonder what ever happened to my souvenir Ich Liebe Dich cookie that I wore around my neck. I didn't eat it and I'm pretty sure I wore it home on the plane like every good tourist should.

    That time is upon us again--it's Oktoberfest! A festival that started in 1810--initially as a celebration for Crown Prince Ludwig's wedding but had morphed over the years to include horse-racing and an autumn festival--has ultimately found its identity as a place to drink liters upon liters of deliciously drinkable Oktoberfest beer while being enchanted by smells of grilled meat, pretzels, and roughly six million people all trying

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  9. The North(ern Monk Brew Co.) Has Come.

    Today it has come: today is Northern Monk Brew Co.'s first brew day in their new brewery site.

    And it truly has been a long time in the works. I had my first contact with the nascent Northern Monk Brew Co. way back in early 2013 when it was still just a cuckoo-brewing concept with a skeleton website. Yet things have grown quickly for the Monks: they've taken on head-brewer-monk-in-charge Brian Dickson late last year, bought the brewery site sometime around Christmas 2013, and maintained interest in the brand with various collaborations, contract brews, and launch events all over Yorkshire and beyond.

    I've gotten to know the founder and Chief Monk, Russell Bisset, pretty well over the past year-and-a-half through various doings. Besides Russ' family and dog, there are very few people (or canines) that are as pleased as I am that this day--in the North--has finally come.

    Brian and Russell have almost starved themselves to get to this point (seriously.

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  10. A Visit to Conwy Brewery

    A couple weeks ago, I took my first jaunt down to North Wales for the weekend so it was a great opportunity to pop in to one of our lovely breweries: Conwy Brewery. Licensed to brew the sought-after Yakima Grande Pale Ale, it's no wonder that head-brewer and founder Gwynne Thomas and his crew are also churning out so many other great brews with their core range and their West Coast Brewing brand.

    Officially established in 2003, Conwy Brewery has recently expanded to 2.5 times its previous capacity, which is impressive in and of itself. Even more so if you consider the fact that Gwynne essentially started his brewing career in his airing cupboard while at University. Dry clothes be damned when there's fermentation to be done!

    It's always great to take a peek at another brewery that's finding success. I really appreciate the team, especially Janet, for taking time out of their day to show this strange American gal around their new digs. This time around, I didn't get

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