Exploring a new part of the world can take many forms. On one hand, cycling around an unfamiliar city or town on a fine day, zipping down its hills, coasting through its parks and market places and snaking through its side streets, is an immersive, healthy and efficient way to explore.
On the other, food and drink is an integral part of any culture and there’s nothing quite like holing up in an authentic local bar or tavern and savoring the local fare. These are two very different ways to discover a destination. But biking and brewing don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
To help you explore active culture through the tongue, here are ten of the world’s top beer bike tours:
Photo courtesy of Pedal Bike Tours.
1. Revel In Brewvana In Portland, Oregon
Portland Oregon isn’t known as “Brewvana” for nothing. Experience the city’s vast beer culture – Portland boasts over 60 micro-breweries – on a gentle 3-hour cycling tour with Pedal Bike Tours. Their Oregon Brewery Tour, voted one of the “10 Best Bike Tours in the US” by Bicycle Magazine in 2014, includes three brewery visits, with tastings and a behind-the-scenes tour. Programs run daily and cost $69 per person.
Berlin. Photo courtesy of VBT Vacations.
2. Cycle Through German Beer Country From Berlin To Dresden
When you think of beer, one of the first things you think of is probably Germany. And with good reason. Some of the finest beers are German, and the country boasts an enormous range of top-notch breweries. With VBT Vacations, you can ride from the capital of Berlin to the city of Dresden, stopping to drink with local brewers, farmers and their families. Their Berlin to Dresden trip runs for 10 days, taking in plenty of German history and culture along the way. Prices start at $2845, or $3745 with international airfare.
Photo courtesy of Beer and Bike Tours.
3. Experience Colorado Craft Beer Culture
The USA is certainly not all Coors Light and PBR; the country is increasingly becoming known for its outstanding craft beer culture. One of the forerunning states in micro brewing is Colorado, where Beer and Bike Tours run a range of trips that combine beer with biking. Based out of cycle-friendly Fort Collins and aptly named, Beer and Bike Tours offers a range of just that. Start with their Fort Collins Brew Cruise and sample the offerings of three local breweries, or ride to nearby Boulder on a one-day trip. Tours run daily and prices start at $50 per person.
Photo courtesy of Institutravel.
4. Forget Budweiser: Drink Budvar In Southern Bohemia
Another fine country for beer consumption is the Czech Republic. With Institutravel, you can experience the region by bike, beginning in the UNESCO-protected town of Cesky Krumlov and taking in forests and towns right up to the German border, with their Southern Bohemia tour. Along the way, you’ll try Budvar, the original (and far superior) Budweiser, as well as a tour of the local Eggenburg Brewery in Cesky Krumlov. This tour runs for six days and prices start at $2890.
Third Street Ale Works. Photo courtesy of Ace It Bike Tours.
5. Beer Bike Tours In Santa Rosa, California
The thought of California may evoke wine culture before beer, but the Bay Area town of Santa Rosa offers some excellent beer and bike experiences. Ace It Bike Tours runs a Bike and Brew tour of the city, which takes in the local Third Street Ale Works and Russian River Brewing Co., where you can sample the award-winning Pliny the Elder Double IPA. Tours run daily and prices start at $109 per person. Find out more about Santa Rosa here.
Photo courtesy of Bike Hike.
6. Mountain Bike Coast To Coast Across Scotland
What better way to take in the glorious Scottish countryside than through a cycling tour? With Bike Hike, ride through the Highlands and experience local pub culture on their week-long coast-to-coast tour. From Aberdeen to Ardnamurchan, you’ll visit Scottish castles, country sights and distilleries, with plenty of evening beers in tiny pubs. The Scotland Mountain Biking Coast to Coast trip runs from June 5-14 2015 and prices sit at $3899 per person. Click here to see a video about the tour.
Photo courtesy of MaxyM via Shutterstock.
7. Beer And Bike Through Adelaide, Australia
Beer has long been a key part of Australian culture, extending far beyond the mediocrity of Fosters to include a fast-growing boutique beer scene. In the South Australian capital of Adelaide, you can experience authentic Australian brews by taking this self-guided brewery tour of the Adelaide Hills, taking in the famous fire-brewing Prancing Pony. This brewery boasts a technique involving open flames rather than steaming methods, resulting in beers with hints of caramel flavors.
Photo courtesy of Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery.
8. Craft Beers And Cycling Championships In Virginia
The historic capital city of Virginia, Richmond, boasts a burgeoning micro-brewery scene. From Hardywood to Strangeways to Ardent, the latter of which make the delectable Honey Ginger Beer, some of the country’s finest brews are emerging from this little city. Richmond is also famous for its cycling routes and events, and will be hosting the World Road Cycling Championships in 2015. Head to Visit Richmond’s biking page to discover how to tour the city for beer-related highlights.
Amsterdam. Photo courtesy of Vitaly Titov and Maria Sidelnikova via Shutterstock.
9. Cycle Amsterdam On A Mobile Bike Bar
Amsterdam is a great city for many things, but cycling would have to be one of its top features. The city’s beautiful network of quaint streets and picturesque canals is unrivaled anywhere else in the world. It also happens to be an excellent destination for beer. With Get Your Guide, you can cruise the streets of Amsterdam on your very own mobile bike bar. This tour runs over two hours and prices start at $45 per person.
Flanders. Photo courtesy of Foxy’s Forest Manufacture via Shutterstock.
10. Bike Belgium From Flanders To Wallonia
We’ve covered a number of beer meccas in this article, from the Netherlands to Germany to the USA. But the finest beer destination in the world would have to be Belgium. With Ciclismo Classico, you can cycle through the charming landscapes of the Flemish flatlands and the hills of Wallonia, all while taking in a wide range of Belgian beers with their Bike Belgium tour. This summertime trip runs for 9 days and prices start at $4495 per person.
Do you have a beer bike tours vacation to recommend? Please share in the comments below.
By Gemma King
Top Photo courtesy of MaxyM via Shutterstock.