The latest issue of Zymurgy magazine had a segment titled “25 things to add to your bucket list.” This inspired me to come up with my own list of things for a beer lover to strive for. I hate the term “bucket list”, so to me this is just a “to do” list. It is somewhat Colorado focused and has a lot of European items – several from Germany. I’ve checked most of these off my list, but still have a number of items that I need to work on.
I know I’ve missed a bunch, so please leave comments and let me know your ideas of things that should be added!
1) Attend the Colorado Brewer’s Festival in Ft. Collins, CO. It is held each year on the last full weekend of June in Old Town.
2) Tour the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO. This is the world’s single largest brewery, and one of the only places to see an operating maltings.
3) Tour a local craft brewery. (Preferably your home brewpub) See how this differs from the Coors mega brewery.
4) Visit the Orval Monastery (Abbey Notre-Dame d'Orval) in southern Belgium. You can’t drink there, but the pub on the road leading out is a great place to drink an Orval after wandering the historic monastery ruins. If not Orval, visit one of the other six Trappist breweries.
5) Attend Oktoberfest in Munich.
7) Get a certificate or degree in Brewing Sciences. For example from UC Davis, Siebel or better yet Weihenstephan.
8) Host a beer & cheese-pairing event for your friends.
9) Tour a Lambic brewery near Brussels.
10) Visit the best beer hall and beer garden in Austria – Augustiner Bräu Kloster Mülln in Salzburg.
11) Drink a Guinness and listen to traditional music in an old Irish Pub. (Not here - in Ireland!)
12) Make the 7 1/2 mile, 4000’ vertical trek up to the Watzmannhaus near Berchtesgaden, Germany. You will be rewarded at the top with German specialty dishes and great Bavarian beer!
13) Drink a local Montana craft beer in a real, old-school western watering hole. A couple of recommendations would be the “New” Atlas Bar in Columbus, MT (aka The Dead Animal Bar) or the famous Grizzly Bar in Roscoe. Ideally this is done after a day hiking the Beartooth Mountains or floating the Yellowstone or Stillwater.
14) Visit the Baroque church and beautiful beer garden of the Kloster Andechs south of Munich. This Benedictine monastery has brewed beer since 1455. It is called the “Der heilige Berg”, the holy mountain.
15) Attend the Great American Beer Festival – held every fall in Denver, Colorado.
16) Drink a Real Ale in a traditional pub out in the English countryside.
17) Take the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) exam and become a beer judge.
18) Visit a real Zoigl house brewery in the Oberpfalz region of Bavaria, Germany. (http://www.2009bdoty.com/2010/10/zoiglbier.html)
19) Join a “beer of the month” club.
20) Tour the brewery and underground caves of the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Pilsen, Czech Republic. This brewery is the origin (“Urquell” in German) of the most prolific beer style on the planet.
21) After a long hike, reward yourself with a cool beer above tree line.
22) Walk the eight miles of the “Brauereienweg” (brewery trail) and drink at the four breweries in the small community of Aufseß, Bavaria, Germany.
23) Visit the Railyard Alehouse and four breweries of Billing Montana’s “Brewery District.”
24) If you don’t already know how, learn how to brew, or at least help a homebrewer friend. Taste and smell the ingredients and learn the impact of ingredients on the final product.
25) Visit the Bräustüberl in the beautiful 1250 year old community of Tegernsee south of Munich.
26) Drink a pint at Colorado’s oldest craft brewery, the Wynkoop in lower downtown Denver.
27) Drink a Rauchbier along the Regniz River in Bamberg, Germany.
28) Host a Single Malt Scotch Whisky tasting. The events my friends and I host are called “Red Meat and Scotch.” Beer drinking is also allowed.
29) Take a limo brewery tour in the “Napa Valley of Beer”. (http://www.2009bdoty.com/2011/04/napa-valley-of-beer.html)
30) Visit the Hallertau region of Bavaria north of Munich in late August and admire the beautiful hop fields.