Have Beer, Will Travel: Missoula-Based BeerTrips.com Creates Trips for Beer Lovers

By RYAN NEWHOUSE

Since 1998, a small one-man company in Missoula has launched hundreds of travelers into international beer scenes, taking them Abbey-hopping and Oktoberfest-ing so they can immerse themselves in the history of beer, pint by delicious pint. The business is BeerTrips.com, owned and operated by Mike Saxton in Missoula. BeerTrips organizes beer-related travel tours to the heart of international beer scenes. With trips to Belgium, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Brussels, Amsterdam, England and more, BeerTrips is one of the most unique and focused travel companies in business today, and it all starts right here in Missoula.

“We offer the most un-group-like travel arrangements available to group travelers,” explains Saxton. “We allow our travelers ample free time to explore the regions and towns we take them to, but with a nice mix of historically- and culturally-rich foot tours, and of course lots of breweries and beer.”

On a given trip, 8-15 participants will visit 5-10 different breweries, eat at least one beer-themed dinner and experience a behind-the-scenes look at some of the oldest (and newest) beer producers in the world. The cost of each trip includes hotel lodging, local travel to all the sites, breakfast every day, roughly half of all lunches and dinners (with beer!), focused beer tastings and excellent localguides.

Trips last about 10 days and BeerTrips.com hosts about a dozen trips each year. Next up on the agenda is a trip to Italy, “which is traditionally associated with great wines, but Italian breweries are now making some fantastic beers,” says Saxton. This trip leaves on August 24 and only has one spot left.

The company’s most popular trip by far is “The Great Beers of Belgium,” touring and tasting Lambic, Trappist, Saison and Flemmish Brown beers and breweries while also enjoying stunning art, architecture and history. This October trip is already sold out for 2011.

In its 13-year history, BeerTrips.com has garnered some attractive press. It was listed in the National Geographic book, The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life, by Pam Gout. And it ranked #3 on MSNBC’s “10 Great Getaways for Guys” in 2007. The travel site has also been mentioned in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Examiner.com and in Frommer’s TravelGuides.

To book a trip or learn more about the places you can go to enjoy a cold beer, check out http://www.BeerTrips.com.

Tell us, if you could go anywhere to drink a beer, where would it be? And who would you share it with?

 

Like this Drink It blog?  Chances are you’ll like these blogs by Missoula’s Drink It expert, Ryan Newhouse:  Flathead Lake Brewing Company – Beer Pairing,  Tamarack Brewing Company, Montana Whiskey and Vodka.  And check out our Missoula Restaurants and Dining and Missoula Nightlife sections.

Click here to see Ryan’s “Drink It”archive.

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Ryan Newhouse has lived in Missoula since 2002 and has tipped his glass in most of the town’s establishments. He is a full-time writer, husband and parent (in no particular order) and a part-time zymurgist. He makes a mean hard cider and pairs his cocktails with dishes from his blog, Cooked Animals: Recipes for WildGame.