Okay, so you think you may want to try this out. You like wine, or beer, or spirits, and you are interested in going to the source. It’s a terrific way to travel. It helps you see the sights, meet the locals, and can serve as a focal point for an otherwise meandering journey. So, you’ve decided to make an adventure. We are here to help. Let’s break down the essential elements of a successful first alcohol tourism trip.
1) Where to go. This is surprisingly easy, although the staggering amount of offerings can cause a decision paralysis. For your first trip, I would strongly advise a relatively simple journey nearby. Almost anywhere you live in the U. S., there is a nice winery, brewery, or distillery within no more than two hours. If there is a known cluster of these nearby, head that way. Otherwise, even a single locale can start you on your path to adventure!
2) When to go. Again, this is hopefully simple- choose a weekend or, if it’s a bit far to drive, a long weekend. We routinely go to Asheville, a 3 hour drive from Athens, for a weekend. Just identify a free weekend and GO!
3) What do do. Alcohol tourism isn’t about just drinking alcohol. You can do that at home, for a lot less money. Alcohol tourism is about finding new experiences, going to the source, and finding out about those who craft your favorite drinks. We enjoy talking to proprietors about their craft and trying out what they make. We enjoy being analytical and comparing what we try with what we expect. Go out and try a bunch of different drinks!
At the end of the day, we recommend making your first alcohol tourism adventure nearby, simple, and interesting. You don’t need to go somewhere like Asheville- even somewhere with a single brewpub or winery can be a fun adventure. The important thing is to first get out your door.
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings