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Archive for August 23rd, 2009

Armchair travel

West GermanyI can hardly complain. I have done my fair share of travelling over the last five years. I’ve visited most countries in the EU, and most often I’ve had the chance to get to try some of the best beers – in the best bars – of every city. But there is always a craving for more.

I used to go to Germany quite often a few decades ago, combinations of business and pleasure. I did not have the same analytical angle to my beer drinking then, but I enjoyed many a fine evening in various bars and Kneipen. Frankfurt, Bonn, Münster, Hamburg, Kiel plus smaller towns and villages harder to recall. My German was never good enough for elevated conversations, but after a few rounds of schnapps I managed to get by.

I long back to those days when I read an excellent book sent me as a gift by my fellow beer blogger Ron Pattison. He is a Brit residing in Amsterdam, but he has travelled extensively over the years. He is one of the most productive beer bloggers on the planet, and in front of me is a collection of his posts and notes from the Western part of Germany.

It is not an all-inclusive catalog of breweries and bars. It is more like having an experienced travelling companion leading the way, a guy who knows the short cuts from the station to the brewery tap, who know which inns have a pleasant little garden in the back and know where it is sensible to fit in a meal.

Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dortmund are covered in depth, other cities have shorter entries.

The hard copy version of thosse books – a series of 11 – are not for sale – he just prints 10 of each. I am privileged to have one of them in my possession. Thanks Ron, keep on blogging and writing. You do a tremendous job documenting brewing history, but I find I enjoy your travel writing even more.

Note: The book series can be bought as digital downloads from Ron’s blog.

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