The British holiday maker is often a creature of habit and it is not unusual to hear of people who visit the same holiday destination time and time again. Cornwall, Lake District, Scotland, Brittany, Tuscany, Costa del Sol, Florida, Algarve … ad infinitum, almost everywhere seems to have its returning tourist.
Cruising is the same. One of the ice breakers at dinner on any cruise is the “have you been on many cruises ?” often prompted by someone who has been on dozens and is begging to share their experiences. This may sound like tedious bragging but it does set off conversation and is much better than a silent table or talking about work.
Cruising can be a bug and if it bites you like it has bitten me it’s hard to shake off and now that I am more free of work commitments I am at my happiest cruising the 7 seas – usually in the search for good beer.
The beer drinker around the world is also a creature of habit. I’m guessing that over 90% of the world’s beer is a pale, lager style beer, served cold and sold as cheaply as possible, a refresher, a sharpener and often a national brand. Most of it is brewed by a single multi national brewing conglomorate. It’s hard to denigrate this as billions of pints are quaffed every day but there is also a growing demand for a beer with perhaps more flavour and character, a craft beer.
The joy of a cruise is being dropped off in a new city every other day. After a few hours of exploring the usual tourist spots, a beer geek’s appetite turns to his quest for great beer. It is easy to drop into the first bar that looks popular, take a long draft of the local beer, cold and wet, thirst quenching, and stretch out and watch the world go by but my quest is usually a little deeper.
I’m looking for something a little different, a beer that is more than a quaff, something that tastes great, perhaps has a local back story, something I can’t find at home – scratching the surface of the local beer scene.
In recent years I have stumbled across some fabulous beer spots off of a cruise ship and I’m starting this blog to give others a leg up to finding a city’s great beers. Come along with me and we’ll dig out the best bars and the best beers within a spit of the cruise terminal.