Bringing Beer Back From Your Travels
If you are travelling than it’s customary to bring back a souvenir or several. Generally this will mean bringing back a piece of rock with the name of the place you visited written on it, though others popular choices are shot glasses, miniature replicas of various landmarks, T-shirts saying you ‘heart’ the place, and overpriced photos that you didn’t know were being taken and so feature you gurning or picking food out of your teeth.
All of these things have one thing in common – they’re tacky. And chances are that if you have any self-respect you’ll push them as far to the back of your shelf as possible so that you only find the during your once-yearly clean there after using a snow-plough to remove the dust. Your friends feel the same way. Sorry.
A great alternative though is to bring back beer and this is something that will be both a great item for yourself and a great gift for those who stayed at home. This has many benefits – first of all it is great for being a host and it’s great for sounding travelled and worldly:
‘Try this beer, it’s made from maize by an indigenous African tribe – I managed to bring some back while I was backpacking through the continent.’
Want to be able to say that don’t you? It’s certainly better than:
‘I love Africa. That’s why I have this t-shirt on that says I heart it. You see it’s like Pictionary…’
At the same time though it’s also something that you can enjoy yourself and that will remind you of the place you visited if you drank much of that beer out there. And if you want something to keep after you’ve enjoyed the beer then you can of course just keep the bottle and this makes a great collection.
TipsHowever you do need to give some thought to how you are going to bring your beer back and what it is that you want to represent your travels. In order to have that impressive moment above you need to be able to bring back something that’s unusual and that’s genuinely representative of the area you visited. You don’t want to bring back anything that can be easily imported, and if the beer just tastes like Stella then you’ll probably not impress anyone all that much.
Instead then be sure to do your research before you go. Find out what they drink in the area and read up on where you can find some of the more interesting beers. One great way to do this is to simply ask the bartender what they recommend trying – and if you like the drink then ask them what it’s called and if there is anywhere you can buy it around the area. You’ll also need to do your research while you’re out there and that means trying a few different drinks. It’s tough work and a thankless task… but someone has to do it.
The only other difficulty is getting the beer back once you’ve chosen what you want – especially if you’re visiting a few a regions, and especially if you’re bringing back gifts for lots of people. However don’t be too put off as really bringing beer back isn’t that much heavier or more fragile than many of the uninspiring ornaments people buy from the more forceful street peddlers. Just make sure to wrap each bottle individually, and to make sure what the laws are in the specific region you’re visiting – it may be that you’re not allowed to take beer across the border here, or that there is a limit on how much you should take.