1. Bristol: Self-Guided Craft Beer Tour with Optional Tasting
Did you know Bristol has more breweries per capita than any other English city? There is so much to learn about Bristol's beer scene and your passionate guide has made an audio tour so that you can experience it for yourself, at your own pace, with all the insider knowledge. The tour begins at the historic Bristol Temple Meads train station. As you walk, you'll first hear the story behind Isambard Kingdom Brunel's engineering achievement before being introduced to the scale of Bristol's beer scene. While you build a thirst, your guide will tell you about the first stop, a little brewpub in a railway arch. As your tour GPS enabled, feel free to pop inside and continue the tour at your leisure. Enjoy a beer brewed on-site or choose from an excellent selection of guest beers in a variety of styles such as Pale Ales, IPA's, sours and stouts. As with all of the stops along the tour, there are also ciders, wines, and soft drinks so that non-beer drinkers can also have a great day. It's only five minutes until your next stop, which was Bristol's first brewery taproom (which is essentially a bar usually attached to or within a brewery, to showcase their own beers). By the time you reach it, you'll know why it is unique and important to the current beer scene in so many ways. If you book the guided beer tasting option, this will take place here one hour after your chosen start time. Otherwise, arrive at your leisure and relax inside or in the sunny beer garden before heading on. On your way to the next taproom, you'll learn why breweries are commonly found in industrial estates, a little information about the brewing process and be fully armed with information about the brewery you are about to arrive at. Here you will find traditional cask (live) ales alongside modern craft beer styles. Next up is an award-winning traditional English pub, owned by a Bristol brewery. There's a fire for colder days and a beer garden for the warmer months. If you choose to stop here, you won't be disappointed as this local pub has a drink for everyone's tastes. Before reaching the next cluster of breweries, your guide will tell you about and describe how to reach other taprooms and brilliant local bars for another time or after your tour. You will also learn some interesting history about the Old Market area, which was once just outside castle gates. If you are still after another little rest, there are two taprooms within just a minute of each other. So, after being shown the Bristol and Bath railway path and hearing some local's tales, your guide will give you the background story of both breweries and take you to each so that you can decide in what order, if any, to finish your evening. There's enough stops and advice to keep you entertained for more than one day. If you have the time, you could take the tour as two parts over a weekend or more. Please drink responsibly and do not try to have a drink everywhere in one session!