• Beer Geeks in Britain

    with Dave Engbers of Founders Brewing
    June 4—11, 2017

    [Sold Out]

    Contact Onward Travel to be the first to learn about future Founders Brewing tours.

    ItineraryJoin Waiting List

The UK is arguably the birthplace of modern beer. The Brits invented stouts, brown ales, IPAs, porters and many other beloved styles – then they perfected where and how to drink ‘em.

You’re invited to join Dave Engbers of Founders Brewing and Onward Travel as we explore beer in Britain together – from historic pubs to the brightest new brewers of today, London Bridge to the rolling hills of the country’s most beloved national park.

The beer scene in England has traditionally been dominated by fermented cask beer, colloquially referred to as “real ale.” Drinking a real ale in the pub is such an integral part of British life that a now famous advocacy group, CAMRA, was founded in the early 70’s and they’ve been fighting ever since to preserve real ales and the pubs that serve them.

Today, beer drinkers are once again behind the quality production championed by CAMRA, and there’s an exciting local craft beer revolution winning the war for English tastes as brewers young and old push the limits of their work into uncharted, creative realms while still honoring the fabled traditions of days past.

We’ve planned a seven-night beer soaked adventure; a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience one of the world’s richest beer traditions and explore England with a brew in hand and Founders experts along for the ride. Let’s go!

Sunday, June 4—Welcome to London!

  • Head from the airport straight to a great craft brewery.
  • Enjoy a Sunday Roast and get to know your new beer travel buds!

Welcome to London! Your Onward Travel guide, Kat, will be waiting to meet you at London Heathrow Airport today with a professional driver and a packed lunch. Then we are off to our first brewery!
The guys from Weird Beard Brew Co, just west of Central London, will be waiting to introduce our group to the exciting UK craft beer scene. Though just established in 2013, their experimental, heavily hopped range has been very well received and the brewery’s fun attitude makes Weird Beard a perfect place to kick off our trip!
Then we’ll head into the heart of London to check in at The Mad Hatter, a Fuller’s pub hotel and our home in the heart of the vibrant South Bank neighborhood for the next three nights. After check-in we’ll pop across the Thames river for a full on Sunday Roast, and a pint or two of course, at Hack & Hop, one of the city’s best craft beer bars.

Monday, June 5—City Pub Crawl

  • Explore one of Europe’s most alluring markets.
  • Embark upon a historic pub tour.

Start your day with a made to order hot breakfast at the hotel as you will each morning of the trip (Full English anyone?), and spend this first morning as you wish!
The public house, or pub, is an integral part of British life and for many Brits where you drink the beer matters almost as much as what you’re drinking. So today we’ll set out to get to know Britain’s capital better on a local pub walk. We’ll visit six different pubs in The City, London’s historic financial district, each one different from the others… it’ll be a great introduction to London!  We’ll sample a real British ale at each of them and grab a bite to eat as we become peckish.

Tuesday, June 6—Capital Craft Brewers

  • Grab lunch at one of the world’s most wonderful markets.
  • Explore the “Bermondsey Beer Mile.”

Today we’ll meet just before lunch to walk over to one of the world’s most exciting culinary centers: Borough Market. Stroll through the lively market and pick up something good to eat for lunch.

Then we’ll continue our journey east to the strip of Druid Street known as the Bermondsey Beer Mile, the city’s brewery quarter during the Victorian era that these days is returning to culinary prominence.  This afternoon we’ll visit two of the neighborhood’s best modern brewers: Brew By Numbers and Anspach & Hobday.  Though coming from different backgrounds and philosophies, they are both excellent representations of London’s dynamic and thoughful craft beer scene. The brewery founders and their teams will meet us to tell us the stories of their breweries and lead us in tasting the beers.

Our final destination today, a little farther east in South London, is Meantime, the fastest growing brewery in the UK. Let’s take a tour of Meantime’s £7 million brewery complex, where their spectacularly popular line is produced – including a number of beers that have made various “best in the world” lists. After the tour and tasting, we’ll enjoy dinner (and try more beers!) together in the brewery’s onsite restaurant and pub where you can enjoy the unfiltered, unpasteurized brewery-fresh beer served from a horizontal tank.

Wednesday, June 7—To The North

  • Drink some of the country’s most outstanding style-driven beers.
  • Enjoy the sights of the Peak District and its quaint villages.

After breakfast today we’ll bring a packed lunch and hop on a train headed north to Manchester, the country’s second most populous city and home to Cloudwater Brew Co, a very young brewery that is hugely successful. They continue to refine their DIPA and create new versions, and the beer geeks can’t get enough. Today we’ll explore Cloudwater’s modern, seasonal approach to brewing.

Our driver will pick us up to take us an hour east the heart of the  beloved Peak District. We’ll spend the next two nights in a pair of neighboring country pub hotels in the hamlet of Castleton where we’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty of Britain’s oldest national park. Expect rolling foothills, stately homes, ancient stone villages, gorges, castle ruins, lakes and wild moorland. It’s a perfect place to get out and stretch your legs on a long walk and get some lovely fresh air!

Tonight we’ll enjoy a hearty and festive pub dinner together.

Thursday, June 8—Soak Up the Peak District

  • Take a morning hike in the Peaks.
  • Visit the charming town of Buxton and its revered brewery.

This morning is yours to go on a long hike, visit one of the nearby caverns (this is an old mining region), or relax with a good book and a great view. Late morning we’ll make our way through the Peaks to the spa town of Buxton, often considered the regional cultural capital, and home to an eponymous brewery. Before meeting with the brewers, we’ll grab lunch in the Buxton Tap House, where they’ve installed a smoker in their kitchen to turn out all kinds of tasty bar food that accompanies a nice pint perfectly.

Buxton Brewery is known for experimentation, assertive flavors and a range of strong, hoppier beers. After we learn about the process at Buxton and taste some of their beers, we’ll swing by Solomon’s Tower, the fortified Victorian tower structure just outside of town represented in Buxton’s logo.

Dinner tonight is on your own at your choice of the little pub restaurants lining the main street in Castleton.

Friday, June 9—More Vistas, More Beer!

  • Visit craft beer trailblazers Thornbridge, makers of famous Jaipur.
  • Spend a Friday night out and about in London.

It’s our last day in the Peak District, so we’ll leave mid-morning for a drive through the park, soaking in its gorgeous vistas on our way to soak up some of its delicious beer. Our destination this morning is Thornbridge, a real leader in Britain’s beer revolution. Their most famous beer is the award winning Jaipur, widely considered the benchmark for modern British IPA. Their classic styles are very successful, though they still maintain a keen sense of exploration. The brewery is located in the adorable town of Bakewell, in the heart of the Peak District.

After our visit to Thornbridge, we’ll drive out of the Peaks, stopping for a picturesque late lunch along the way. Then it’s the train back to London where we’ll check in at the Brook Green Hotel, a comfortable hotel attached to a trendy gastropub in West London. Enjoy this Friday evening in London as you like.

Saturday, June 10—Saturday in London

  • Enjoy Saturday in London as you wish… so many options!
  • Recall the adventures of the week over a farewell dinner together.

Your last day in London is yours to spend however you wish! Whether you want to check out one of the city’s amazing art museums, grab some “tins” (aka can beer) and relax in the park as the locals do, go up in the London Eye or London Tower, tour Fuller’s Brewery, do some shopping, or head up to Beavertown’s Saturday open tap… Onward Travel will provide you with a city guide before the trip and it will be especially useful today!
In the early evening we’ll reconvene at the hotel to head just up the road to Brewdog’s Shepherd’s Bush outpost. With over 40 beers on tap, it’s one of the city’s most extensive selections. We’ll enjoy dinner and pints, laughs and stories, as we toast the wonderful week we’ve spent exploring England together!

Sunday, June 11—Farewell... and Cheers!

  • Head home with wonderful memories!

After breakfast, take the tube to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

  • $2,775 based on double occupancy.
  • Air travel is not included but Onward Travel is happy to assist. Please see the Itinerary PDF for additional information on coordinating your flight.
  • Contact Kat with questions at 215.272.9968 or katerina@onwardtravel.co.