More Brewery Hotels Around the World
Not going to one of these featured destinations? Don’t cry in your beer for lack of fun accommodations. There are more than 100 more lodging-based breweries around the world. Roughly 23 are in the Czech Republic. In addition to visiting Prague, head out to the countryside and stay at Zámek Zábřeh (U Zámku 42/1, Ostrava), the 16th-century Zábřeh château converted into a luxury hotel and brewpub in 2007. Of course the Pikard brand boasts two of every beer lovers favorite words: Bohemian Pilsner. But how about two more: beer bath. The spa’s wooden bathtub for two infuses ingredients such as beer balsam oil, malt extract and yeast for an experience that redefines beer lovers.
In Germany, where there’s a word for everything imaginable, such a brewery hotel is called a Brauerei Gasthof. Germany has four times more breweries (about 1,250) than the rest of the European Union combined. Half of them are in Bavaria, so why not head to the capital, Munich, or at least close by? Brauereigasthof Hotel Aying (Zornedinger Straße 2, Aying) brews a range of classic styles on site from a Munich helles to a dunkel as well as the benchmark dopplebock, Ayinger Celebrator. The four-star hotel’s restaurant has been operating for more than 500 years. But don’t worry, the country-style rooms have been refurnished quite comfortably.
Or go truly rural–an hour and a half west is the Klosterbräu Hotel in Irsee (still in Bavaria, Klosterring 1, Irsee). This restored medieval monastery used to prepare liquid bread for Benedictine monks; now you can enjoy an old world Kloster Urtrunk–a slightly sweet unfiltered lager in the kellerbier style–brewed near your well-appointed room that is beyond anything remotely monastic. Enjoy snacks such as beer-and-bread soup or weissewurst or traditional meals such as a suckling pig in dark beer gravy served either in the rustic fireplace cellar or out in the biergarten.
Farther off the beaten path, bet you’ve never done a beer trip to Honduras. That’s because, until recently, there’s never been a craft brewery there. D&D Brewery and Hotel (+504- 9994-9719) is near picturesque Lake Yojoa where many outdoor activities await, from hiking along waterfalls to spelunking and birdwatching. Accommodations range from dorm rooms to luxurious suites with lush jungle views. Even the coffee comes from the nearby Santa Barbara National Park and plantation visits are possible. The hotel restaurant prepares local dishes perfect for pairing with the house beers and sodas.
Back in the United States, brewery hotels are surprisingly few and far between but the ones that do exist are in picture-perfect locales. In the heart of California’s Napa Valley wine country, the Calistoga Inn Restaurant and Brewery (1250 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga) is surrounded by vineyards and many of the most cherished breweries including Russian River Brewing, Lagunitas and Bear Republic. After full days and wine and beer tasting, retreat to one of the inn’s 18 rooms and enjoy a final pint of the day.
Wyoming, hailed as one of the most striking natural playgrounds in the country, has a quiet brewpub, The Snowy Mountain Pub, tucked into the Saratoga Resort and Spa (601 East Pic Pike Rd., Saratoga). House beers such as the Honey Rye Porter are perfect for après ski and snowmobiling in the winter and après kayaking or horsebackriding in the warmer months.
Hop heads who deem themselves worthy of drinking Stone Arrogant Bastard are waiting with baited breath for the grand opening of the Stone Hotel across from Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens (1999 Citracado Pkwy, Escondido). The brewery, which is in San Diego County 45 minutes north of the city, is a jaw-dropping mecca replete with a brewpub featuring more than 30 taps for Stone and guest beers, including neighbors Port/Lost Abbey and Green Flash, set in a tranquil beer garden. A 50-room hotel will open by the end of 2013 and before you even get to the reception desk, you will be greeted by the hotel bar, which carries West Coast IPAs and more. Brewmaster Steve Wagner proudly proclaims, “We’ll have arguably the best darn mini-bars in the country.”
Brian Yaeger is the author of Red, White, and Brew: An American Beer Odyssey.