Eat & Drink

Cider, Beer & Beyond: A Guide To The World’s Best Booze Tours

Whiskey, cider, beer and beyond – a good brewery tour will quench your thirst for knowledge and delicious boozy brews.

And if you’re searching for the best brewery and distillery tours from around the globe, we’ve got seven choice picks worth raising a glass to, whether you’re travelling to New Zealand or the Netherlands.

Laphroaig, Isle of Islay, Scotland

Aficionados will appreciate the Laphroaig four-hour Water to Whisky Tour, which requires a pair of wellies (gumboots) and someone to drive you home.

Start with a picnic lunch and a dram of whisky at the Laphroaig water source, then cut some peat by hand (you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with another dram) before returning to the distillery to turn the malt and stoke the fire.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by hiro.whisky (@hiro.whisky) on

More whisky awaits at the warehouse, where you’ll taste from a selection of casks before bottling your favourite to take home. If you’re short on time (or cash) there is a £10 (AU$18) Laphroaig Experience Tour, which lasts an hour.

The Water to Whisky Experience costs £100 ($AU180) and is limited to seven participants. Plus, it includes a picnic lunch, souvenir glass and a 250ml bottle of your favourite cask whisky. Score!


Speight’s Brewery, Dunedin, New Zealand

Sample the end product and pour your own beer during an entertaining Speight’s Brewery tour, which comes packed with loads of Kiwi humour thanks to the laconic guides, most of whom have been making beer at Speight’s for years.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Michael O’Kell (@thefamousshmick) on

Along with listening to amusing stories of brewery life, you’ll get to see, touch and taste your way through the brewing process using visual and interactive technology. Then, at the end of the tour, you’ll learn how to hand-pull a pour and make the most of your new-found skill.

Tours run for 90 minutes and cost NZ$29 (AU$27). It’s also important to note that covered flat-soled shoes must be worn.


Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland

Start by viewing the 9000-year-old lease at the bottom of the world’s largest pint glass, then head upstairs to explore seven floors of Guinness-related goodness at the Guinness Storehouse.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Charles Cottier (@chazcottier) on

This self-guided tour – billed as Ireland’s number one tourist attraction – ends in the Gravity Bar, where you can enjoy a free pint of Guinness with a stunning 360-degree view of Dublin. Book online to save money and skip the queues.

Tours cost €18.50 (AU$30) for tickets purchase online or $40 (€24) at the door.


Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm, Cornwall, England

No, it’s not a boozed-up cider maker’s typo, ‘Cyder’ is the traditional Cornish spelling as you’ll discover on the brewery tour at pretty Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm. Farmhouse scrumpy cyder was originally produced to pay casual farm labourers so competition among the farmers was fierce, as the farm with the best scrumpy got the best workers.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lee Brown (@51percentcorn) on

This entertaining tour includes a wagon ride through the apple trees, an insight into the evolution of the cyder press and the chance to sample an impressive range of cyders.

Ninety-minute guided tours cost £17 (AU$30) and include the chance to climb the cyder vat, visit the cyder museum and distillery and enjoy a tutored tasting and pint of cyder


Heineken Experience, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Spread over four levels, the Heineken Experience is a self-guided high-tech tour filled with interactive hands-on activities. Stir the hops, make your own commercial, learn how to pour the perfect beer and finish the tour with a free canal boat ride.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jad 〽️atta (@mattajad) on

There’s even a multimedia exhibit where adventurous types can experience what it’s like to be a beer (think shaken up, sprayed with water and subjected to heat).

Self-guided tours take around 90 minutes and include two beers and a free Amsterdam map. Pay €21 (AU$34) at the door or buy tickets online in advance for €18 (AU$29).


Cascade Brewery, Hobart, Australia

Slip on a neon yellow high-vis vest and walk the floor of the Cascade Brewery — the oldest continuously operating brewery in Australia. This factory tour is the real deal, with lots of stair climbing and walking along metal gantries.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Emily Johnson (@emmyloooo) on

Non-drinkers will appreciate the delicious brewed soft drinks available for tasting at the end of the tour in addition to the usual beer. Be sure to allow time to take photos of the historic stone brewhouse before or after the tour, you won’t regret it.

Tours cost $30 and take 90 minutes. Jeans or long pants and enclosed flat shoes must be worn, and no loose jewellery is permitted.


Erdinger Brewery, Bavaria, Germany

Officially, the Erdinger Brewery tour goes for three hours. In reality it only takes about 60 minutes. Though don’t be disappointed, the remaining two hours are solely dedicated to some serious sampling.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @c_h_e_l_s_e_a_e on

After a walk through the brewhouse to watch the master brewers in action, visitors can enjoy traditional Bavarian snacks, giant pretzels and as many glasses of famous wheat beer as they can handle. Challenge accepted.

Tours are offered several times each day and cost €17 (AU$27).

Ready to partake in a boozy rendezvous of your own? Don’t wait! Check out Qantas flights and begin your next adventure.

(Lead image: Drew Farwell / Unsplash)