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Beer is a simple beverage. Monks have been brewing beer in monasteries for over a thousand years. The basics of brewing beer are simple: grain (hops and malted barley) are crushed, clean water is added, the brew is heated, yeast is added, the sugar is converted to alcohol and the delicious beverage can be enjoyed. It’s a simple process that anyone can do in their house on a small scale. Brewing on a larger scale is more complicated, but still easily achievable. And with that, the craft beer revolution was born.

But the landscape of beer and breweries is far more complicated. We’ve seen monks brewing beer at the hilltop cloister of Andechs, the deeply mysterious Rauchbier of Bamberg which tastes like bacon, and even the legendary stout from the River Liffey in Dublin. We’ve visited beer meccas in Colorado (craft beer capital of the world), San Diego and Richmond. Beyond the beer, many breweries have great food too. Here are some of our favorite beer and brewery experiences in the world.

Ireland by Instagram

Dark hedges in Northern Ireland

We’ve just gotten back from nearly two weeks in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This time we focused primarily on all the amazing things there are to do in the northern areas of Belfast, the Antrim Coast, Derry, Donegal, and Sligo.

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A Pilgrimage to the Andechs Monastery in Germany

Sculpture outside Andechs monastery

The sound of Benedictine monks singing could be heard high on the Andechs Hill above the German countryside: “Veritas mea, et misericordia mea, cum ipso: et in nomine meo, exaltabitur, exultabitur, cornu ejus, cornu ejus.” Pilgrims have been visiting the Benedictine monks at the Andechs Abbey here for centuries, however the pilgrims today come for

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