The Greatest Beerfest In All Of The World – My Take On Oktoberfest

Just in time for Dan and my third Oktoberfest, here is my take on the greatest beerfest in all of the world!  We will be there the second week and are also attending the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart!  Prost!

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Brewery Spotlight: Carton Brewing, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey

Carton Brewing Company – commonly referred to as just Carton (like a carton of milk) –  is a craft brewery located in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey.  Carton has gained a lot of popularity in the last year or so, and has quickly become one of my favorite breweries!  Carton makes  excellent and creative beers, from a super smooth session ale to a Russian  imperial stout brewed with freeze dried ice cream to my favorite, an imperial cream ale called Regular Coffee at 12% ABV.  Some of my recent favorites:

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All You Need To Know About Visiting Dogfish Head Brewery!

After a long break and a visit to Colombia, I am back with all you need to know about visiting the Dogfish Head Brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware!  A visit to Dogfish Head in Rehoboth is fun for both the beer geek and those who are not crazy about beer.  It makes for a great weekend getaway from the mid-Atlantic region!

Dogfish Head Brewery, or Dogfish for short, is a pretty famous American craft brewery located in coastal Delaware.  It’s really fun to visit for a long weekend and, not surprisingly, draws lots of visitors each year.  While super fun, visiting can be a little confusing due to the differing locations of the Brewpub, the Brewery and the Inn.  To aid in planning your getaway, here is some essential information that you should be aware of before visiting.  First off, there are three main stops on your Dogfish tour: (1) the Brewpub; (2) the Brewery; and (3) the Inn (can only be visited if you stay there).  They are each about 20 minutes away from each other and I would rank visiting them in that order.

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Brewery Spotlight: Dieu du Ciel!, Montreal, Canada

Since I am visiting two breweries in New Jersey this weekend (Spellbound Brewing and Village Idiot Brewing Company), I decided to have a new feature here – brewery spotlights! These posts will be short musings of breweries and/or brewpubs that I have visited!

First up, one of my favorites, Dieu du Ciel! in Montréal, Canada. Dieu du Ciel! (loosely translated to God in the sky! or Oh my God!) is a small brewery based outside Montréal. The microbrewery is located in St. Jérôme (which I have never visited). However, Dieu du Ciel! runs a small brewpub in the Mile End area of Montréal.   There it is – blurry picture!

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While a small Montréal brewery, Dieu du Ciel! bottles, exports and is well recognized in the beer community and non-beer community, especially there for their Rosée de Hibiscus, which is an wheat beer made with Hibiscus flower (in my opinion not their best or most interesting work). Aside from the Hibiscus beer, most of Dieu du Ciel!’s beers are quite strong, with lots of 7% + stouts and IPAs on the menu. The quality is very good and I generally enjoy most of Dieu de Ciel!’s beers!

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At the brewpub, Dieu du Ciel! offers about 15 or so of its beers on tap and a few wines by the glass. The menu is written on a chalkboard and frequently changes. When I was there last I had a rosée ice cider! Very interesting, and very Montréal! For beer, you can order a variety of sizes and some bar snacks are available. The brewpub itself is fairly small, but I have never had a problem finding a table. It’s a very casual atmosphere and a fun place to go with friends!

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Visit this Brewpub

Brasserie Artisanale (Brewpub) – 29 Laurier West, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. T: (514) 490-9555, ddc@dieuduciel.com. Hours: Monday – Thursday 3:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., Friday – Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.

On a Budget

Dieu du Ciel is not expensive.

Yes, We Went to Stockholm in January and Loved It!

Finally, a post about my favorite continent, Europe!

Dan and I wanted to get away for a long weekend in January.  Somewhere new, somewhere not too expensive (this one didn’t exactly pan out) and somewhere that we felt we could experience over a long weekend.  I did some online research and, surprise, Stockholm, Sweden came out as our destination!  Crazy you probably think!  Actually, Stockholm made for a great long weekend and I plan to do something similar next year!

Here are some pictures of the old town, Gamla Stan!  So cute, and very Old Europe!

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A Super Cool Name for a Super Cool Beer Tour!

Its no secret that Dan and I love craft beer, and I try to visit at least one craft brewery everywhere we go!  When researching Cape Town, I came across the Super Cool Beer Tour and obviously had to sign up!  We were able to sign up online for the afternoon tour, between about 1 and 6, on a Friday afternoon, our last afternoon in Cape Town, and what a fun afternoon it was!

The afternoon started with a personal pick-up at our hotel by Louwrens, the head guy, who was super cool, like the tour = )

The tour started with a drive through town to Newlands Brewery, which is now a main stream brewery (read: non-craft) run by SABMiller.  It makes common South African and international beers.

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While not craft brewery, Newlands Brewery is still a cool spot to visit.  There is a lot of history here and the grounds are quite the production.  We walked around a bit and saw some old cars and then moved into the tasting room for a tasting of about six beers, which included a wide variety of the “big beers” produced at the brewery such as Castle, Flying Fish (a shandy-type beer) and Pilsner Urquell.  After, we got to select a pint of our choice to enjoy in the lovely outdoor beer garden!  I went with the Castle Stout!

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One Week in Cape Town, South Africa!

Dan and I began our trip to Southern Africa in Cape Town, South Africa!  Cape Town is a gorgeous, historical city with so much to offer!  Literally, it has beaches, mountains, great food, even better wine, craft beer, so much history, a mix of people and an evolving political climate.  Cape Town makes for such an interesting place to visit.  Main picture from the top of Table Mountain and below are some more favorites!

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A Grand Entrance to Southern Africa for Dan’s 30th Birthday!

Hello!  After a far-too-long hiatus, wareontheglobe is back!  The postings fell behind due to a two-week vacation to Southern Africa and preparations leading up to it (i.e. clearing my plate at my paying job for the trip!).

As you may have gathered, Dan and I took two weeks and traveled to South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe earlier this month. We took this trip as an early 30th birthday celebration for Dan.  What a treat, and so worth it!!  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the entire trip was amazing!  I will be posting a lot about our trip, as so many people have already asked for information about it and how feasible such a trip would be for them.  While waiting for the more detailed posts, here is a sneak peak to tide you over!

For starters, we flew direct from JFK to Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB or “Jo’burg” as everyone calls it) with South African Airways on a 14.5 hour flight (yes, that was a ridiculously long flight) and then transferred to Cape Town for six lovely days!

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Cape Town is a BEAUTIFUL city right on the Southwestern tip of the continent.  We sampled delicious, delicious wines in Stellenbosch, hiked around the Cape of Good Hope, bronzed on the beach (as Dan says), saw the famous penguins and took a boat to Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Our time in Cape Town was amazing and while we stayed six nights, one with limited time could do the highlights in just a few days.  Here are some of my favorites – full post to follow:

Stellenbosch

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Hout Bay:

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Cape of Good Hope:

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After Cape Town, we flew back to Jo’burg (1.5 hours or so) and then transferred to Livingstone, Zambia (another 1.5 hours) to see Victoria Falls for three nights!  We split our time between the Zimbabwe and Zambia sides of Victoria Falls (or “Vic Falls” as the locals call it)  Another wonderful experience, but a bit of an effort to reach, requiring a connection in JNB each way.  If you want to visit Victoria Falls, you need to stay AT LEAST two nights and I would recommend longer.  There are many activities to do aside from the Falls, including elephant-back safaris, helicopter rides, a walk on the edge of the falls, day trips to Botswana to see the game reserves there, rhino walks, and any dare devil activity you can imagine!  Here are a few highlights from our trip – a view of the falls from a helicopter and the Botoka Gorge just beyond the falls.  Another full post to follow!

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After Victoria Falls, we flew back to Jo’burg, spent a night there at the lovely Bath on 54 hotel and dined on a 10-course tasting menu at Cube Tasting Kitchen.  I’ll have to come back to JNB to see the city!  Here is a shot of the hotel pool with Jo’burg in the background from our room.

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We saved the best for last, ending our trip with a safari near Kruger Park, South Africa.  We stayed at the luxurious Vuyani Lodge and saw lots of zebra, giraffes, elephants, monkeys and even two cheetahs!  I will be positing more about the safari but here are a few shots!  We were so close to the animals!

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In short, this was SUCH A FUN TRIP!!!  And it was not nearly as difficult to plan and execute as I had imagined!  Totally doable!  While we took a long, leisurely two weeks, you can do this trip on a shorter time-frame.  For example, Cape Town and a safari can be done on 10 days and one or the other could be done in a single week as long as you don’t mind the long flight!  Prices were way more reasonable than I expected and everyone spoke English.

Happy Sunday!

San Telmo – the hippest neighborhood in Buenos Aires

If you have been following my blog (I hope you have!), you know that Dan and I stayed in San Telmo back in November while visiting Buenos Aires (“BA”).

I was very iffy in locking down our hotel neighborhood in BA.  BA is huge and we were only there for a few days, so where we stayed would really impact our trip.  Our requirements, per usual, were character, proximity to other sites/activities (or easy access to transportation), local restaurants, local bars, and safety.  We narrowed our search to Palermo and San Telmo.  San Telmo won out, and I am so glad that it did!

San Telmo is great.  Its historic, hip, a little rough around the edges, charming…just what I wanted!  I found it to be very safe, even at night, but worriers may disagree.  San Telmo’s location is prime: 25 minutes to Microcentro, easy cabs 24 hours, 45 minute walk to Recoleta and lots of restaurants and bars within a couple blocks.

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And, San Telmo has tons of cool graffiti (which I am usually not a fan of, but I liked it here…kind of like Bacon in Toronto.  Anyone catch that one?).

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And these cartoon statutes, which had people literally lining up to take pictures with them…

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We stayed right in the heart of San Telmo at Patios de San Telmo,  I really enjoyed this hotel, a nice change from the hostels we often frequent, and it was extremely reasonable!  We were upgraded because our room was not ready when we arrived – so considerate. Our upgraded room consisted of a really comfortable bed, flat screen TV, closet with a safe, mini-fridge and WC.  My only complaint is that the WC has a very light door.  The hotel had a rooftop pool, 24-hour front desk coverage, lots of lounge space, and a cool desgin feel.  See the hanging chairs and art installations below?

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What To Do In San Telmo?

Feria de San Telmo – Feria de San Telmo is San Telmo’s famous Sunday market.  It takes place every Sunday up and down La Defensa from about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  If you’re in the area, you can’t miss it.  I like markets, so I was  excited to check this one out.  It was drizzling, but the market still went on!  Stand after stand selling every thing from cute handicrafts to “sell your own shit.”  We got some good (and cheap) souvenirs, including a beautiful table-runner (picture below).  If you’re not into the handicraft scene, the market also has music, food and general nonsense.  A good place to kill an hour or two, but if it really doesn’t fit into your schedule, skip it!

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San Telmo Market  – If you miss the Feria De San Telmo on Sunday, check out the San Telmo market – open every day!  San Telmo market is an old-school iron hall selling everything from fresh fruit to souvenirs to serious antiques.  I enjoyed this more than the Feria de San Telmo. While the actual market building is a bit run down and crowded, I found it to be quite safe – with the biggest risk being a pick-pocket.  However, some people seemed really concerned.  For example, I heard one woman tourist (of course she was American) tell her tour guide that she was scared to take her wallet out to pay for a cup of coffee.  Seriously, that happened.  How embarassing.  In any case, you should definitely check out this market, and don’t let people tell you its dangerous.  Its not!

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Speaking of paying for a cup of coffee, there is a great coffee shop in the San Telmo Market called Coffee Town.  Its right in the middle of the market and has a second, side area with additional seating.

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El Viejo Almacén – El Viejo Almacén is a tango show strictly for tourists.  I usually try to avoid super touristy venues, but I did want to see a tango show and did not want to participate myself, so I choose this one based on online reviews.  There are two options: dinner or no dinner.  We opted for the no dinner at about $70 USD per person. Surprisingly, the show was truly good!  The dancers were excellent and the venue was historic and quite intimate. Drinks flowed through the show, but the waiters make sure to tell you that tips are not included in the cost of the show.

Where to eat in San Telmo?

El Banco Rojo – Oh my goodness!  My absolute FAVORITE restaurant in all of Argentina and home of the cover photo.  Its own post to come.  But in short, if you visit BA, you HAVE to eat here!

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Muzarella – Another empanada shop right next to El Banco Rojo.  A nice alternative if El Banco Rojo isn’t open or has a line.

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La Brigada – One of BA’s famous old steakhouses, La Brigada is right in the heart of San Telmo, very close to the San Telmo Market and right around the corner from El Banco Rojo.  BA has several old school steak houses, including La Brigada, El Desnivel (also in San Telmo), La Cabrera (which we also tried) and Don Julio.  I decided on La Brigada mostly because of its awesome, old-school, green and white exterior.  Who can say no to a green and white facade?  The restaurant was very pretty inside and the service was great.  We ate on a Sunday night and the place was pretty much empty, just us and a few other tourists.  We ordered fried mozarella, steaks, dessert and a bottle of wine.  While this place was more expensive than other restaurants in the area, it still pales in comparison to steak restaurants in the North East.  All of the food was delicious and filling.  Pace yourself.

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Sr. Telmo Pizza – Sr. Telmo Pizza is a casual pizza shop right on Defensa in the middle of San Telmo.  The food smells really good.  If you walk by, you will have a hard time not going in!  We stopped in for lunch and enjoyed pizza (you can ask them to split toppings down the middle even on the crazy ones), garlic fries, an order of their bread and a Submarino (warm frothy milk with a chocolate – very Argentinian and very delicious).  The food and service were very good, but unfortunately I don’t like Argentinain pizza.  Shame, because I was so looking forward do it!  The crowd was a mix of locals and tourists.

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Bars – There are a lot of fun and inexpensive bars in San Telmo, and it makes for a great place to go out, perhaps even do a bar crawl!

Here are my favorites:

Bar El Federal

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Bar El Federal is an old, historic bar/restaurant/coffee house.  It serves coffee, light food and drinks.  Due to its historic look (think wood, barrels, the famous seltzer bottles), this place is worth a stop even if you are not a drinker.  Dan and I stopped here during happy hour and got an apertivo with picada (I think I am remembering that correctly…).  The drink was strong, and the picada was awesome, and not many more pesos.  The picada included about 10 little appetizers – it reminded me of a Moroccan salad.  Yum!  (Pictured above)  This was also one of the only places we saw seltzer dispensers on the tables.  This would be a good place to start or end your evening, as you can get coffee and food!

The Red Door

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The Red Door is possibly my favorite bar in BA.  It’s literally a red door.  Yep, thats a picture of the door.  It was right across the street from our hotel.  You just walk into the shady looking door and go upstairs to this awesome bar.  The bar was really fun, has a happy hour (with food) and had a good, local crowd (seemed like a lot of people stopped here after work).  We liked it so much, we went back a second time.  Definitely check it out.  Crowd was very friendly.

Gibraltar & Company

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Gibraltar & Company is San Telmo’s answer to a British Pub.  Gibraltar had a decent selection of beers, although not many British beers, and a cheap happy hour (2 for 1)!  We stopped in for a pre-dinner beer one evening.  The crowd was largely foreigners and European sports played on the TVs. This is a good place to get your British fix and/or meet other English speaking travelers.

Breoghan: Cerveceria Artesanal

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You know i love a craft brewery.  And San Telmo has its own – Breoghan Cerveceria Artesanal!  We stopped for a couple pints one night and their beers were pretty decent.  They also have great names, like San Telmo’s Fire Red Ale.

This bar is only open at night during the week – heres the outside during the day:023Again, pretty cool graffiti.

And that pretty much sums up my thoughts on San Telmo!

What are your favorite spots in San Telmo?  Tell me in the comments!

Mendoza Part 1: An Introduction

Dan and I visited Mendoza in November on our trip to Argentina! I liked everything about Mendoza, and recommended it as a short getaway to anyone in northern or western Argentina or northern Chile.

Mendoza is in Western Argentina in the Cuyo desert region, and it is the capital of the Mendoza province.  The city is a popular spot for wine production and tourism. While best known for wine, Mendoza has a number of adventures for the outdoorsy. Its near the Andes mountain range, including Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside Asia. There are opportunities to hike, fly fish, partake in extreme sports, etc.  But, we didn’t come to Mendoza to be extreme, we came to drink wine, and drink wine we did! Continue reading