This train trip was inspired by a recent decision to move across the country from Miami to San Diego. What better way to get from one end of America to the other than by cruising on an Amtrak drinking good beer. There are countless books written on how beer has the ability to bring people together. Not just in the physical sense of the pub, but also in how it helps individuals form a shared understanding of place. Beer speaks volumes about the place it was brewed and the people who brewed it. It portrays subtleties in landscapes that human speech is ill equipped to handle. A shared beer is a shared experience. Like gazing at a Monet or hearing Led Zeppelin for the first time. Although the context may be different the deeper understanding is the same. In a highly individualized and alienating society like modern America, these shared moments over a good pint should be sought after frequently.
A pub is a great outlet for this. Ill suited, however, for my purposes. A train on the other hand is a great vehicle for supporting human interaction, long conversations, and beer drinking. Not only will I have more hours to kill (approximately 15 days worth), but I will be traveling through some of the greatest beer producing regions in the world. Tampa, home to Cigar City and Saint Somewhere. Washington DC, home to Flying Dog, Brau Brewing Company, and my personal favorite underground pub The Tombs. Chicago, which has more brewpubs than one could possibly visit in a lifetime. Portland Oregon, or as beer geeks say, the motherland of the American beer revolution. San Francisco, home of the original craft brew Anchor Steam, which was first brewed in 1896. And finally down to San Diego, home to Stone Brewing, a literal beervana and pilgrimage site for many aficionados nationwide, as well as countless other microbreweries and brew pubs. This trip will undoubtedly culminate in a local San Diego traveling brewery tour.
So grab a local brew and enjoy.