Crystal Cruises |

It’s no secret that the craft beer market has exploded over the past years. Even cruise lines, yes cruise lines, are getting in on this latest booze trend. Crystal Cruises, who previously featured a beer connoisseur menu on select cruises, has just announced their new craft beer theme for the Crystal Fall Culinary Cruise.

The brew-centric luxury cruise will consist of expert presentations, cooking and cocktail classes, tasting sessions, and dinners. In addition to on board experiences, guests will also have the opportunity to visit breweries on the mainland. Also pretty cool is the fact that this particular cruise will take you to a variety of ports including ones in Baltimore, Maryland, Charleston, South Carolina, Turks & Caicos, and Aruba.

Oh, and here’s one more “pretty cool” mention, the cruise will include appearances from brew connoisseurs Stephen Beaumont, Jon Ashton, and Anthony Caporale, who will help lead the various classes and demonstrations.

“We’ve recently seen the growing interest in microbrews, from crafting to drinking, reflected in our own guests’ palates, leading us to add international specialty beers to our Connoisseur beverage menu in 2013,” says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food and beverage operations and hotel procurement.  “A microbrew theme in 2014 is a natural extension of that interest, utilizing the programming format of our successful ‘Wine & Food’-cruises to expand travelers’ palates and minds in new ways that can last well beyond their cruise.”

Cruise fares, which are all-inclusive, start at $3,700.

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I’ve unfortunately never had the opportunity to go on a cruise, but I can imagine that the strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas are quite plentiful. Suffice it to say that if you’re a beer connoisseur setting sail on any one of the numerous cruises out there, you’ll probably be out of luck when it comes to your beloved brew. While the availability of anything other than your basic beers on a cruise ship is still rare, one particular cruise line will soon introduce a craft beer menu to select cruises.

Travelers on board Crystal Cruises’ 2013 European cruises will have the opportunity to sample aged stouts, ales, blondes, and other artisanal beers, thanks to their newly-introduced Connoisseur Beer Menu.

“We have spent months trying to source some of these bottles,” says Toni Neumeister, Crystal’s vice president of food and beverage. “Knowing our guests’ refined palette, we went beyond basic microbrews to award-winning beers coveted by true connoisseurs.”

If you can’t quite make it to Europe, you can expect Crystal Cruises to launch a microbrew-themed cruise in November of 2014. The cruise will depart from New York City and travel to Miami, Florida.

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