It is no secret that I am a drinker. I have an entire section on this web site devoted to my tasting adventures. I am primarily a beer girl, like down to the bone, but I am open to drink, discuss and learn about any alcohol that is out there. I recognize that most towns and areas of the US have their unique types of alcohol or their own spin an a commonly known hooch. That makes travel fun for me, as I get to learn about the local culture through their booze.
I also get to know local folks who both work and hang out at the places that serve the alcohol. Even better, I sometimes meet fellow travelers who are after the local flavor, flair and nuances of where we are visiting. Today is a perfect example. I was on my way to the closest brewery. I was traumatized after a dental visit to cement a crown I had inadvertently popped off and needed comfort. Beer is my comfort, so off I went.
The first town I was in was really cute and busy and charming in a very historic sort of way. My closest town, the one in which the dental office resided, had a lot of neat antique stores, but not much else. Off I went in search of beer. Gladly, it was only one town over. Just a short 20 minute drive.
I parked and was walking down the street to the brewery when the sign on the sidewalk said OPEN and DISTILLERY. I mean, who could pass that up? I walked in with no idea what to expect. Before I could even figure out what I was looking at, a local gal gave me all the recommendations I needed. It was fun to interact with her and I totally caved to her suggestions. I had about six tasters in all and enjoyed each and every one. I did not buy anything, as the dental visit took any and all extra money I may have had. But, the tasting was fun and the place had a great vibe.
I then went to the brewery. Honestly, not as fun as the distillery. Good beers, but not all their own. One of the servers and I had a great chat about current news and I learned a lot about local politics. Again, and as seems the case, the local booze serving places offer more camaraderie and companionship than nearly any other place I visit. Well, except for the chamber office and visitor center. I stopped in there, too. I had great fun talking with the worker who made all sorts of recommendations. I appreciated her candor and discretion and guidance to me, who is so far from anywhere even remotely considered home.
Whilst in New Orleans I had a great experience at the NOLA Distillery. I met a fellow Washingtonian and we bonded over WSU and Eastern WA. I was on a tour with a group of young folks all from Philly. We toured the distillery without a still and, fortunately for them, I had photos from other places I have toured. They asked me if I am drinking my way around the country. Well, in a matter of speaking, yes, I am!
I seek out these places during the day or evening, depending on the distance from my home base of the moment. While in New Orleans I did not drink at all while walking around the French Quarter. In fact, I left as soon as it hit dusk out of prudence for my safety. I do not drink when I have even the slightest sense that I am not in a good place or that I am too far to drive. I am actually pretty careful about all of that.
I do enjoy a tourist day that involves visits to the local distillery or winery or brewery. I enjoy the folks I meet and the information I am given and the conversations we share. I find most of these places open to a solo traveler and, on occasion, I meet other travelers and we can share stories and banter. These are not pick up places or meeting spots or Tinder date venues. All in all, I find these alcohol making and serving places safe, friendly, and open to me as a one woman traveling show.
The alcohol involved does tend to loosen us all up and remove any shyness we may have had. Then again, my mouth has a life of its own so I doubt very much that would matter in my case. I just find the places that make their own alcohol offer a more diverse setting with a more diverse clientele and are much more friendly to the multitude of ways we travel in and about our world. All seem welcome here!
The Facebook groups I am a part of that involve women who travel solo talk a lot about going out at night and the safety involved. Admittedly, I do not travel internationally. I am in the US where I am born and bred. I am also in places that are so foreign to me I may as well be continents away. That being said, the local alcohol creators and tasting rooms offer solo travelers a welcoming and safe venue. At least, that has been my experience. I am not talking about a bar or pub. I am talking about that place that is a tasting room or brew pub or winery with food.
As we venture out and learn about the local culture and flavor I encourage us female solo travelers to hit the local tasting venue. Hell, get an Uber or Taxi if that is required. I may or may not like all of the alcohol that is served, but I always meet someone with whom I can share a few words or even some moments. I find these places to be safe, welcoming and open to me as a solo traveler.
Cheers to the exploration of libations from all over the world.
Cheers to my Dad for nearly 40 years of sobriety. Here are the complimentary tattoos we got while I was in Phoenix. My 11th, his first. Rock on, Pop!