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Featured Beer Traveler: Craft Beer Mik

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Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 4.41.50 PMOur featured beer travelers series looks at travelers who take their love a of local beer to a new level by constantly seeking breweries, beer bars, and other beer lovers while satisfying their wanderlust.

This week we look Craft Beer Mik and her cross country beer trip.
(All images via Craft Beer Mik’s Instagram feed)

TRP: What is your first memory of traveling for craft beer?
MIK: Oh, man. I think it’s one of those things that’s really hard to pinpoint as I grew up in Sonoma County around some breweries you may or may not have heard of.. you know like Russian River Brewery, Bear Republic, Lagunitas… etc. I grew up in craft beer and whenever we’d plan a trip to do just about anything like camping, climbing, traveling to see family for holidays I would just automatically look and see what craft breweries were in the area and it kind of grew from there. My fiance’ and I did a NorCal and Southern Oregon road trip that the basis of the trip was for him to see the sights (he’s from Florida) and also visit some kick ass breweries. With the terrible fires we couldn’t really see the sights so it was basically a beer road trip after all.

 

TRP: What stuck with you about that experience?
MIK: With every brewery experience I almost get that “first day of school feeling”, I get very excited to meet new people, see new venues and of course try new beer. I love when we find hidden gems or places that we know we’ll want to return to over and over again.

 

TRP: What is the story behind your current craft beer adventure?
MIK:
Matt, the fiance’ thing, is in the army and we’re getting stationed back in Georgia; he had to rush out there but I don’t so I decided to take a month and zig-zag across the US going to breweries I’ve always wanted to…. oh, and I guess see friends too :).
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TRP: Where did the inspiration come from?
MIK: Honestly, it was the fact that he’s in training and I won’t be able to see him for a month anyway so why sit around in Georgia when I can explore this beautiful country just like my name for the trip states “America the Brewtiful”. This is my fifth time across country but usually I’m rushing across so it’s nice to take the time and see a bunch of new places and meet a lot of my beerstagram friends.

TRP: What are the goals of the trip?
MIK: Of course I want to travel anywhere and everywhere but I really wanted to try and stay with locals on this trip as of course they know the good spots and I usually try to avoid tourist traps as much as possible. I could try and hit as many breweries as possible but really I’m looking to go to the favorites and to breweries that have something special about them.
TRP: How did you go about planning of this?
MIK: I am definitely a planner type, I like to have most details pretty dialed in but this trip for the most part has been a rough outline and even those have been altered because of an ER visit and friends I was originally staying with not being available now. If you’re doing such a long trip you’ve got to be adaptable as stuff never goes as planned. I’m staying in Lawrence, Kansas as I type this and staying in Kansas City tomorrow night and maybe another night or two of course checking out Boulevard tomorrow. I like to see some of the big guys that produce good stuff but really my favorite breweries are the small local breweries. Honestly, the best suggestions I get are from instagram.

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TRP: Have you done anything like this before?
MIK: I always say I’m a professional beercationer and honestly, that’s not too far off from the truth. Really anytime I travel whether it be for work, to see family, or of course trips like this that are more beer centric I always make a point to see if there are breweries or even beer friends in the area I want to meet up with.

 

TRP: What is your relationship with craft beer?
MIK: Oh boy…. this is a long story in itself so I’ll make it as short and sweet as I possibly can. My background is in sales & marketing and I’ve recently begun helping smaller craft breweries establish sales departments and marketing strategies, as well as setup social media and sometimes continue to run them. I also do what I call “beer education” events basically corporate team building events where I teach them about beer, the beer industry and depending on the company, on how certain things impact the craft industry (like how social media impacts the craft beer industry). I’m a bit of a “gopher” in the craft industry as it stands and work contract to contract or event to event for various breweries or distributors. I recently applied for the World of Beer Drink It Intern and would absolutely love to get that as it’d be a perfectly segue from California to Georgia.

TRP: How are you supporting this trip?
MIK: I finished any and all work back in California as I wanted this trip to be some good time I could spend with friends and spend exploring. Like any adult, I saved up for the trip and budgeted it out. Having such amazing beer friends and having places to crash really helps as well as the wonderful breweries who invite me in to try their beer. I forgo expensive hotels and always have my blow-up mattress with me and if not I love staying at airbnb’s and making new friends as well. It’s really easy to do these trips if you’re willing to forgo some luxuries.

TRP: How is the Beer Travel Internship competition going?
MIK :As you may have seen on social media I’m in the running as a semifinalist and obviously I’m hoping I hear that I’ve made it to the final round but no word yet! (I hope… I hope.. I hope!)


TRP What has been your favorite part so far?
MIK I really love meeting people, I love to hear your stories, I love to hear the stories of a brewery, the stories of a beer or even just your stories about who you are. It may sound crazy but that’s what keeps me going and I seriously look forward to meeting each and everyone of you.

TRP Where to from here?
MIK Because of weather I’m trying to figure out if I’m still headed up to Milwaukee and go to a bucket-list brewery, New Glarus. Otherwise I’m headed down to Texas for a bit and spend some good time with my best friend in the world there. As for the future? I wish I knew. I would love to get this WOB internship, I would love to continue to travel and share my adventures with everyone. I would love to somehow make a living going on adventures, sharing pints and meeting such incredible people but who knows? My dream was to be a firefighter/paramedic but due to getting seriously injured 18 months ago that’s not a reality anymore so I’m kind of back to figuring it out again. I’m passionate about craft and would love to continue my work in it but my ultimate passion is directly helping people and I’m working on figuring out a way on how to do just that.
TRP Where can people go to follow to you travels?
Instagram – @craftbeermik
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fitmik/
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