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5 Caribbean Beer and Rum Experiences Worth Traveling For

Retrace history and learn about local brews and liquors on a rum-fueled journey in the Caribbean.

U.S. News & World Report

5 Caribbean Beer and Rum Experiences Worth Traveling For

Blue Tropical Hawaiian Cocktail on the beach with pineapple and coconut in summer scenery

Take in striking scenery, tour distilleries and enjoy leisurely sips as you brush up on the long-standing rum culture in Barbados, Jamaica and other Caribbean isles. (Getty Images).

It's no secret that the Caribbean brims with gorgeous beaches, breathtaking backdrops, scrumptious island cuisine and delectable rum-infused cocktails. And with plenty of rum tastings, distillery tours and world-renowned food festivals, it's no wonder beer, wine and spirits lovers often plan their entire vacation around liquor-related activities. So, if you're looking for a superlative beer and rum scene, and you're ready to relax, unwind and leave your inhibitions at home, consider planning a trip around these superlative spirited events and experiences in 2018.

Attend the Barbados Food and Rum Festival

Every year, Barbados hosts a food and rum festival in early autumn. The event lasts several days and includes nightly parties and rum-inspired festivities, diverse culinary events hosted by celebrity chefs and tasting events for rum and liquor connoisseurs. As the birthplace of rum, Barbados is also home to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery. Here, you can learn how this famous rum is made, see where the product is aged and try samples and rum-infused drinks. The distillery offers basic tours, along with tours that include lunch and transportation for an extra fee. Once you've gotten your rum fix, check out the island's amazing Platinum Coast, which is known for its crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, upscale resorts and flourishing nightlife.

Learn About the Origins of Blue Curaçao Liquor

Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island that is well known for its blue skies, turquoise waters and of course its Blue Curaçao liquor. This famous alcohol is both distilled and bottled at Landhuis Chobolobo, a historic estate that dates back to the early 19th century. During your stay in Curaçao, you can tour the distillery and witness how the 121-year-old liquor is made. Plus, you can indulge in samples of the liquor and buy some to bring home. Curaçao is also known for its flourishing nightlife. If you want to try Blue Curaçao and other liquors or dance the night away with the local beer, Amstel Bright, check out Mambo Beach at night for its thumping music and flowing drinks.

Visit the Appleton Estate in Jamaica

It's hard to imagine Jamaica without its Appleton Rum. Fortunately, the island offers a chance to learn how this world-famous liquor is made. The Appleton Estate offers an up-close look at Appleton Rum is created from simple ingredients, along with the opportunity to taste different rum varieties along the way. You can see the copper pots where the rum is collected, and explore the aging house where the final product sits in oak barrels until it is ready. What's more, Appleton Estate sits just two hours from popular Montego Bay and Negril. This proximity makes the distillery a great option for a daytrip, and the perfect way to add some spice to your trip.

Take a Cayman Islands Rum and Distillery Tour

If you're dreaming of a beach break in the Cayman Islands, let Cayman Spirits Co. help guide your decision. This rum distillery, which is the most popular in the Cayman Islands, offers informative and fun tours that let you learn something and try some amazing rum. This tour will take you through the 5,000-square-foot facility to see their 1,200-gallon copper pot, their 30-foot-tall Gun Bay vodka tower and their tasting room, where you can sample fresh batches of locally made rum and vodka. After soaking in the island's rum scene, you can retreat back to Grand Cayman's famous Seven Mile Beach for a few local Caybrew beers and striking seaside scenery.

Join a Pub Crawl in Nevis

Nevis is a foodie paradise. While you won't find all-inclusive resorts on Nevis, you will find a bounty of upscale dining options. Of course Nevis also offers its own beer and rum experience worth traveling for. On the Nisbet Plantation's Pub Crawl, you can hop from island bar to bar with full transportation and an escort that makes approaching some of the island's smaller, more unique establishments a breeze. During the pub crawl, you can sample a robust menu of liquors and beers, including a Carib beer, which is brewed locally on the island of St. Kitts. After the pub crawl, retreat to a high-end Nevis resort for access to amazing beaches, gracious hospitality and killer views of nearby St. Kitts.

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About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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