Planning and How To

Get all of your ducks in a row.

Westvleteren 12 Monk Beer: The taste of scarcity

Westvleteren: The taste of scarcity Of all of the beers in the world, the Trappist beer Westvleteren is arguably the most elusive. You can scour the internet for offers which can top out at 40.00 USD for one lonesome 11 ounce bottle! People are crazy about this beer. Many take trips to Belgium for the purpose of tasting the beer. Recently, I brought two bottles back to the US for a bachelor party and you swear I was bringing a piece of the Virgin Mary’s shroud, a relic that beer aficionados humbly bow before. Iphone photos were snapped, messages to friends and other beer nuts were sent. A general wave of beer euphoria came over our small group of friends. It’s that hard to get. The beer is good. Most people agree. Consider that ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com rate it as the first and seventh best beer in the world respectively. But is it that good? Once you taste it will you ascend to some higher level of beer knowledge? Will you attain beer enlightenment? And if it is really that good, what does it taste like? The beer has a great story. There are 8 Trappist breweries, 6 in Belgium, 1 in France and 1 in Austria. Westvleteren is the only one of the Breweries where the Monks still make the beer themselves (along with three non-monk manual laborers). They brew just enough beer to support the monastery, around 60,000 cases a year. Except for a 2012 increase in production to cover urgent restoration costs (they exported 6 packs to the US which sold for 85 USD a piece); the production has remained constant since the 40s. They brew...

World Cup Ticketing News: Pots, Black Market and Member Associations

Draw Procedure The 2014 World Cup has been all over the news recently. On everybody’s mind is the group draw, which will happen Friday the 6th of December at 16:00 GMT in Salvador, Brazil. FIFA has separated each of the 32 teams into 4 pots. Each World Cup Group, A through H, will ultimately contain four teams. Fifa will have a random draw that will disperse the Pots evenly throughout the groups. No more than one team per pot will be included in a particular group i.e. Group A will include Brazil and one team from each of the other pots 2 through 4. As seen in the above graphic, pot 4 has one more team than pot 2. FIFA will thus move one of the European teams to pot 2 through a random draw. However FIFA imposes a “Geographical Separation rule” which means that no more than two European teams and only one South American team can be in each group. FIFA has come up with a complicated procedure to ensure this which you can find here. CLICK HERE FOR A COMPLETE GUIDE TO WORLD CUP TICKETING Furthermore, FIFA has explained that all teams in Pot 1 will receive a corresponding 1 seed in their group. That means if Spain is drawn into group B, they will be assigned B1. If you have tickets to a game with a “1” team, you are guaranteed one of the top seeded teams. USA Group of Death For the US, a dread scenario would be Brazil, Ghana USA and the Netherlands, while on the other side a fairly easy road could be taken if they are paired with Switzerland, Algeria and Bosnia. Further draw considerations...

Barcelona: Things to do, Where to stay and What to eat

How to use the focused City Guide Above are 5 tabs that you can click on to navigate through the trip review. At the end of each “tab” is a link to a map that includes locations of the entire review with descriptions. Below is the content of the first section “Character”. Tourists abound Barcelona can be crowded with tourists, but don’t let that stop you. One way to think about it is that there is a good reason why so many people flock to this Catalan city on the Mediterranean coast. Although touristy, or maybe because of it, you don’t get the sense that you are bother to the people, the feeling I sometimes get in London or Paris. Tourist Exploitation: For the ultimate in tourist exploitation or fun, depending on your perspective, visit La Rambla, where one liter masses of beer are sold on the central pedestrian causeway and gold painted humans do their best to freeze for long periods of time for the coins in your pocket. But Barce is much more than that The city offers top notch restaurants, sandy beaches, eclectic shopping, engrossing districts, a bustling nightlife and jaw dropping architecture. This city has style. From the people, across the building facades into the shops themselves, this place exudes cool. You can find plenty of bohemian types and sharply appointed business men crossing each other’s path on the wide Avenue of Diagonal. Tip: If you make your way outside of the old gothic quarter and Barceloneta, the density of tourists lightens noticeably and you can really start to enjoy the fresh air and balmy...

Barcelona Map

The locations described in the Barcelona trip review can be found in the Barcelona map below. Click on the dotted square at the right hand corner to go directly to google maps or you can surf directly from this page. Additionally, please ignore the link in the content that refers back to the original trip review. I put it there only so the scoundrels of the internet can not copy and paste the content without reference to the...

World Cup Tickets Second Stage: First Come First Serve

So you applied in the first round and came up a few tickets (or all tickets) short? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Out of the 6.2 million ticket applications, only 889 thousand tickets were awarded. The first come first serve round is like a game of musical chairs, with each applicant scrambling to take the next best available ticket within minutes after the start time of 12 pm CET or 9 am Brazil time, November 11th (write it down or put a note in your calendar!). So it’s very important to know the rules of the game before sitting down to apply, otherwise you might be left without a metaphorical chair. So I called up the FIFA hotline (+41 445 831000 for international customers) today to get the scoop on the second round ticket application process. This is what I learned. Complete your application within 10 minutes First, be aware that you can only apply for one ticket product at a time, meaning a TST product (Team Specific Tickets), a VST product (Venue Specific Tickets) or a single match ticket. For the product you choose, you can apply for 1 to 4 (max) tickets Once you choose the ticket product and quantities for purchase, you will be given a spot in the line for tickets and a 10 minute countdown starts. You then need to complete the application within this time frame, otherwise will you lose your spot in line. After submitting all necessary information, i.e. Credit Card, Guest Info, etc., you will find out whether your application is successful or not. (edit: It should be possible to add...

The Ultimate Guide to World Cup Tickets

Guide to World Cup Tickets – Brazil 2014 Securing World Cup Tickets is not easy. Cracked.com said about the 2010 World Cup that you had a better chance of having sex with Megan Fox than getting tickets. I am here to say it can be done! I have been to 4 world cups (1994, 1998, 2006, 2010) and have seen the US play in all of them. One of my travel goals is to make it to all of the subsequent world cups until I die. From the way I calculate it, I have another 13 in me before the final whistle blows. Start of World Cup Ticket Sales The sale of stage 1 tickets began on August 20, 2013 and runs until October 10th. Don’t panic; the first ticket stage is based on a lottery system so you have the same chance of obtaining tickets even if you apply on October 10th. Hospitality rights tickets are available for purchase right now, without waiting for a lottery (more on the ticket types and stages shortly). For a new post on the latest First Come First Serve round on March 12th click here. Stadiums and Hosting Cities To some people, the decision of which city or cities to visit is just as important as the teams that will be playing. In total there are 12 stadiums that will be hosting the World Cup. Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Sao Paulo. Click here for A Guide to Cheap Transportation between World Cup 2014 Cities. When Will the Tournament Schedule Be Determined? The dates, times and stadiums...