April 16th to 21st, 2018

June 25th to 30th, 2018
October 1st to 6th, 2018

$2050

Difficulty: Beginner

Drinking beer amongst the grapes! Brewery Panil, Parma.
Drinking beer amongst the grapes! Brewery Panil, Parma.

Highlights

There’s a lot more to Italy than pasta, pizza, and wine. Come discover why brewers all over the world are saying “Bravo!” to Italian craft beers.

This tour takes place in northern Italy, starting in Milan and ending in Parma. The region is flat, which makes for relaxed cycling all along the route. We will visit 7–8 breweries and share many great meals, all served with the warmth and hospitality that Italy is known for. We also offer an optional 2 night add-on in Bologna, one of the liveliest beer towns in Italy!

  • All skill levels welcome. Ride between 20 and 40 miles each day.
  • Foodies rejoice: Enjoy not just excellent beers but an endless variety of cheeses, true Italian cappuccinos, gelato (!!), and all the other fabulous food that Italy is known for! This region is home to both Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, the world famous Parmesan cheeses, and in Parma, Prosciutto.
    The standard of food quality here is the highest in the world. Every local cafe serves
    high end cappuccino, every random restaurant serves delicious fresh food with local
    ingredients
  • We’ll have a private tour at many of the breweries we visit–each one unique! Beer tastings are typically generous, often paired with excellent local food, and are included in your trip fees!
  • Hotels, bike / bag rentals, breakfast, lunch, snacks, brewery tours, and beer samples all included. Vehicle support provided for groups of at least 8. Group dinners are organized each evening, with everyone paying for their own meals and drinks.
  • Extend your tour and spend 2 extra days with us, checking out the beer scene in the lively city of Bologna.
  • Make new friends and visit a different brewery every day as you explore the country at a speed allowing you to absorb your surroundings.

Breweries

From Sours to Barrel-aged Stouts, IPA’s and Wheat Beers, this tour has something for everyone’s palette.

Typical breweries we visit on most tour include:

  • Birrificio Lambrate – Started in 1996, Lambrate was one of the first craft breweries in Italy. This is a place where hard rock meets great beer. Brewers and bartenders in heavy metal garb, Harleys parked outside the door–welcome to the Italian craft beer scene!
  • La Birrofila – We have been offered a private tour by co-owner Marco Biraghi. He will tell us about the Milan craft beer scene, and how they started in 2016.
  • La Ribalta – Started in May 2014, in an old logistics building. It is an open-style brewery, from the terrace and the tap room you have a view on the brewery. They have live music and serve great food. We will have dinner and get a short tour!
  • Birrificio Brewfist – Legends in the Italian beer scene. We’ll visit both their production facility and their modern “Terminal 1” tasting room. Beer and food pairings Italian style await us!
  • Del Ducato – One of the oldest and most famous craft brewers in Italy, with a truly inspired array of beers, including their take on a German-style smoked beer.
  • Toccalmatto – One of the younger breweries but with its fantastic beers it has become world famous in record time.
  • Birrificio Panil – Located on the grounds of a winery and surrounded by vineyards, this is a small, family-owned brewery specializing in sours. Our visit, on day 6 of the 6-day tour, includes a brewery visit, tasting, and an early lunch of traditional Parma food, prepared by the family.
Birrificio Lambrate
Birrificio Lambrate
  • Elav – Founded in 2010. Independent, living in harmony with its environment, and brewing beers based on craft, knowledge and experimenting. Using a small brewhouse, they constantly try to experiment with new beers. It is a journey through “hop awareness” as they say!
  • Retorto: Founded by the twins Marcello and Monica in 2011. They won their first awards in the Rome Beer Festival in 2012, and many more have followed. Be sure to try “Daughter of Autumn” and “Bloody Mario”.
  • For those of you looking for a longer tour we offer a 2-day add on. Travel with us to Bologna for several more breweries, history, and great food!
Private tour of Toccalmatto Brewery
Private tour of Toccalmatto Brewery

Total Mileage: 157 miles / 253 km

Itinerary / Stats

Locations and distances vary from tour to tour, but generally fall between these guidelines:

  • Day 1 – We start our tour in Milan this morning. We will visit Lambrate brewery, do a walking tour through town, visit brewpub La Birrofila, and end with a tour/tasting/dinner at brewery La
    Ribalta.
  • Day 2 – It is a 40 minutes train ride to the start of our biketour, in Verdello Dalmine. We visit Elav Brewing, have lunch at their Clocktower Pub in Treviglio and ride 26 miles in total to Crema, a beautiful historic small town.
  • Day 3 – A nice 34 mile bike ride through the flat countryside of the Po delta, with lots of old agriculture. We end today’s ride in Piacenza, a mid sized town with a very nice beer bar named Luppolleria: a mix of beer bar and cultural center, with lots of poetry, music, etc. Tonight we’ll take a taxi to Brewfist’s Terminal One Pub for beer and burgers!
  • Day 4 – Our longest ride today, 40 miles, through the beautiful Italian scenery. We will pass several nice really old villages and towns. The completely flat countryside makes it easy to enjoy the ride. We also pass the town where famous compser Giuseppe Verdi lived. In the morning we visit Retorto brewery, and at the very end of our bikeride we visit Del Ducato brewery. We stay in the old small town of Soragna, with its former royal castle.
  • Day 5 – On this day the landscape feels like we are in Belgium, with similar vegetation, livestock, and even similar dykes as in West Flanders or Holland. Culture-wise, it is 100% Italian, with retired men having their daily meeting on the central square, espresso bars, gelaterias and pizzerias everywhere, cute little Fiats, and colourfully dressed guys on fancy Pinarello road bikes. Since we have arrived the Parma region we will combine the beers with the best Parma ham and cheese you have ever tasted! After completing our 31 miles we dive into Parma’s university night life, and visit some great beer bars.
  • Day 6 – The last bikeride, 27 miles, leads us to Birrificio Panil, a really special visit. A small farmhouse brewery. Owner Patrizia welcomes us, and her mother make sus a delicious homemade lunch! Tour ends around 3pm at the Parma hotel. People who book the optional 2 extra days take the train to Bologna late afternoon.
  • Optional Day 7 and 8: Just for the September Tour there is the possibility of booking 2 extra nights and days in Bologna. One of the biggest university towns of Italy, with a lively beer scene: 2 brewpubs and at least 5 good beer bars!

Markers show start + overnight hotel and B&B locations…

Photos from this tour

Tour FAQ's

What is included in trip cost?

  • All hotel and B&B accommodations. Typically 3 stars, and when possible near the brewery we visit each day. All rooms include a private bathroom.
  • Daily breakfast and lunch, and lots of snacks each day.
  • All Italian tours are lead by Henk, Beercycling’s veteran European guide. A 2nd, Italian guide is available for groups of eight or more.
  • Daily route planning, including itineraries and suggestions for where to eat / what to do in each town / maps / etc.
  • A multi-speed touring-compatible bicycle, helmet, and lock. (More about the bikes in the section below)
  • Luggage Transport is always included in this tour, although we require a minimum 8 riders to confirm departure.
  • Entrance fees to all brewery visits, including lots of free beer tastings!
  • A welcome package that includes a T-shirt plus other goodies.
  • Email / phone contact with your guides prior to the trip. You get to ask as many questions as you like, talking directly to your tour guides.

What is not included?

  • Airfare to and from the trip.
  • Transportation to the trip meet-up location (although we do offer an airport pickup service).
  • Lodging before and after the trip.
  • Gratuities for Beercycling tour guides.
  • Personal items purchased during the trip.
  • Alcoholic beverages. (but plenty of beer is included at each brewery tour)
  • Optional group dinners are organized each evening but are not included in the tour price. Explore regional cuisine on your own or with the group, as you like. Your guides will be happy to offer recommendations.

Let's talk weather

Like most places these days, the weather in Italy can be unpredictable. Summers may be very hot, which is why we plan our tours for the spring and fall. But even then, the usually mild weather can be interrupted by wet and possibly cold days, so riders need to plan for any situation. The number one thing that will ensure you have a comfortable tour is a good rain jacket that you have tested is fully waterproof. We will be riding each day, rain or shine.

Wind is normal in Italy. Although the routes are flat, we can occasionally get a strong headwind, which will make the cycling more challenging.

Tell me more about the bikes

On our Italian tours we use “Giant” brand road bikes with 27 gears. The bikes can be equipped with flat or clip-in pedals, per your request.

What about the bike paths / difficulty of riding?

The landscape is this region of Northern Italy is extremely flat which allows for easy pedaling. 99% flat. The roads are rural, expect a combination of farm roads along with an occasional bike lane on a lower Belgium has an extensive bicycle route system. A good majority of it is traffic-free and will take us through farms, small villages, and alongside streams. The road condition traffic highway. The roads are paved, with a small percentage of dirt paths. Our guides have all the routes planned out ahead of time in order to ensure everyone’s safety, minimize car traffic, and make the ride pleasurable.

The daily riding mileage averages out to be 30 miles (48 km) per day, longest day is 40 miles / 64 km. Expect about 4-5 hours a day on the bikes. (not including stops). Our pace along the rides greatly depends on the condition of our group but in general we will be traveling at a leisurely pace. For tours with two guides we can always split into two groups if necessary during the tour. Expect some stops for taking photos and breaks every 45-60 minutes.

I’m not a strong cyclist. What do I need to do to prepare for the ride?

Our longest day on the bikes will be about 40 miles (66 km). In order to properly train for this trip, you should be able to ride your bike at least this distance. While we strongly encourage everyone to train beyond this point if possible, at a minimum please complete a 40-mile / 66-km ride. And it’s also a good idea to practice being on your bicycle multiple days in a row to build your “saddle strength”. Also, keep in mind that we cannot control the elements. A possible windy, wet day will be much harder on the bicycles, so please take that into account with your training plan.

What are the maximum / minimum number of riders on this trip?

In order to keep the trip organized and give every rider individual attention, most trips will be limited to 14-16 people (including guides). The minimum for most tours is 5. We will notify you when the minimum has been met for your tour.

What if we don't have enough people to include vehicle support?

We will email the group once we confirm departure, and then again when we have enough to confirm the support vehicle. If we are not able to provide a support vehicle you will have the option to join us on a self-supported tour, or a full refund. We try to make these decisions at least 2 months prior to the start of a tour.

How do I reserve my spot?

Simply follow the link below to our registration page. You’ll need to fill in all of your information, including your 500 USD deposit per person now. We will send you a link to pay the remaining balance, which we must receive no later than 6 weeks before the start of the tour.

What if I change my mind or change my travel plans. Can I get a refund?

We can issue a partial refund if necessary as follows:

  • 90 days or more before departure date = 100% refund minus bank / credit card feeds.
  • 60 to 89 days before departure date = You will incur a 50 USD cancellation fee plus bank / credit card feeds.
  • 45 to 59 days before departure date = Will will incur a 100 USD cancellation fee minus bank / credit card feeds.
  • Shorter than 45 days notice = We cannot issue a refund after this time due to lodging, bicycle, and tour reservations already being placed..

If I select a “shared room”, who will I be sharing with?

If you are traveling with another person, we will place you together in a room. (there are 2 people and 2 beds per room). If you are traveling by yourself (or with an odd number of people) then we will do our best to match you up with another rider on our tour of the same gender.

If you are in a room by yourself you will need to pay a single supplement fee.

We cannot currently offer a triple room discount as not all hotels offer triples.

What ages are allowed to attend?

21 and over.

What about drinking and driving? Isn’t it illegal to ride a bicycle intoxicated?

Yes, it is illegal to ride a bike intoxicated. The follow items are put in place for this tour:

  • When possible, our beer / brewery / biercafe visits will be at the end of the day.

  • There are several days where the brewery visit is mid-day. Riders will be expected to use moderation when drinking beers during the daily rides. There will be several occasions where we will stop for lunch and have a beer, however, this does not mean we will accept or tolerate over-drinking when additional riding is necessary.

  • On most occasions our riders tend to share beers with each other. This helps everyone a sample a larger variety of beers, limit their intake, and also save money. We encourage this method when possible.

  • All riders are required to sign a waiver at the beginning of the tour removing us from liability if over drinking cases any damage of any kind. This is non-negotiable.

  • Due to each rider’s size / weight / body type, we cannot easily put a hard limit on the amount of drinks one consumes before becoming intoxicated. Since we’re all adults everyone will need to make these decisions on their own. (Although our guides won’t hesitate to let you know if we think you’ve had too much)

Can I bring my own bike?

Yes, you are more than welcome to bring your own bike with the following conditions:

  • In must be in good enough condition to support you and your equipment for the length of the tour.

  • If the tour is self supported it must have a rear-rack that can hold panniers, which you we can loan you, or you can bring your own.

  • You also bring your own lock.

  • You bring your own spare tubes.

  • We have plenty of extra helmets if you need to borrow one.

  • Beercycling will not be liable for damages made to your personal bike on the trip, although we will help when possible with mechanical issues or questions.

Is English widely spoken in Italy?

There is a decent amount of English spoken in Italy. All of our brewery tours will be in English. On the tours with a 2nd guide, he or she will be a local Italian able translate as needed.

What are the average prices for beer / food / etc in Italy?

  • Bottle of beer = 4 to 5 Euros at a cafe (rare and speciality beers will be more)

  • Dinner = Expect about 15 to 30 Euros for a good-sized quality meal.

  • Tipping is not obligatory as this is service is included in VAT (Value Added Tax) at all restaurants. That said, a small tip 5% or leaving behind extra change is appreciated.

What kind of food will be served?

  • Breakfasts are mostly  typical “continental style,” which will vary but usually include breads and bread rolls, jams, cereal, milk, juice, coffee, fruit, cheese, yogurt, meats, and pastries. Every hotel we use on our tours provides breakfast, so in the morning you can eat whenever you wish before our departure time.
  • Snacks – Along the ride the guides will carry snacks that can be shared by the entire group. These will include candy, energy bars, fruit, extra water, etc. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own snacks or buy them along the way as well.
  • Lunches – We will enjoy lunches mostly at a bicycle-friendly cafes along our route. Expect longer lunches with 2-3 courses of traditional hearty Italian food in lively dining rooms surrounded by locals. 
  • Dinner – Optional group dinners are organized each evening but are not included in the tour price. Explore regional cuisine on your own or with the group, as you like. For most people the Italian lunch is the biggest meal of the day, and at night people prefer to eat something lighter / smaller, which can be either traditional Italian (a pizza or pasta) or burgers with an Italian twist: including basil, mozzarella, or with buffalo meat (very popular in the craft beer scene!)
  • If you have any special dietary restrictions please make a note of this on your registration form. We will do our best to accommodate your requests.

What do I need to pack for the tour?

We recommend packing light. (More room to take beer home!) For self supported tours, the bags on the bikes are fairly large and should accommodate all necessary clothing for your tour. If you run out of room in your bags we can either help you mount another bag on the top of your rear rack, or place some equipment on one of the guides bikes if available. Please keep in mind that you will have use of a storage facility at the bike shop on Day #1 you can use and reclaim your items once the tour is over. Laundry facilities will also be available in the big cities, so you can also pack less clothing and do laundry half way. A typical packlist for this trip is as follows:

  • Lightweight shirts = 3 or 4

  • Underwear = 3 or 4 pairs

  • Socks = 3 or 4 pairs

  • Pants = 1 pair

  • Shorts = 1 pair (Padded cycling shorts are recommended if you haven’t spent much time on a bike seat)

  • Waterproof lightweight rain shell

  • Lightweight jacket

  • 1 pair of shoes for on the bike (cycling shoes or running/gym shoes is fine)

  • 1 pair of shoes for off the bike (hiking sandals or flip flops, or just skip this and use your on-bike shoes)

  • Sunglasses

  • Gloves (for cycling, should be lightweight)

  • Water bottles are included with bicycle rental (or you can bring a camelbak which can double for extra storage)

  • Camera + batteries + charger

  • Personal documents (passport, credit cards)

  • Hygiene products / Sunscreen / Chapstick

  • Bungee cord (to strap extra items to your bike rack)

  • A couple zip lock bags (helps on rainy days to extra waterproof your phone or other items)

  • We do not recommend carrying a laptop computer due to space constraints. Several hotels will have computers you can use, or if you have a smartphone you can connect it to WiFi in order to get internet access. Some past riders have brought small netbooks which squeeze in nicely with luggage.

What kind of ID / documentation / visas / vaccinations will I need?

Depending on the country you are traveling from, please consult your embassy for visa information prior to arrival. In general, one does not need a special visa to enter/exit Italy. Please remember to bring a passport to show identification when necessary along the trip. Sometimes hotels will ask for copies of your passport when we check in.

No special vaccinations are necessary for travel to Italy.

Do I need travel insurance?

It is not required, but it is recommended. This can be used for lost luggage, medical expenses, etc. Each person is on their own for this, we do not offer an insurance policy. Also check with your credit card company, sometimes they offer included travel insurance.

What if Beercycling needs to cancel the trip?

In the very unlikely event that we need to cancel a trip each person will be issued a 100% refund. We cannot, unfortunately, provide a refund for your other expenses like airfare. In all cases Beercycling has backup tour guides waiting should something happen to your primary guide.

Am I required to tip my guides?

Nope. But tipping is very much appreciated and helps ensure the ability of our guides to run more and more tours each year!

Any other questions?

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are happy to help answer even the silliest of questions!

Call Us

1.805.794.0300

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Pick your tour dates:

2018/04/16 10:00:00
2018/10/01 10:00:00
2018/06/25 10:00:00
April 16th to 21st, 2018
2018/04/16 10:00:00
October 1st to 6th, 2018
2018/10/01 10:00:00
June 25th to 30th, 2018
2018/06/25 10:00:00