All around the world, craft beer is eclipsing mass-produced brews, and even cruise lines are taking note of the popularity. Of course, mainstream domestic and imported bottled beer and the occasional variety on tap can be found on cruise ships everywhere, but I’m here to talk about the special ones, brewed to perfection at microbreweries, nano-breweries and now even directly onboard.
It’s Friday, and it’s five o’clock somewhere, so let’s take a look at five cruise lines to enjoy a crafted cold one.
Carnival Cruise Line
Fading now is the perception of Carnival Cruise Line as a booze cruise, but that doesn’t stop the Fun Ships from having, well, a little fun with its beers. In fact, along with the fleet’s RedFrog Pubs and Rum Bars comes the line’s own signature beer – ThirstyFrog Red, poured on draft.
The line playfully describes the drink on its menu as follows: “Every frog has his story. Every story has its beer. And The Frog’s Custom Brew is light, yet bold. Clean, yet frothy. Making it the perfect partner for whatever story you’re about to tell.” And you can literally spice it up a little with Red’s Beer Cocktail, ThirstyFrog Red mixed with Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum.
If that’s not enough, the line’s newest Carnival Vista will be the first in North America to feature a full-fledged brewery at sea, and Carnival just announced the lineup of beers that will be brewed onboard. The RedFrog Pub & Brewery is teaming up with Concrete Beach Brewery (pictured above) to craft a trio of new beers to join ThirstyFrog Red – ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA, ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat and FriskyFrog Java Stout.
Carnival describes ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA as, “offer[ing] aromatic, floral and hoppy notes with passion fruit and citrus overtones;” ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat as, “an unfiltered lager with aromas of bananas and spices” and FriskyFrog Java Stout as, “a take on a traditional stout, rich and creamy with hints of coffee.”
Celebrity Cruises hopped (pun intended) on the beer bandwagon when it began offering a wide selection of international bottles in the handsome Michael’s Club. Now that the lounge has been repurposed as a private venue for suite guests and top tier loyalty members, the premium line’s attention turns to its Gastrobar, aboard the Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Eclipse.
The Gastrobar is home to comfort food like a la carte priced gourmet dishes and bar bites, as well as a continuing ample choice of 40 boutique beers. Craft varieties range from California-sourced Anchor Steam to Oregon-sourced Rogue Chocolate Stout.
The inclusion of luxury line Crystal Cruises on this list may come as a surprise, but indeed it is