Brew your own beerMicrobreweries are popping up...


November 20, 1994|By Kim Wesley

Brew your own beer

Microbreweries are popping up everywhere, but in California there is a new twist to home brewing. At the Hamilton Gregg Brewworks in Hermosa Beach, patrons are actually brewing their own beer from a choice of 35 recipes. Unfortunately for travelers, some of the process takes up to a couple of weeks. About two weeks after mixing and brewing, patrons return to bottle their beer and place their personally designed label on a case of 48 bottles. "U-Brews" have been popular in Canada for a number of years, but this is a first for the United States. For information, call (310) 376-0406.

Faster on the water

Some Bangkok hotel patrons can now beat the traffic by taking the water taxi. Alarmed by traffic congestion that is among the world's worst, three of Bangkok's leading hotels have banded together to provide a river-taxi service to deliver guests from the international airport to their location along the Chao Phraya River. The hotels -- the Oriental, the Shangri-La and the Royal Orchid Sheraton -- offer the boat service every day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for a one-way fee of $28. A regular taxi costs about $20 and takes about two hours -- twice as long as the river taxi.

Parade under glass

The Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in New York offers a "civilized way" to take in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Enjoy breakfast at its Samplings restaurant, whose floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlook the parade route. The buffet is $45 for adults and $12 for children under 12. Call (212) 315-6000.

The inn crowd

Looking for an exquisite place to get away from it all but still be close to home? In its November issue, Conde Nast Traveler has named the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels the fourth best hotel in the magazine's "Top 50 Mainland U.S. Resorts List." The inn also ranked 26th in the magazine's list of "The Top 100" of hotels, resorts, cruise lines, spas and islands to vacation in the world. Joan Lunden and Charles Gibson of ABC's "Good Morning America" featured the inn a few weeks ago during the show's "Great Chesapeake Bay Bus Tour."

Vacation volunteering

Feeling altruistic while on vacation? Here's your chance to save the environment while you're having fun in the sun.

Volunteer for a Clean Water Weekend sponsored by the Bacardi Foundation. Visitors and residents in places such as the Florida Keys, Mexico, Puerto Rico and New York get together to collect trash and clean up the beaches. In October, volunteers in the Florida Keys picked up more than 70,000 pounds of trash, including refrigerators, a car and a kitchen sink.

Established in 1994, the Bacardi Foundation has committed up to $20 million over the next five years for clean-up efforts in recreational waters worldwide. With volunteer assistance, the foundation hopes to preserve and foster a healthy aquatic environment for future generations to enjoy. For more information, write: The Bacardi Foundation, 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, Fla. 33137, or call (305) 347-4375. If you're planning a January excursion to London, don't miss Harrods grand after-Christmas sale, Jan. 4-28. To make things easier, you can take advantage of the Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments package. Accommodations, dinner, transportation to and from Harrods, a picnic hamper with coffee and croissants (to sustain you while waiting for the store to open) and a massage at the end of the day are all included. The package is $319 per person. For reservations, call (800) 335-3300.

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