Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagar(14th century empire). The ruins of the empire is spread over the area of 26 sq kms. A Forgotten Empire by Robert Sewell is an interesting book which describes the rise and fall of Vijayanagar empire.
The most convenient railway station is in Hospet.
The nearest airport at Belgaum, 259 kms.
Hampi is a religious center so drinking is not allowed. Therefore, beer or other alcoholic drinks are generally not available at local resturants. Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari in Kamalapur has a bar which serves beer.