Let’s admit it, we all love beer. It is perhaps the most popular alcoholic beverage worldwide and hey, it’s been around since 8000 BC (according to some sources). Anyways, the brewery traditions have evolved over time and nowadays we have hundreds of different tastes. In some places, beer is not just beer, it’s a crucial part of the local culture. This is why we’ve decided to outline the best destinations for beer lovers.
The Czech Republic
We kick off with the country where this beverage is a religion. The Czechs call it pivo and they drink more pivo than any other nation in the world. Period. Hold on, there are many things about The Czech Republic that make it heaven for those of you enjoying giant mugs full of yeast-fermented malt. Apart from being Budweiser’s homeland, Czechia had its first brewery opened in the late 10th century. You can say Czechs have quite interesting preferences when it comes to drinking. Some prefer to have more foam in their mugs instead of liquid gold but come on, who are you to teach them how to drink their pivo. In case you visit a pub and the bartender offers you řezané pivo, go for it. You will get a mug filled with 50/50 mixture of dark and light lagers.
P.S. When giving a toast always look your partner in the eyes and say “Na Zdravi”, which stands for Cheers.
Just like the Czechs, Germans take their beer very seriously. However, once you go there skip brands such as Beck’s, Krombacher or Radeberger. It’s not that they are bad but it would be such a shame to have the same beer that is available in your supermarket at home, right? Instead, why don’t you try local breweries? There are some many of them across Germany that some don’t ship their beer outside of their region. For example, Stauder can be found only in North-Rhine Westphalia, whilst one of Bavaria’s bests is Schönramer. Of course, there are thousands of other tastes but why don’t you go there and find your own favorite?
By going westwards, we are slowly entering the territories of darker, stronger beers. Or ales if you like. Belgium has plenty of different styles and tastes. In fact, the beer traditions are so deeply connected to the Belgium culture that UNESCO added them to their list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Here is what UNESCO has to say:
“Making and appreciating beer is part of the living heritage of a range of communities throughout Belgium. It plays a role in daily life, as well as festive occasions. Almost 1,500 types of beer are produced in the country using different fermentation methods. […] In addition, beer is used for cooking including in the creation of products like beer-washed cheese and, as in the case of wine, can be paired with foods to compliment flavors.”
See? There is something special about beer out there. If you are confused where to start from, give Bourgogne des Flandres, Chimay Triple or Saison Dupont a try.
Ireland is typically famous for its Irish red ale style and stout types of beer whereas lager is nowhere as near as popular among the Irish population. Speaking of stout beer Ireland is home to some of the most popular stouts – Guinness and Murphy’s. However, microbreweries rose in number during the 1990s and today you can enjoy the different flavors offered by the craft beer community. Ireland is the place where you can find the darkest and strongest malt beverages in the world. And finally a quick tip – do not try to outdrink the locals. The average Irish resident drinks roughly 97.5 litres every single year.
Note: Bear in mind that this article represents author’s own view on the matter. However, you don’t you share your favorite beer places in the comments below?