Are you on a quest to find the best beer when you travel? Beer is available across the globe, except for in a few countries with religious constraints. However the best beers are arguably the ones made by the locals.
For Trippy user, Trevor Morrow, finding local brews is a must-do activity whenever he travels. He wrote:
In which country, city or state have you drank the best beer?
Where in the world have you drunk the absolute best beer? I always try local brews whenever I travel — it’s actually become one of my must-do travel activities. I’d love to know where you’ve enjoyed incredible beer so I can add having a drink there it to my list.
Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer once said:
Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!”
So, let’s drink up at these 15 top cities for beer:
1. Prague, Czech Republic
15 Trippy users out of 49 agreed that Prague is the world’s best beer city. Jeff Mills recommended U Fleku, Tonco S. suggested Gambrinus beer, and Rasto Elgr stated that a pint of beer in Prague is cheaper than a pint of coke.
Oosha Susan from Vancouver wrote:
Prague- especially for its amazing variety of delicious ales and lagers. They’re not big on IPAs or porters in the Czech Republic, but the quality of their lagers is head and shoulders above any North American “craft” lagers I’ve tried so far. Check out “Prague: A Pissheads Pub Guide” for the best places off the beaten track, with much more to offer than just Pilsner, Gambrinus or Staropramen. Also look for “tankove pivo.”
I don’t drink much beer but I did try a few pints in Prague. The Prague beer experience can be summed up in three words: cheap, smooth and social.
2. Munich, Germany
Come mid-September each year it’s all about the liquid gold in Munich. September is the time for Oktoberfest – the best time to join in the festivities of beer drinking in Germany. In 1810, the first Oktoberfest was held in honor of the marriage between Bavarian Crown Prince and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. This year marks the 184th celebration, and at least six million liters of beer will be consumed.
The Oktoberfest official website suggested the following places and beer:
• Augustiner: Augustiner-Festhalle, Fischer-Vroni
• Paulaner: Armbrustschützenzelt, Winzerer Fähndl, Käfer’s Wies’n Schänke
• Spaten-Franziskaner: Marstall, Schottenhamel, Ochsenbraterei/Spatenbräu-Festhalle
• Löwenbräu: Schützen-Festzelt, Löwenbräu-Festhalle
• Hacker-Pschorr: Hacker-Festzelt, Pschorr-Bräurosl
• Hofbräu: Hofbräu Festzelt
Apart from Okotberfest, Munich has plenty of hotspots for craft beer at any season when you visit.
3. Budapest, Hungary
If you haven’t visited Budapest, chances are you’ve never tasted Hungarian beer. Beer in Hungary is not a commodity for export. Hungary produces one of the best brews in the world and getting a pint is relatively cheap there. Try Dreher Bak at the Central Market Hall and the light ale called Alulu at Hopfanatic Brew Pub.
4. Dublin, Ireland
In addition to the famed Guinness, Dublin also has thriving craft beer. On my recent trip to Dublin I came across a brewery but here are 13 listed by Totally Dublin magazine. They are in Dublin and other towns in Ireland:
1. O’Brothers Brewing – The Chancer American Pale ale
2. Longueville House Cider – Medium Dry Artisan Cider
3. Tempted Cider – Strawberry Cider
4. Jack Cody’s Brewing – range of ales, stouts, and pilsners, try Lazy Eye IPA 6.3%
5. Yellow Belly Beer – try Great for the Town Strawberry Sour
6. Dot Brew – Session Rye Ale
7. Eight Degrees Brewing – try Sunburnt Irish Red Ale
8. Wicklow Wolf – try Elevation Pale Ale
9. Kinnegar Brewing – try Devil’s Backbone Amber Ale
10. Clonakilty Brewing – try Smuggler Irish Porter
11. Hope Brewery – try Underdog Lager
12. O’Hara Brewery – try Irish stout
13. Coda Eatery – get boilermakers (pairing of craft beer with fine spirits)
5. Bratislava, Slovakia
Before the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were one country. Though now separated, both countries are still united in the art of making beer.
Microbreweries and beer dens are everywhere in Bratislava, the capital of Bratislava. On my two-day trip, I managed to try out the beer brewed on-site at the FABRIKA Beer pub – a restaurant and pub located inside the Loft Hotel.
The best part about the experience was the unlimited complimentary peanuts.
6. Brussels, Belgium
Trippy user Spencer Spellman from Los Angeles wrote:
Some of the best beer I’ve had has been in Belgium. And do they ever have a kick. However, if you do one thing in Brussels, as others have mentioned, it’s Delirium Cafe. It has the largest selection of beers (more than 2,000) in the world and is like an alley of beer cafes. You’ll leave kicking and screaming. Another great spot Brasserie Cantillon. There are also some good brewery/beer cafe tours in Brussels.
7. London, England
Trippy user Roxanne Cormier from Montreal liked London’s pubs. She said:
I love beer with some character. Sorry but pale ale does nothing to me. I just love my voyage to Great Britain where every pub has its own favorite.
We just step up to the counter, ask for what was local and had wonderful discoveries. Never took the more commercial beers, stuck to what was on tap of there local favorite. No disappointments with this approach so far!
8. Asheville, North Carolina
After Prague, Asheville’s beer came highly recommended by Trippy users. Jessica V from Washington D.C. said:
I can’t remember the single best beer, but the best beer destination I have ever been to is Asheville. There are so many different breweries in such a small area, it is wonderful to try them all. By far my favorite of the 20 we tried were Wicked Weed Brewing or Burial Beer Co.!
Brooke Brocker from New York had a similar view:
Asheville, aka Beer City, USA. There’s a beer or brewery for everyone. My favorite is Wicked Weed Brewing for their eclectic brews and fun atmosphere. The beers rotate with seasonal flavors, and my current favorite is the Imperial Coolcumber. It’s aged in gin barrels and infused with cucumber and basil. And Asheville itself is a wonderful little place to visit- chock-full of character, hiking, and local crafts.
9. Portland, Oregon
Besides specialty coffee roasters and wineries, Portland has many craft breweries to please the most discerning beer connoisseurs. A local Oregonian, Jeff Mills, recommended:
In the US, you can’t beat the concentration, diversity and overall awesomeness of beers in Portland but some of my favorite beers are Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats Russian River Brewing Company.
In Portland check out Horse Brass Pub Green Dragon PubBreakside Brewery 10 Barrel Brewing APEX.
10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Trippy user Carly Witkowski from Wisconsin wrote:
Beer in Milwaukee is never hard to find. Miller Brewery offers a free tour and 4 samples afterwards. Lakefront Brewery is always voted as the best brewery tour with comedy; they are expanding their building right now. I feel Milwaukee Brewing Company has the best tour and gives you about 3 hours to drink unlimited samples of beer. Brenner Brewing Co. is newer but still offers a nice tour. Pabst Brewing Company does offer a tour but you get cans of beer for your sample. Sprecher Brewery is a little bit further north but offers a tour with beer and soda samples. Other bars to go to with great beer selection is Sugar Maple, St. Francis Brewery & Restaurant, Burnhearts, and Ale Asylum Riverhouse.
11. Nelson, New Zealand
Nelson, the sun-drenched city in South Island New Zealand is full of breweries, wineries, and seafood. It serves as the gateway for tourists looking to hike the Abel Tasman National Park and Kahurangi National Park. Nelson is also known as the Craft Beer Capital of New Zealand.
Early German settlers started brewing beer in the region in the 1840s. The area is ideal for planting hops, so naturally many locally owned breweries sprouted over the years. Tourists can take a Nelson Beer Trail drive by downloading the map provided by Craft Brewing Capital website.
My experience in tasting craft beer in Nelson was at Founders Brewery in Founders Heritage Park.
12. Melbourne, Australia
So strong we have it on tap; literally. It flows like glistening golden ale from barrel to bottle, delivering crisp, ice-cold satisfaction to those for whom the beer tolls. Which, given the nation’s obsession with the intoxicating amber nectar, is pretty much every person of legal drinking age.
Read the article A Hipster’s Guide To Melbourne’s Best Craft Beer to find their top picks.
13. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is the party capital of Brazil. After the yearly Carnival, the locals party year-round at the beaches, local parks and boteco (bars) drinking their favorite beer. Brands like Skol, Itaipava, Antarctica, and Brahma are popular among the locals. But the beer connoisseurs are going for the craft beer brewed by breweries located just outside in the city.
Look out for craft beer by 3Cariocas, Hocus Pocus DNA, and Rock Bird.
14. Tokyo, Japan
Japan Times recently featured Tokyo’s nascent craft beer culture in an article entitled “Finding Craft Beer in the Shadow of Tokyo’s High Rise Offices”. The piece the following three places for craft beer in Tokyo:
• Swan Lake Pub Edo
• Towers Craft Beer Bar
• Craft Beer Bar iBrew
The roaring city of Singapore, also known as The Lion City, boasts numerous places for craft beer and vibrant nightlife. Most popular places for tourists to hang out are at Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. But according to TimeOut Singapore, the best places for craft beer are Good Luck Beerhouse, Druggists, The Great Beer Experiment, Necessary Provisions, Burger Joint and Thirsty.
Note: Please drink responsibly.
Article and photos by Claudia Looi