Where are the best Places to drink Beer?
Some people would say there's not really a bad place to drink beer. But even if you're someone who could enjoy a brew wherever you find yourself, there are some places that are more perfect than others, and while you may think that there's no better place to drink a beer than on your couch in your underwear, some travellers will want sup somewhere with a reputation for greatness or innovation in brewing. Somewhere like the destinations on this dream round the world trip for beer lovers.
Call it a beer pilgrimage if you will – or the World's Greatest Pub Crawl...
Australian's are renowned for taking take their bevy drinking seriously. Ex-Prime Minister Bob Hawke was at one time the record holder for the world's fastest skulling of a yard of beer, and there are various urban myths circulating the internet claiming that Darwinians drink more beer per capital than anyone else in the world. But while Castlemaine XXXX may please some, these days the micro-breweries are king. Little Creatures in Fremantle brew one of the country's most popular readily available boutique beers, and has a beautiful beach as far as the view goes, but it's hard to know if it's more perfect than drinking a Bees Knees at the Opera Bar over looking Sydney Harbour or having a James Squires on Manly Wharf .
In Japan you can get beer from vending machines on the street it's that popular. Sapporo, Kirin and Asahi are the Japanese staples, and one of the best places to drink Sapporo is at the Sapporo Museum and Beer Garden in Sapporo, Hokkaidō - wander round the museum appreciating the history of the beer then get down to the drinking. After that hit the karaoke bars... Kirin Plus in Ginza is another of the many beer gardens to try. Beer is pronounced "bi-ru" in Japanese and beers from a micro-brewery are called "ji-biru".
Havana is better known for run, but it's got its own beers as well: try a few cans of Buccanero, a draught beer from the dispensada drink dispensing machine that tours the bars, sip a Cristal sitting on the Malecón, the sea wall, or drink the locally brewed speciality at Taberna la Muralla on Plaza Vieja - all with a background of Cuban jazz...
San Francisco may not seem an obvious choice for this list, but if you're there you might find you're very nicely surprised by what you find coming from the Anchor Brewing Company and the Magnolia Pub and Brewery, or visit the Monk's Kettle or Gestalt House for a huge choice. Afterwards you can ride home safely on the trolley cars if you think your stomach can handle the hills.
What should you drink in Mexico City before you hit the tequilas and start dancing to the mariachi band? Beer. The best local ones are pale, see though and cold. Maybe even with a bit of lime. The local faves being Negra Modelo good with a chipotle burrito, Bohemia, Modelo Especial, and Dos XX.
Dublin serves the "freshest" Guinness there is, right out of the factory. But it's not much less 'fresh' elsewhere in town, considering how quickly they can get though it, and all with the craic, the Irish good will. The Porterhouse is Dublin's first brewery and pub combined, so a good place to try fresh stout and more, but you'd be hard pressed running out of places to drink round Temple Bar. The Bull and Castle is a good start if you're after a micro-brew.
Portland boasts that it has more breweries per person than any other American city – there are 30+ – which they say translates to some of the US's best micro-brews. They grow the hops and barley locally, call themselves "beervana" and celebrate their post-prohibition achievements annually at the Oregon Brewers Festival. Try drinking at Roots Organic, the New Old Lompoc or the Widmer Gasthaus.
Amsterdam is the home of Amstel, Heineken and Grolsh, but the selection available goes a lot further than that, at Café Gollem on Raamsteeg you're presented with a choice of 200, and next door at the Cracked Kettle there are 500, including the legendary rare Westvleteren, apparently one of the world's best. As far as unique settings go the IJ Brewery is in a windmill, and if you're craving variety ask around for a bierproeflokal, which is a beer tasting house.
Don't get upset if you get too much head here, the locals drink it with a full two fingers of froth.
Berlin is a city of biergartens serving hundreds of different ales in all the shades they come in. Berliner Weisse is the local white beer – sour, it's often drunk with syrup, which will turn it green or red, but it's more likely to find a wide selection of Pils, Bock, Schwarznier and Porter. In August there's a Bierfestival which turns the city centre into a mile long biergarten manned by 240 different breweries serving around 1,750 different beers.
The rest of the year try drinking in Lemkes Spezialitätenbrauerei, or, if it's a nice day around the Hakescher Markt.
London for too long had a reputation for beers too warm and too flat, but this is the home of Real Ale (capital letters note), and in recent years the capitals drinkers have been treated to a few new local brews – try Brew Wharf at London Bridge, Zerodegrees in Blackheath or anywhere that serves Greenwich Mean Time. There's a pub on every corner and one in between the corners in most cases as well. To help develop your taste for Real Ale attend the annual Great British Beer Festival, where you can try all of the local brews, or as many as you can before you fall over.
Pilsner was invented in the Czech Republic, so Prague is THE place to drink it. Choose the city's oldest beer halls for authenticity, they're found in the old part of town, but start your night at U Fleku, one of the very oldest. U Tygra, U Pinkasu, U Jelinku, U Hrocha, Kolkovna and Bredovsky Dvur are also worth the visit. The other reason Prague deserves to be so high up this list is that it's cheap – you can drink Pilsner Urquell or Budweiser Budva from the tap for less than a pound a pint.
Belgium is another European country known for its love of beer: they make it in as many colours and flavours as you could possibly imagine – including fruit flavours – and make some of the most potent brews known to man. Brussels is the centre of all that – especially during the Belgium Beer Weekend, organised by the Belgium Brewers and the Knighthood of the Brewer's Mashstaff – those names sounds promising don't they. And when you consider the 225 beers on offer, from near and far, more often than not served by one of the people who helped brew it, then you really have yourself a promising beer related event. The rest of the time try Poechenellekelder at no. 5 Rue du Chêne, for a list of 90 local beer choices, Mort Subite – where the tipple to taste is gueuze sur lie from De Keersmaeker – have it with jellied meat, or Delirium at 4a Impasse de la Fidélité, which has a selection of 2,000 beers – they say its an official world record.
Le Bier Circus, Le Falstaff, and Le Cirio are the most famous local bars, all offering Belgian dubbels, tripels, abbey ales, and less common drinks like Flanders brown ale or lambic, a tart beer that's spontaneously fermented by wild, airborne yeasts.
Munich could be the place in the world most associated with beer and the mecca for beer lovers, dispensing 123 million gallons of beer annually. Part of the reason it's so loved by beer enthusiasts is that it's got Oktoberfest - one of THE best places to drink beer. Then, and at all other times of year, drink at the famous Hofbrähaus beer hall, but then beer crawl as much of the city as you can manage, trying something from each of the city's six main breweries. Helles is the city's most popular kind of beer, meaning light beer, and here it's often served in one litre jugs, but to try all the kinds served you'd need to also at least try a larger, Pilsner, dunkles, bock, dopplebock, alt and weizen.
Real beer pilgrims will also want to visit the Weihenstephan, Munich's oldest still working brewery, which opened in 1040.
If you fancy drinking beer at the world's Best Beer Festivals, here's the list to start planning your pilgrimage beer crawl.
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