The Oktoberfest in Munich is on going and the rest of the beer loving world from West to East celebrates and millions of liters of beer are consumed everywhere. For this article we limit our scope to the best beer destinations in Europe:
It is where Oktoberfest traces its roots and Munich is also considered as one of the nicest cities in the world to live in. The atmosphere is always festive in any of the thirty six beer gardens around Munich. The locals have been going to the beer gardens like Paulaner am Nockherberg or Hirschgarten for a mug of good Bavarian beer and enjoy with it some pretzels, salted raddish, or a serving of mashed onions, cheese and spices.
The beer gardens in Munich started to mushroom along the Isar River where it was very cool, making it an ideal place to store beer during the hot summer. During the old times, brewing was not allowed in Germany because of the implemented purity laws.
The breweries you will find in Munich sill follow the tradition and regulations of how brewing was done during the 15th century. They only use water, hops, and barley. Among the popular beer institutions are the Hoftbrauhaus which is state owned, and the Augustiner Brau famous for their golden lager, Helles.
Sixteen days before the first Sunday of October, Munich’s beers are brought to the massive tents of the Oktoberfest. Millions of liters of beer are consumed here. You can get in for free but a liter of beer will cost you around ten bucks, plus some more if you want some souvenir and parade tickets.
Beer is a big part of the Czech lifestyle. Here, you can get half liter of beer for just around two dollars. It is pretty cheap but of excellent standards since Prague beer is the benchmark of the original brew of Budweiser and Pilsner Urquell.
Staropramen rules the Prague beer scene though. The brand’s lager is the most sought after brew in the capital’s beer halls. Most bars here patronize only the beer that they believe is the best. Checkout U Dvou Kocek which pours the best Urquell. U Fleku in New Town makes its own lager for the last five centuries.
Tasting the beer of Prague also gets you to meet the locals as most beer halls serve them on long tables where it can get pretty crowded. And you will learn a lot about the beer and the beer culture in Prague as your glass get its refill every time you finish your round.
Ireland means Guinness for beer lovers. The country though boasts of a good deal of delicious brews but locals really love the thick and creamy, toasty flavored Guinness. The black stuff is what everyone drinks in Dublin and each one has his or her opinion of where to get this popular beer.
The place to go to first is the St. James Gate Brewery where Guinness has been made ever since. Here you will learn about the two and a half centuries of history of the company and how they have made the Guinness brand a household name. You will be able to taste a free sample at the Gravity Bar on the seventh floor of the building and also be treated to a great view of the city.
What’s to try next? You have around 800 pubs as options along the Temple Bar. Add to the beer some live entertainment and the natural boisterous atmosphere as the night goes deeper. Some excellent spots are the Palace Bar to hear some traditional bands, Eamonn Doran’s for live music, and Mulligan’s if you are the artsy literary type.
There is more to Amsterdam than its canals, bikes, tulips, and its most famous beer Heineken. Amsterdam offers more options aside from the iconic beer in its green bottle. Craft brewers popped up in the Dutch capital in the last two decades playing with the flavors of traditional lagers, malty brews like bokbiers, and other Belgian style brews.
Head to the brown cafes like the Cafe Gollem just by the Spui where you can have some good beer and a round of snooker. Youngsters in Amsterdam love to head to Leidseplein, which is where all the action is, and grab a mug of draft beer and enjoy the music or the view from one of the terraces.
Craft beer lovers also head east of Amsterdam to Brouwerij ‘t IJ. Beer lovers queue even before the pub opens just to make sure they get their share of the drink. In case you miss this opportunity as the pub closes at eight, try to go to Cafe’t Smalle in Jordan neighborhood where some of the brewery’s beers go.
The city of Brussels has been a brewing Mecca centuries ago before being the center of bureaucracy in Europe. This city in Belgium was popular for its naturally fermented, bone-dry, tart brew and as the capital transitioned from having a boring image to being among the coolest cities in the world, the beer keeps on flowing.
You talk of a good variety of beer when you are in Belgium. In fact, you might have a difficult time choosing from 600 beer varieties like the Trappist ales to the witbiers. In Brussels, a lot of people still go for Lambic but these days , they go for the fruit infused beers. If you love to sample these drinks, head to the Cantillon which is a brewery in Anderlecht.
If beer is really your purpose for visiting Brussels, the best varieties can be found in it cafes. They have a long menu for beers alone. In Ilot Sacre, go to the Delirium Cafe where you can pick from 2,000 brews of beer ranging from the vintage flavored Lambics served in special beer vessels. If you want a good crowd and the more popular choices, head to A La Mort Subite just near the Grand Palace.