- The Brief History of Beer and International Beer Day
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
- The Americas
Happy International Beer Day!
Wait, do you even know that today is actually International Beer Day? If you don’t, then just know that there’s such a thing like International Beer Day and it’s celebrated around the world… This Friday!
As a beer enthusiast myself, beer is one of the alcoholic drinks that I can’t simply say no whenever I get offered. More especially when I travel overseas.
It’s the only drink with alcohol that makes me feel like I’m a responsible drinker. Anything stronger than beer, and I start rambling about my life problem. God knows why I am like this. LOL.
So today, I’m excited to present to you a piece of collaboration about beer. Together with more than 50 fellow bloggers slash travelers, we would like to share the local beer around the world with you that you can add on your bucket list.
Do you have your local favorite on the list? Go check this out!
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!Martin Luther
The Brief History of Beer and International Beer Day
As my previous post about instant noodles and ice cream, I will start this collab post with a little beer history. As you probably know, it was believed that instant noodles and ice cream were both invented in China, and guess what? So was the first alcoholic beverage.
The first known alcoholic beverage is a 9000-year-old Chinese drink made from rice, honey, and fruit. However, the first barley beer was believed to be invented somewhere in the Middle East. Some say it was somewhere around the area that is currently a part of Iran. Some others also believe that it was the ancient Egyptians that produced it.
Whichever it is, I’m glad that I got some submission about Egyptian beer in this post. That way, we could all dig further about how the local beer in Egypt these days in modern times. 😉
Now, about International Beer Day… From 2007, thanks to Jesse Avshalomov and his creative mind, we’ve started celebrating the day on the first Friday of August every year.
Founded in the beach community of Santa Cruz, California, unfortunately, I had to miss the representatives from the USA for this collab post. Those who should’ve contributed their piece for local American beer ended up sending me nothing. But guess what? I’ve still got plenty of recommended local beers around the world you should add on your next international travel bucket list!
If you travel to Denmark, chances are good that you’ll try a Carlsberg beer. In fact, you can hardly get out of Copenhagen airport without seeing the golden Danish pilsner poured – it’s even served inside the terminal.
All Copenhagen restaurants, bars and pubs proudly serve Carlsberg, and touring the old Carlsberg factory is a highlight of visiting the city for any beer lover.
We have lived in Copenhagen since 2017 and take all of our visiting friends and family to check out the Carlsberg tour. It’s a beer we drink regularly and even enjoy their specialty labels like Jacobsen, which is named after their founder.
The other popular Danish brand is Tuborg, which is now under the Carlsberg brand. Each year Denmark celebrates the Christmas season with Tuborg’s famous Julebryg or Christmas Brew. The entire city of Copenhagen celebrates the release of the winter beer on J-Dag which is an evening that feels a bit like Saint Patrick’s Day.
Still, our favorite Danish beer for any occasion is the original green label Carlsberg. As the motto states, it’s probably the best beer in the world.
Recommended by Derek and Mike of Everything Copenhagen.
Belgium is known worldwide for its beers. Duvel is a classic within the varied Belgian beer landscape and without doubt one of the most famous beers of the country.
Meanwhile, the fourth generation of the Moortgat family leads the brewery. They continuously invest for the sole purpose of maintaining high quality and improving their product. That sense of quality is inextricably linked to a passion for the brewing profession and you can almost taste it!
Duvel has a subtle bitterness, a refined aroma, and a distinguished hop character. It has a unique brewing process that lasts 90 days.
You serve a Duvel from the bottle in a clean and dry Duvel glass at room temperature. Hold the glass at a 45° angle and pour it in slowly along the side of the glass. Then slowly keep the glass upright for a rich, full foam layer.
It is best to drink a Duvel with a pot of delicious fresh mussels!
Recommended by Stéphanie of Bey of Travel..
One of the most exciting beer styles in the world is Lambic Beer from the Pajottenland region around Brussels, Belgium. This style of beer has been brewed in the region since the 18th century.
However, it almost died out in the early 20th century. Today, this style sees a resurgence, with several lambic producers and gueuze blenders putting out some of the most sought-after beers in the world these days.
Cantillon is one of the top producers of lambic beers for over 100 years. They are located right in Brussels and are the only lambic producer within the city limits. Cantillon’s beers are some of the best sour lambics you can find today.
They are great for sharing and should be poured from the bottle laying sideways in a wicker basket. They pair well with all different foods, depending on any fruits added to the lambic or the barrels used to age it in.
When sharing up a bottle, we often pair it with local cheeses, smoked meats, and nice crusty bread.
Recommended by Brett of Our Tasty Travels.
4. Skuumkoppe of Texel Beer Brewery
The most famous beer of the Dutch Texel Beerbrewery is Skuumkoppe, which translates as sea foam.
Local barley, wheat, and dunewater give the beer it’s unique fruity and slightly caramellish flavor. It’s alcohol percentage of 6% makes it fit for various occasions throughout the year.
Skuumkoppe is available as draft in the northern part of The Netherlands. Bottled you can buy it throughout The Netherlands, in western Germany and the UK.
Skuumkoppe comes highly recommended as a ‘secret’ ingredient of pancakes and oliebollen, a traditional Dutch dough dish served on New Year’s Eve. Skuumkoppe is delicious with a serving of bitterballen, a Dutch meat-based snack, on the side. Proost! (Cheers!)
Recommended by Paul of KarsTravels.
Brouwerij Noordt is one of the local breweries of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Unlike big Dutch beer brands like Heineken, you won’t often see any beer of Brouwerij Noordt abroad, but it’s definitely worth searching for a Dutch pub that serves them.
The best place to taste it is at the brewery itself. It is located in the area of Rotterdam-Noord, a hidden gem with cool coffee bars, vintage shops, great Italian food, local markets and its own brewery.
Travelers rarely visit Rotterdam outside its well-known highlights in the city center, but we’d definitely recommend you to head to the north area as well. There are tours every Friday if you’re interested in learning more about the Noordt beers. A beer tasting is included of course.
Recommended by Maartje of The Orange Backpack
6. Gaffel Kölsch
From annual festivals like Oktoberfest in Munich to many a ‘brauhaus’ (brewery) tour in cities like Berlin, Bremen and Bonn, the Germans are particularly proud of their beer. But there is definitely one German beer that stands head and shoulders above the rest: Kölsch.
Essentially a style of beer only found in the captivating city of Cologne, kölsch is specially fermented to contain less sugar and malt than other beer, making it a delightfully light tipple.
Always served in a small 200ml glass, the ‘stange’, kölsch Is best enjoyed fresh and imbibed quickly, hence the undersized glasses of the golden nectar.
More than just a beer, kölsch is akin to a style in the city, and defines a culture including brewery-hopping, an expansive annual carnival and even a traditional uniform for it’s ‘köbes’, the blue-jacketed waiters who ably carry around their round beer trays, almost rudely depositing a new glass in front of you before you’d eve sucked down the one before.
There are a few notable brands of Kölsch, although two – Fruh and Gaffel – dominate the local market. Best enjoyed with a plate laden with pork knuckle (Schweinhaxe) and a hearty helping of sauerkraut!
Recommended by James of The Travel Scribes.
Whenever someone asks me where we live when I’m back home in Poland, I say Zywiec. Invariably this meets with the response, “But Zywiec is a beer!”
Yes, Zywiec is a renowned Polish beer and of course the town of Zywiec is the place it comes from. The Archduke Brewery was established here in 1856 by the Habsburg family. But Zywiec had already been known for its excellent beers for at least four centuries by then.
The Zywiec tradition allows only three ingredients for the pale 5.6%ABV lager – barley malt, hops, and mountain water. These are the Beskid hills where I live in beautiful beech and pine woodlands, and it comes as no surprise that these clear mountain streams produce such a fine beer.
The dancing couple on the label are wearing costumes traditional to Krakow – 90km to the northeast. The label was designed in 1954 to meet the expectations of an American importer, who associated Poland with Krakow. So history was reinvented and a modern tradition was born!
How to drink Żywiec? In summer it is taken chilled. But in the winter you can drink warm beer with raspberry juice (the ladies’ version) or to put hairs on your chest, try it with a 50 ml shot of 95% Polish Spirit.
Both versions will warm you up at once, the second will mellow you even faster! And in case all you Anglophones are wondering: Zywiec is pronounced Zhiv-yets.
Recommended by Ania of The Travelling Twins
8. Doom Bar
This beer is named after the treacherous sand bar in the mouth of the Camel Estuary, called the Doom Bar. The ever changing tide is continuously shaping and reshaping a marine sand bank, creating an extremely hazardous passageway into the estuary towards the safe harbour of Padstow.
Navigation is tremendously difficult, many ships have been sank and many of their crew have lost their lives, as recently as May 2020.
Measures have been made over the years to make the passage safer, including removing part of the cliff to allow more wind to come through, as well as increased dredging of the sand.
Doom Bar is the flagship beer of Sharp’s Brewery, based in the adjacent village of Rock. Doom Bar was the UK’s fastest growing beer for 3 years running and in 2013, was the UKs number 1 ale. Even without all the accolades, it’s my go-to pint and I recommend you giving it a try!
Recommended by Chris Whittaker of Global Shenanigans
9. La Niçoise
La Niçoise is a lager made with Pilsner malt and American hops, giving it a slightly more hoppy taste than a regular lager.
It is brewed by microbrewery Brasserie Bleue in the heart of Nice, in homage to the city and its people. This is reflected in its name “la niçoise” which means lady from Nice.
Brasserie Bleue is part of a growing craft beer scene on the Côte d’Azur which is great for beer drinkers!
La Niçoise is a delicious refreshing beer that should be drunk cold, perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot sunny day on the French Riviera, on the beach or with a picnic lunch.
It’s great for apéro too (evening sundowners) accompanied by local specialties socca (a chickpea pancake) and pissaladière (a caramelized onion and anchovy tart).
Recommended by Phoebe Thomas of Lou Messugo
10. Zillertal Märzen
Zillertal Märzen is a beer from a brewery in the Ziller Valley in Tyrol, Austria which has belonged to the same family for around 500 years. The beer is a favourite among locals after a long mountain hike or a day of skiing.
Every year in May, thousands of litres are consumed at the annual Gauderfest, Austria’s biggest beer festival, in the same village where the brewery is. The festival is listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.
We love drinking the Zillertal Märzen cold from the tap in Tyrolean restaurants or cold from the bottle while enjoying the sunset from our balcony. A beer pretzel is just the thing to go with it.
Recommended by Linda of Travel Tyrol
11. Pilsner Urquell
Is there any more famous beer than Pilsner Urquell beer? This golden drink is manufactured in the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzeň (in English and German, it’s called Pilsen), Czech Republic.
Pilsner Urquell beer is the grandfather of all bottom-fermented lager beersand that has been brewed in Pilsner Urquell Brewerysince 1842, when it was first brewed by Josef Groll.
Why is this beer so special? Pilsner beer is made from the special local Czech ingredients as: Pilsen’s soft water, red hops from Žatec, malt and special brewer’s yeast. You can be sure that if you buy Pilsner Urquell Beer anywhere in the world, it was produced in Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzeň.
Pilsner Urquell beer had been made in Russia and Poland for several years, but it was not possible to brew the beer of the same taste as in Pilsen, so the production there has been closed at the end of 2017.
The taste of Pilsner Beer is bitter and very refreshing. Serve the beer at the temperature between 6-8°C (43-46°F) and drink it in the company of good friends.
Recommended by Šárka of Plzen Guide.
12. Budweiser Budvar
Budweiser Budvar belongs to Czech Republic’s most traditional beer brands. The brewery is located in the city of Ceske Budejovice (Budweis in German) in the South of the country and is the only state-owned brewery till this day.
It has nothing to do with the American Budweiser Company by Anheuser Busch. Court battles have been going on and off for over a century, but already at a court proceeding in 1894, A. Busch has admitted to copying the original recipe of the Czech Budweiser.
Since A. Busch registered the Budweiser trademark in North America first, they hold the right to use the brand there.
The beer is best enjoyed straight from the tap. You can taste the freshest version in the Budweiser Brewery on the outskirts of Ceske Budejovice. All over the town, though, you can enjoy a draft Budweiser.
Local pubs offer plenty of beer-side snacks, and you can often find even a beer ice cream (which tastes nothing like beer). It’s easy to find Budweiser Budvar on tap in Prague pubs and restaurants too. The brewery even operates its own chain of restaurants under the name Budvarka.
Recommended by Veronika of Travel Geekery.
13. APA Republika
Republika Beer is brewed in Croatia. It is an American Pale Ale, with crisp bitterness and aroma.
The style of this beer is defined by the American hops used. It pairs perfectly with grilled burgers or fresh salads. We tried it with cevapi and the ale was great to cut to greasiness!
You can order Republika Beer anywhere in Croatia – in restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. It costs 2.50 euros per bottle.
We like Republika Beer served cold, in a bottle. Having enjoyed it while soaking the views of the Adriatic in Dubrovnik or at a hotel in Zagreb, we can say the taste is fabulous. Try it next time you can in Croatia.
Recommended by Mayuri of To Some Place New.
14. Birra Korça
Founded in 1928, Birra Korça was the first beer brewed in Albania. It’s still a national favorite and a menu staple today.
Birra Korça is brewed using Czech and Italian-style techniques and natural spring water. The range includes a Blonde ale, pilsners, and dark larger.
Bottled Birra Korça features retro illustrated labels with an illustration of the brewery complex. But the best way to enjoy this beer is on tap at the brewery itself, which features a wonderful little restaurant-bar.
Spending an afternoon in the sunny courtyard surrounded by families is one of the best local experiences to have in Korca. Ćevapi – pieces of fried minced meat served with sliced onion and bread – is the ultimate accompaniment.
Recommended by Emily Lush of Wander Lush.
The tiny island of Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean is home to the international award-winning, golden-coloured Cisk Lager Beer.
Since its origin in 1929, the beer has become a favorite amongst both locals and tourists alike.
It’s distinctive yet well-balanced character makes it the perfect accompaniment to almost any summer activity – be it a barbecue in the sunshine or a day by the beach. It’s also a staple in Malta’s kazini (traditional social band clubs).
The beer is available in draft, cans, or by the bottle with the latter two being the most common.
Cisk can be enjoyed with many different dishes, but it is particularly great with Maltese snacks like galletti and bigilla (traditional water biscuits and bean paste) or pastizzi (baked pastries stuffed with peas or ricotta).
Recommended by Sarah of Dukes Avenue.
16. Birra Messina
Birra Messina, is a light and refreshing lager brewed in Messina, Sicily. Usually served on its own, this can also be served with a wedge of lemon should you so desire. Best enjoyed on a hot summer day
it is rare to find this as a draft beer (if you do see it on tap – get it), but it’s delicious straight out of the bottle.
Best enjoyed with seafood, I would recommend this with fried whitebait or calamari, which are both delicious pairings with this beer.
Recommended by Mel of Meet Me At the Pyramid Stage.
The Alhambra is one of the most popular beers in Granada. The brand was born in Granada as Alhambra Beers, in 1925, but now it is brewed under the Mahou-San Miguel group.
Alhambra is a regional beer popular in Andalucia but not so much outside of it. When you visit Granada you will find Alhambra at every restaurant as their home beer.
The Alhambra is a pale lager sold either as Alhambra Premium or Alhambra Especial. The brand produces other variations as well, such as Alhambra Negra or Alhambra Reserva 1925, but they are not as widely found in bars and restaurants as the first two.
Alhambra is a very refreshing beer with a malty, a bit sweet, taste. It is perfect to drink during the extremely hot summers in Granada.
Recommended by Joanna of Andalucia in My Pocket.
Spain is famous for its mouth-watering delicious foods and beers. A refreshing Seville-based beer like Cruzcampo is the highest-selling lager in Spain. Indeed, it is the first Spanish brewery producing an alcohol-free beer, since 1976.
Cruzcampo beer is pale golden and smells like nothingness mixed with light malts. Though with a thirst-quenching bitterness, it’s a very balanced drinking brew, having a crisp and clear slightly-sour taste.
For getting a savory taste of Cruzcampo beer, it must be put in the refrigerator as cold beer tastes fantastic. I would instead enjoy drinking it more when served as a draught beer, from a cask or shaker, than a bottle or can.
The drink is generally light and gives watery underlying sweetness and bite of cheap meat liquor flavor. Offering a non-alcoholic version too, anybody can often drink the Cruzcampo beer, but it is more preferred to drink with something spicy, like Bull’s tails, stewed meats, Calamari, etc.
You don’t need to wonder about where to eat in Seville as various snacks plus beer are available in several bars like Bier Kraft, Maquila Bar, etc. Moreover, I would especially recommend it during the hot summer days, when you can’t tolerate the warmer climate in Seville, Spain.
Recommended by Paulina of Visit Southern Spain.
19. Crisp Pils
Canadians are well-known for their love of beer, so what is more quintessentially Canadian than a craft brewery inside Jasper National Park, the northern jewel of the Canadian Rockies?
After an adventurous day of hiking, this mountain brewery serves up the most thirst-quenching beer, the Crisp Pils being the most popular. This pilsner-style lager uses local ingredients and is a perfect balance between refreshingly light and hoppy.
It’s best enjoyed as a pint on their patio with your furry friend (dog friendly)! If you can’t make it to Jasper to visit this brewery, you can still find it in cans in local liquor stores across Alberta, Canada.
Recommended by Alyssa of Like Where You Going.
Molson Canadian Beer is produced in Canada’s Montreal city, in one of the oldest breweries in North America. This is a popular and common beer in Canada, and you can order it anywhere in the country.
It is available in beer and liquor stores, restaurants, bars. Unlike many other countries, you won’t find beer in Canadian grocery stores. Single beer bottle costs around $6-8 CAD, and you can also buy a pack of 6 for $18 CAD.
My husband prefers drinking draft beer when he is hanging out with his buddies. I prefer drinking it directly from the bottle, paired with honey garlic chicken wings, nachos, or poutine!
Recommended by Mayuri of Canada Crossroads.
If you are looking for a beer in Costa Rica, Imperial is the most common one you will come across in any corner of the country. You ask a Tico for a recommendation, Imperial will almost always be the answer.
You can couple your chilled cerveza bottle with ‘patacones‘, a popular local snack. Patacones are mashed fried plantain flats that can be topped with various meat or veggies and are served with beans or chimichuri (a spicy tomato salsa) as sides.
The pale lager with a ight bitter taste is a perfect refreshing drink for a tropical paradise like Costa Rica. Imperial suits the 12 climatic zones (yes, that many!) of Costa Rica.
Ranging from humid beaches to the cooler highlands and cloud forests, a bottle of Imperial is always a choice of drink.
Recommended by Pubali and Indranil of Paradise Catchers.
Brewed in Belize, Belikin is the official beer of Belize. Its name was derived from Belize’s rich Maya history, and the Maya site of Altun Ha even makes an appearance on the label.
The original Belikin is a European style lager made with a mix of German hops and Canadian pilsner malt. The standard line up also includes a stout and the newer Belikin Light.
My personal favorites though are the new seasonal brews they bring out, including the Sorrel Stout, made with Caribbean spices and sorrel, and the Chocolate Stout, made with local cacao from Southern Belize. There is also a seasonal Black and Tan in the bottle.
You can find Belikin on draft in some bars, but the best is ice cold, right out of the bottle. There’s nothing better for our hot afternoons on the cayes than pairing an ice-cold Belikin with fresh ceviche or conch fritters. If I’m eating a full meal, I love Belikin with a whole fried fish or stewed chicken with rice and beans.
Recommended by Erin of Our Tasty Travels.
23. Carib from Trinidad and Tobago
Carib beer was originally produced in Trinidad and Tobago in 1950, but since then this light refreshing lager can be found throughout the Caribbean islands and is now produced in Grenada and St Kitts too.
A chilled bucket of Carib is the perfect accompaniment for any beach day, and it is a particular favorite alongside a nice rack of ribs at beach barbeques. No ‘island lime’ would be complete without a substantial amount of Carib and after a long day at work, there is nothing more thirst-quenching than an ice-cold bottle of Carib.
Although it can also be bought in cans or on draft in select places, bottles are favored on most islands.
Nowadays there are a few variations of Carib, including a Carib light which has less alcohol, a Carib shandy which is completely non-alcoholic and a favorite amongst the younger generation of islanders and Carib radler which is a blend of Carib lager with fresh lemon juice, sort of like a grown-up shandy.
Whatever variation of Carib you want to enjoy, nothing says living the Caribbean life better.
Recommended by Steph and Lewis of Book It, Let’s Go.
24. Balashi from Aruba
Aruba not only offers its visitors world-class beaches to refresh themselves with, but also a homegrown brew to cool down from that tropical heat.
The Balashi brewery founded on the island in 1998 which eventually offers four distinct beers: Balashi, Chill, HopiBon, and HopiStout. The beer’s name Balashi came from the area in which the brewery is located on the island.
Besides, the name is also said to derive from ‘Bala Bala’, words part of the local language of Arawak Indians, the original inhabitants of Aruba. The word Bala means “near the sea,” which it truly is, and the desalinated water from the Caribbean Sea is one of the ingredients of the beer as well.
We love this beer straight out of the bottle, ice-cold, and sipping it while snacking on our most favorite local snack called Pastechi.
Recommended by Harshi and Aman of Trot.World
25. Medalla from Puerto Rico
I must admit that upon introduction to the lo-cal light beer of Puerto Rico, Medalla Light, I wasn’t entirely enamored. However, I grew to love and even crave an ice-cold Medalla Light, especially after a sunny day on this enchanted island.
The local light beer of Puerto Rico, at 4.2% ABV and 98 calories in a 12-ounce bottle, is refreshing, crisp, tasty, lo-cal, and low carb (3 grams per 12-ounce bottle). Truthfully, Medalla Light may be the only thing on the island that you consume that is low calorie.
There is nothing better than culminating a long day of island activities with refreshing ice-cold Medalla, almost to the point of freezing. Medalla’s uncomplicated and slightly citrusy style makes the island’s most popular beer the perfect pairing after a long hot day of island fun.
Snorkel the crystal blue Caribbean waters, hike in the rainforest, zipline the longest zipline in the world, stroll the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, explore the nearly 500-year-old Fortress, El Morro, then pour yourself an ice-cold Medalla Light.
Medalla Light is the perfect side with an authentic Puerto Rican meal. However, my favorite pairing with Medalla Light is pizza.
Recommended by Jenny of Traveling Party of 4.
Quetzaltenango – or Xela for locals – is one of the must-visit places on any Guatemala trip. One of the best things to do in Quetzaltenango is a visit to the local graveyard.
It gives you an interesting insight into the local culture, social class system, Xela’s short time in history as an independent country, and the love story of Vanushka.
Vanushka is said to have died from a broken heart and the grave is now a shrine for singles bringing flowers. The local Quetzaltenango beer is named after this legend.
You can hardly get a hold on this beer in any bar in Guatemala, so make sure to try this local gem when in Xela. Try the red ale, you won’t regret it.
Recommended by Maartje The Orange Backpack.
27. Club Colombia
If you love trying local beers when traveling and you find yourself in Colombia, Club Colombia is the one that you can’t give a miss
Born in 1949, it’s a premium lager beer that comes in many flavors such as golden, red, and dark. You can find it in premium bars as well as local shops on the street where Colombians might be emptying out bottles while listening to Bayanato.
No matter where you go in Colombia, this beer would be there. Now, it’s also exported to many countries.
It goes smoothly with a lot of snacks and finger foods. Be it empanadas or hamburgers or any other street foods, you could have a Club Colombia with them.
Recommended by Deb of The Visa Project.
Cass is Korea’s number 1 beer and can be found in almost every bar, restaurant, and club in the country.
Featuring a light, crisp taste, this iconic Korean beer is the perfect match for some of Korea’s most delectable dishes, such as Korean BBQ and galbi (marinated pork ribs). I always get a bottle (or 2) with some locally produced soju (Korean liquor) when I go for BBQ, it’s just what you do in Korea.
Cass received international attention after British chef Gordon Ramsay made a rather over-enthusiastic series of adverts for the lager in 2017, calling it ‘bloody fresh’ and a ‘great beer’. The light taste, he claimed, makes it most compatible with foods high in fat and oil, such as Korean BBQ and any of the other many fried meaty dishes in Korea.
Whatever you eat it with, you’ll find Cass served fresh or in large bottles in most Korean bars and restaurants across the country.
If you’re out for a night with some friends, order a pitcher (only $12 for 2 liters!) and some snacking foods, such as dried squid, peanuts, and some finger-licking Korean fried chicken (the real KFC).
Recommended by Joel of Joel’s Travel Tips.
China might not be globally known for its beer, but there are certainly many choices within the country! Tsingtao is one of the most popular brands – originating in Qingdao over a hundred years ago.
You’ll find it everywhere, ready to be consumed with a hearty meal in a local restaurant. Here, you’ll be served a large glass bottle with a tiny glass (not much bigger than a double shot!) so that you can toast your friends or business colleagues.
It is common to hear people shouting ‘gānbēi!’ as they finish their small drinks – it translates as ‘dry cup’ which essentially means ’empty your glass and cheers!’
One thing about Chinese beer, and drinks in general, is that you’ll often find that it will be served at room temperature. In China, drinking cold things is seen as bad for you, so an ice-cold beer is rare!
You can always ask if the restaurant specifically has cold beer, but the chances are that you’ll end up drinking warm Tsingtao beer from a tiny glass!
Recommended by Jade of Two Tall Travellers.
A cold mug of Arpa is the perfect end to a trek in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.
This light lager is just the thing after a hot day of walking in the country’s beautiful landscapes, and it’s common enough across the country that even out of the way villages will have a couple of dusty bottles for sale on a shop shelf somewhere.
The name, which literally is ‘barley’, is indicative of the beer itself. It’s a simple brew, nothing special or unusual, but more reliable and readily available than any other beer in the country.
The easily consumed by itself, Arpa goes best with a plate of ‘chechyl’ smoked cheese – if you’re in a bigger city at a decent drinking spot, you may even be able to ordered it fried for warm gooey melty perfection to complement the cool and refreshing lager.
Recommended by Stephen of Asia Hikes.
There isn’t too much variety in Thai beer but there is reliability. You always find at least one of the three biggest Thai branded beers in the local shops and bars. The best of the bunch is definitely LEO.
Leo is popular in Thailand because it’s easy to drink and usually priced right in the middle between Chang and Singha. The best part? You get a slightly better beer than Chang, without the dreaded “Changover”.
Because it’s a light, refreshing beer that usually (and should be) served cold, it’s often a nice respite during a hot Thai day. LEO makes a great addition to any authentic Thai meal but we recommend pairing it with the veggie Pad Thai or papaya salad.
It may not be the best beer in the world, but it’s most likely the best you’ll find in Thailand. And that’s all that matters.
Recommended by Nick of Illness to Ultra.
Of all the local beers I’ve come across while traveling the world, none have been as ubiquitous and synonymous with their place of origin as Beerlao is in its home country of Laos. Very few have been as tasty either, or have left me with such a vibrant memory of just being there.
Best served ice cold in its large bottle with a small glass to pour into and drink from, Beerlao goes very well with a dish of lao larb gai, or spicy minced chicken salad. To pair the two is to enjoy the national drink along with the national food.
If you add to this the very popular pastime of watching the sunset over the river, trees, or the hills around you, I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the feeling and the flavors of this wonderful country.”
Recommended by Lee of My Favourite Lens.
The Myanmar is the most common beer found in, funnily enough, Myanmar! Extremely popular with the locals, it can be bought in bars for as little as $1.
This beer is served everywhere in the country – bars, restaurants, markets, street corners… you name it.
The Myanmar is a classic lager that is smooth, slightly sweet and has a hint of hoppiness. It doesn’t have a strong smell, and it’s is usually served from large 640ml bottles and is ALWAYS served ice-cold!
Once poured, it has a clear golden color and it’s head lasts surprisingly long. It’s cool and refreshing taste is best enjoyed alongside a traditional Burmese curry or maybe a spicy tea leaf salad.
If you visit Myanmar, make sure you stop at a small street-side stall, sit down with the locals and enjoy this beer to really get an authentic experience.
Recommended by Mukund of Discover New Paths.
34. San Miguel
Crisp, dry and with a seriously malty finish, you can’t really go wrong with San Miguel Pale Pilsen. It’s one of Asia’s best and most overlooked beers. Worse, it’s overlooked for its infinitely inferior little brother San Miguel Light which has a nose that reminds you of the chemicals it was made from.
You enjoy it ice cold, sometimes actually poured over ice if they day is hot. It’s best drunk from a bottle or if you’re really lucky – on draft but it’s hard to find. There’s no better local snack than chicharron to go with it, the salty pork rinds help you work up a thirst for another or maybe two.
San Miguel is also dirt cheap; you can pick up a bottle for less than $1 from any 7-11 and a bucket of 5 won’t cost more than $7-$8 in most bars. Draft is a little more expensive still!
It’s brewed right here in Manila, only a stone’s throw from where I am right now, though it’s made under license in some other territories. If you want authenticity look for the brown bottle with the etched labels as opposed to the stickers used outside of the Philippines.
Recommended by Nicholas of Nomad Talk.
As far as food and drink goes, nothing screams “Indonesia,” as much as a cold, jumbo bottle of Bintang – except maybe a heaping plate of nasi goreng, of course!
Maybe it’s the humidity or the tropical heat, but there’s nothing quite as refreshing as an ice-cold mug of Bintang, whether it’s sipped as you cruise down a jungle river in a tube, or in a crowded beach bar.
Bintang (which means “star” in Indonesian) is classed as a pilsener and has 4.7% alcohol content. It has a fresh, light taste (similar to Heineken) without too much bitterness, and goes down exceptionally well, particularly when paired with one of Indo’s classically spicy dishes.
In tourist hotspots, you can buy bottles and cans of Bintang almost anywhere – in convenience stores or even small warungs. In other areas where things are more conservative, you may have to look a little harder – but chances are, you’ll track one down within minutes, although it may be a tad warm.
Perhaps one of the best things about Bintang is the price. Unless you get stung in a tourist spot, a large (620ml) bottle will set you back around 30-35,000 IDR (around USD 2.30). Don’t buy a small one each; save money by sharing a large bottle – or two!
Our best advice is to drink it as cold as possible and don’t forget: it’s always Bintang time somewhere!
Recommended by Carly of We Are Sumatra.
As many good things I’ve heard about Bintang, as an Indonesian, ironically, I’ve never liked it.
Back in 2016, I wanted to order San Miguel at a bar, but they were out of stock for the Filipino brand. And instead, the bartender suggested me to try Prost. I initially thought it was a German brand since I know that Prost means “cheers!” in the language.
That, until the bartender gave me a bottle of the beer, I found out that it is actually a local brand owned by Orang Tua group.
It is one of the biggest FMCG corporations in Indonesia, that is notably known with their signature “anggur merah” or “amer” by the locals. The latter means red wine in the language, and it’s become the first and the most popular alcohol product produced by the company. It is so popular, to the point it’s legendary.
Prost beer with barley malt as their main ingredients has 4.9% alcohol. Less known than Bintang, but the taste suits my tastebuds better than the famous Indonesian brand.
The price is as low as IDR 20,000 for a 330 ml bottled beer. I usually stock up by purchasing a few bottles from an alcohol shop. I live in Bandung, where it is way more conservative than Bali or Jakarta, so you won’t be able to find it in the nearest supermarket.
As odd as it sounds for most local Indonesians, I like to drink the beer with traditional meals like sate Padang or ayam penyet. I figure the richness of spices we have in Indonesian meals totally complement the freshness of the beer.
Recommended by me.
The Kingfisher brand of beer made by the United Breweries Group is a mass favorite amongst Indians as well as tourists visiting India. In fact, whenever someone asks for a beer in India, he is almost always offered a Kingfisher.
Kingfisher is available in multiple variants such as mild, strong, premium, ultra and blue. It is known for its classic golden amber colour.
The typical lager smell of this beer is what appeals to almost everybody who tries it. I particularly love the strong Kingfisher for its smooth and consistent bitter taste.
The Kingfisher is best served super chilled. It pairs really well with almost all Indian snacks. However, Indians love to enjoy a Kingfisher with dry chicken tandoori or tikka.
Recommended by Akshay of Couple of Journeys.
The beaches in Sri Lanka are hot. Really hot. Yes, it is possible to escape the heat if you head up into the Highlands, but nearly every visitor to this beautifully diverse country spends at least some time on one of the outstanding beaches.
And nothing goes down better on a sweltering, humid day at the beach than an ice-cold beer. In Sri Lanka, 90% of the time that means ordering a Lion Lager. The country’s national beer,
Lion is a solid, if unspectacular, lager that doesn’t feature any special flavors or elusive fruitiness, just a great beer taste and, in my opinion, one of the best beer logos in the world. This iconic Sri Lankan specialty has been brewed since 1860 and has had its current name since the 1940s.
And if you’re now wondering, “Hey, do they even have lions in Sri Lanka?”, you’re not alone. While you won’t find any of the big cats around these days, there actually were Ceylonese lions in Sri Lanka at one time, just not for the last 40,000 years or so. Details, details.
Recommended by Dean & Laynni at Routinely Nomadic.
One of Australia’s most famous beer is “XXXX”, pronounced Four X is the number one mid strength beer in the country. Castlemaine Brewery has been around since 1878 and home in Brisbane, Queensland.
The lucky residents or visitors to Brisbane will often book a tour through this amazing brewery which allows sampling of the different flavors, not sold to the general public.
Thirst quenching delicious, XXXX is best paired with a few friends and a summer breeze. Some beers are just made for drinking in the Hot Australian Sun while snacking on some rice crackers, cheese and dip.
Those after a meal can’t go by a burger, chips or pizza to add to your Beer experience. If you’re feeling experimental, you can even try your hand at matching them to freshly shucked oysters and a plate of calamari!
Grab a Pot from your local Pub, or a stubbie/can from the fridge, either way you’re going to enjoy it!
Recommended by Chris of Aquarius Traveller.
40. Balter XPA
One of my favorite beers (and breweries) in Australia has to be the Balter XPA from the Gold Coast. Now this beer is not only for IPA lovers, but rather anyone who loves a full-flavored beer. It manages to be on the hoppier side while remaining incredibly easy to drink.
The flavor profile is fruity and aromatic, essentially a tropical IPA but less heavy. (Does it get better than that?)
The best thing about Balter? All of their beers are AWESOME. Their core range tends to focus on the hops, plus a lager of course, but they have plenty of creative limited releases as well.
Sours, porters, stouts, you name it. PLUS the brewery itself is amazing, they even have cocktails on draft for your friends who aren’t crazy about beer. If you are ever in the Gold Coast, you don’t want to miss this Australian staple.
Recommended by Hannah of Bad Tourist Travel & Lifestyle Blog.
Steinlager is an iconic New Zealand beer that you will find all over the country. It is well known for supporting the famous All Blacks rugby team for more than 21 years!
It’s a popular beer for this fact as well as being an easy-drinking drop. I like to describe it as a bitter yet refreshing larger perfect for a summer day.
Steinlager is a great beer to drink while watching the rugby at home or a bar, on a summer day or after a run or long walk. My favorite way to drink it is straight out of the bottle, I feel like everything tastes better in a bottle and Steinlager is no different.
The best snack to have with it is some classic kiwi chips and dip; which is a packet of crisps (my choice is green onion) and some dip (onion soup mix with reduced cream and a splash of malt vinegar).
When visiting New Zealand you have to try this classic kiwi brew made in Auckland, or catch it abroad as it is NZ’s biggest export beer!
Recommended by Lee-Ann of Be Free With Lee.
42. Brewaucracy Bean Counter
When in New Zealand, don’t miss out on trying a Brewaucracy beer if you see it on tap at your local pub or in a bottle at your local shop. If you happen to be passing through Hamilton, be sure to stop at their brewery which has up to 16 different beers to try on tap.
One of the best styles from Brewaucracy has to be their Bean Counter. Being from the UK, I tend to miss dark heavy beers, and the Bean Counter gets pretty close to that style. With a slight hint of vanilla, this beer has a sweetness that combines nicely with the malty chocolate taste that porters seem to favor.
Personally I wouldn’t pair the beer with any food, but experts say it goes with bacon-wrapped dates with cream cheese – which just sounds strange. Either way, nothing will take away from an interestingly refreshing porter that you can savor for hours.
Recommended by Ashley of Impact Winder.
43. Good George Brewing
Good George Brewing’s beer is just what you would expect from a New Zealand brewer. Creative, diverse, and full of character!
A trip to their brewery in Hamilton, New Zealand on the North Island is a blast from the start, with their creative signage and fun, funky atmosphere.
The beer selection is so diverse that it’s best to begin with a tasting flight, to sample everything from a Pale Ale, to fruity, to a dark Stout. Make sure to include Good George’s NZIPA, a huge crowd favorite.
Impressively well-hopped, the NZIPA is smooth and not bitter, and full of citrus notes from their locally sourced hops. If you are feeling adventurous, add one of their creative, fruity ciders to your flight.
Make sure to schedule enough time at Good George to sip all of their beers while munching on their excellent wood-fired pizzas. If you have enough time, sit down for a full meal of hearty New Zealand burgers with of course, beer battered fries!
Recommended by Meredith of Chasing Abandon.
This was our first sight and taste of a Tahitian beer. Hinano makes a variety of beers, the one in our room is considered a blonde lager. It was awarded the International Gold medal in world beer selections in 1990 and 1993.
The beer stocked in our refrigerator was in a can. I would have preferred it to be in a glass bottle, as I find bottled beers to taste better than canned. We did not have any chilled glasses available for pouring into, so we drank from the can on the deck of our bungalow.
My first impression was, even though it was a blonde, it had a strong bitterness compared to other blonde lagers that I have sampled and perhaps it could have been a bit more chilled. The color was golden and after a few more sips it became more liking to my palate.
Our refrigerator was restocked daily, so we had the opportunity to enjoy our Hinano with potato chips or by itself as we watched the beautiful sunsets every night from our deck.
Recommended by Mike and Katie of The Hollapinos.
Stork Beer is one of the most popular beers in Morocco and my personal favorite in the country. Beer in Morocco is not especially prevalent, but Stork is usually available where beer is sold.
Moroccan beer isn’t spectacular, but Stork, a basic pale lager, is very drinkable. I drank Stork in cans and bottles, but I definitely preferred the bottled product. Personally, I never saw Stork available on draft in Morocco.
The lightness of Stork is perfect for a warm, sunny Moroccan day, and it pairs perfectly with a mound of couscous or a small plate of fish, such as sardines or anchovies. My personal favorite snack to go with a Stork beer, though not exactly typical or low-calorie, is Moroccan bread. Msemen (flatbread) and harcha (a type of cornbread) are excellent options.
Beer may not be a big part of the culture in Morocco, but it’s there for the drinking if you look for it. When in need of a cold beverage in Morocco, Stork is an adequately refreshing and cheap option.
Recommended by John of The Hangry Backpacker.
46. Tango Beer
Algeria the largest country in Africa, and with a population of 99% being Muslims, do to many surprises have its own beer industry, with 4 different breweries in the country, with by far the most popular being Tango.
Getting a beer in Algeria is not easy, there´s no beer in the supermarket and all the bars are “secret” often behind a big metal door or at the bar at hi-end hotels around the country.
But when you manage to find one can you enjoy a Tango beer, which is only served in a small 0.33 bottles, no draft beer in Algeria. But luckily, so are you allowed to take “take away” beers from the bars, which is perfect when you are going on a trip into the Saharan desert.
Tango beer might not be the best beer in the world, but it´s nothing better in the world when having an ice-cold Tango beer after a long day in the desert,
Recommended by Christian of Unusual Travel.
47. Stella Beer
It is believed that the Ancient Egyptians were the first to brew beer. Beer was a major part of the working class diet and its manufacturing was pictured on the walls of Ancient Egyptians Tombs.
Nevertheless, the first modern brewery was made in Egypt by Belgian investors in 1897 and they manufactured Stella Beer. Later, the factory was nationalized to make Stella Beer the first national made Egyptian Beer.
Since its birth, Stella Beer never took off its famous yellow label, blue star and green bottle. It has 4.5% alcohol. Stella Beer’s slogan is “From Us”, that’s one of the reasons why Egyptians love Stella and foreigners consider it a part of the authentic Egyptian experience.
Stella Beer is best served in its 500 ml traditional bottle. Serving it cold helps with the hot weather in Egypt and makes it very refreshing. The most common snacks served with it in most of the Egyptian bars are peanuts and “Termes” which is made with Lupin beans.
Stella Beer is also available in 350 ml and 500 ml cans. But most people believe that Stella Beer cans are not as good as the traditional bottled ones.
Recommended by Moheb Wessa of The Wanderer Pharaoh.
48. Tusker Beer
Tusker beer is produced in Kenya using barley from the Savannah and Maasai Mara and spring water from the Aberdare Mountains. First produced in 1922, Tusker was named in memoriam following the death of George Hurst, a co-founder of Kenya Breweries Limited who was killed by an elephant.
It is more than just a beer, it is a national emblem with the slogan for Tusker being “Bia yangu, Nchi yangu” meaning “my beer, my country” in Kiswahili and the iconic elephant logo acting as a national symbol representing integrity, national pride and great tasting beer.
Tusker is a pale lager and can be found in bottles, cans or kegs. Kenyans enjoy Tusker at room temperature as an accompaniment to mbuzi, which is a Kenyan goat dish, but after a long sweltering day out on a safari there is nothing more refreshing than sitting down and enjoying a nice cold bottle of Tusker whilst watching the sunset over the African Bush.
Today Tusker beer is exported all around the world and can be found in the UK and the USA for your own little taste of Kenya.
Recommended by Steph of Book It Let’s Go!
49. Nile & Castle Lite
One thing that Uganda is full of is water. Lake Victoria is the largest in Africa and the longest river of the continent, the Nile, stems from it.
And one thing that often goes with the availability of water is beer. It is indeed at the source of the River Nile that all major Ugandan beers are made. Nile Breweries Ltd offers many types of beer, from lagers to dark ones.
The one I drank the most during my life in Uganda was the Castle Lite. As the name says, it is the lightest beer in Uganda, very drinkable during the hot and dry season. Only a few bars and restaurants serve it draft, so try looking for it in Kampala and enjoy it with some local nuts.
Recommended by Mario of Rest & Recuperation.
Kilimanjaro is probably the most famous beer in Tanzania, sold by every restaurant, bar, hotel and supermarket. It is one of the most popular drinks in Tanzania.
Kilimanjaro is a light beer, very refreshing, perfect to drink after a long day around a Tanzanian national park or, at the beach in Zanzibar.
It has 4.5% alcohol and it’s a pale lager, very easy to drink. Many tourists pack this beer with them to have it with dinner, in a safari.
It is interesting to see how the price of Kilimanjaro beer changes, depending on whether you are in mainland Tanzania or in Zanzibar. It always costs double on the island, even if you are having it in the same type of restaurant or bar.
Recommended by Joanna of The World in My Pocket.
51. Bière La Gazelle
Gazelle Beer (“bière la gazelle”) is a pale lager brewed by SOBOA – Société des Brasseries de l’Ouest Africain in Dakar Senegal.
It is found throughout the country, initially only sold in 63 cl green glass bottles with its iconic blue and yellow label depicting a gazelle, it now comes in 50 cl and 33 cl bottles too. Gazelle beer is so well known in Senegal that it has become a national symbol.
This beer is light (only 4.2% alcohol), refereshing and easy to drink; served chilled it hits the spot perfectly after a day on the road, on the beach or exploring Dakar.
It goes perfectly with the national dish of Senegal, Thieboudienne (a fish and rice one pot dish) or chicken Yassa (a chicken and onion dish).
Recommended by Phoebe Thomas of Lou Messugo.
52. Tchoukoutou (West African Millet Beer)
Not so much a brand of beer, it’s a style of beer.
Tchoukoutou is hundreds, possibly thousands of years old; all ingredients are locally produced, and the production and service empower many women entrepreneurs of the Sahel of West Africa. This beer is so important to the local culture, they used to postpone funerals for months until after the harvest so people could drink at the wake.
The thick reddish-pinkish liquid, almost like a food-drink, is surprisingly protein-rich. The sourness is balanced well with the sweetness and the warm temperature gives you a nice fuzzy feeling. At 2% alcohol, it gives you a nice buzz.
Over a wood fire, tchoukoutou is brewed in cauldrons, and served in a bowl, nice and warm. Find it at markets in Kara (Togo), Parakau and Natitingou (Benin). Natitingou has a cool tchoukoutou night-life; all bars are in traditional circle houses, each with their own homebrew tchouk!
Tchoukoutou is enjoyed by both men and women, but it’s exclusively made and sold by women. It’s become an enabler for the economic independence of women. Not only will you be enjoying a lovely beverage, you’ll be helping a movement that brings gender-equality to the local community.
Recommended by Luke of Culture Shock Adventure.
53. La Beninoise
“Think global – drink local!”
That’s what I learned already in my early days of traveling. More than ten years and almost 100 countries later, it’s still my credo. Why traveling thousands of kilometers around the world, just to have a Heineken or Beck’s that is also available in my home town supermarket?
When backpacking the West African countries, no discussion about what beer to order for a nice refreshment in Benin: La Beninoise, the local beauty.
The name is French since almost all countries of the region are using it as the first European language.
Just imagine: Enjoying this drink under palm trees near Ouidah – capital of Voodoo – and small fishermen villages on the Gulf of Guinea was a sheer pleasure. Sun is burning, feet in the sand, big waves are crashing, the wind is playing with your hair….
La Beninoise is produced by SOBEBRA (Société Béninoise de Brasserie) in Cotonou, founded 1960. It is the most popular beer in Benin and available in most supermarkets or bars. It’s a golden Lager-type beer which is primarily meant for having a light drink in the hot African weather conditions.
In most bars in the region it’s not common to have draft beer, so the glasses are filled up from the bottles you purchase.
I definitely look forward to my next glass La Beninoise under the palms of West Africa!
Recommended by Phil of JOURNICATION.
54. Cape Brewing Company
South Africa has become a great place for craft beer recently, and the Cape Town area has an especially good option with the Cape Brewing Company.
They make several different beers from a refreshing lager to a powerful IPA. The Cape Brewing Company even makes some fruity Weiss beers for those who are looking for a more unusual taste. Their beers are delicious either on draft or in the bottle, but if you get a bottle you can appreciate the beautiful labels.
You can enjoy the beers in a bar or restaurant in Cape Town, or you can visit the brewery itself which is just a short drive outside the city.
South African food is unpretentious and perfect for pairing with beer. Consider pairing the lager with the local snack flammkuchen, which is like a pizza covered with onions and lardons.
Or you can try your beer with a freshly made Boerewors sausage at a barbecue. There’s no wrong way to enjoy a fine craft beer, after all!
Recommended by Stella of Around the World in 24 Hours.
The last beer recommendation from Cape Brewing Company marks the end of this lengthy post about beer around the world. I hope this one would be fruitful for all the wanderers out there who are also beer lovers.
Do you have your local favorite from where you are? Or have you tried one of the local beer on the list? Shoot your two cents in the comment below, and cheers for you on this International Beer Day!
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