Europe's Best Beer: 2007
From Denmark to England to Germany to the Czech Republic, locals pride themselves on their beer. How does a tourist best tap into this flavorful fountain of European culture? Share your favorite locations and labels!
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Europe's Best Beer
I went to Andechs Monastery in rural Germany just south of Munich. Some consider this monastery to serve the "best beer" in Europe. The beer here is great and the pork knuckle tasty.
Beware as you return to the parking lot to get in your car. If you see a police car driving around the parking lot, DO NOT GET IN YOUR CAR! Walk somewhere else. I made the mistake of walking directly to my car. The police drove right up behind me so I could not move. Two police got out and asked me for my ID. I was then forced to take a breathalizer test right then and there. Fortunately for me, I had drank only one beer and got a .06 reading. This level "passed" the test. If I, however, had drank two, three, or four beers....I would have been screwed. Be forewarned!
Gig Harbor, WA USA Fri 12/28/2007
More than Guinness in Ireland
While I agree that you cannot go wrong with virtually any Belgium beer (Duvel is my personal favorite), one of the greatest beers I've ever had was the Plain Porter at the Porterhouse Brewing Company in Dublin, Ireland. My wife and I stopped in just to have a pint, and we ended up spending several hours there enjoying their fine selection of beer. My wife found a flavorful lambic that she got hooked on. I still dream about that porter!!!
Tampa, FL USA Mon 12/24/2007
Europe's Best Beers
The best beer I have found was in Luxembourg, Lux..Kronnenberg (I believe is the spelling) hands down ..after arguing about which pub to visit for a refreshing pint we all agreed that this one is the best! excellent smooth taste.
Fort Worth , Texas USA Thu 12/06/2007
I know this isn't beer, but my favorite drink in Ireland/UK over the summer was Bulmer's/Magner's. Only wish it was easier to find in the US.
Kingwood, TX USA Tue 12/04/2007
Smithwick's from Ireland! or as the locals call it "Smit-ick's" It's a darker beer, but not as heavy as a Guiness. Yummy!
Pleasanton, CA USA Mon 11/05/2007
My husband and I fell in love with Okocim Palone in Zakopane, Poland. It's a dark beer with an aftertaste my husband compares to "brownies." Belgian beer is still my favorite though...I love how each beer has its own glass!
Clearwater, FL USA Thu 11/01/2007
Reading the recommendations from all these drinkers of European beer reinforces my trust that beer drinkers are great to travel with, eat with and drink with. When you are in the Palatinate, try the Parkbrau. You won't be disappointed.
Fairport, NY USA Mon 10/29/2007
Beer in Switzerland
We enjoyed Feldschloesschen at Hotel Mittaghorn in Gimmelwald and at a couple of places in Murren...it is fantastic! We were told that it is so good because of the pure mountain water they use to brew it, and we would highly recommend it!
OH USA Sun 10/28/2007
Just go to the Augustiner Braustubel in Salzburg, get your stein, rinse it in the well, have it filled straight from the barrel, then sit in the biergarten and enjoy with the locals. Hard to beat.
Northbrook, IL USA Thu 10/25/2007
Ayinger's is by far my favorite weiss beer in Germany. You can find it in bottles over here but of course it's not the same. If you're ever in Munich, across from the Hofbrauhaus the fine folks at Ayinger's have a bar/pub/restaurant type place called Ayingers am Platzl - serving their Ayinger's bier on tap. Absolutely the best bier!!! Food isn't bad either!
Maywood, NJ USA Thu 10/18/2007
I first tried Chimay in a little restaurant in New Hope, PA, about 12 years ago. We had never heard of it , but were intrigued by a bottle of beer which at that time cost about $25! Immediately, we were in love! I had never tasted anything like it before. About 2 weeks later, we decided to go to Belgium and discover what other wonders we would find (beer-wise) It was one of the best trips of my life, as we ate and drank and explored the beautiful country with the all the different and amazing beers....It is now one of my favorite countries to visit.
I have tried, in vain to turn my friends on to Belgian beer, to no avail. I try to explain, it is not a "gulping" or "refreshing, thirst quenching" beer. It is to be sipped, and savored, like a fine wine, but no one seems to get it.
I think, also that now-a days, Belgian beer is more commonly exported, and the stuff we get here in the US is not of the same quality that you would experience if you were over there, in Belgium. I am sure they save the good stuff for themselves!
just another reason to get back there!
Jersey City, NJ USA Wed 10/17/2007
Gosser & Warsteiner
I was in Europe this summer and had a chance to visit Austria and Germany. I loved Gosser beer in Austria and Warsteiner in Germany.
Toronto , Ont Canada Wed 10/17/2007
Best bier...Lowenbrau aus Neu-Ulm. Although it's been 38 years since I drank any. Wonder if it's still in existence?
Apple Valley, Ca USA Tue 10/16/2007
Best Pub in UK
Ye Olde Mail Coach pub on High Street in Conwy (northern Wales) is hands down the best pub in the UK! Great beer and food, great atmosphere, and the nicest/friendliest folks around. Ask for Rachel; tell her Eric Cantona wasn't that good of a football player. That should get things going. :)
West Palm Beach, FL USA Thu 10/11/2007
Brewery in a Windmill
If you're visiting Amsterdam, go to the IJ Browerij (pronounced: eye brower-eye). They make great beer which is only available at a few local cafes and it sits next to a windmill. How Dutch! You can get there on the number 10 tram. The driver will tell you where to get off if you ask for the windmill (s/he may not know there's a brewery in it). Be forewarned, though, it's only open 3:45 - 7:45 Tues-Sun and the only food is cheese, salami, boiled egg or peanuts. Still, a summer weekend favorite!
Amsterdam, Netherlands Sun 09/23/2007
Haven't had a bad one yet!
If you're trying Belgian beer for the first time it's best to let the waiter know what you like and get a suggestion as favorites are very personal. After living in Amsterdam for 4 years my absolute favorites from Belgium are: Roquefort 6 (a Trappist), Westvleteren 8 (another Trappist - VERY hard to find), Vondel, any of the St. Bernardus beers and Urthel 9. I must admit,however, that I haven't had a bad one yet! Most of the Belgian beers are very high in alcohol content, so sip slowly and savor the taste. These are not English session beers! Also, most of the Belgians age well. I've had 6 year old Chimay and am now drinking 4 year old Westleteren and the flavor just becomes smoother and more interesting over time. Most Belgian ales have a 2nd fermation in the bottle, so many won't be available on tap.
I'm adding my vote for the New Glarus beers too. The U.S. has great microbrews and that one is among the best.
Amsterdam, Netherlands Sun 09/23/2007
Hamburg, CA USA Fri 09/21/2007
I don't think anyone who has experience drinking beer in Europe can deny that Belgium has the best beer, both in terms of quality and variety. My personal favourites are Hoegaarden Witbier Blanche, Leffe, Duvel, Maes, Mort Subite, Safir, Kriek, Corsendonk (blond) and Blanche de Bruges. One of my all time favourite memories is sitting in a sidewalk pub inside the 'Grand Place' in Brussels on a beautiful summer day enjoying a Mort Subite and a Maes.
Vancouver, B.C. Canada Sun 08/26/2007
Moin, Spending a month here in the german north... Flens Pils, as stated, is just easy drinking (the "bud" of northern germany)also like holsten, and on the odd day where its hot out, an (sp?) alterwasser (beer and sprite) mix is quite refreshing. Oh, and 9 euro/bottle Jager is a good thing here as well :) Hansens Braueri (sp again?) is a must visit, order a yard and a knuckle.
Flensburg for the summer, BC Canada Tue 08/21/2007
Drink less beer, read more.
I believe the correct way to describe beer from Belgium is "Belgian" beer.
Also, if you are from Belgium, you are Belgian, not Belgiun.
EARTH Mon 08/20/2007
Europe's Best Beer - by far!
Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer, Edinburgh, Scotland. For anyone looking for an ale, rather than a pils or lager, this is a stellar bevvie. For another exceptional taste experience, you must give the Traquair House Ale a go. Made in the Scottish Borders at the Traquair House just outside Innerleithen, it packs a hearty punch and is splendid, indeed.
Danderhall, Scotland Sat 08/18/2007
Belgium Beer-- It's True
I am not much of a beer drinker, but I became quite the connoisseur after a visit to Belgium. The beer is wonderful! Plus it is cheap (cheaper than pop or water) and you can find it everywhere. Every town, every bar has its own favorite. Ask what is recommended. You can get this "sampler"-- 4 6 oz. glasses of beer, ranging from lights to darks, for only a few euros. A great way to experience it all!
Cincinnati, OH USA Thu 08/16/2007
Tripel Karmeliet Belgium
As others have said, the best beer is in Belgium, hands down. Try the Tripel Karmeliet beer; it has a sweet aftertaste & is wonderful!
cypress, tx USA Thu 08/16/2007
Europe's best beer
As a proud Belgiun who lives in WA ,I would recommended to any traveler who visit Belgium , please take the time and stop in Gent.There is a little cafe and they sell 150 different beers. The adress is: vrijdags markt ( fridays market ) and the place is great !!! and also great places to eat are the restaurants in : 't Patershol. The food is Delicious !!!! Now my American husband doesn't like the American beer anymore ... He likes them ALL !!!!
Connie Jolie McDermott
Kirkland, WA USA Mon 08/13/2007
I would highly recommend to any traveler who plans to visit Gorlitz, Germany to be sure to enjoy a Landskron beer while you are there. We ate at the Burgerstubl restaurant (which has been recently renovated by the Landskron Brewery) while there in July and ordered a one of their very special beers to go with our meal. It was such a treat that I asked the waitress if I could buy a Landskron beer glass to remember this experience by. What a great beer they produce. Although we didn't have time while there, a tour of the Landskron Brewery is definitely recommended so you can sample their product. More Americans should consider visiting Gorlitz beyond the beer experience they will have while there. Rick has added Gorlitz to his Germany & Austria guidebook for 2007. It's well worth a visit, I'll say!
Baldwin, WI USA Fri 08/10/2007
Another vote for New Glarus
I have to second the recommendations for the New Glarus Brewing Company in Wisconsin. My personal favorite is their Edel-Pils, which is an excellent pilsner. They also make a traditional Belgian cherry ale, which, through spendy, is a great alternative to champagne at the holidays.
Superior, WI USA Mon 08/06/2007
I think the best beer ever is Kaiser's Alpin Radler. I had it in Austria this year and am hooked!
selden, ny USA Sun 08/05/2007
Great Beer of Europe
Thanks for all the great reading. I will be at Octoberfest Sept 22nd. Also 2 weeks of Austria & Italy. I will be happy to try all your suggestions and report back my findings in october.
Henderson, Nevada USA Fri 08/03/2007
German and Belgium Beer
If you want quanity then Munich, Germany is the place but the quality of the Belgium beers cannot be replaced. I suggest the beer garden in the English Garden in Munich. While in Brussels I found Leffe to be my personal favorite followed by a late night waffel. Enjoy!
Dekalb, IL USA Sat 07/28/2007
Rothaus Pils - Freiburg, Germany
My cousins live in from Freiburg and the first time we visited them, I fell in love with Rothaus Pils! So much that whenever my wife and I or part of my immediate family visits Germany, I "order" a case.
At home I treat it similar to a fine wine that only gets consumed on special events!
Of course I cannot post without giving due respect to Bitburger Pils (Which you can get in the States.)
ST. LOUIS, MO USA Mon 07/23/2007
Rathaus Pils in Freiburg Im Breisgau Is one of the best Cherman Pilsners. Took a case back to my freund in Koln by carrying a rack full through the city streets and on the train. Smart enough to grab some 'zels and some sarnies and Kase, I toured the German countryside lightening my load by drinking a few on the train. The drinks trolley man stopped by with the rolling mini bar and we had a good euro chuckle over the fact that I wouldn't be using his services that trip! Rathaus refers to the gov'ment administration of the town/vill/city...
Sunny Phoenix, AZ USA Sun 07/22/2007
Guinness was a Genius
GUINNESS! How could you go all the way to Ireland and not have some of the Black Stuff? I'll tell you what, I didn't really know much about Guin before marrying into a Irish family. It took a while to realize what a wonderful low calorie beer it really is. Smooth, creamy and takes for ever to get, but hey, well worth the wait! Often mis-poured in US, you can still find great Guinness in the states. Most people are just plain 'fraid of it. Don't be and know that there are good Guinness and poor Guinness out there. Often times you will hear that Guinness is poured warm. Well sorry, that couldn't be further from the truth! Raise a pint if you haven't already and join me in a toast: May endless good now come to you in endless ways! Thank God for Guinness!
Sunny Phoenix, AZ USA Sun 07/22/2007
Jupiler is goo-ood!!!
i was all over europe a couple years back, and was throwing down some pretty heavy beers in ireland, germany, holland and belgium. jupiler is strong (5.2) but amazingly tasty and super drinkable. it speaks volumes that everyone in belgium (the veritable holy land of beer) is drinking jupiler... it's the best!
Redondo Beach, CA USA Sat 07/14/2007
Hey all-- I was visiting my family in Sebastapol last week, when my father offered me a cold one. But a "cold one" I had never heard of. Does anyone know where I can find Rustetrombone in Utah? It's gotta be the smoothest stout I've ever had! Dying for more!
Salt Lake, UT USA Sat 07/14/2007
While in Belgium try a cherry beer! It really has a good taste that I crave and keep some in the fridge tha tI pick up from a local market while there.
Mölenbach, HE DE Tue 07/10/2007
No Italian Beer served here
two years ago we headed out for our first dinner of the trip. We went to a nice restaurant in Porto San Stefano. I wanted an Italian Beer and asked for one. The waiter politely told me they had no Italian beer!!! My husband and I were amused at that one. I enjoyed my Heinikin but was slightly disapointed.
Littleton, CO USA Mon 06/25/2007
On our recent trip to Munich the most "different" (how can you say which is best?) we tried was the Paulaner Dark Wheat Beer. Looking forward to a return trip to compare to some of those mentioned in these postings!
Hillsboro, OR USA Sun 06/24/2007
Regent, Czech & Slovak pivo...
Matt from California mentioned Regent. Not a bad beer indeed but it's not from Telc (BTW, nice little town with one of the most beautiful main squares in the Czech Republic). Regent's brewed in Trebon, quite close to Telc. There's a another beer that's brewed in Telc but I can't recall the name...It's got a German sounding name- does anybody know it? Anyway, not the best pivo though.
My favourite Czech beer is BERNARD. Not the most famous but the Bernard 12° is delicious! Slovak beers are not as good as Czech ones but Martiner, Zlaty Bazant or Kelt are pretty good.
Bratislava, Slovakia Thu 06/07/2007
I have to admit that my wife and I are not the biggest beer drinkers. However, in out just finished tour of Germany and Austria, we discovered the wonderful taste of wheat bear (wiesse or weitzen bier). Just about any of them was great; but the best, hands down was Augustiner in Munich. I hope we can find anything like this back here in Vermont.
Joshua I. Jacobson
Bradford, VT USA Tue 06/05/2007
We have traveled lots and the best beer is Svyturys on tap from Klaipeda Lithuania. wow most of the town smells like the beeer, even the people get the yesty smell. #2 is Augustiner in Salzburg. Great church with some very big wooden caskets of Beer. Love their beer hall. A must see ,...
Key west , Florid USA Sat 06/02/2007
Budvar in czech republic. Might not actually be better than the German or Belgian beers, but any beer tastes better when you're only paying 20 Kroner (about 1 dollar) for it.
Kindsbach, Germany Fri 06/01/2007
This beer is not brewed in Europe, per se, but it is brewed in boilers and other tanks that were once used in a brewery in Franconia. The brewery is the New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, WI. Their signature beer is a hefeweizen called Spotted Cow. But I think their best beer is their Fat Squrrel, a nut brown ale. All of their beers are fantastic.
Visit the brewery sometime and learn about how the brewing equipment was saved from demolition. It's an inspiring story. The little old German man whose old brewery had been sold to a development company that was going to demolish the brewery to put up condos ended up selling the equipment to the owner of the New Glarus Brewing Company. He was so grateful that the equipment was not going to be destroyed that he sold it for the cost of scrap.
I have always said that, in general, if you can't afford to go to Europe then many parts of Wisconsin could be about as effective as a nicotine patch. It gets the job done even if it's not exactly the same. The town of New Glarus, WI is like traveling to Switzerland. Even the street signs are in German and English. Go to Wisconsin and try the beer. It's worth it!
St. Paul, MN USA Thu 05/31/2007
I am doing the Eurail thing and trying to do it on the cheap, but one thing I've been buying is GOOD beer.
In Brugge, Belgium my favorites are Orval (with the fish on it) and Rochfort 10, both trappist and strong, thick and dark. Highly recommended with local cheese or mussles.
In Amsterdam the Heineken really is better than the states, and in Copenhagen stick to imported wine :P
In Germany (where I am currently) the strategy of asking the bartender for their favorite is working wonderfully.
Denton, TX USA Wed 05/30/2007
Gawd, is there anything better than a cold Euro beer (pick your poison), sitting at a sidewalk cafe and just watching people? I think not. Their sodas might not be cold, but the beer always is.
Phoenix, AZ USA Fri 05/25/2007
Best Beer Made
I agree with Hartman from Hawaii - Schneider-Weisse is the best. I can't find it here in Florida and have to bring back a six pack or two whenever we visit my daughter in Evansville, Indiana.
Okeechobee, FL USA Mon 05/21/2007
After a long day of train travel through Austria and the Czech Republic, we sat down by the river in Cesky Krumlov and had the best beer I've ever tasted - Bohemian Regent, brewed in Telc (I think). Worth the rough ride that day, and maybe even the whole 3 week trip!
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA USA Mon 05/21/2007
Köstritzer from Bad Köstritz (near Gera)
Whilst in the Thüringen state of Germany last week, I had a chance to try Köstritzer dark beer. It has a nice taste, similar to that of Czech beers but not as heavy as Guiness. Köstritzer has been around for about 100 years, even during the cold war. Although it was bought by Bitburger in the early 1990s after reunification, the Köstritzer brewery still remains in Bad Köstritz, just a few hundred meters from the Weißer Elster river and just 5 miles north of Gera. It was interesting to see the bottling process. They also make "Bibop" beer-cola mix using their dark beer. I must have another Köstritzer when I revisit Thüringen.
Frisco, TX USA Sat 05/12/2007
EICHOF----Luzern Switzerland. Light and goes down real easy, too easy!!! HA HA HA
Muskegon, Michig USA Sun 04/29/2007
Europe's best beer
My favorite so far is Rochefort from Belgium. I can occasionally find it here in Spain. Scotland also has some excellent brews like Skull Splitter and The Ghillie. I have to agree with Russell Evans when he says that the US also has some great beers. The Pacific Northwest makes excellent microbrew. Man I miss those amber ales.
Madrid, Spain Sun 04/29/2007
Augustiner Braustubl Monastery in Salzburg. All I can say is - Delicious!
Nashville, TN USA Sun 04/22/2007
Officially rated number 2 by Playboy and Time (Number one was Budwar from Czech and 3 was Pilsen-also Czech), Kreuzberg is a little monastary outside of Oberwildflecken, Germany. Atop a small mountain, and served in Stone Mugs is truly the Best Dark Beer in the world! Smooth but dangerous! I bet you can not drink 4 Liters without feeling like you were tranquilized! Your head stays clear, but your body does not! It was a place to Jog to when I was in the Army at Wildflecken (10 K's uphill). Beautiful scenery, truly great SauerKraut and Brats!
Skopje, Macedonia Wed 04/18/2007
Europe's Best Beer
Nashville, TN USA Tue 04/17/2007
I will give a hearty "hear-hear" to the mention of Yorkshire beers. I know I probably am repeating myself, but Black sheep brewery in Masham is very good and in the same small town is the home of Theakston Brewery, hands down the best brewery tour anywhere. Victorian era brewery, still operating much the same way, making cask ales.
IA USA Tue 04/17/2007
Kozel dark - hands down. Greatest dark beer in the world, a Czech brew. Sweet, rich, everything you would want in a dark beer. My goodness I miss the Czech.
Summerville, SC USA Tue 04/17/2007
Beer in Germany
In the Rheinland-Westphalen province of Germany, I'll second the vote for Konig-Pilsner for a great easy-drinking lager. Definitely try a Kolsch in the Koln (Cologne) area. Can't get a good one stateside, and they are a delicious brew. An observation...seems like Bitburger is taking over much of central Germany. See Bitburger signs on pubs/restaurants everywhere nowadays. It's a good beer, but try the local stuff when you get a chance! "Bitte ein Bier!"
Plainsboro, NJ USA Thu 04/12/2007
I may not be a beer expert, I tend to be an MGD drinker in the states. But I live in Yorkshire most of the year at this point and have still really enjoyed Black Sheep's Best Bitter. It is based in Masham, North Yorkshire. So if you are in the Yorkshire you should at least give it a half pint to try it. The York Brewery also has a solid following, but Black Sheep's Best Bitter is easier to find. The York Brewery does offer tours and is the only brewery in the city of York. But it's Yorkshire Terrier, it is a bitter, is still worth a try as well.
Chicago, IL USA Mon 04/09/2007
Gambrinus is fanastic.
Gambrinus. Hands down.
USA Wed 04/04/2007
i cannot add more than has been said. the beer is excellent throughout europe. for the past ten years i have traveled to europe (netherlands, belgium, germany, france, austria, hungary, italy, switzerland, poland, united kingdom, romania) where is the bad beer? i have only experienced great beer, great food, great friends, and some pretty good smoke as well. travel europe, it is well worth it.
naches, wa USA Sun 03/25/2007
Krusovice Cerny (dark), Czech beer, hands down favorite, closely followed by Velky Popovice Cerny. That being said, my Czech wife and I had our best beer ever, Budvar Cerny, in Hradec Kralove in an out of the way old nice restaurant. Czech beer IMHO is the best in the world, taking nothing away from our good German friends (number two). If you ever get to Munich, be SURE to visit the HB Hofbrauhaus, a must see for the great food, beer, people and gemutlichkeit.
Prague , CZ Fri 03/23/2007
Alt Bier in Duesseldorf
Although not on the typical tourist route Duesseldorf is a modern German city. However they make a very good old German ale there. They have a friendly competition with Cologne and this bier is much better than Koelsch, in my humble opinion. Also Great modern art in Duesseldorf.
Madison, WI USA Sun 03/11/2007
Bier In Switerland
Traveling to Europe for 25 years and having the ooportunity to experience a wide variety of beers-from the Elephant beers in Denmark to Belgium to Iatly and most all the german varieties. One of the best I have tasted are the Calandra braus-Available in eastern Switerland and served in glass boots for mass consumption!
ne USA Fri 03/02/2007
Flensburger beer certainly has the prettiest bottles! we have friends in the north who buy cases of this stuff and when we come to visit, we keep a bottle as a souvenier. Also, just for a beer drinking experience like none other, the Augustiner in Salzburg truly is like the cathedral of beer drinking environments!
Kelso, WA USA Fri 03/02/2007
Spending the year in Oxford with its 60-odd pubs teaches you a thing or two about beer... Simple guide to ordering beer from the pubs: only drink the stuff that comes out of the long-handled, pumped taps. These are the "real ales" that you'll doubtlessly hear so much about–delicious cask-conditioned ales stored in the cellar of whatever pub you're in. As a general guide, always go for 1. whatever has the stangest name (this has turned out extremely well in the case of Marley's Ghost, Chocolate Frog and Old Peculiar) 2. is brewed locally (Hobgoblin, Old Hookey or Dog's Bollocks here in Oxford) or 3. has the highest alcohol content–and not because they'll get you plastered a little faster than you were planning on, but because of the extra malt used in these beers, giving them a better, more complex flavour. Also, don't be afraid to try the ciders–rather than being week, watered-down drinks to give to girls who can't take their beer like in the States, British ciders and scrumpy can be truly delicious and flavourful concoctions–if sometimes unexpectedly strong. Katy Spartan oak-matured rum-finished cider and Old Rosie Cloudy Scrumpy are my favourates.
Oxford, GB Fri 03/02/2007
Bier Beer Here!
Once upon a time in a town far far away from Phoenix AZ, I was visiting friends in Freiburg Im Breisgau (sp?) a college town near the black forest. In that town is one of the very best pilsner beers in all of Germany: RATHAUS PILS! Oh to die for, goes good with everything! Hot Chicks, chocolate fishy stuff, stinky cheese, fondue mon dieu, disco and slinky showers! Yum
Phoenix, AZ USA Tue 02/27/2007
I was in Germany 1.5 years ago and going back tomorrow!!! I had Mittenwalder in Garmishe at the Gorge! Great beer and views. But the best was in Brussels at the bar called "Mort Sublite" (sudden death)the beers were killer and the bar was real hard to find. People need to check this out
Atlantic City, NJ USA Mon 02/26/2007
Trappist Westvleteren 12
If you're in Belgium with a car, make your way through the Flanders (hops) fields to the St. Sixtus monastery to try the Westvleteren beers. The monastery has a very pleasant, large cafe with an outdoor terrace where you can drink and have a nice lunch, but unless you get a reservation to pick up a case or two of beer in person during the few times a year the monks make a batch, you can't buy it anywhere else. (And if you do come across some in a bar or on eBay, well, those people are going against the monks' wishes, who don't want it sold commercially; they're interested in making only enough beer to support their abbey.) It's worth seeking out!
Germany Sat 02/24/2007
piwo - pivo - bier - beer - bière
In Poland, Zywiec & Perla are probably my faves; in Gdansk there's Kozlak. In Czech, I've always liked Velkopopovický Kozel (the 12°); Regent and Budvar are fine too. In Slovakia, Topvar was a favorite, and Zlatý Bažant a standby. In Vienna, try the brewpubs! 1516, Salm Braü, Siebenstern, Fischer Braü - and many more. Siebenstern Braü in Vienna brews what is probably my favorite dark beer in the world - their Prager Dunkles. I like Trumer Pils around Salzburg. In Dublin, don't miss The Porterhouse, on Parliment Street. In Slovenia (and Croatia) I enjoyed Laško; and in Croatia, Karlovacko (but I think that was mostly because the beer was cold and the weather was hot). Belgium is filled with delights too numerous to name - just be adventurous and you'll avoid the swill. Whatever you think of it in the States, try a Grolsch at a pub in the Netherlands - you might be pleasantly surprised. The beer I've had everywhere I've been? Guinness, oddly - it's everywhere, and I guess I've made a habit of trying it - everywhere.
Albuquerque, NM USA Fri 02/23/2007
Kölsch in Cologne/Bonn
It's already Karnevaldienstag, the day before Ash Wednesday. I've been in Bonn since 15th February but will fly tomorrow to Lisbon. Most of the time, I have been drinking Kölsch (Beer found only in Cologne and Bonn and vicinity) with my relatives while at various Karneval venues in Bonn and Cologne. Kölsch has a nice flavor which is not too bitter, unlike many similar lager beers. Don't try to get Kölsch in Düsseldorf - there is a rivalry with Cologne and Düsseldorf. If you fly on Germanwings from Cologne/Bonn, you can get Kölsch (don't recall offhand if it's Früh, Sion, Gaffer, Gereon or Dom - those are the only five breweries I can name so far) inflight.
Frisco, TX USA Tue 02/20/2007
Two things: 1.) Scotland, like the rest of the UK has some delicious real cask ales (Dark Island is quite good if you like darker beers) and 2.) I know it's hip to put down America, but America has some of the world's best beer - it just doesn't have the history like Germany and the UK. But if you don't belive me, put down that Miller Lite and try something from the Flying Dog Brewery or Rogue, or Dogfish Head, or any of the hundreds of amazing microbrews all across the U.S.
Edinburgh, UK Thu 02/15/2007
Beer in Europe
Well, after reading everyone's comments I have to say ....Is there really a "Bad" beer? I live in Germany now, have lived in Belgium and Holland and have been just about everywhere in Europe. Soon will be leaving to come home to the States and will miss the variety and choices of beers here in Europe. I will recommend that if you ever get to Bamberg, Germany, try the Rauchbier (Smoked-Beer). Very unusual and very good.
WIesbaden, Germany, USA Sat 02/10/2007
The best beer is at Andechs Monastary
There are many good beers throughout Europe, but until you've experienced Andechs's Doppelbock Dunkel from the cask at the Andechs Monastary near Munich, you haven't experienced beer elevated to the highest level.
Phoenix, AZ USA Fri 02/09/2007
Another vote for Flensburger
Us Texans must be blessed with good luck, because the Flying Saucer is now carrying Flensburger's full line in bottles. Delicious!
San Antonio, TX USA Wed 02/07/2007
Germany and the UK
The best beer I ever had was in Coburg, Germany when I was 17, only days after I went to Kulmbach with friends and discovered what beer was actually supposed to taste like!
Have to agree, though, that the best pubs are in the UK. We usually ask the bartender for recommendations.
VA USA Wed 02/07/2007
The ales I loved were Archer's, Timothy Taylors LandLord, all of the Fullers Products, and Youngs.
Tampa, fl USA Wed 02/07/2007
I currently live in one of those nineteenth-century apartment blocks in Prenzlauerberg (Berlin) noted below and can second the recommendation of Flens. Probably my favorite pils.
berlin, Germany Sun 01/28/2007
England has many fine ales, but we especially enjoyed Smithwick's Ale in Ireland.
Honolulu, HI USA Sat 01/27/2007
I've lived in Berlin and Amsterdam and traveled extensively through the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic. My favorite beer is Flensburger Pilsner from the maritime German North. One taste of it and you'll see the sun setting over the Gothic spires of Flensburg with its cobble-stone alleys as the ships dock at port. Or maybe you'll be transported to present-day urban Berlin where the 19th century tenement apartment blocks in Prenzlauerberg slowy crumble to the tune of a post-industrial somberness that bites at you like the cold air on the wind-swept plains of the German North. Luckily one can find this beer in our capital city at the "Whip-In" on I-35 and Woodard.
Austin, Texas USA Sat 01/27/2007
Excellent Lithuanian Beer!
Last fall I discovered an excellent beer in Lithuania called Svyturys, which is hoppier than what I have found in Germany or during my other travels in Europe.
Berlin, Germany and Upstate NY, USA Wed 01/24/2007
Krusovice is actually German-owned and anyway not one of the better beers available in the Czech Republic. Of course, it's all relative and even the bad Czech (or German) beers will often be pretty good if you're used to beer back home.
Berlin, Germany Sun 01/21/2007
Anything in Belgium, you can't go wrong (I like rochefort). In Britain the best is Jacobite Ale from Traquair is Scotland. It's hard to come by. Also good are Orkeny Ales and Theakston's Old Peculier.
VANCOUVER, WA USA Fri 01/19/2007
Krusovice Czech Pilsner
I'm for the Czech beer also. The best I had was Krusovice (there are hatshek accents in that name but I can't add them from this computer), a pilsner. I can't find it in California, but it's nice that some things (like English scrumpy) can only be found when you actually make the trip. Great stuff!
CA USA Fri 01/19/2007
Vote for Belgium+beer trip hints
Some experience across whole Europe, agree (obvious:Czech and German), another culture - UK/Ireland (love ales), Poland - not bad, true. More rare - French "Fisher" - actually, it's Elsacian. BELGIUM! Many places have it's own favourites: in Antwerp do not miss "De Coninck" (ask it just say "bolleke"), another gem - Trappisten beers brewed in monasterys - places are: Orval, Chimay, Rochefort, West-Fletteren and my best - Westmalle. Strongly recommended to go to Westmalle "Cafe trappisten", this is 20 min.drive near Antwerpen on a way to Holland. What a names - Duvel (Devil) 9 alc., Piraat, Delirium Tremens, Lucifer. Golden Draak (Dragon) with taste of brown bread with coriander. Lot of local ales which are not brewed in Scotland but of Scottish origin. Another favourite - John Martin's Pale Ale. Gordon Scotch is perfect. Many Wit (white) beers - Hoegaarden is most known, Blanche de Bruges etc. If you are in Antwerp - find a pub called Pilgrim near Cathedral, 15 steps down - and you seat in 15th century listening to Beethoven drinking beer. Ask there "KWAK" - you'll like the glass (you will be asked 20E deposit returned if you will not break the glass). Some kinds of Belgian beer are ordinary but good also - Stella, Jupiler, Maes - but it's a pils actually, however rather good.
St.Petersburg, Russia Thu 01/18/2007
No to Jupiler!
Avoid Jupiler unless you just miss the taste of Bud Lite. It's Belgium's most sold beer by volume, because it is basically just an American-style light lager. Going to a beer mecca like Belgium and drinking Jupiler is like going to Mexico and eating Taco Bell.
San Antonio, TX USA Thu 01/18/2007
I have to agree Schneider-Weissee is an all time favorite here! Had my first one about 18 yrs ago in Germany. And it is still top of my list.
Millsboro, DE USA Mon 01/15/2007
From one beer connoisseur to another, I will recommend drinking Polish beer. We have it in Canada and the two that we enjoy are Zywiec and Tyskie. They are 5.5 percent so Americans be advised!. Irish beer Harp is awsome as well. I will keep it short but there are many others that I enjoy world wide.
Toronto, Ont Canada Sat 01/13/2007
I can get cafferey's at my local beer distributor..
East Islip, NY USA Fri 01/12/2007
Beer in Prague
When in Prague try the original Budweiser for a kick. Of course its a completely different beer, no realtion to the American version. You can buy it at a grocery store for like 15 cents a can.
Brooklyn, NY USA Thu 01/11/2007
Just try one. Just try.....
Schneider-Weisse. 'Nuff said.
Kealakekua, Hawaii USA Wed 01/10/2007
The best beer to try in Europe is Jupiler. It is sold all over Bruges, and the rest of Belgium. You can buy a can of Jupiler at the Frite stand in front of the Belfry Tower.
Mt. Pleasant, MI USA Fri 01/05/2007
5 years ago on my first trip to europe i sat down with my grandfather by the lake in Zurich and had my first Stella Artois to this day Stella is still my favorite beer (and they sell it in the US now for about 8.00$ a 6 pack).
Boone, NC USA Thu 01/04/2007
Belgium does have the best beer of any European countries. My favorite beer in Europe, however, is actually an English beer. It is called Caffrey's Irish Cream Ale. It is becoming harder to find in Europe even and finding it in America is next to impossible. Milwaukee is the only city I have traveled to that carries it in a few places.
Des moines, IA USA Tue 01/02/2007