Europe's Best Beer: 2010
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
While visiting Austria, my wife and I tried three different beers. Our favorite was Zipfer, followed by Weininger and a real close third was Putigamer. All are light pilsners and are really refreshing, even in the dead of winter.
Brian and Jody
Richfield, MN USA Wed 12/22/2010
The best thing about finding the best beer in Europe is the research ! Here is my two cents : Ayinger Dunkel ( Bavaria ) Augistiner Helles (Munchen ) Sanwald Hefe weizen ( Bavaria ) Paulaner Salvator ( Munchen) Pilsner Urquell ( CZ) U Flecku (Dark) (Prague) Old Peculiar ( Northern England ) Guiness ( Dublin ) Alsfelder Schwarzbier ( Alsfeld Northern Germany ) I have never been to Belgium so I can't rate their beers even though I have had many of them in France and at home in the U.S. I think you have to have them locally to really comment on them here. Good luck with your individual research.
San Ramon, Ca USA Thu 11/25/2010
Bath Ales - best in Britain
I have to put in a plug for our local Bath Ale. I especially love the organic pale ale, but all of them are good!
Bath via San Jose, CA USA Thu 11/11/2010
Honeymoon in South Tirol - Forst
My husband took us to Germany, Austria and Northern Italy for our honeymoon. In South Tirol we drank a beer called Forst - which is what I would call a beer for the non-beer-drinker. It was very fresh and light. Perfect for a summer evening.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 11/05/2010
not sure what beer we were drinking in Prague, maybe Jupiler, it was outstanding and so was the little pub that had swings hanging from the ceiling instead of bar stools. What a hoot!
USA Tue 10/26/2010
Augustiner Dunkel, Munich
Augustiner Dunkel from the oldest brewery in Munich.
USA Tue 10/12/2010
Europe's Best Beer
Whilst visiting Chamonix, France I tried Mont Blanc white beer, very fresh and easy on the belly.
Sydney, NSW Australia Fri 08/20/2010
Sound of Music and...Beer
Scribed this little ditty on the train from Salzburg Austria to Venice, Italy:
Sung to the tune of Doe, a Deer...etc.
Oh, a beer, a real cold beer;
Two, now, we’re having fun;
Three, a buzz, I caught myself;
Four, a long, long way from one;
Five, the six packs almost dead;
Six, we’re just about to glow;
Seven, numbness in the head;
That will bring us back to Oh. Oh-oh-oh
Austin, TX USA Thu 08/12/2010
I agree with many of the posters that the best beer is what is fresh and local. The timing also matters. The beer tastes especially good in a nice beer garden or beer hall. Some standouts in my travels have been the wheat beer at the brewery tap at Weihenstephan in Freising, Germany, Fullers ESB in the cask in the UK and Hofbrau Ur-Bock and Augstiner Maximator Doppelbock in Munich. The Marzenbier at Mullerbrau in Salzburg is also great.
Barrington, NH USA Tue 07/13/2010
Europe's best beer
Here in eastern Bavaria the specialty is zoigl beer- served in family brew pubs only on weekends. Each family picks up the wort from a communal brewhouse and does the fermenting themselves, and take turns serving the beer and snacks/light meals on a schedule that can be accessed at www.zoiglbier.de in the towns of Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus. Great beer, great hospitality, meet the locals, and participate in a unique 500 year old tradition.
Pressath, Germany Thu 07/08/2010
Europe Best Beer
St. Norbert Beer Strahov Monastery Brewery, Praha--a great reason to become a monk. Best beer in Europe (and excellent food).
Sugar Land, TX USA Tue 07/06/2010
Brugse Zot - Excellent Beer
When my wife and I traveled to Bruges in 2008, we toured the De Halve Maan Brewery and were introduced to a great beer, Brugse Zot.
Highly recommend the the brewery tour. Wonderful people. Most importantly...amazingly good beer!
Belgian and French Style Ale.
Absolutely wonderful beer.
Austin, TX USA Tue 07/06/2010
The best beer I've ever had was Krusovice (Dark) in Prague, Czech Republic. Order a beef goulash and wash it down with a Krusovice dark and you won't be disappointed!!
San Francisco, USA Mon 07/05/2010
Working up a thirst.
This is a silly exercise, because the best beer is the fresh, cold one that you have in a cold Rathskeller, after biking along the Mosel on a 34 celsius day for 20+ miles. For me, because of circumstances matching my criteria, it would be Warsteiner. But, the next time I am under similar conditions, it could be Palm, or Groelsch or even a local that I have yet to taste. Just like comedy, Great Beer is all about the timing.
Penfield, NY USA Sat 06/26/2010
Most of my trips have been to either the former Yugoslav republics or former Warsaw Pact countries, so I'm partial to beers from Eastern Europe. Below is a list of my favorites. The beers from this region are all very good.
Regent (Czech Republic)
Sarajevsko (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Chicago, IL USA Wed 06/23/2010
The Imperial (light) is good, but the Krusovice Dark is fabulous. It's mostly in the Czech Republic, but I did find it in Budapest. Elsewhere, as others have said below, go local.
Durham, NC USA Tue 06/22/2010
Belgian beer > All other beer.
Germany's purity law cripples their ability to differentiate their beers from one another. There are some great beer styles in Germany (Hefeweissen), but ultimately the beers from individual breweries can't do much to stand out because they are so limited in the ingredients they can use. The purity law is a disservice to beer drinkers and despite what you may hear on "beer tours" the law was not passed to insure quality of German beer.
St Augustine, FL USA Sun 06/20/2010
Bier her! Bier her! Oder ich fall um!
Generally I say Paulaner(Germany) is about my favorite beer. I did have a beer in Germany I liked better, and that would be Andechs beer. It is brewed in a monastery in Bavaria, and I couldn't get enough of it, and only found it by accident while attending an Elsassfest(Alsace-Lorraine folk festival) in Frankfurt. I didn't come across Andechs being served anywhere else while in Germany. Belgian beer is good, many like it better than German beer, but I find Belgian beer a little too sweet for my taste.
Austin, TX USA Thu 06/10/2010
Greatest Beer in the World
Augustiner from Salzburg NOT MUNCHEN.
One sip of a this monk brewed beer from Salzburg is all you need to find utter joy. Honestly, this beer is better than anything else in the world ever.
Boulder, CO USA Fri 05/14/2010
We found a great beer in Barcelona Spain to be Voll-Damm. It is a double malt dark beer,high alcohol content and very tasty! We only found it is Barcelona but Cruzcampo is also good, found in Seville.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 05/11/2010
I have never liked beer because of the hops flavor. However, I firmly believe in sampling the local foods when traveling. Anyone have recommendations for not-so-hopsy beer in England or Ireland? And no, I don't enjoy Guiness. :( Wish I did.
Georgetown, TX USA Mon 05/10/2010
Heavenly Bavarian Biergarten
I have wandered about Bavaria (actually the world) in a quest to find the perfect biergarten with the perfect brew.
A number of years ago, I was advised by the proprietor of an excellent biergarten on the Regen river to visit the "beer church" (Proesslbrau) at Adlersberg.
In 1838 the Proessl family purchased a former monastery and church and turned it into a biergarten (complete with picnic tables and chestnut trees), restaurant, inn with rooms, and, of course, a brewery.
While the world has changed dramatically since 1838, the Proeslbraugasthof remains frozen in time. One drives or takes public transportation out of the gorgeous city of Regensburg (fantastic old town right on the Danube) and in just 8 kilometers, you have arrived in a rural valley to sample an array of delicious beers. The lager (Helles) and dark (Dunkles) and Pils (Pilsner) are all excellent, but the piece de la resistance is the dark, complex Palmator (a stark - strong - beer that explodes with flavor - truly a nectar fit for the gods).
In fine weather, the medium sized (sits a few hundred) biergarten is open; however, should the weather not cooperate, there is plenty of seating inside.
You will dine on traditional Bavarian fare (portions are huge), quaff superb brews, and should you decide to spend the night, book a comfortable, affordable room with a buffet breakfast to boot.
Herr Proessl monitors every aspect of the enterprise, ensuring that regulars and visitors enjoy the experience.
Website and directions:
Kailua, Hawaii USA Mon 05/10/2010
Actually Kozel is still brewed in Velke Popovice, Czech Republic, while also brewed under contract in Russia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Israel....
Lviv, Ukraine Wed 05/05/2010
Beer, beer, beer! Believe me, I have tried and tried and tried to drink this globe dry and have almost met my goal; but I must say, even though I am a great fan of German beers, a rabid fan of Belgian beers, I am absolutely nuts over a beer I drank in the Czech Republic. It is actually brewed in a small town in Russia, believe it or not, and only for export to the Czech Republic. It is a dark beer and it is the absolute smoothest I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. The name? KOZEL...give it a try. I guarantee it.
Allentown, PA USA Fri 04/16/2010
Europe's Best Beer
Always drink local brews if you can - they are the freshest and usually the best available. I second the motion on hand crafted brews, and in that area, the products of the minibreweries in the UK are top of the line. I prefer Scottish beer. My personal favorite is Red Cuillen, Isle of Skye Brewery, although I'm also very fond of other island brews from the Hebrides and Orkney.
You have to go to the isles or the northern Highlands to get them, but I've never met a "real ale" anywhere in the UK I didn't like. Besides using CAMRA's guide (I've consulted it for years) to hunt down pubs that serve guest beers, you can also look for pubs with the Casque Marque logo outside; they will always have at least two selections. For large brewery offerings, I recommend Belhaven Best, with Caledonian 80 a distant second.
Charleston, SC USA Thu 04/08/2010
The best brew is local and craft made
My view: Europe's best beer or ale is "real" craft brew from the region you are visiting. Last year, for Rick's tour in England, I discovered the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)www.camra.org.uk. They have a publication that identifies and describes the qualities of the major brews by region and includes a very useful listing of "real" pubs, both those for drinking and those for eating "local." This year our Rick's tour is Belgium and the Netherlands. Again, CAMRA has a fine guide that demystifies the more than 400 brews offered by local craft brewers. Belgium is proud of its beer and the brewers association has a helpful website www.beerparadise.be.
Beer or ale: the defining difference is the family of yeast used in brewing and the temperature it likes. If your interest runs to tasting rather than boozing, these resources open up a world of different flavors, different mouthfeel, different aromas. Advance research allows a guy to walk into a "pub" knowing what he might like to order. The result is real brew tourism!
Caldwell, TX USA Sat 04/03/2010
Brugge/Bruges - you must go to Staminee de Garre and ask for the house beer, a wonderful Belgian Tripel (limit 2?). Make sure you know where you're going and what you're looking for, it's discreetly hidden down an "alley" between the Burg and Market Square. It's on the south side, and actually looks like you're walking into a building.
Denver, CO USA Wed 03/03/2010
stumbling through the many beers I drank well one was called Dark Horse rather dark came back from Germany, Toohies and Fosters the twin Australains little kings cream ale from cininnatti ohio Kelly's 39 different on tap no Bud or crap Albuquerque
Saint Louis, mo USA Mon 02/15/2010
best beers in germany
Been to germany lots, best beer is hofbrauhaus hefe weiss,the oktoberfest and original are good to, another great hefe weiss is licher comes very very close to hofbrau.
glasgow, uk Sat 02/13/2010
Europe's Best Beer
Whoever stated below that Reissdorf Koelsch is a perfect Pilsner - is incorrect. A Koelsch is an Ale and a Pilsner is a Lager. If you are going to compare it to a Lager, I'd say a Koelsch is a bit like a Helles Lager as the Hops are not as pronounced as in a Pilsner.
Best Beer in Europe? Schneiders' Aventinus Weizen Doppelbock
Bloomingdale, NJ USA Tue 02/09/2010
Belgian! I have yet to meet a Belgian beer I don't like. Four days in Bruges wasn't nearly long enough to try even half of what was offered. There are so many styles to choose from - can one go wrong? In my opinion, NO!
Raleigh, NC USA Thu 02/04/2010
Best Beer in Europe
Best beer? ANYWHERE in Germany, from little Bernkastel - Kues (Mosel region - great wine too) to big, wide and wonderful Munich. You can't go wrong anywhere in Teutonic Himmel (Heaven). Drink up I say! When you're done drinking....DRINK MORE!
San Diego, CA USA Sun 01/03/2010