Europe's Best Beer
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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I must agree with Steve from Ill. Pilsner Urquell in Pilsen, CZ is the best beer I have had in Europe.
Don't judge this on what you get in the USA. This label has fallen to the Miller Brewing Company family, and it is as mass produced as Budwieser.
TIP: Go on the brewey tour. At the end you travel through many chilly tunnels (55 degrees in July) and at the end they pour you a full glass of unfiltered Pilsner Urquell directly from a large wooden barrel. This batch is still brewed the old way, not on the new brewery line.
My experience includes beer everyday and every city/town I have visited in England, France, Belguim, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Lichtenstein (don't bother, Rick doesn't), and Czech Republic.
TIP: Take pictures of your beer, bottles or drafts, or even taps. Okay, you may look silly, but if you want to remember a month later what that great beer was in Stratford or Berchesgarten, this will pay off.
Other beers I have enjoyed in Europe:
England: Green King IPA (not like an American IPA, check out the Pheasant Pub near Heathrow if stay near the airport) Germany: Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest (found it in a Regensburg beer garden in July!) Austria: Kaiser (crisp and smooth, looks and taste great in the tall, thin glass) Switzerland: Feldschloesschen Dark (must drink on the patio at Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald) Italy: Lowenbrau (okay it's German, but you can get it on tap in Kastelruth/Castlerotto and even Lago DiGarda) Netherlands: Grimbergen Double (this is a Belgian, but I am not really a fan of Belgian beers, it's like a dark lager) France: Kronenbourg is the standard, but try something else or go with wine Czech: Other than the unfiltered Pilsner Urquell on the tour, my favorite is Staropramen (also find it an Astoria, NY beer garden!)
TIP: In many countries, grocery stores sell large bottles for dirt cheap, I try the cheapest, and they are still good!)
If you go to the Hofbrau Haus in Munich (I like the Dunkel), it is confusing to find on foot, since the signs all
point you to the car park, and had us walking in circles. Ask people on the street and follow them.
Cape Cod, MA USA 05/05/2013
Bucket list beer tour
Leaving Thursday for 10 days on my bucket list beer tour of Cologne, Amsterdam, Bruges & Brussels. This do it yourself tour will focus on not only the beers but also the beer culture of the different areas as well as seeking out the unique places where beer is served and the people that drink there. Love beer but I am not sure it is about the as much as the "brown cafes" and such places where you can meet the locals and enjoy their drinking establishments.
Hudson, Ohio USA 04/29/2013
Best Beer -- IMPOSSIBLE TASK
I've been to a few European countries. Lots of Great Beer. WestMalle - great choice. Here's a tip - get beer you can't buy at home in USA. Belgian Beer - the higher the number (7-12) - the higher the alcohol. I like around an 8. 11 or 12 puts me on the couch before I finish bottle. Not good if you want to sightsee. HAVE FUN AND SAMPLE.
Fl USA 04/06/2013
I've been working in Ghent, Belgium for the past 12 months and during my stay here have had the pleasure of exploring as many of the Belgian beers as possible. A few of my daily favorites are Westmalle (dubbel and tripel), Duvel, Omer, Karmeliet and Rochefort. Westvleteren 12, which is in limited supply and can only be found at the abbey, is my favorite beer. If you ever get the opportunity, try it and enjoy.
Allenwood, PA USA 02/03/2013
Great beer in Bamberg
Bamberg has more breweries per capita, so you can literally do a walking tour and appreciate this Bavarian beer-adise. My favorites were Schlenkerla brewery - the original Rauchbier (smoked beer). And Griefenklau brewery - outstanding Hefewiesen.
Seattle, WA USA 10/06/2012
Pilzner beer in Moravia and Budvar in Bohemia!
Venice, FL USA 09/26/2012
Best beer in the world
Greetings to all, I have traveled all over Europe and my favorite is the Master brewed by Pilsner Urquell in Pilsen CZ. Another favorite is Weihenstephan in Freising 30 miles north of Munich (it IS the oldest brewery in the world-1040 AD). The British have a monthly brew fest managed by CAMERA which has many of the smaller breweries. Most cities in Europe will have festivals during the summer on any given weekend. This is a great way to try many different and local beers at one time. Prost!
Park Ridge, Illino USA 07/15/2012
La Chouffe, a Belgian beer may be my favorie to all, but having just returned from Dublin, a Guinness straight from the Gravity Bar sure does hit the spot.
Cincinnati, oh USA 06/26/2012
Few beers taste better than a fresh Stiegl "vom fass." It's my favorite lager from Europe, easily. Brewed since the 1400s in Salzburg, and sold throughout Austria and Bavaria. The best ale is tougher. There are so many styles of ale that it's difficult to pin down just one that I love. If I had to pick just one, it would probably be Fuller's London Pride, as it is the hoppy style pale ale I love.
Chicago, USA 06/22/2012
Best Beer - Case Closed!
It was said way down below - but it bears repeating.
Schneider Weisse from Kelheim is THE BEST.
Ok that was probably a little too strong, most beer is just awesome - would it all day if I could.
Also, I woudl advise folks in Bavaria to try the Radler - not for everyone, but if it is really hot (or you are really active) or have had a few already and need to slow down, it can hit the spot!
Charlotte, NC USA 06/21/2012
We loved the greek beer, Mythos and Alpha. You have to try it.
CA USA 05/22/2012
Forget trying to find a favorite. So many great beers! Learn categories. Such as - more than 10% alcohol and you will need a nap. Not good for activity. Stout - drink one slowly for flavor. Lighter/Pilsner beers - good for multiple drinks and remaining active. Try beers you cannot easily obtain at home. Beer is a great, big wonderful world to explore. Diverse flavors.
Sebring, Fl. USA 04/08/2012
I really enjoyed the Picon biere, beer flavored with Picon liquer that I got in Strausbourg. Picon is not available in the US, but Ramazzotti is a reasonable substitute, and can be used in any light (in flavor and color) lager.
Houston, TX USA 04/02/2012
Ale, Caesar !
For the most appropriate generic comment, refer below to Ken Andrews Penfield, NY USA 06/26/2010.
Add to this, there is no doubt in my very personal opinion, that a good English Ale is the best invention in the history of mankind. Which one? Don't know yet. But I'll keep searching.
Raleigh & Lima, 03/27/2012
Good Swabian beer
We were in the Stuttgart area while on vacation last week and discovered (with the help of friends who live in the area), two great spots for Swabian beer.
In Stuttgart, check out the Calwer-Eck-Brau brewpub, in the city center. Good hearty Swabian fare and tasty pils and weissbiers. http://www.calwereck.de/English
Less than an hour east, stop in to the Altes Sudhaus in Heubach (between Schwabisch Gmund and Aalen). The original brewery location, with its copper vats still intact, this old building is now a cozy little brewpub, serving up local Heubacher beers. The dunkle weisse is awesome! http://www.sudhaus-heubach.de/
These are off the beaten path for most tourists, but well worth seeking out if you are in the area and want some local flavor.
Minneapolis, MN USA 03/25/2012
2 Beer Suggestions
Go a bit out of the way and you can find some wonderful beers - in Czech Republic the Eggenberg brewery in Cesky Krumlov is fantastic.
Up in Gdansk the Hotel Gdansk has an onsite brewery and restaurant that serves the best beer in Poland - unlike most of the Polish beers it stands up incredibly well to its Czech and German counterparts.
Loveland, CO USA 02/09/2012
Monks and beer
Ah ,beer.... Rochefort 10 is my fave and Orval is nice if the monks are out.
Morehead, KY USA 01/27/2012