I‘d like to say I am writing this article just so I could flaunt all the rules and have a single world subject: beer. How cool is that? I could have easily have said “8 great places in the world to have a cold glass” but “beer” is a little more fun, don’t you think? It got your attention anyway.
I felt a bit sorry for beer – wine has been the subject of so many posts, from Livermore Valley to Rioja to the interview with my wonderful penpal Nat. So let’s check out a few great places that not only serve up good ale and lager but are also the perfect backdrop for enjoying them.
Nothing better than fresh from the tap!
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
There are so many places in the Czech Republic that are a beer lovers heaven, it is hard to choose. My pick is for Cesky Krumlov though because it is such a charmer. With medieval-styled restaurants and a historicl town centre straight out of a fairytale, it’s the perfect place to enjoy several of the local brews, such as the cheap and delicious Eggenberg. Try the yeast beer – it is amazing.
They say that a Guinness tastes different (better?) in Ireland than anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately I’m not a fan – I think it still tastes like chalk no matter where I go. However, it has a respectable fan following, and the storehouse tour in Dublin includes a free print in the Gravity Bar, which has one of the best views of the city.
Bruges & Ghent, Belgium
Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of Belgium and it’s partly due to the beer! The Leffe cafes are so charming and lovely. The only problem is these beers are potent and the glasses large. I love a cold glass of Karmeliet if you can find it. I couldn’t choose between Bruges or Ghent, so you’ll have to try them both. If you only have time for one stop, pop into the Waterhuise aan de Bierkant, a terrific canalside haunt.
Greymouth, New Zealand
Greymouth is – as the name implies – somewhat of a grey place. It is a relic leftover frmo the industrial days. I’d still recommend a stay – you can pick up several interesting adventure tours, such as the Dragons Cave Rafting that is one hell of an adrenaline rush. The reason I’ve chosen Greymouth, though, as it is the home to one of my favourite beers in the world – Monteiths. I wish they still had the Irish Red – Monteiths, are you listening? – but as for the summer and winter ales, there is nothing better.
The massive tower of the Dom makes for a good first impression, but Cologne certainly delivers on the deal. With great museums, fantastic shopping, and some of the nicest Germans you’ll ever meet, it is a must-see German city. (It is at the top of my mum’s favourites too – does that help?) It is fun sipping glasses of the local brew, Kolsch, served in tiny .2 litre glasses. Why? It’s tradition. It won’t get warm before you finish it. Drink up.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Everyone knows about the massive temples of Ankgor Wat, but did you know about the national beer of Cambodia, Angkor. It’s light and crisp, very refreshing after climbing up stone staircases in the heat of the day. It also has the most adorable label, which of course includes a miniature logo of the namesake temple. You’ll find it anywhere in Cambodia, but why not bask in the glow of the nightlife scene in Siem Reap, a relaxed party paradise.
Colorado produces the most beer per capita than any other state in the US. You’ll find breweries all over the place, but Boulder is my pick for a fun university town that has both big brands on draught and is home to local brews such as Boulder Beer. The city has great access to the outdoors and neighbouring Rocky Mountains; go check it out and experience the unique vibe here that words really can’t describe. (If you’re wondering what I mean, check out Keep Boulder Weird. I think you’ll get my drift.)
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Amsterdam probably isn’t a surprise to you on this list, but I’d be remiss not to include it. The city has a fantastic number of Belgian beer pubs (Gollem and De Zotte being two good ones) but there are tons of great Dutch beers as well. Heineken and the Heineken Experience are certainly the most well know, but you can head to places like the Arendsnest (translates at the Eagle’s Nest) and sample choice concotions from all over the country.
What’s your favourite beer that also has a fantastic location to accompany?
Photo courtesy of cytoon