Beer Me: Our Favorite International Beers Around the World
Come for the Guinness, stay for the 13° U Fleků Dark Lager.
by Linnea G.
I’ve probably tried over 300 beers across many different countries. I’ve found that whether it’s in a can or on draft, ice cold or room temperature, battering fish or braising pork, at a bar or a high-end restaurant, there’s absolutely a beer for everyone. Beer has been documented as far back as 4000 BC—and 6,000 years later, we continue to brew it, drink it, and cheers with it. In the 6,000 years of beer drinking, some countries have simply found a way to do it the best. Most of these are on the top 10 lists of best countries for beer, while some of them we felt weren't getting their fair due. Check out the best beers around the world with this brief guide to your hoppy days of travel.
Most popular: Pilsner Urquell
Our favorite: 13° U Fleků Dark Lager
Cheers: “Na zdravi!” (Naz-drah-vi)
- The Czech Republic is the #1 beer-drinking country in the world, out-drinking their competitors by over 40 liters per capita (the difference usually is only 1-3 liters between countries).
- The first pilsner in the world was born here, named after its hometown in Plzeň.
Most popular: Carling
Our favorite: Late Knights Worm Catcher
Cheers: “Cheers!” (with a British accent)
- Brewing in Britain began when the Romans arrived in 54 BC.
- England is known for its top fermented cask beer (also called real ale) which finishes maturing in the cellar of the pub rather than at the brewery, and is served with only natural carbonation.
- The UK now boasts the highest number of breweries in the world per capita.
Most popular: Oettinger
Our favorite: Weihenstephaner Kristallweissbier
- 500 year-old “Purity Law” (Reinheitsgrebot) dictates brews may only contain water, hops, malt & alter yeast. The law was lifted only 3 decades ago.
- Oktoberfest actually starts at the end of September. It started in 1810, with Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Say that 10 times fast.
Most popular: Guinness
Our favorite: Guinness (no question here)
Cheers: “Sláinte!” (slawn-cha)
- Beer in Ireland can be traced back 5,000 years.
- Legend has it that St. Patrick had his own brewer, a priest named Mescan.
- Irish monasteries dominated the manufacture and supply of ale for centuries, which is why there is the ruin of an abbey within the grounds of the Smithwick’s brewery in Kilkenny city.
- Rather delightfully, the monks would drink their beer during Lenten fasting, and gave it the name “liquid bread.”
Most popular: Pale lagers like Heineken, Amstel, and Grolsch
Our favorite: IJwit Brouwerij 't IJ Wheat Beer
Cheers: “Proost!” (Prohst)
- 2 of 11 of the world’s Trappist (Roman Catholic monastery) breweries are here. So if you feel like your lagers lack a little monk, this is your place.