Nothing quite compares to the first sip of a cold pint after a long and hard day’s work. Whether it’s a hoppy IPA, heavy dark stout, crisp lager, or fresh, craft brew, we beer-lovers are undeniably spoiled for choice in this beertastic day and age.
Some people roam the world in search of the fastest roller-coasters or the biggest, tastiest burgers, while others follow trails of art, architecture and history. Not us though, no. We follow our true passion - beer! So many cities around the world churn out incredible brews, but a handful of them have reputations that rise above the rest.
10 Dublin, Ireland
With a unique cultural scene, a bustling and booming nightlife, and a central location perfect for quick countryside getaways, Ireland’s vibrant capital city has plenty to be proud about. For any beer snob, however, there’s one thing that shines above the rest, sitting at the forefront of our minds as soon as we depart the plane. That is, of course, the mouth-watering, dark, Irish dry stout we know as Guinness. Those who fancy a pint or five can’t visit Dublin without a stop at the Guinness Storehouse.
As far as stereotypes go, Dublin’s rings rather true - the locals (and tourists alike) are particularly fond of having a few cold ones at the bar.
9 Austin, Texas, USA
We can all appreciate a craft beer now and then, and one of the best places on the planet for independently owned breweries is Texas’ hipster city, Austin. The state capital, which sports an eclectic music scene and is the home of the main University of Texas campus, boasts more craft breweries than any other city in Texas.
There are plenty of different beer and brewery tour options, many of which combine a few cold pints with a glimpse into the city’s famous music scene. The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co, Pinthouse Pizza Burnet, and Austin Beerworks are a few of the essential big-ticket items for any visitor.
8 Berlin, Germany
It was only a matter of time before a German city popped up on this list. The nation’s capital is is a city overflowing with art, culture and personality, and of course, great food and beer. Berlin has managed to largely overcome the stigma of its tumultuous history, now recognized for what it truly is - a darn good time!
The best time for beer-lovers to visit is during the summer when the Berlin Beer Week - a 10-day festival at the end of July - is in full swing. The experiences aren’t limited to bars and beer halls either, with a popular beer cruise sailing down the Spree and Havel rivers.
7 Munich, Germany
It doesn’t get much better than the atmosphere of Munich’s famous beer halls, with Hofbräuhaus (usually considered the city’s best), Weißes Bräuhaus and Der Pschorr just a few of the more famous watering holes. And while there is never a bad time to check out the Bavarian capital, the unquestionable beer highlight is the annual Oktoberfest celebration.
Spread over a multi-week period from late September to early October, the infamous festival is a haven for beer drinkers and party-goers. Each of the festival’s enormous beer tents has its own unique feel (and beer), with plenty of music, food, and fun for all.
6 Prague, Czech Republic
The eclectic Czech city of Prague is perhaps one of the most underrated destinations in all of Europe, but its popularity is growing quickly and exponentially. It should come as no surprise that Prague makes the list, considering that Czech citizens have the highest rate of drinking beer per capita - yes, even more than the Germans.
The city is most known for the popular, large-scale Staropramen beer, but dotted throughout the city are plenty of microbreweries, each well worth a visit. The extremely popular, golden and bitter Pilsner Urquell, the cheap, easily-accessible Kozel, and the almost 800-year-old Černá Hora are just a few of Prague’s must-try beers.
5 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Back in the day, Wisconsin welcomed plenty of immigrants from Germany. That German influence has helped Milwaukee grow into a prospering beer-loving city, known colloquially, for a long time, as the Beer Capital Of The World.
While it certainly doesn’t have the same tourism appeal as the neighboring deep-dish-pizza-obsessed Chicago, it would be sacrilege for any budding brewmasters to forego Milwaukee. There are plenty of large breweries, beer halls, and craft beers for visitors to explore.
4 Montreal, Canada
As one of North America’s most underrated cities, Montreal is a paradise for beer-lovers. With four large Universities spread through the downtown area, the city is rather student-oriented and therefore presents plenty of watering holes for those on a tight budget.
Spend a sunny summer afternoon adjacent to the St Lawrence river at the St. Ambroise brewery, which offers a beautiful garden terrace, or bar-hop through countless haunts on Crescent street or Rue Saint Laurent. The city boasts plenty of impressive microbreweries as well, such as Dieu du Ciel and Brutopia, and as a little extra incentive, Montreal also boasts one of the largest St Patrick’s Day festivities outside of Dublin.
3 Tokyo, Japan
With its bright lights, world-leading technology scene, and unique culture, there are plenty of reasons to visit the sprawling Japanese capital city of Tokyo. While beer isn’t usually the first one that comes to mind, it would be remiss of any visitor to bypass the city’s craft beer scene.
For anyone looking to wet their whistle, there are 40 craft beers on tap at Goodbeer Faucets, located in the heart of Shibuya. If the thirst hasn’t been fully quenched after that, a stop at Watering Hole and one of the many Kiuchi Brewery locations ought to do the trick.
2 Brussels, Belgium
There are three things that come to mind when foreigners think of Brussels: high-quality chocolate, European politics, and, of course, Belgian beer. While not everyone has an interest in European politics, we can all get on board with some delicious chocolate and a refreshing white beer.
Focusing more on ales rather than lagers, Belgian beers typically have a wheaty flavor and thick creamy texture. Despite the small size of the country and lack of iconic attractions (compared to its neighboring countries), the beer-loving voice inside will continue to push us to visit Brussels until we’ve satisfied our beer cravings.
1 Asheville, North Carolina, USA
As perhaps one of America’s most underrated cities, Asheville is becoming increasingly known for its vibrant art, historic architecture, and impressive beer scene. The city was awarded the title of ‘Beer City USA’ back in 2009, and has been sweeping the competition almost every year since.
With over 100 local beers to try and more breweries per capita than any other city across America, any beer snobs traveling through the region will be seriously spoiled for choice. The Asheville Brewing Company comes highly recommended, as does the Burial Beer Company.