Europe's Best Beer Experiences

October 18, 2018

If you love to travel and to drink beer than Europe is the place for you.  With full tours centered around drinking and some of the most notorious beer-drinking festivals in the world there are endless beer-related adventures awaiting.  So grab a pint or stein and try out some of these popular beer experiences. 

 

Drink at the World's Largest Beer Fest

The largest annual beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest is one of the most renown celebrations for drinking copious amounts of beer.  From mid-September to early October, folk festivals are held in cities around Germany with the most famous in Munich where over 6 million people migrate in for Oktoberfest. Tourists from around the world pour into the fest grounds to join the locals in drinking massive steins of beer until late into the night.  Although Munich is the largest and most famous of the fests it is not the only one. My first fest was in Stuttgart which is called Volksfest and is a smaller version that has more locals which I found to be more fun than the large tents in Munich.  There is also a spring counterpart called Frühlingsfest which is significantly easier and cheaper to attend while providing a similar experience. No matter which fest you go to, it will be a boisterous atmosphere with lots of drunk people happily joining the bands in rousing renditions of popular songs. It is an awesome time and definitely enhanced by going with a group of your friends or joining up with locals!

 

Relax at a beer spa in Prague

A man at the front desk checked us in and showed us to a large copper tub that he filled with barely and hops while explaining the health benefits of the beer bath.  The tub came equipped with its own spicket that provided unlimited beer during our hour of relaxing.  And no, the beer was not attached to the tub water but was connected to a separate keg filled with fresh beer.  After an hour of drinking and soaking, then drinking some more, we were taken into the next room where we were given electric blankets and a large straw bed to lay back on. The combination of having bellies full of beer and being swaddled in a warm bed was the perfect conditions for a glorious afternoon nap!

 

The Best Beer in the World 

Is this a bold claim? Yes. Does it live up to this impossibly high standard? Absolutely. Hearing about the legendary Belgian beer I was skeptical that it could be as amazing as the hype even though I was already a fan of Leffe.  But the beers certainly exceeded all expectations for both quality and variety.  Similar to German beer, the Belgians maintain high standards of quality control on their beer resulting in consistent quality.  Pair this with their ability to brew any concoction they can imagine and the end state is a vast selection of delicious beers.  My favorite by far from the selection were the Trappist beers.  These are brewed by twelve Trappist Monasteries, half of which are in Belgium, that tend to be the highest alcohol content and the best part is that the proceeds go to charities and towards good works.  So if you enjoy a cold one every now and again, sit back down and have another- it's for the children! After all as Benjamin Franklin wisely put it, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

 

Sample a flight in Amsterdam's Windmill

 The Brouwerij't IJ Windmill Brewery is located just a few minutes-walk from the central train station is a repurposed windmill that has been converted into a brewery. Serving local dark and blonde beers, this novelty brewery is just enough off the main strip that it is more filled with the locals enjoying an after work beer than crowds of tourists.  The paddle taster of 5 beers for 10 euros paired with their cheese and meat platter is an excellent way to sample a variety of their best while enjoying the casual atmosphere on their outdoor patio.

 

Have a Pint in Dublin

 One of the most popular beers in the world remains Guinness which is quite fitting since the Irish are just as notorious for their revelries. Dublin is home to their original brewery which offers tours and a view over the city and the Storehouse actually remains Ireland's top visitor attraction. The seven-storey visitor experience shows the progression of the drink from a local brew into the iconic beer it is today.  The tour ends at the top of the building which is the highest bar in the city, the Gravity Bar, and visitors are handed a complimentary pint of Guinness to finish on a strong note.

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