Hi, my name is Krysti.
And I love beer.
I love trying new beers while travelling.
I am currently sitting here reminiscing that this time last year I was at Munich Oktoberfest- so I thought combining a post about my two favourite things (travelling and beer!) was inevitable!
Europe was an absolute pleasure to travel around anyway, let alone whilst offering the tantalising delights of their top-knotch, world-class beer.
Beer that comes in one litre barrels and has delicious foam on top.
Beer that is cheaper than water and where you can enjoy on the streets, in parks- out in public! (It is illegal in New Zealand and Australia)... yes, it is fair to say:
I was in heaven.
Let me share with you some of my favourite beer-drinking spots I have enjoyed around Europe (so far), along with the particular beers that impressed my socks off.
I'm getting thirsty already.
I'll begin with my all-time favourite place! Visiting Berlin for the first time in 2014 may or may not have been the reason I chose to move to Germany in 2015 for my student exchange! (I'm just kidding)...
I can't just choose one particular city in Germany- as I have travelled all over the country and the beer is obviously fantastic everywhere (as it is undoubtedly for the other cities I've chosen, but in those cases they were the specific cities I happened to visit).
Germany, home of the popular Biergartens (beer gardens) rank third in terms of per-capita beer consumption, behind Czech Republic and Austria.
Why is German beer so good? Perhaps it's the 800 years of brewing history combined with their Reinheitsgebot (purity decree), sometimes called the "German Beer Purity Law" or "Bavarian Purity Law" in English.
This is a regulation for beer-making in Germany which allow only a few certain top quality ingredients to be used, ensuring only high quality beer is produced.
Germans are known for their beer culture and they sure know how to brew good, pure beer.
My absolute favourite which I dub 'liquid gold' is the Hefeweizen or practically any Weizenbier (wheat beer).
It is a meal in itself though so quite hard to drink after a couple!
Their pale and dark beers are also excellent including Helles, Kölsch, Bock, Dunkel, Pilsener and Märzen- the latter being the traditional beer served at Munich Oktoberfest.
If you love your beer and haven't been to Germany- book a flight today!
You sure are missing out. It has been a whole year since I have last had a beer on German soil and it breaks my heart every time I think about it (including right now).
It really is that good and I miss it so very much!
|Enjoying one of many litres of Märzen at Munich Oktoberfest last year|
|My favourite "liquid gold" Weizenbier|
|Enjoying the delights of Früghlingsfest in Munich|
|Pouring my own Pilsener at a cool pub in Berlin where each table has their own taps!|
Czech beer is world famous for its Pilsner and the Czechs are the most avid beer drinkers in the world- downing 165 litres per person every year!
Before visiting Prague I had lived in Germany for six months and heard rumours that Czech beer was 'the best in the world.'
I thought this simply can't be true (as I believed German beer was the best) so I just had to see for myself.
I did a beer tasting tour that I really enjoyed and I tried a variety of different types throughout my stay. After four nights of sampling many beers I concluded that- yes it is excellent- but not the best in the world! I could not go past a good Hefeweizen.
The biggest players in the local beer industry are Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus and Bernard. They are smooth and delicious tasting beers and also one of the cheapest in Europe, going for around 2 € a glass. Perhaps this is why Czechs drink so much of it!
|Beer tasting tour in Prague|
|A delicious golden foamy Pivo|
Ireland's capital is most famous for Guinness, a dry delectable stout with a dark rich flavour. Since it first started making beer over 250 years ago, the Guinness brewery has become the largest in the world and Ireland's biggest export product.
Visiting the Guinness storehouse is a must for any beer lover passing through Dublin!
I absolutely love the rich flavour of Guinness, and I'm not kidding- it is actually TEN times better in Dublin than anywhere else!
They say there is something in the water and it is true. Even my non-beer-drinking friends tried it and found it delicious! So if you're not a fan, don't write it off until you've tried it in its homeland.
|My friends and I before heading into the brewery|
|Delicious in a cup|
Apparently only 10 years ago almost all of Krakow's pubs served one of four beers, and they were all indistinguishable and not very good at all.
Today, a craft beer revolution is in full swing in Poland and Krakow is the best place to experience its fruits.
Beer has once again become the most popular beverage of choice (overtaking vodka) and the present-day Polish beers mostly resemble German lager.
Some of the best beer includes Zywiec, Okocim and Tyskie. I found them to be very delicious, and quite light and refreshing after spending the day walking around in the sweltering 45 degree sunshine (I was there during a heatwave!).
Perhaps the best thing about it- Krakow is the cheapest place in the world for a beer, going for around 1 € a glass in a pub or bar, or you can pick up single bottles from a local store for around .50 €.
|Sitting outside a pub in the Old Jewish Quarter|
|Quenching my thirst with a Piwo|
This might be a surprising top beer-drinking place- but I really enjoyed the local beers in Italy. Italy is known to be part of the wine-belt of Europe, however their beer- particularly mass produced pale lagers are very common in the country and especially enjoyed as the ideal accompaniment to pizza.
Beer is always best on tap- but they are so crisp and refreshing even in a bottle or can, bought from a local shop or vendor.
Top Italian beer includes Gran Riserva, Birra Moretti and Peroni Nastro Azzurro.
I loved the experience of being able to enjoy a beer in the sun at the sights- sitting on the lawns in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, on a gondola in Venice, on the Spanish steps in Rome and at the top of the Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking the view of Florence.
It made it all that little more special.
|A Peroni in Rome|
|A cheeky birra because, when in Venice|
|Cheers to the Leaning Tower of Pisa|
There we have my top favourite beer-drinking spots in Europe so far!
Of course I know of Bruges and Leuven in Belgium and Amsterdam which are two more of the top European contenders, so they are definitely on my list of places to go next time I 'pop' over to Europe!
Let me know in the comments what your favourite places and types of beer are- I'd love to read them. Time for a well-deserved beer now I'd say!
Thanks for reading,
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