Beer has been a part of the culture and heritage of Europe since the Middle Ages. This bubbling brew is more than just a drink, it’s a way of life. Choosing which beers to try when traveling in Europe can be overwhelming due to the sheer number available. If you’re a beer lover planning a trip to Europe, you won’t want to miss these destinations that are among the best in European brewing.
It’s no surprise that the home of Oktoberfest would rank among the best of European brewing. Munich is one of the most liveable cities in the world. It is known for its gemütlichkeit, or community warmth. You’ll love exploring the many different brews available at the city’s over 35 beer garden. Breweries in Munich still follow 15th-century regulations requiring that beer be brewed using only barley, hops, and water. Among the city’s must-try breweries are the state-run Hofbrauhaus on Old Town’s Platzl and Augustiner Bräu, known for its signature Helles (a golden lager). Oktoberfest is celebrated in Munich in late September and early October of each year. This folk festival is one of the biggest beer attractions in the world, hosting over 6 million visitors each year. If you’re planning a trip to Oktoberfest, be sure to make arrangements well in advance before hotels and transportation options sell out.
With over 500 pubs in the city, Dublin is a must-visit destination for beer lovers. Its most famous beer, Guinness, has been brewed here since 1759. The St. James’s Gate Brewery not only brews Guinness but is home to a full museum in its honor. Visitors can see the entire brewing process and learn about its history before enjoying a pint. The brewery’s 7th-floor Gravity Bar also features sweeping views of Dublin. After touring the brewery, head to the lively Temple Bar section of the city. This area hosts many of Dublin’s most popular pubs along its cobblestone streets.
The best-known beer in Amsterdam is obviously Heineken. It has been brewed here since 1864, and it is one of the top three largest beer producers in the world. A visit to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the Heineken Experience. This interactive museum shares the story of the Heineken family and shows the architecture of the 19th-century brewery buildings. Visitors can also view the impressive brass beer tanks and visit the old horse stables.
Prague, Czech Republic
When taking a tour to see the best in European brewing, the Czech Republic is a must-see. Prague is famous for its pilsner beers, such as the “real” Budweiser, Bulvar, and the famed Pilsner Urquell. The best place to experience Prague’s pilsners is at the local pivovary, or breweries. Here they brew beers on-site where you can learn about the history of the beers while enjoying a sip. We recommend the U Fleku, a true European Beer Hall experience. The brewery has been producing beer here since 1499, making it the oldest continually operating brewery in Eastern Europe. Enjoy their eight halls and outdoor garden while you eat traditional Czech food, drink. Guests can also enjoy live performances on the accordion or tuba.
Lying at the crossroads of Holland, France, and Germany, Belgium has a diverse taste in beer. A visit to Antwerp allows you to explore the brewery of their iconic De Koninck. It’s a red malty ale in a distinct chalice-type glass. At the brewery, you see how not only the De Konick is crafted but also the brewery’s other staple beers: De Koninck Winter and Triple d’Anvers. After your brewery tour, head to The Kulminator, an unassuming bar that offers a whopping 5,000 beers to choose from!
There are endless opportunities to sample delicious beer with these European brewing locations. If you’re looking for more of our favorite beers to try, explore these 11 luxury craft beers inspired by Oktoberfest.