I’ve always enjoyed a tasty beer just as much as I could enjoy a glass of wine, but once I moved to the Pacific Northwest region of the US, things definitely swayed in the direction of the beers. (I may or may not be having one right now.)
I find beers a quite refreshing way to end a day of sightseeing – not too heavy, not to overpower your appetite, but does leave you not quite so intoxicated you can’t find your hotel. (Not that this has ever happened to me.)
Despite what all the surveys says and despite what you think about the famous backdrop for Portlandia, Oregon’s city of Roses is my beer capital. With so many small businesses brewing seasonal batches of the good stuff, it’s even nearly impossible to make a recommendation, so try lots of them and see what you like.
After climbing on top of centuries old temples that have spend those same centuries baking in the hot sun, a cold drink tops everyone’s list. And in Siem Reap, it seems like the local bars are stumbling over themselves to offer lower prices, up to 50 cents a beer! You’ve got to have an Angkor, complete with those famous temples on the label.
Ghent is well known with tourists who come for the lace and chocolates, and stay for the strong, tasty beers. I really do think Belgium has some of the best beer bars in Europe, and the best bar among them is the Waterhuis aan de Bierkant, a fabulous local haunt. Ask them for a recommendation, and they’re sure to please.
With such a storied history and a picturesque backdrop, Prague is a great place to kick back with a cold one – some of the world’s most famous lagers are from here. With so many tourists, many of the inner city centre bars can be crowded, so be sure to wander a bit off those bustling squares to find a good seat. Other towns in the Czech Republic are also great for beer drinking, such as Cesky Krumlov.
Drinking seems more like a national sport in Hong Kong. And with so many vibrant neighbourhoods, such as Lan Lwai Fong, you can also enjoy some great atmosphere while you do. I personally love the bars by the escalators – it makes for such fun people watching. Just be careful not to overdo it while you are in town – the air pollution can do a number on your forthcoming hangover.
While there’s no shortage of alcohol on display in Mexico, most rush for the margaritas and those salted glasses just begging to be consumed. Don’t forget some of the great beers in Mexico that pair nicely with sunny beaches and sunsets. Mexico has a number of beers, not just Corona, so please – try something you wouldn’t get at home.
Red Stripe is one of my favourite beers ever – does the shape of the bottle change the flavour? – and with Jamaican food being some of the best in the Caribbean, why not relax and celebrate being on holiday with a Red Stripe and some fresh food? Great music and waterside views make it all taste even better.
South Africa has long been a huge beer producer – in fact, the main brewing company is now part of the 2nd largest brewing company in the world. So after you’ve had a long hike up the mountains, or a peaceful drive along the coast, settle in for the evening with a cold one. Lager is the beer of choice here – try a Castle Lager or Castle Lite to help you get the festivities kicked off.
India has long had many fantastic beers, and is the perfect accompaniment to a spicy curry or other great meal. The beers tend to change a bit from region to region – and in Kolkata, the temptation of choice is a Kalyani, a quite strong beer with tons of flavor. (Another tip – if you happen to be in Goa, go for a Kings.)
Beer consumption in South America is the highest per capita in Venezuela, which has some superb local beers to be sampled. One interesting thing is the amount of gastronomy available in Caracas – and because of the country’s damaged image due to crime, visiting tourists can get a great meal at a reasonable price. Polar is the popular local brew, and a great place to start.
What’s your favourite stop for a beer?
Posted : Monday, July 9th, 2012 at 10:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.