One of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world is beer and it is consumed in almost every country in the world.
Tied to cultural activities and traditions, beer throughout Europe is to be savored in many different styles. But do you know where to travel if sampling beer is the purpose of your itinerary?
Here are three must do cities in Europe of Beer:
The Bavarian region of Germany is the best-known region for beer in Europe. Munich is a popular stop that is visited primarily for her breweries and her flagship wheat beers (Weissibier). Pale lagers are the most popular styles of beer here, but the dark beer was the original style and still a local favorite. There are six main brewers located in Munich who can officially call themselves Munich Bier, but with so many Wirtshäuser (alehouses) all over the city, there are too many to name or to even pinpoint a favorite.
One of the most popular experiences in Munich and in Germany is the annual Oktoberfest. Munich’s beer festival occurs every year for 16 days from mid-September to early October. Serving approximately 8 million liters of beer, the festival features beer tents, Bavarian food, local music, parades, and carnival-like rides. Local brews served must adhere to strict requirements set forth by a committee to meet Munich’s serving requirements.
The Golden city of spires is the capital of the Czech Republic. Beer enjoyment here can be traced back to the ninth century when it was brewed by local monks. Today Prague consumes more beer than anywhere else in the world. This fact is not surprising since they have over 40 commercial breweries and beer is their number one export. Pilsners are the most popular style of beer here in Prague, but dark ales and hefeweizen are also regularly consumed here.
Microbreweries have been a part of the Czech culture for what seems like a millennium. Pilsner Urquell, located 50 miles outside of Prague in Pilsen, is the best known Czech beer. However, the most popular brand in Prague is Staropramen, which is brewed within the city limits. Prague holds an annual 17 day beer festival in May, The largest in the Czech Republic offering upwards of 70 Czech beers for sampling.
The capital of Slovakia is newer to the beer world than the others, as this central European city has been brewing since the 15th century. Its former relationship as part of former Czechoslovakia has the Czech Republic beer as a staple in Slovakian beer culture. Lager and dark beer are king here and the craft culture is popular within the local pubs and among the microbreweries in the city.
The number of industrial brewers for this small country is expansive at 18, and six of them are located within the city of Slovakia. Worth noting is that many of them are currently owned by Heinekin who is the largest producer in the region and in the world.
A craft beer festival is held annually in October at the Old Market Hall in historic Bratislava. On a much smaller scale than its Czech and German competitors, this festival provides the opportunity to sample many of the city’s craft beers along with some local pub foods.
Did you know all three of these beer cities can be visited on a Danube river cruise itinerary? BucketList Travel Advisors is a river cruise specialist. Download our Comparison Guide to learn more about the rivers of Europe.