07 August 2019
The barley brew is one of the most widely consumed drinks in world, behind tea and water. Given its ubiquity, it’s no surprise that there are some really exciting destinations with excellent beer offerings, so we’ve been on a mission to find the world’s best destinations to supplement your break with a tasty tipple.
An obvious one to start with, but we couldn’t leave Munich off our list with its iconic Oktoberfest. Held every year in early October, the festivities take place over a 16-18 day window and attract guests from over 65 nations to make it the biggest beer festival in the world where 7.5 million litres of beer are consumed annually.
The festival isn’t all about beer though, with its roots tracing back to 1810, Oktoberfest has become a staple of Bavarian culture and different aspects of that are on display throughout the festival. You have to dress to impress and traditional is highly encouraged, so women often sport their finest dirndl, while men don their lederhosen.
Oktoberfest is also the perfect opportunity to sample traditional Bavarian cuisine such as white sausage, pretzels, gingerbread and countless roasted meats.
“Oktoberfest can only be described as huge! The site itself is massive, a huge fairground with 10 beer tents scattered around. The steins are huge, the food portions huge and the pretzels huge.”
David, Travel Counsellor
The stunning gothic architecture of the Czech capital is not to be missed. With its sweeping views across the Vltava river from Charles bridge, the beautiful Wenceslas square, and the historic Astronomical clock, Prague deserves a place on everyone’s European bucket list. You could spend your entire trip here sightseeing and simply marvelling in the splendour of your surroundings but if all that exploring gets you thirsty, you can always count on one of Prague’s many beer halls to serve you a delicious Pilsner.
Originating in the Czech city of Pilsen, the unique taste of pilsner comes thanks to the addition of saaz hops in the brewing process, to give it a spicy floral taste and differentiate it from regular lager. This addition was originally made in the mid-18th century to prevent beer from spoiling.
“Prague is one of my favourite European cities I have experienced yet. Many people have a misconception that we must travel far in order to experience more, but I truly believe we have so much to offer almost on our doorstep.”
Jade, Travel Counsellor
In Montreal, you’re never far away from a freshly brewed beer. The Quebec capital is a haven for microbreweries and beer lovers from across Canada flock here to get a taste of the city’s famous artisan brews.
Popular breweries here include Dieu du Ciel, Brasserie Harricana, La Reservoir and Isle de Garde. The locally produced beers are perfectly accompanied by poutine, a Quebec native made up of chips, gravy and cheese curds.
The Irish capital is a bustling urban hub where modern 21st-century life is embedded with centuries-old history. Walk the cobbled streets of Temple Bar and you won’t go far without hearing the melodic notes of traditional Irish folk music emanating from one of the city’s many music venues and pubs.
While you’re in Dublin, it’d be unforgivable not to sample the city’s most famous export Guinness, and there’s no better spot to taste it than at St. James’ Gate, the birthplace of the world-renowned dark Irish stout. The factory tours take guests on Guinness’ journey since its establishment in 1759 to where it stands today as a household name and one of the most iconic drinks brands in the world.
In the East Chinese seaside city of Qingdao, you can spend a day relaxing on Asia’s largest bathing beach, or venture out to Mount Lao to learn about the mountain’s cultural significance to Taoism and admire the many temples which decorate its slopes. If the city centre is more your scene there’s plenty of sites to tick off including the May Fourth Square, St. Michael’s Cathedral, Badaguan mansion, or wait for the sun to set to catch the spectacular light show which illuminates the harbour every evening.
For beer enthusiasts, the perfect time to visit Qingdao is between July 26th and August 18th when the city hosts Asia’s largest beer festival. The Qingdao International Beer Festival is Asia’s answer to Oktoberfest, where guests can delight in delicious local food, on stage entertainment, and of course a wide selection of beers from across the globe, including the local tipple: Tsingtao Beer.
If you’re ready to discuss tying your next trip in with a beer-tasting experience, contact your Travel Counsellor today and take advantage of a range of benefits, including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.