Have you ever felt like it was time to start developing a deeper, more mature relationship to beer? It seems as if lately the choices have become much more complex than a preference for draft vs. bottle or light beer vs. regular. The past decade has given way to an entirely new world of beer enthusiasts, as kegs and six packs have been slowly edged out in favor of microbrews and craft beers. Whether you like it “old school” or prefer the “new brews”, there has never been a better time for the love of travel and a quest for beer to converge. In honor of International Beer Day, which is celebrated in August, we have put together a list of six “beer-centric” travel adventures you can have in some of the world’s most exciting cities.
Michelin Meets Microbrew In Bangkok
Well established as a favorite haunt for beer aficionados; Upstairs Mikkeller in Bangkok, Thailand has defied expectations by being the first restaurant in Asia to earn a Michelin star in 2017 for its gourmet food and craft beer menu. They are taking beer and food to the next level with their astonishing 10-course set menu of achingly beautiful progressive American cuisine. No less than six beers are hand selected to accompany the seasonal menu, and there is an undeniable precision that goes into the execution of every dish. You will discover a cohesive menu that is somehow complex and simple all at the same time, and the beer pairing is sure to knock you off your feet.
The Art Of Lager In Edinburgh
Credit: Edinburgh Beer Factory
Probably more famous for its scotch than its beer, Scotland is home to an incredibly special place called the Edinburgh Beer Factory. Specializing in lager, they are just as committed to producing amazing beer as they are to educating their visitors. You can take a tour and learn how local legend and pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi inspired the brewery while experiencing the lager-making process and getting to taste the raw ingredients and the unfiltered brew. It’s a unique experience where art meets science, as it provides an opportunity to get a new perspective on this brewery and its fascinating history.
Dublin Pub Crawl
Two things are synonymous with Ireland, and they are Guinness beer and Dublin’s world-famous pub scene. If it is your first time to the city you may want to go on a Pub Crawl through the Temple Bar area. Located right beside the Liffey River, this lively neighborhood is home to art galleries, cafes and some of the most historic and iconic pubs in the country. A pub crawl takes all the guesswork out of figuring out where to go, and you will usually visit a mix of venues including traditional pubs, modern bars, and late-night clubs. It’s one of the best ways to meet other travelers looking to party and see a side of Dublin you might miss if you were on your own.
Iconic Beer In Amsterdam
No list of beer-centric cities would be complete without the inclusion of Amsterdam, and “brewsky-lovers” will be spoiled for choice with the vast array of pubs, beer cafes, beer gardens and brewery tours to choose from. Although it may sound a bit cliché, a visit to Amsterdam would be incomplete without going to the Heineken Experience, which is a self-guided interactive journey through the world of Heineken. The grounds of the original brewery were converted in 1991 so that visitors could learn the history of this beloved brand of beer and see its production. They have a tasting room where you can sample some of the beers as part of the tour as well as a rooftop bar for those who want to indulge a bit more.
Seattle Sip And Pedal
If craft beer is what you crave, then Seattle Washington is where you want to be. The craft beer scene has grown exponentially over the past few years, and its epicenter is the Ballard neighborhood. This is where you will find more than a dozen local artisans making some of the best regional brews in the USA. Although it’s easy enough to just walk through this neighborhood, popping in and out of the bars and cafes at your leisure, you may want to head to The Cycle Saloon. Here you can experience a pub crawl like no other by either bike or boat. They offer 16 passenger pedal powered vehicles that take you to some of the hottest spots in town. The best part is that you don’t have to feel too bad about all the beer you’re drinking as you pedal your way to each destination and burn off those pesky calories.
Medieval Monastery In Germany
Home to over 5,000 types of beers and more than 1,200 different breweries, Germany is the “mecca” for beer aficionados. From Bavaria to Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich, you are never more than a stone’s throw away from a fantastic brew. Be sure to visit Weihenstephan in Munich, which stakes its claim as the oldest brewery in the world. Making beer since 1040 A.D., the Benedictine monks at this monastery utilize the same ancient techniques to produce beer today. There is no better place to step back in time, experience living history and, of course, enjoy their award-winning Weihenstephaner Vitus beer.
Melissa is a passionate foodie, travel writer, and editor working in media internationally and in the USA. She has lived in Bangkok since 2004 and has a background in the travel industry. Melissa’s writing has been published globally in many prestigious online and print magazines for over a decade. Her motto for life is “You cannot live or love well if you have not wined and dined well!”