Discovering different flavors and styles of beer that exist around the world is a passion for the most hardcore beer aficionados. Beer tourism is booming worldwide.
The United Kingdom, Germany, Japan … When looking at a map, a tourist thinks of monuments and photographs, but a beer lover sees all the new and local flavors he or she may find in beers. It is inevitable: to taste the world through the varieties of this iconic barley drink is a real pleasure.
The journey of beer enthusiast perhaps should begin in a country that embodies the origin of today’s beer. It is true that ancient civilizations created this drink thousands of years ago, but Germany has truly refined the recipe by using hop as an aroma enhancer.
Several centuries later, in Berlin, the German capital, we find the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. Its punk and soviet history have become a cultural reference that makes it the most hipster neighborhood in Berlin. And that’s how the Berg was created, inspired by the famous toasted lager and consumed in modern establishments, outdoor pools and benches… a toasted and intense beer.
Without leaving Germany, we should move south towards the iconic state of Bavaria, entering the Hallertau region, known as “the garden of hops”. That nickname tells us everything there is to know. The region holds a third of the world production of this ingredient. The Hallertau is a noble hop that is harvested at the end of summer, for which the locals celebrate numerous festivals.
The unconventional Prague has earned its place on the beer tourism podium as well. In there, the precious drink is a national heritage with extensive tradition, and it’s just another one of the many attractions hidden in one of the most charming cities on the continent. Numerous kinds of lager that evoke a walk across the elegant Charles Bridge, enjoying the splendor of its night with Hradčany’s imperial Prague Castle in the background.
Holland is another country with powerful beer culture. The waters of the North Sea descend through the more than 100 kilometers of canals in the historic center of Amsterdam. But for centuries, beer has traveled with the same intensity through bars of the Netherlands capital. In ‘Bloemenmarkt’, its most attractive flower market, two of the country’s icons meet beer and tulips; a combination that comes together in the Amsterdam Bloemenmarkt, an aromatic lager with high alcohol content, created to be enjoyed slowly and with a delicate smell.
Another country with a beer in its DNA is the United Kingdom. Did you know that 82% of the beer that the British consume is produced within their borders? Tradition and pride overflow in its beers, but London’s cosmopolitanism adds a bold hint to these beers. That is the case of the London Beer Mile, a daring and full-bodied lager. Just look at the Bermondsey Beer Mile as a reference. The British custom and manners meet the London touch, and the result is a mile full of small craft breweries, which open their doors to the public on Saturdays to taste their creations.
The United States has a much more contemporary beer history, but its close ties with the Anglo-Saxon culture have pushed the country to quickly embrace a taste for good manners, with Chicago being one of the best examples and popular stops for beer tourism fans. The Wicker Park neighborhood concentrates the city’s most famous breweries on its terraces, beer gardens, and rooftops. Lively talks and meetings freshened with the nuances of the beloved concoction. Chicago Wicker Park, a toasted and fresh lager, is a way to feel the American lifestyle on our palate.
The most experienced beer aficionados sometimes forget that there is beer beyond the Middle Age and its connection to Western culture. Japan gives a good account of this. Although we may think otherwise, beer is much more produced and consumed than sake, the country’s rice-based wine.
Daikanyama, known as Tokyo’s Little Brooklyn, combines comfort, luxury, and trendiness, making us forget the noise of the Japanese capital. Beer is always present in restaurants and pubs, full of refinement and innovation. And that’s how Tokyo Daikanyama was created, a high-malt amber lager that brings together a fabulous balance between bitterness and sweetness.