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Beer: the urban homelands

Thousands of cities, incredible diversity and wonderful surprises. That’s what we can expect when we travel. And why am I telling you this now? Because in the world of beer there’s so much to discover in precisely these categories: cities all over the world with interesting bars and breweries offer unique beers. Perhaps you would like to take a look at these cities yourself – so I’ve put together for you a selection of beer capitals from all over the world. I haven’t visited all of these cities myself, but it’s always nice to have a few trips in store you can look forward to, isn’t it? 😉

Munich, Germany

When you think of Munich, you automatically think of the Oktoberfest. Understandably. After all, it’s THE festival par excellence. And Germany is famous for its beers anyway. But it’s not only at the Oktoberfest that the foaming mugs are raised and quaffed! The good citizens of Munich enjoy their favourite beverage in the beer gardens, too. Because it’s nicer outdoors, isn’t it? The oldest beer garden in Munich is the Augustiner Keller, which has been serving beer for approximately 200 years. And what beers are typical for Munich? The city’s major breweries are Löwenbräu, Augustinerbräu, Spaten, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr and Hofbräu. So Prost to all of you!

Bamberg, Germany

It’s not only Munich that ranks among the beer capitals of Bavaria – Bamberg, too, is a jewel in this regard. A UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, Bamberg has around ten breweries in the city itself, and approximately 60 round and about. Which means? Bamberg County is right at the top of the list of places with the most breweries in Germany. Bamberg is a jewel from the times when every community in Germany still had a brewery of its own – until now. And what is one of the best-known beers in Bamberg? Right, it’s a dark one. The “Aecht Schlenkerla” is a potent smoky beer, and very popular there. Well then: Zum Wohl!

Dublin, Ireland

Sitting in an ancient pub and enjoying a dark stout, with a band playing in the background: I think immediately of Ireland. After all, there’s no shortage of cosy pubs there. Which is why Dublin, the home of Guinness, is a must on any list of beer capitals. But the Irish have more to offer than just Guinness, they also brew other excellent stouts and beers. And what could be better than an evening with a stout or three in one of Dublin’s oldest pubs? Nothing? Then try out this one here: the Brazen Head. This is Ireland’s oldest pub. Or just take a spontaneous stroll through the Temple Bar quarter. The watchword is: sláinte!

Brügge/Bruges, Belgium

Belgium and chocolate? Forget it! The magic pairing now is Belgium and beer. Because beer-brewing has a long tradition behind it in Belgium. And how is this manifested? There are around 180 breweries in the country producing an enormous range of different beers. One of Belgium’s beer capitals is Bruges. And the Brugs Beertje (it means “small bear”) bar, where you can sample literally hundreds of regional beers, is one of the most popular taverns there. And in conclusion here’s an insider tip: if you feel like attending a beer festival, then you simply must go to Bruges! Every February, beer fans meet up there and can choose among 410 different beers. At the festival, the toast is then gezondheid or santé!

 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Not too far away from Bruges is Amsterdam, another city that’s famous for its beers. Does one of them spring to mind? Precisely. Heineken. But not only that, the Netherlands’ well-known beers also include Amstel and Grolsch. Besides these, there are a whole lot of other, smaller breweries in the beer capital of the Netherlands. They include the Brouwerij t’IJ. And since the Dutch are big beer-drinkers, there are also innumerable interesting bars in Amsterdam. You might like to try out these: the “In De Wildeman” bar has a choice of more than 200 beers, and the Arendsnet bar offers unique beers from local breweries. And now proost to all of you!

Tokyo, Japan

When you think of Japan, does sushi come to mind immediately? Or at least definitely food? Me too. But Japan is famous for more than its cuisine. Because Tokyo has also become a veritable craft beer destination. After 1994, Japan experienced a boom in the field of microbreweries. And now? There are dozens of tiny bars that serve “Ji-Biru” (which translates literally as “local beer”). The residents of Tokyo also have bars like Popeye’s, which primarily sell Japanese beers, but additionally stock Belgian, German or British beers, for instance. The Japanese Hitachino Nest White Ale from the Kiuchi Brewery is often described as one of the best in the world. Then kanpai to the Hitachino, wouldn’t you say 😉

Portland (Oregon), USA

One of the world’s cities with the most breweries is Portland in Oregon, which is home to around 70 breweries. But the metropolis of craft beers offers more than just breweries. There are other beer-themed spectacles here that enrich the tapestry of everyday living. One of them is a Chinese restaurant that brews its own “rice beer”. But numerous bars and brewpubs where you enjoy a convivial beer combine to ensure a beer scene of captivating flair. And for rather special experiences there are beer bus tours, walking pub tours and pedal lounges. Well then “Cheers“!

Have I whetted your appetite? Would you book your plane ticket tomorrow if you could? Me too. And it’s not at all easy to decide which city is going to be my next destination. But some day I intend to have visited all of them. No doubt about that 😀


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