Unexpected Destinations for Beer Lovers

June 17, 2016 by

Places to Go, Travel Advice & Inspiration

Craft beer is taking off in unexpected places around the world.

Craft beer is taking off in unexpected places around the world.

There are many things that spur people on to discover certain destinations: a pristine beach, an iconic landmark … a pint of perfect suds. In some countries, beer is part of the very fabric of the culture. Places like Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic are well-known destinations for beer lovers. But there are other locations getting in on the craft beer action, and they may surprise you.

Tasmania, Australia

Known as the Apple Island, Tasmania’s cider scene is well-established due to its expansive orchards. Though craft beer is a relative newcomer to this incredibly picturesque place, it’s making a huge splash. Now there are more than 15 craft breweries on the island, in addition to the stalwart Cascade and James Boag’s. There is enough to see and do in Tasmania that you could conceivably base your itinerary on the beer alone; be sure to visit Moo Brew, Hobart Brewing Company or Seven Sheds in Railton.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Beers in Reykjavik

Beers in Reykjavik

For a country roughly the size of Ohio, Iceland packs a punch. Though most people visit it for the incredible landscapes featuring volcanoes and waterfalls, Reykjavik is becoming known for its beer scene, too. Iceland only started selling beer with an alcohol content of more than 2.25 percent in 1989, but the country is making up for lost time with innovative craft beers. Ranging from IPAs and imperial stouts to more creative options (whale testicle beer, anyone?), numerous offerings are available. Visit MicroBar or Skúli Craft Bar for selections from breweries like Borg, Steðji and Gæðingur.

Bogota, Colombia

When you think of beverages in Colombia, coffee is probably the first thing that comes to mind. However, Juan Valdez better watch his back: With the rising popularity of craft beer in Colombia, he may not remain king of Colombian beverages. Bogota Beer Company has become near-ubiquitous around the country, with more than 20 brewery locations and its beers served in many more restaurants. It was recently bought by one of the big brewers, Club Colombia, but its beers remain a tasty alternative to the lagers the big boys distribute. Chelarte is a relative newcomer on the Bogota scene, brewing beers named for ladies, and Apostol, based in Medellin, brews traditional European-style beers (look for the Trappist monk on the label).

Melbourne, Australia

Beer and cider tastings in Melbourne

Beer and cider tastings in Melbourne

If you think that Foster’s is Australian for beer, you’ve got another thing coming. Australia has embraced the craft beer movement, its scene growing at a rapid rate over the past 10 years. And, while you’ll find craft breweries scattered around this vast country, Melbourne is the hub. Try and sample every brewery or visit every craft beer bar and you’d have to stay for months (or have an iron liver). A better bet is to simply wander and see what you discover, like Matilda Bay Brewing Co., Australia’s original craft brewery.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires already has so much to love: a creative culinary scene, nonstop nightlife and tango. It seems too much to ask that the city also have a strong craft beer presence, but it does — referred to as cerveza artesenal — and it’s becoming just as likely your friends will order a red ale as red wine at a bar or restaurant. Beginning with Antares, which opened in the 1990s, the craft beer scene has continued to grow at a steady pace, not only in Buenos Aires, but across Argentina. Taguató, based in La Plata, makes a beer created solely with Argentine ingredients; Bohl is a relatively new cervezaria; and Buller Brewing Co. stands as one of the first brewpubs in the city (its patio is perfect on a sunny day). Keep an eye out for Canvas, a brand-new brewery.

Tokyo, Japan

Cheers to craft beers in Tokyo!

Cheers to craft beers in Tokyo!

For one of the most up-and-coming craft beer destinations in the world, head to Tokyo. Still in its infancy, the craft beer scene sees new bars opening almost weekly, highlighting the country’s new options (as well as brews from Belgium and the US). Keep an eye out for beers from Minoh, Romantic Village, Tokorozawa, Minami Shinshu and Shiga Kogen. With this large a selection, there’s no reason to reach for a Kirin or Asahi.

Tampa, Florida, US

Sure, you could head to Tampa for the beaches of St Petersburg and Tampa Bay, but really, you should go for the beer. The Tampa Bay area is on fire, beer-wise, with some of the most interesting breweries in the country calling this sunny city home. You’ve probably heard of Cigar City Brewing, but more recent additions like 7venth Sun Brewing in Dunedin (try one of the barrel-aged beers), St. Somewhere Brewing (a nanobrewery in Tarpon Springs) and Coppertail Brewing Co. (go for the Florida Weisse beers) are making the city a hotspot for beer lovers.

— Katie Coakley

, , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.