Craft beer is a big hit in the USA, and the trend towards artisanal beer has also started to shake up Europe’s beer market. More and more microbreweries are popping up all over Europe, crafting delicious and innovative concoctions. Do you want to know which European cities are brewing up a storm right now? Check out our top 5 list and plan your next trip to beer lover’s paradise.
Denmark is one of the major countries brewing remarkable handcrafted beers with unique flavors at the moment. So, naturally, the country’s capital offers you many options for quenching your thirst and getting to know Denmark’s craft beer scene. If you only check out one place in Copenhagen, visit Mikkeller Bar, a beer bar run by the famous ‘gypsy’ brewers Mikkeller. You can also visit Mikkeller & Friends, a beer bar run together by Mikkeller and the brewery To Øl. They always have 40 different beers from Mikkeller, To Øl, Three Floyds, and other great microbreweries on tap.
Another well-established microbrewery is Norrebro Bryghus, a combined brewery and restaurant. Or head a little bit outside of the city to Bryggeri Skovlyst, another microbrewery with a restaurant located in the middle of the Hareskov forest. If you are interested in actually getting inside a brewery, you can visit Amager Bryghus, take a tour, and sample a variety of their beers. Of course, you can also take a trip to Copenhagen for the city’s annual beer festival, which is organized by the Copenhagen Beer enthusiasts. This year, it takes place between May 28 and 30. At the festival, you have the chance to taste 800 kinds of beer from more than 70 local and foreign producers.
In the past years, Rome has seen a huge increase in bars selling craft beer. Craft brewing is relatively young in Italy, but the new brewers are creative and like to make use of local ingredients such as basil, chestnuts and grapes. Rome is a good place to try some uniquely Italian beer. Check out Birra+ in the trendy Pigneto neighborhood. It offers a wide range of Italian and international artisanal beers. After checking out the charm of Travestere, head to Ma che siete venuti a fà. This bar boasts one of the best selections of local and international beers in Rome. Just across the street, you can find Bir & Fud, a modern bar with 36 beers on tap, including beers from Birra del Borgo, Birrificio di Montegioco and Birrificio del Ducato. Another top spot is Brasserie 4:20, which also serves its own line of experimental brews, Revelation Cat. In the middle of Rome’s historic center, do not miss out on Open Baladin. This bar belongs to Le Baladin, possibly Italy’s most revolutionary brewery.
England has a great historic beer culture and the British microbrewing scene is thriving. You can dive right in by taking a brewery tour at Crate Brewery or the Meantime Brewing Company. If you happen to be in town on a Saturday, you definitely must walk the ‘Bermondsey Beer Mile’, which is located between the stations South Bermondsey and London Bridge. You can discover seven different breweries sharing six brewery taps, among them the famous The Kernel Brewery. Of course, the city offers numerous craft beer pubs as well. Good options are The Rake, Cask Pub & Kitchen, The Southampton Arms, and Brewdog. The latter actually operates several bars and a bottle shop in London. The city also has its own craft beer festivals, Craft Beer Rising and London Craft Beer Festival. If all of that isn’t enough for you, you can delve even deeper with the London Craft Beer app.
Germany is famous for its centuries-old beer traditions. However, the innovative craft beer movement took a while to emerge in this country. Now though, the microbrewery trend is in full bloom and Berlin is at the forefront of this development. When in the capital, be sure to make your way up north to Wedding. Explore Vagabund Brauerei, a neighborhood brewery with a small taproom, Eschenbräu, one of Berlin’s oldest craft breweries, and the beer shop Hopfen & Malz. In Friedrichshain, pay the brewpub Hops & Barley a visit. Then make your way over to Kreuzberg’s Markthalle Neun and get your hands on some beer from Heidenpeters. You can find Hopfenreich, a dedicated craft beer bar with 15 taps, just a leisurely ten-minute stroll away. When in Mitte, check out Das Meisterstück, a craft beer bar and restaurant that celebrates artisanal beer, bread, and sausages. If you prefer some guidance, take a local beer and breweries tour. It’s also a good idea to visit Berlin in mid-May and experience the Brewery Festival where you can enjoy some of the city’s best street food as well.
Belgium is a beer lover’s wonderland, as it offers an unbelievably huge variety of beers. It boasts a long beer tradition and is home to more than 1,000 different kinds of beers. You can dive right in by taking a Brussels Craft Beer Tour, which teaches you about the history and production of beer and gives you the opportunity to taste 6 different Belgian craft beers. Of course, you can also discover the Belgian beer landscape on your own. Start off at the Cantillon, a beer museum and brewery that concocts a flinty-sour and complex Lambic. Then head over to Brasserie de la Senne, a local brewery that sells beer on site and gives tours to larger groups. Another good way to learn about Belgian beers is visiting Délices & Caprices, a bottle shop that not only sells beers but also teaches you about them – you can even book a tasting session. If you just want to sit down in a good pub and enjoy a refreshing beer, Nuetnigenough is the place to go to. The brasserie offers a fine selection of true gems from Walloon, Flemish, and Brussels breweries. Other good options are Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas with 40 to 50 craft beers on tap and Délirium Café, which offers an incredible selection of 2,400 different beers.
(Header: The Kernel Shop and Warehouse. Photo by Bernd Rostad via FlickrCC.)