Did you know that the first Friday in August is International Beer Day? This holiday isn’t just for Homer Simpson; it’s an excuse to get together with friends and enjoy your favorite beer. No matter whether you like pilsners, stouts, amber ales, local craft beers, or international brews, it’s hard to find someone who can’t find a beer that they like. Made with hops, beer has been described by historians as “liquid bread” and is widely considered to be an essential catalyst for the creation of civilization. Beer is believed to have originated in Mesopotamia (what is now modern-day Iraq) but Egyptians were known to perfect the art of brewing with what they called “barley wine.” Little by little, the recipe for beer traveled to different parts of the world where it was re_invented and re_created, giving birth to new creations by adding or eliminating different elements.
With all its varieties, means of preparation, and flavors, beer is a universal drink that’s a must-try in every country that you visit. And that’s why we’re such fans of International Beer Day. It’s an excuse to take a trip around the world and through time—all in a glass.
An Old World drink for the New World
Since the Middle Ages, Belgium has dedicated itself to brewing some of the most unique kinds of beer in the world. There are over 1,500 varieties in Belgium alone! And with all those years of experience brewing beer, there are tons of delicious flavors to try. You can visit beer museums, breweries, and the famous Delirium Café, which is located in a narrow alleyway and is considered to be a Mecca for beer aficionados. They sell over 3,000 types of beer and distribute around the world. How many would you like to try? And speaking of tradition, every city and alleyway in Holland has a common denominator which is, you guessed it, beer. It’s a place where monks have been tasked with preparing and brewing beer for centuries. In fact, to this day, monks still brew beer in monasteries. A beer brewed in a monastery can contain over 1,000 years of history in a glass, not to mention incredible flavor that you won’t find anywhere else. Holland’s main attraction is its craft beer. The recipes been perfected over hundreds of years, and you can taste the experience in every drop.
Beer festivals that you can’t miss
One of the most famous beer festivals in the world is in Bavaria, Germany. Oktoberfest is on almost every beer lover’s bucket list. Starting in late September, Oktoberfest is an annual beer festival that attracts over six million visitors each year and has become a symbol for beer. How can anyone resist visiting a country with the highest beer production in the world?
Been to Oktoberfest but ready to try another beer festival? If that’s the case, we definitely recommend visiting Austria, which borders Germany and is famous for its different types, colors, flavors, and means of preparation. Like Germany, Austria has a beer festival called Wiener Wiesn which takes place every September and October. People dress up in traditional lederhosen, eat traditional fare such as schnitzel and apple strudels (make sure you get yours at Demel!), and of course, drink lots and lots of beer! Vienna is a city full of tradition and unique places where you can explore both the streets and the beer. Relax in a local pub then stop by Schwedenplatz and get yourself a late night doner kebab.
If green is your favorite color and you like beer, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is the best way to enjoy both at the same time. You can find St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland or celebrate with Irish diaspora in Boston, Buenos Aires, London, Sidney, and more. Everything is painted green, and people wear shamrocks, hats, and drink beer. What’s not to love? Whether you’re in Ireland or abroad, St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect excuse to drink your favorite beer and enjoy other traditions while meeting new people and having fun.
Budget Beer Doesn’t Have to Mean Bad Beer
If you want to travel around the world in 80 glasses of beer but you don’t want to break the bank, we have good news! There are plenty of budget friendly places around the world with delicious beer that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Poland is a wallet-friendly destination and a haven for beer. While lager is the traditional favorite, Polish brewers have been re_inventing their recipes to offer a great variety of artisanal local beers. The best part is that a beer costs about as much as a coffee. If you’re traveling to that side of the world anyway, you might as well sip on a good beer while you’re there.
Although Portugal is more famous for its wine, drinking a local beer while eating local pintxos (bar food) is a common sight in Portugal, and for around $2, you can enjoy a cold beer and drink in the local scene. There’s even a Beer Museum in the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon, which serves beer and history on tap.
True beer aficionados know that there’s nothing like a great atmosphere full of tradition and great people to accompany your beer. No matter where you’re traveling to, you can always find something familiar and foreign when you drink a beer. The world has tons of traditions and flavors, and beer is a universal but unique example of how every culture expresses itself. Whether you’re in the mood for a local artisanal beer or something more exotic, International Beer Day is the perfect excuse to drink with your friends and celebrate.
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