In light of the upcoming International Beer Day which is celebrated every year on the first Friday of August (5th August this year), Booking.com has curated a list of beer destinations around the world where you can come together with those you love and share the joy of the craftsmanship that goes into one of the world’s favorite beverages – cheers to good times! From ancient beer cellars in the Czech Republic to modern ‘hop-spots’ in the USA to neighborhood street food stalls in Vietnam here’s a list of beer-smitten cities to try your favorite beers
Pilsner in Plzeň, Czech Republic
Plzeň has been a centre of beer-brewing prowess since 1842 – when the first ever pilsner lager was brewed here. Nowadays, the city’s iconic Pilsner Urquell brewery offers visitors the chance to taste the best pilsner, fresh from the keg or cask, on a subterranean tour of its cellars. You can recharge your batteries in a comfy bed at Marriott Pilsen’s Courtyard Hotel – and then grab yourself another brew at the hotel’s popular Pils’n’Grill restaurant.
Blond in Brno, Czech Republic
Home to Starobrno – an old brewery now owned by Heineken – Brno is another great spot for a world-class beer. Here, the locals wash down Starobrno brews Ležák (a classic blond) and Černé (dark and malty) in the lively area surrounding St. James’ Church. If you’re after somewhere a little more private, grab a beer bucket and relax in the rooftop hot tub of Avanti Hotel.
Rauchbier in Bamberg, Germany
Beer-enamored Bamberg has the highest number of breweries per square kilometer in the world. All are bound by the ‘Reinheitsgebot’, a 500-year-old Bavarian purity law requiring all beer to be brewed using only water, malt, yeast, and hops. Bamberg’s local brew – the smoky, thick, and dangerously moreish ‘Rauchbier’ – is a must-try. Complimentary breakfast at the centrally located Am Blumenhaus provides exactly the sort of sustenance you’ll need after a night out on the town.
Lambic in Bruges, Belgium
From Trappist ales and dark stouts to hoppy tripels and fruity krieks, the range of beer styles in Belgium is staggering. Bruges is home to ‘lambic’, a delicious beer that can be enjoyed in any local bar. Lively Cafe ‘t Brugs Beertj boasts a vast collection of Belgian brews, while Hotel Monsieur Ernest – an elegant 14th-century building that was once a brewery itself – provides comfy lodgings.
IPA in Portland, USA
Portland is a dreamland for IPA lovers. The self-proclaimed ‘capital of craft’ has more breweries than any other city – and a pub culture to rival all its European adversaries. You can nurse pints of hoppy brews at lively pubs across the city, while breweries like Cascade and Hopworks showcase Portland’s rich craft history. Stylish Hotel Eastlund is the ideal spot to take some time out, with a rooftop terrace and its very own craft beer tavern.
Nostra Domus in Leuven, Belgium
Leuven is home to InBev – the world’s largest brewery – and offers a bounty of artisanal beers to quench your thirst. Ochtend Kriek, St. Adriaansbier, and Nostra Domus are three of the most popular but, with so much choice, your best bet is to head down to the lively Oude Markt and ask locals for their recommendations. Stay close to the action at the deluxe Getaway Studios, right in the heart of Leuven and a short walk from Oude Markt.
For beer lovers looking at local destinations, Hanoi is one of best places to enjoy the local draught, bia hơi. Mostly popular in the northern provinces, bia hơi is defined by its refreshing taste and low alcohol content. It is brewed daily and best enjoyed within a short period of time—preferably with local delicacies such as those featured in a Guided Motorcycle Food Tour at Night. After exploring its street food culture, complete your high-low experience of Hanoi by luxuriating at the Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi – MGallery, which is only steps away from its namesake opera house built in the neoclassical style.
For those looking for more beer adventures in Vietnam, Hanoi can just be one pit stop. According to Vietnamese travelers, the top 5 destinations endorsed for beer in Vietnam are:
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Hoi An
- Nha Trang
** These destinations are the most endorsed destinations for ‘beer’ by travelers on Booking.com