Top beer destinations to celebrate International Beer Day
International Beer Day is celebrated every year on the first Friday of August (4 August this year) as a time to come together with friends and enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into one of the worldâ€™s most cherished beverages. From ancient beer cellars in the Czech Republic, to modern â€˜hop-spotsâ€™ in the USA, this brew is available, and celebrated, all over the globe. But where are the best places in the world to most appreciate this refreshing drink?
Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has identified a list of the top beer destinations according to global travellers. Without further ado, here are seven beer-smitten cities youâ€™ll never want to leave.
PlzeÅˆ, Czech Republic
PlzeÅˆÂ has been a centre of beer-brewing prowess since 1842 â€“ when the first ever pilsner lager was brewed here. Nowadays, the cityâ€™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 atÂ Courtyard by Marriott Pilsen â€“ and then grab yourself another brew at the hotelâ€™s popular Pilsâ€™nâ€™Grill restaurant.
Brno, Czech Republic
Home to Starobrno â€“ an old brewery now owned by Heineken â€“Â BrnoÂ is another great spot for a world-class beer. Here, the locals wash down Starobrno brews LeÅ¾Ã¡k (a classic blond) and ÄŒernÃ© (dark and malty) in the lively area surrounding St. Jamesâ€™ Church. If youâ€™re after somewhere a little more private, grab a beer bucket and relax in the rooftop hot tub ofÂ Avanti Hotel -Â Â a firm guest favourite in Brno.
Beer-enamouredÂ BambergÂ has the highest concentration of breweries per square kilometre in the world. All are bound by the â€˜Reinheitsgebotâ€™, a 500-year- old Bavarian purity law requiring all beer to be brewed using only water, malt, yeast, and hops. Bambergâ€™s local brew â€“ the smoky, thick, and dangerously addictive â€˜Rauchbierâ€™ â€“ is a must-try. Complimentary breakfast at the centrally locatedÂ Am Blumenhaus provides exactly the sort of sustenance youâ€™ll need after a night out on the town.
From Trappist ales and dark stouts to hoppy tripels and fruity krieks, the range of beer styles in Belgium is staggering.Â BrugesÂ is home to â€˜lambicâ€™, a delicious beer that can be enjoyed in any local bar, along with hundreds of others. Lively Cafe â€˜t Brugs BeertjeÂ boasts a vast collection of Belgian brews, whileÂ Hotel Monsieur Ernest, an elegant 14th-century building that was once a brewery itself, provides comfy lodgings.
Portland, Oregon, USA
PortlandÂ is a dreamland for IPA lovers. The self-proclaimed â€˜capital of craftâ€™ has more breweries than any other city â€“ and a pub culture to rival all its European adversaries. You can nurse pints of hoppy brews at lively brewpubs across the city, while Breweries like Cascade and Hopworks showcase Portlandâ€™s rich craft history. StylishÂ Hotel EastlundÂ is the ideal spot to take some time out, with a rooftop terrace and its very own craft beer tavern.
LeuvenÂ is home to InBev â€“ the worldâ€™s largest brewery â€“ and offers a bounty of artisanal brews 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 deluxeÂ Getaway Studios Leuven, full service apartments right in the heart of Leuven and a short walk from Oude Markt.
Every August millions gather forÂ Qingdaoâ€™s epic International Beer Festival. The event is meant to mimic Munichâ€™s world-famous Oktoberfest, but with an added Chinese twist. Bratwurst-serving beer tents, Bavarian band music, and Peking opera performances merge to create a distinctive atmosphere. The festival is sponsored by Tsingtao, whose Qingdao-based brewery and museum are open all year. Afterwards, recharge at theÂ Farglory Residenceâ€™s indoor pool and sauna.