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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Which Country Has the Best Beer?

In Delirium in Brussels, Belgium

The ceiling in Delirium in Brussels, Belgium

Which country has the best beer? Since the brewing process left Egypt, it’s a question that has plagued mankind. But it really comes down to a subjective answer: personal taste. What I like will be drastically different than what someone else prefers. Just ask my buddy, who’d any day choose something hoppy over my wheats. And now that you know what style of beer I prefer, here is my list for the countries with the best beer…

Fifth Runner Up: Australia – Victoria Bitter

This may not be the country’s best beer, but I could not get enough of it on my travels. Every pub I went – with the exception of the German one in The Rocks district in Sydney – I ordered a VB. It’s crisp, tasty, and most importantly something I can’t get back here in Colorado. And that’s always something I look for; can I get the beer here? If so, the experience just isn’t as special. Wait until seeing the big grand champion of my tastes for more on that.

Fourth Runner Up: Czech Republic – Budwar

Budwar, Budwar, Budwar; this beer was practically jammed down my throat before I even got to the Czech Republic. I think it’s all the controversy with Budweiser that gets everyone going. Either way, I got there, had one because I felt I needed to, and enjoyed it. By no means was it the greatest beer in the world, but it was decent. And it’s worth a try if you’re traveling to the Czech Republic. If you find it in the States, give it a go. I haven’t seen it yet, though.

Knocking back a Budwar or four

Knocking back a Budwar or four

Third Runner Up: United States – the Micro Brews & Brew Pubs

Here it is. The big controversy. How can the Americans have better beer than Australia or the Czech Republic? It’s absurd! A travesty! But it’s a fact, so deal with it. America has some damn fine beers, at least the smaller breweries do. The big ones are still pretty watery. But go into any small micro brew or brew pub and you’re sure to find some beers that are as good as any in the world. One of my favorites here in Colorado is Oskar Blues. I don’t care for their hoppy stuff, but Mama’s Lil Yell Pils is one fine beverage.

A tasty Oskar Blues beverage

A tasty Oskar Blues beverage

Second Runner Up: Germany – Anything

That about sums it up. Anything you drink in Germany will taste good. No way I can argue otherwise, since I pretty well drank my way through every beer garden in the country during my three visits. And that includes six some liters at the Hofbrau tent for Oktoberfest. So if I have to put it on just one beer, that’s it: the Hofbrau Haus. I love their lager, which I enjoy annually. Yep. Pretty well every year. Not in Germany, though. I can’t afford to make that trip each year. Instead I go to Las Vegas with the guys and drink it there. Prost!

Runner Up: Belgium – Chimay and Leffe

I’m sorry for drooling. But I read Chimay and Leffe and couldn’t really help myself. Honest. Their beers are all some of my favorites, bringing the lovely little country of Belgium my silver medal for best beers in the world. Throw some waffles or fries down on the table too and I’m in heaven. I know that’s sacrilege considering my German heritage, but I can’t deny that this stuff is the best beer I can get anywhere in the world at any time, even my neighborhood store here in the States.

Enjoying a Chimay with dinner in Belgium

Enjoying a Chimay with dinner in Belgium

Grand Champion: Ireland – Guinness

Wait. Guinness? I can get that in my local store, you ask, right? Yeah. So how’s it better than the Belgian beers when I say they’re the best that can be bought anywhere in the world at any time? Well, there’s a catch to this one. While Guinness can be bought pretty much anywhere in the world I don’t really recommend it. At least not outside of Ireland. The stuff you get here in the States is old, stale. It’s no good. And don’t even get me started on the junk shipped to China. Nasty. The only place to get a good Guinness is in Ireland. And the best place there is the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. It’s a great tour and a lovely view of the city from their Gravity Bar.

Barrels of joy on the Guinness tour

Barrels of joy on the Guinness tour

So, yes, while the best beer in the world is Guinness, the best beer you can get anywhere is a good Chimay or Leffe from Belgium. This means you need to do two things: First, go down to your neighborhood store. Pick up some Chimay and Leffe. Then go back home and: Two, book a trip to both Ireland and Belgium. Heck, while you’re up for spending money go ahead and throw Germany in there, too. Hit all three and decide for yourself which is your favorite. I can’t imagine for the life of me you’d be disappointed.

So what do you think? Vote and tell me…

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5 Comments on “Which Country Has the Best Beer?”

  1. Brian July 1, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    Love Belgian beers. Dubbels are my favorite, especially when in Belgium right out of the tap. If you go to Bruges, you have to go to Bierbrasserie Cambrinus. Cambrinus is the original King of Beers!

  2. Michael July 2, 2014 at 1:05 am #

    I agree, its a matter of personal taste. Belgium has undoubtedly the greatest variety on such a small surface, so its the ultimate beer holiday destination.

  3. Traveling Ted (@travelingted) July 28, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    I have never been to Ireland, but I had a Guinness in a jazz club in Normandy, France and it was to die for. I can only imagine how good it is in the mother country.

  4. John October 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

    Absolutely love the German beers. Nothing better than sitting in the central square of a small german town sampling the local brews. Start from the light in color, and work your way through the range down to the dark end of the spectrum. Just sit / drink and watch the world go by. Bliss

  5. Tony December 19, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    You can’t beat sitting outside a cafe in Prague, enjoying a Staropramen, it ends up being about 50 cents for a liter! Enjoying a beer in any “altstadt” in Germany is also something that any beer lover must do in their lifetime. For me, it’s impossible to determine the best beer in the world, it all has to do with the setting and your companions. Heck, I even enjoyed Efes in Istanbul.

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