posted by Daniel Crudge | 6 Comments
Win a trip to Oktoberfest this year with a free stay at the 4You Hostel, Munich. What are you waiting for?
If you’re planning on a little party trip abroad this autumn, then you’ll surely want to know which are the best beers fuel your celebrations. Beers that suit a budget, pass the taste test and, most importantly, do the job. Here are 40 beers from around the world that can do just that.
1. Amstel Beer, Netherlands
With Amsterdam being one of Europe’s premier party town, what better way to start off this list than with this tasty little session beer from the Netherlands? It’s perfect for an extended drinking session under the sun as you can sink a fair few of these without getting completely legless. Although not as bitter as some pilsners, it’s perfect for those that aren’t too keen on the chemically sweet flavour of brands like Stella Artois.
2. Arequipeña, Peru
This is a lovely little balanced beer that offers refreshment, making it ideal for the South American climate. Not a bad one to hit up after the long trek down the Inca Trail.
3. Asahi, Japan
A fairly famous brand now, Asahi is a flavoursome dry larger brewed with rice, which makes it a little lighter. Great for a session of drinking and a perfect accompaniment to food, especially Japan’s amazing beef dishes.
4. Birra Moretti, Italy
A fantastic all-rounder larger that’s golden in colour and slightly bitter to taste. Perfect for a daytime session or evening drinks and a great accompaniment to pizza, pasta, risotto or any of Italy’s other unbeatable cuisine.
5. Bitburger, Germany
Here’s a classic pilsner, but with an added hint of honey just to take the sting off the bitter taste. Lacks the chemical fragrance of Stella and Heineken and shouldn’t hurt too hard in the morning. At around 5.0% proof, it can go to your head after a while, so while it is fine for a session it’s best to pace yourself and line your stomach first with a little pork knuckle.
6. Budweiser Budvar, Czech Republic
This was my revelatory beer. Before I visited Prague I was drinking the cheapest and nastiest lagers the UK had to offer and I literally had no idea a beer could taste this good. Not to be confused with the USA’s very poor copy (sorry, USA), I’d say this beer still ranks as king on my list. The perfect beer to get stuck into on any Prague party holiday. It’s a flavoursome and slightly sweeter pilsner that will see you to being fairly merry after any prolonged session.
7. Camden Hells, UK
Thanks to this beautiful little craft beer from the Camden Town Brewery, we can finally put to rest that lingering reputation that British lagers have of being rubbish. It’s brewed as a helles meets pilsner, delivering a great depth of flavour and dry hoppy finish. It’s turning up in more and more London pubs, especially around Camden and Shoreditch, and goes incredibly well with anything, from a pie to a band or DJ.
8. Cerveja Sagres, Portugal
This is another light and enjoyable beer that’s perfect for its surroundings. Looking for a beer you can sink at a bar by the beach under that beautiful Mediterranean sun? Look no further than this. Crisp, light flavour with a little bitterness. Ideal for washing down a few freshly caught tiger prawns.
9. Corona, Mexico
OK, OK, I know. It’s not the best beer in the world. But come on, if you’re going to Mexico, you have to get on the Coronas. Sweet, light and usually topped with a lime. There to warm you up before you hit the tequilas.
10. Dreher, Hungary
This is a sweet little number that’s both cool and refreshing and great for the Hungarian summer. It’s the beer of choice for Sziget festival goers and won’t put you into the ground after a few days on it. Only complaint is it starts to get a little too sweet after a couple of days.
11. Duvel, Belgium
Duvel is a spicy little Trojan horse that sneaks on in under the radar and hits you when you least expect it. At 8.5% it’s definitely not a session lager, but it is unique and tasty. Not to be missed if you ever find yourself in Flanders.
12. Effes, Turkey
Crisp, clear and refreshing, this is a perfect beer to keep you cool under the hot Turkish sun. Beautiful accompaniment to all those fresh flavours served up with the Turkish mezze dishes.
13. Erdinger Weissbier, Germany
We had to get a little wheat beer in here and Erdinger seems to be the perfect place to start. Its flavour is a little sweet that borders on citrusy, and is good with a little German style bar food. At 5.6% it can sneak up on you after a while and some people find the sugar can dry them out after a few.
14. Estrella, Spain
A little fizzy and a little sweet, but again it suits its environment. It’s a nice beer to sink under the south Spanish sun and knocks spots off its rival, San Miguel. Great for sipping by the pool or as an accompaniment to a little tapas.
15. Feldschlösschen, Switzerland
As the main local beer of Switzerland it’s worth a try. It’s a nice medium beer that’s a little sweet but not too much so with a light floral aroma and medium hoppiness. It’ll do for a session, though a session in Switzerland will be a little on the pricey side.
16. Gosser, Austria
I do love my Austrian beers and this probably ranks number two on the list. Moderately bitter with just a touch of sweetness, just to take the edge off. It’s mightily refreshing too, making it a decent drink to fill a stein and rehydrate with after a little mountain stroll. Sink with some sausages.
17. Guiness, Ireland
Does this really need an introduction? It’s pretty much the king of stouts and, as anyone that’s been will tell you, you can only get a real Guinness in Ireland. A proper Guinness has a smooth and creamy, but slightly earthy flavour that reminds some people of toasted coffee beans. A little on the heavy side, but strangely suited to a session.
18. James Boag's Premium Larger, Australia
Like all Aussie beers, this one needs to be drunk ice cold. Definitely one of the better ones, it’s far better than XXXX Gold and Victoria Bitter. It’s light, crisp, keeps you nice and refreshed on the beaches of Byron and goes down well with a little barbeque or steak.
19. Karhu, Finland
This is a pretty nice wheaty/grainy beer, despite its relatively dark colouring. Has a faint citrusy flavour from the hops and will suit a little drinking session nicely at 4.6%. Order a simple beer from a bar in English or broken Finnish and this is likely what you get.
20. Kingfisher, India
Another nice light and refreshing beer with a flavour of grainy malts and rice that comes across as just on the right side of sweet. It matches beautifully with the spicy Indian cuisine and will tone down those chillies better than anything.
21. Kirin Ichiban, Japan
Another Japanese beer that impressed me during my stay in Tokyo. It’s a little sweeter than Asahi and acts as a brilliant accompaniment to a little Japanese cuisine, especially matching well with soy based sauces and pickled ginger.
22. Kölsch, Germany
Definitely my favourite German beer, this one is brewed in the western region near Cologne and is a staple of the Christmas markets during December. Still, it’s a beer that works all year round. At 4.8% you can get stuck into this during a long day session, a little evening’s partying or to wash down the regions rustic menus of roasted meats.
23. Kozel, Czech Republic
It’s a little less well known than the other Czech beers on this list, but never-the-less, still well worth a try. It’s a dark beer, so has more of an earthy flavour than its pilsner cousins with a hint of chocolate. With a strength of just 3.8%, you can go a long time on this before you start feeling it and it goes great with a little Czech style peasant food (specifically pork medallions, dumplings, sauerkraut and gravy).
24. Kunstmann, Chile
Thanks to mass German immigration during the 19th century, Chile is hardly short of beer options. Still, it’s quite funny that a company with a clearly German name, with all their expertise in lager and pilsner, would produce something that resembles an English strong ale. Not that we’re complaining, of course. It’s a tasty beer that far outshines the more common Cristal from Peru.
25. Leffe, Belgium
This is one of Belgium’s most popular ‘abbey beers’, a type of beer that takes its brewing styles from old monastic abbeys, though not necessarily conforming to them rigidly. Leffe comes in two styles; the blonde with its sweeter, more wheaty flavour and the brown ‘dubbel’ that is more earthy. At 6.6%, it’s a beer that definitely does the job.
26. London Pride, UK
The most quintessential of all the English bitters and the pride of the Fuller’s brewery, this award winning ale is a must for any beer tasting tour. It has a nice biscuity flavour to it and lacks the fizziness of larger or pilsner. It’s not too heavy either and can accompany any decent pub meal, like steak & ale pie or sausage & mash.
27. Lowenbrau, Germany
This is a great beer for anyone looking for something a little less bitter and more toward the sweet side. Like with most helles lager it has a kind of citrus-like after-taste. It’s light and refreshing, goes well with food and will slowly floor you during a long session on the steins. A favourite at Oktoberfest.
28. Mikkeller X Imperial Stout, Denmark
I can’t do it, I can’t put Carlsberg on this list. No, as the weakest of all the European largers, you cannot claim to be the best beer in the world. You are far from the best in the world. It doesn’t matter how many times you repeat it, it doesn’t make it true. So instead have this, a completely obscure microbrewery option call Mikkeller X Imperial Stout. It’s a vicious killer at 16% and will floor you in an instant. Good luck.
29. Moosehead, Canada
Moosehead is Canada’s oldest independent brewery, founded all the way back in 1867 by the Susannah Oland and still run by the family now. It’s a nice, sweet little beer with a mellow grain flavour. Not a bad beer to keep you warm in the Great White North.
30. Mythos, Greece
Greece is the place for party islands, so on those party islands you’re going to need some beers. You might be tempted to go for all those imports, but I recommend you try the local offering. Mythos is another light and sweet beer that suits its environment – good for any session under the sun.
31. Pabst Blue Ribbon, USA
America’s bona fide hipster beer. Sales of this beer slumped before it was embraced by the alternative crowd in the 2000’s. Now it has its place firmly set in the American music scene and is pretty much guaranteed to be the drink you sip at any venue around the States. It’s light, refreshing and not too sweet for an American beer – does the job.
32. Pilsner Urquell, Czech Republic
As the world’s original pilsner beer it’s probably the most famous of its type in the world and its taste does not disappoint. It’s a tad sweeter than most pilsners and is almost bready in flavour, though still light and refreshing. It does well as both a session beer and to wash down the incredible rustic Czech cuisine.
33. Popper, Slovakia
If you’re going to go for Popper, go for the premium 12% or 10%. Both far outweigh the original in flavour and, of course, strength and are good if you’re looking to get serious with your beer consumption.
34. Samuel Adams, USA
Samuel Adams is a giant of American history. He was a statesman, a political philosopher and an architect of the movement that became the American Revolution, so it’s only fitting that he had a beer named after him. Considered one of the United States’ best beers, it’s a full-flavoured, craft-style beer with a slight pine-like flavour in its sweetness. A little too thick to be a session beer, but it’s worth throwing a pint or two in at some point.
35. Singha, Thailand
Singha acts as the main fuel for Thailand’s unbeatable party atmosphere and can be found in every bar, restaurant and beach party across the country. Despite being cheap, it’s surprisingly very good. Dry yet refreshing and light, it not only serves as a perfect sun, sand and sea beer, but also as the perfect extinguisher for anyone with a penchant for full-bodied green Thai curries.
36. Spitfire, UK
This English pale ale is a fantastic and full bodied beer with a sweet flavour that offers hints of caramel, marmalade and spice. Works well as a session ale, as it’s not too filling, and accompanies a tasty tradition pub meal perfectly. Get it on tap if you can.
37. Steigl, Austria
My favourite beer, period. I like everything about it, right down to the cool comic-gothic typeface on the glass. It’s a perfect golden colour with a crisp clean flavour that’s dry, but with the perfect hint of sweetness to help it on its way. Not too sugary and refreshing, just like a pilsner should be. Great for either serious drinking or to chase down a schnitzel.
38. Tiger Beer, Singapore
Tiger is a great, light, rice lager that compliments the spicy food of the region wonderfully, cutting through the heat. To some it might seem a little watered, but if you’re sucking on spiced crab claws in a hawker market, you’re quickly going to appreciate that.
39. Tsingtao, China
My favourite Asian beer, Tsingtao is a beautiful and light little rice beer, produced by a brewery founded by German settlers in Qingdao in 1903. It’s sweet, which doesn’t usually go down well with me, but at the same time so light and refreshing that it doesn’t dehydrate. Besides, it goes so well with Chinese cuisine - especially Cantonese - that it seems like it was the product of a serious science experiment performed by Heston Blumenthal in a past life. Barbeque pork, rice and a Tsingtao is basically what heaven is.
40. Tyskie, Poland
The typical party beer of Poland, it’s what you’ll be sinking if you hit the clubs of Krakow or Warsaw over the summer. It’s a decent, refreshing and light coloured lager, which at 5.6% gets the job done nicely. Nice and dry, but without being offensive and a bit of sweetness at the start. Good for beer pong.
So here we have it, 40 world beers that will keep you jolly and silly throughout your summer parties. Just make sure you drink responsibility. Now get out there and have some fun, you little scamps.
Book cheap accommodation for your next party holiday or beer tour with Hostelworld now.
Can you recommend any other good party beers for the summer? Let us know in the comments…
Thanks to Phil Whitehouse, Quinn Dombrowski, James Cridland, Chris Wildman, Fredrik Rubensson, ivva, Charles Haynes, Claudio Brisighello, Let Ideas Compete, Gordon Joly, Marina Marti Sarabia, Stian Olsen, viZZZual.com, Marc Henklein, Megan Morris, Sandra Fauconnier, Tor Lillqvis, Jeremy Keith, Andreas Beutel, Eli Brody, israelavila, Stephan Geyer, Ed W, Jon Blathwayt, adamjackson1984, Dee West, Frosted Peppercorn, Jeremy Noble, Hugues Le Chevallier, Mike, Pekka Nikrus, Joe Grassby, Dan, Sarah Twitchell, hakaider and Kompania Piwowarska for the most excellent images. Please note, all were under creative commons license at time of publishing.
Judy S said
P Wang said