Belgium’s Top Ten Beer Festivals

Kerstbierfestival, Essen - Photo courtesy William Roelens

France has wine shows. Germany has its Oktoberfest. Belgium has beer festivals. Mention that you've frequented Belgian beer fests to a fellow enthusiast and you may get some envy or respect--for good reason. These events typically appeal to the aficionado rather than the casual beer drinker. Every year, thousands of Belgian and foreign beer hounds travel to towns big and small across the ... Read Full Article

Poland’s Craft Beer Scene

Rice Beer

  It is refreshing to find craft brewers emerging throughout Europe these days. While those traditional pale lagers pair naturally with a lot of Polish cuisine, sometimes a guy's just got to have an IPA with his pierogi. Fortunately, there is no need to import. Craft breweries are popping up all over the place in Poland, and at least a few of them make a good IPA, among other ... Read Full Article

Old-School Brewing in Brussels

Samples of the faro, left, and the framboise beers

  There is an inherent irony today when we talk about Belgian beer. For most people, the term "Belgian beer" connotes monks brewing strong ales with difficult names and an alcohol content that can knock you off your bar stool if you are not prepared. Think of Chimay, Leffe or even Hoegaarden — the latter making up for its secularity and average strength with a name that confounds almost ... Read Full Article

The Best Places to Eat (and Drink) in Edinburgh

The Royal McGregor

One of the better lines from the movie, So I Married An Axe Murderer, is when Mike Myers’ character says, “I think most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.” While certainly not a universal truth, who could argue that the Deep Fried Mars Bar was not the result of a sober conversation.  But, overall, Scottish food gets a bad rap. Edinburgh is not short on culinary delights. Whether you are ... Read Full Article

A Guide to Latvian Beer

Aldaris, latvian beer

For a country of 2 million people, Latvia certainly punches above its weight in producing many quality beers. Unfortunately, no one has ever heard of these beers because the really good stuff is 1.) made without preservatives and has a very short shelf life, and 2.) nearly impossible for non-Latvians to pronounce. That means you actually have to come to Latvia to try the beer. Afterward, you ... Read Full Article

A Guide to Polish Beer

beer-platter

After a long day of seeing the sights in Krakow, there’s nothing better than drinking a culturally-relevant libation. This Polish beer guide is designed to help you choose the best Polish beer during your vacation. While most people think that the drink of Poland is vodka, consumer surveys report that beer is the more popular drink. It definitely is favored among my Polish friends. You can ... Read Full Article

Warm up to English Beer

Deuchars

  Although everyone knows that England is an island, it sometimes takes the dissection of a particular subject to fully remember just how separate the country can be. One such point of comparison is the tradition of English beer. Warmer fermentation, as opposed to the lager-based traditions of the Czech Republic or parts of Germany , has given England a long history of porters, ales and ... Read Full Article

European Beer: Tipple Across Europe on St. Paddy’s Day

Beer on the Grand Place in Brussels

In time for another of Europe’s favourite days for a tipple of beer - St. Patrick’s Day - here is a guide to five countries where you’ll get a history lesson with every pint (don’t worry, you won’t be quizzed). When you think European beverages, you probably conjure up French wine, Italian Limoncello, Russian vodka, or maybe Greek ouzo if you’re adventurous. European beer, although always a ... Read Full Article

Don’t Overlook Austrian Beer

Ottakringer an Austrian beer

In the world of beer, Austria is almost always overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbor, Germany. But to ignore Austrian Beer is to ignore a wealth of fine beer choices and varieties. Take a look at Austrian Beer Austrian beers are less distinct by region than in other countries as the most popular style across the whole of the country is Märzen. This style is similar to German Helles ... Read Full Article

Savoring Czech Beer

Czechvar label

  For over forty years, Czechoslovakia was all but inaccessible for westerners. As Soviet influence enveloped neighboring countries, local delicacies and tastes were, to a degree, lost or forgotten by those outside their borders. Thankfully, over the past twenty years, as Eastern Europe has opened back up and welcomed visitors from around the world, we can enjoy the best the Czechs have to ... Read Full Article