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STA Travel Blog

Where to Find the World’s Best Breweries

Ale. Amber Nectar. Brewski. Call it what you will, but when it comes to beer, we at STA Travel class ourselves as experts in the field.

With 22nd September bringing the start of Oktoberfest (no, we aren’t sure of the logic either), we’ve selflessly traversed the globe and highlighted several of the best breweries to visit, so you don’t have to.

We’ve tasted, quaffed and spat – actually, very little of the latter – to bring you our lowdown on the world’s finest breweries.

Beer goggle.

Prepare to don your beer goggles as we take you through our favourite breweries in the world. Image courtesy of Cayusa

Our List of the Top Hops Around the World

Cascade Brewery in Hobart, Australia

Set in incredible gardens in Tassie’s Cascade foothills, Cascade Brewery looks more like a historic castle than your typical brewery. Unlike some of the more traditional plant tours, health and safety laws seem to be rather relaxed as you explore the catacombs of the bottling plant and crawl over the bottling racks, as workers go on their merry way. At the end of the tour, you can sample all the beers in their garden bar and enjoy lunch in the lush surroundings. Go on, be a (Tasmanian) devil.

Our recommendation – Cascade First Harvest; tangy with a touch of caramel

Pint fact – The average price of a lager in Australia is the equivalent of £3.92

Cascade Brewery

Cascade First Harvest Brewery. Image courtesy of Greg the Busker

Wildrose Brewery in Alberta, Calgary, Canada

Possibly one of the smallest breweries in the world, and yet one of the most flavourful. As well as being able to drink beer whilst doing the tour of the plant, pretty rare for a brewery tour, locals can take home a ‘party pig’ of beer (a beer keg to you and I) and they open a specially brewed keg every Friday at 4:30pm on the dot, announcing that particular week’s brew on Twitter a few hours before. Their location is quite hard to find, on a disused army barracks, so just look out for the queue of thirsty beer aficionados lining up outside.

If more commercial Canadian breweries are your thing, try a pint of Maple Cream ale (for real), at Granville Island’s Brewery Company, in Vancouver. Sweet!

Our recommendation – Alberta Crude Oatmeal Stout – the pump is even shaped like a little mini oil barrel.

Pint fact – The average price of a lager in Canada is the equivalent of £2.97

Bottle Tops

Image courtesy of Smabs Sputzer

Heineken Museum, Amsterdam

Although there is something to suit every tastes in Amsterdam, it is also home to possibly the only brewery tour in the world where you ride on a virtual beer bottle simulator, following the journey of a bottle from start to finish through the factory production line (not good if you’ve already had a few samples in the slinky basement bar at the end of the tour).

Our recommendation – Erm, Heineken (if something tastes good, why change it?)

Pint fact – The average price of a lager in The Netherlands is the equivalent of £1.69

The Heineken Brewery Experience

Welcome to Heineken heaven...Image by BrentOzar

Little Creatures, Perth Australia

With one of our recent ‘Live Like An Aussie’ winners all set to head out to Western Australia and start work for Little Creatures very soon, we can’t think of a better place to sup some ice-cold ale. Our winner Nathan Clarke will be working front of house from January onwards so if you visit, tell him we said ‘Hi’. As if working in a brewery wasn’t already total job satisfaction, Little Creatures brewery is set in Fremantle, an eclectic enclave, with some of the best dining and coffee shops in Australia.

Our recommendation - Little Creatures Pale Ale – the original and the still the best.

Miller, Milwaukee, USA

From boutique breweries to the big boys – the Miller brewery in Milwaukee is home to over 150 years of brewing history. As well as those all important beer samples in the onsite Bavarian style Miller Inn, you get to learn about Miller’s origins as well seeing the day-to-day bottling process; as seen in the movie ‘Wayne’s World’, and for older readers, ‘Laverne & Shirley (ask your Dad)

Our recommendation – Blue Moon Belgian White – an interesting interpretation of the classic European Blanc beers

Pint fact – The average price of a lager in USA is the equivalent of £2.99

Monteith's Brewery in Greymouth

All hands to the pumps! At Monteiths Brewery, New Zealand. Image courtesy of edwin.11

Monteiths Brewery, Greymouth, New Zealand

Home to the iconic Kiwi Monteith’s range, this brewery deserves a special mention as based on recent personal experience, during the quieter times, they’ll still run the tour if only one person turns up so you could have the enviable pleasure of having an entire brewery to yourself (everyone’s dream?!). At the end of the tour, you get to hone your perfect pouring technique in the worker’s private bar – it’s like your own personal Rovers Return.

Our recommendation – Monteiths produced possibly the most quaffable beer in the world, slightly citrus in taste, Radlers (named after cycling German monks!)

Pint fact – The average price of a lager in New Zealand is the equivalent of £2.36

Today’s post was written by dedicated beer taster and STA Travel Senior Marketing Exec Neil Hassall, and if it’s got you in the mood for a tipple check out our cheap flights and experience these breweries first hand or head to Oktoberfest and sink a few steins!
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Showing 10 Comments

  1. Karen

    The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company in Canmore Alberta is great, too! Love their Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat Ale is yummy!

    1886 days ago
    • Karen

      We also have grammar in Canada — really! :) That’s what I get for posting a comment before 9 AM! Maybe I need a Party Pig of Grumpy Bear….

      1886 days ago
  2. There is a brewery in Amsterdam, much less touristy than the Heineken. We went last weekend and it is right beside an old Windmill, they have a brewery tour, and you get a free beer or can sample a tray. I would recommend it if you are in the Dam.

    Just ten minutes walk from Central station, past the NEMO musuem. :D

    1885 days ago
    • Tilly

      hey suzy whats the brewery called in the dam?

      1885 days ago
  3. if you in Boston USA then you have to try Harpoon, its an excellent beer

    1885 days ago
  4. Martin

    My 2 favourite beers from travels include Monteith’s Summer Ale (tastes like the nicest ginger beer you’ll ever have!) and Sleeman’s Honey Brown (though I didn’t visit the brewery whilst in Canada).

    Everytime I taste a Summer ale it takes me back to Greymouth. Though not the prettiest town in the south island it clearly has at least one redeeming feature!

    1883 days ago
  5. No Austrian or German breweries on here? Even without the Oktoberfest, Munich’s Hofbrauhaus is a sight to behold when it’s in full swing! Stiegl’s Brauwelt in Salzburg, Austria is more laidback but lovely in the summer. Good food too.

    Oh, and re. Monteith’s radler… that’s the German name for a shandy :-)

    1881 days ago
  6. paul

    No English breweries ? What the hell ?

    1878 days ago
    • Which one(s) do you recommend Paul?

      1878 days ago
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    321 days ago