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.
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 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
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
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
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