Although France’s beautiful Alsace region is perhaps more readily associated with winemaking than the production of beer, the two ancient trades have happily existed side by side for centuries. Nowadays, the Alsace area accounts for some 50 percent of France’s total beer production.
Hours of sight-seeing have made you ravenous, so you’ve taken a break to down some pommes frites and a foamy beverage. But you’re not in France-- you’re in Belgium, where the locals still dispute the origin of “French” fries and crafting beer is a fine art, hundreds of years in the making.
The history of the world’s most international brewer began with Gerard Adriaan Heineken’s purchase of the Haystack Brewery as it was known in Dutch back in 1864. What started out as a local beer brewed in Amsterdam is today a global icon that’s sold in 192 countries.
One of Germany’s biggest brewers finds its home in a rather out-of-the-way place: Bitburg, a small city in the Eifel mountain range in the western part of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Spangdahlem Air Base is one of its close neighbors.
I don’t think one can argue Guinness is hands down the world’s most famous beer. Thanks to decades of brilliant marketing campaigns, it’s certainly the most recognizable. Brewed in 50 countries and available in 120, you cannot escape the pull of Ireland’s dark and dry stout.
The Union Brewery, one of the largest breweries in Slovenia, was established as the small family enterprise of brothers Ivan and Peter Kosler in Ljubljana back in 1864. The Union brand came into being in 1909, when a joint stock company founded by the brothers united with two other breweries.
Tennent Caledonian, one of the UK’s oldest brewers, can boast of a heritage that stretches back centuries. Archival evidence confirms that brewing was already taking place on the banks of the Molendiner Burn in Glasgow as far back as the 1550s.
The Brasserie Nationale is a relatively new entity, having come into being in 1975, but the two breweries it fused together, Bofferding and Funck-Bricher, trace their histories much further back, to 1842 and 1764 respectively.
Oktoberfest season is just around the corner and you’re either really excited or just rolled your eyes. You may be over the hype behind it and are looking for something less popularized. Or, you’ve already celebrated Oktoberfest in Germany and want to add a new country to the list.
Munich’s Oktoberfest is the epitome of German beer festivals. Considered the largest fair in the world, 6 million people are drawn to the Bavarian capital every fall from all over the globe. But popularity isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.