The Czech Republic is many things – it’s history, architecture, art…and it’s beer. The country is the birthplace of the pilsner and Prague has long had a reputation as the beer capital of the world. Beer, which often costs less than a bottle of water, is for sale in every nook and cranny of the historic and architecturally diverse city. Beer is even an option as part of value meals at Burger King (no joke). And, for those who love beer so much they want to bathe in it, there are Beer Spas and beer soaps that offer just that. From cavernous halls to street kiosks – and at every café, bar and restaurant in between – it takes little effort to find beer in Prague. However, we weren’t just looking for any beer – we were in search of craft beer in Prague.
In a dimly lit room, the wooden floor creaks and a fire crackles in the corner fireplace as a business-mannered bartender fills dimpled glass mugs with tepid cask ale. This is the scene in a typical London pub – and could accurately describe any one of the thousands of pubs in the city (yes, thousands). Classic pubs are a staple in London; a throwback to a bygone era that remains oddly fashionable in the present-day metropolis. (Read about our Classic Pub Crawl along the River Thames.) However, there is an alternative beer scene brewing in London: small craft breweries are opening throughout the city for microbrew consumption. Differentiating themselves from characteristic London pubs, the small batch breweries are often informal and industrial. Determined to get a good taste of the burgeoning scene, we joined hipsters and beer lovers for a self-guided London Craft Beer Crawl on the Bermondsey Beer Mile.
Stay out of the bars. That’s the #1 tip for budget travelers visiting Iceland. The best budget tip for those wanting to imbibe in Iceland and to save money is to purchase alcohol at the duty-free shop at the airport on arrival. While we clearly fall into the Budget Traveler category, there was zero chance we were going to bypass trying a few local brews at a pub. It is, after all, our preferred method of meeting and mingling with locals. We sacrificed the budget and found 3 places to drink local beer in Reykjavik, Iceland.
We only had a quick three-night stay in Brisbane, our last stop in Australia before heading to Southeast Asia. We decided to stay smack in the middle of the CBD (Central Business District) so that we could start each day in the heart of the action. By far the biggest city we’ve been in since Sydney, the densely packed downtown is full of high rises, a few sights and a thriving restaurant and bar scene. Although quieter on the weekend, we took the opportunity to venture out a little and see what lies beyond the CBD. We spent a Sunday in Brisbane on a boat ride, in South Bank and in search of craft brew.
As if there isn’t enough to love about Wellington, we’ve got one more reason: It’s the craft beer capital of New Zealand. We are not seeking out these little beer meccas, luck would just have us landing smack in the middle of them. Long before learning about the craft beer in Wellington, New Zealand, we had made comparisons between Wellington and Portland, Oregon. Both feature the beauty of nature, clean cities and locals who would rather be outside than in, love their beer and their planet. But, while Portland insists on ‘Keeping it Weird,’ Wellington is insisting on ‘Keeping it Beered.’
Not only is Bariloche, Argentina saturated in exquisite natural beauty, it also boasts a hefty number of local breweries. It’s like Bariloche and I were made for each other (and I haven’t even mentioned all the chocolate shops!). Most of the Bariloche craft beer, called cerveza artesanal, is produced on a small scale using fresh, natural and local ingredients (most importantly the mountain water). Available in the brewpub from which it’s named, we looked forward to making an “Ale Trail” around town over the course of our stay.