Photo illustration by Barry Kaufman
For many of us, sampling local drinks is one of the things that we look forward to most about traveling. And if your favorite beverage happens to be beer, well then you are absolutely spoiled for choice nowadays, with nearly every country in the world having a quality mix of well-established signature brands and a cast of upstart craft breweries.
So just in time for your next boozy global adventure, here’s a cheat sheet we’ve put together of the best beers to try on every continent, each guaranteed to give you an authentic taste of the region. Cheers!
Castle Lager - This lager is the most popular beer in South Africa, and is still riding high off its win of “World’s Best Bottled Lager” at the 2000 International Brewing Industry awards.
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout - Slightly higher in hops (and ABV) than Guinness at home, Foreign Extra Stout is popular all over the continent, and not just on St. Patrick’s Day.
Tusker - Tusker is a pale lager brewed in Kenya and found throughout the East, and has become famous for its fine flavor and for the logo featuring an elephant with tusks on the bottles.
Tiger - One of the most ubiquitous beers in all of Asia, Tiger is a crisp lager perfect for cooling down or pairing up with sizzling street food.
Beerlao - The national beer or Laos, Beerlao has found a following all over Southeast Asia with its full lager flavor made using local rice.
Bia Hoi - Not a brand, but a style of beer, bia hoi is brewed and sold fresh at small street-corner restaurants throughout the country and has become an institution in Vietnam.
Coopers Pale Ale - This slightly cloudy beer is brewed in the tradition of an English Pale and is Australia’s largest family-owned brewer. They also make several other varieties worth tipping back.
Little Creatures Pale Ale - This craft outfit is making hay with its collection of hoppy beers and creative seasonals, with the pale ale being the most popular.
Westvleteren 12 - Rated by many as the best beer in the world, this dark Trappist Ale can only be legally purchased at the brewery in Belgium.
Kozel - A quintessential Czech lager with subtle hoppiness, this one personifies the style.
Augustiner Weissbier - The last big brewery in Munich to be independently-owned, this cloudy wheat beer has aroma of banana and clove and is perfect for drinking at beer gardens.
Yuengling Traditional Lager- Acquiring cult-like status throughout the Eastern United States, Yuengling is the oldest brewery in America and their lager is still their finest brew.
Left Hand Milk Stout - The gem of Colorado craft brewers Left Hand, this is one of the most awarded beers in the category and a great introduction to the art of American craft brewing.
Bohemia - An ode to European pilsners and full of a ton more flavor than some other sunny Mexican brands, Bohemia is actually the beer you want to be sipping at the beach.
Quilmes - The most popular beer in all of Argentina, this lager is a downright institution there, owning nearly half of the market share.
Polar - Typically only found in Venezuela, the name of this lager alone has been know to cool one down on a steamy tropical night.
Anything by Cervejaria Colorado - Leading the craft revolution in Brazil, these guys are putting out a range of top notch beers, including an American Wheat Ale, American Pale Ale, and even a Russian Imperial Stout.