Beer and travel are two things that often go hand-in-hand. Get ready to delve into some of the world’s best beer festivals, partnered with quirky facts and top tips on each location. From sipping a Sagres in the sunny Algarve, to tasting the 8.5% Hoegaarden Grand Cru beer at the Brussels Beer Weekend; an ice cold pint always tastes better on holiday. So, in the name of cultural exploration, why not explore the world’s best drinks menus?

Forget about greasy kebabs as we recommend some of the best restaurants and hotels within stumbling distance. For a little inspiration and barrels of intoxication, read on for your perfect beer-fuelled holiday – we advise you leave your beer goggles at home.

Silves Beer Festival, the Algarve

Silves is a picturesque town, rich with history, and located on the banks of the River Arade, just 20 minutes from the lazy beach resort of Carvoeiro. The beer festival lasts ten days, beginning on the 1st of July in the Fábrica do Inglés, a former cork factory. Beers are served in ceramic mugs, which festival goers can keep as souvenirs! Be sure to try the Portuguese pale larger, Sagres, named after a small town located on the most south westerly point of Europe, and has been in production since 1940. There’s great entertainment, including live bands and barbeques serving fried octopus and piri piri chicken. For a sit down meal, head to the Ponte Romana restaurant, next to the Silves bridge, or try the delicious seafood at the Rui Marisqueira restaurant.

Brussels Beer Weekend, Belgium

Every year, the capital city of Belgium hosts the Brussels Beer Weekend, a lively event partly organised by the Belgian Brewers association – so beer served by the experts! Taking place on the weekend of the 6th of September, over 350 beers from small, medium and large breweries are showcased, allowing you to diversify your tastes and discover some unique, local beers. For its 15th outing, the event is getting bigger and will spread from Grand Place market square to encompass the area behind the Stock Exchange, temporarily renamed ‘Beer Street’. There’lll be plenty of beer stands, historical beer carts and even a brewers parade across the three days; a true celebration of the variety of beer. Don’t miss the 8.5% Hoegaarden Grand Cru, although you’ll only need one as they are so strong! If the tipples leave you peckish, indulge in some Belgium waffles and let the sweet, light batter soak up some of your alcoholic intake.

Limassol Beer Festival, Cyprus

Held annually, the Limassol Beer festival is a three day event taking place in the charming old town centre at the Molos Waterfront. With free entry, low priced beer, dancing and live music, it offers a fantastic chance to relax in scenic surroundings. This July, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, the atmosphere will be electric for tasting beers from across the globe. Heineken and Becks will be featured as firm favourites, whilst you’ll also be able to sample the very best of Cypriot beer, including KEO, a pale lager-type beer brewed so you can savour the bitter taste. When you need a bite to eat, visit the Draught Microbrewery near the Castle of Limassol. It serves huge portions of chips, with dip and mixed grills that will help your head after an afternoon drinking.

Oktoberfest, Munich

Since 1810, Munich has played host to one of, if not the most famous, beer festivals in the world. The extravaganza is held in late September through to early October. The opening ceremony is a must-see, taking place in the Schottenhamel tent on the first Saturday of the festival, where the Mayor of Munich taps the first barrel of beer. Among the many tents serving hundreds of varieties is the popular Märzen, which is stronger and darker than traditional beer – worth a try in half pints to ensure you remember the event! As well as beer, there is traditional folk music, rides and plenty of food stalls serving spit-roast chickens, steamed German sausages and pretzels.

The Palma Beer Festival, Majorca

This new beer festival in Palma city gives locals the opportunity to showcase their own concoction of individually brewed beer, for twelve hours a day over a two week period next to the famous Palma cathedral. Around seventy exhibitors turn up, all with a different drink for tourists and residents to sample. Cervesa Tramuntana is a traditional beer, brewed at the foot of the famous Tramuntana Mountains in north Majorca, and Rossa, Negra and Rotja are three local beers on offer. If you feel the need to pace yourself, visit the exhibition on the history of the beverage and how to brew it yourself. For those wanting to line their stomach before an afternoon of heavy drinking, you’ll find plenty of food stalls from local restaurants, offering authentic Majorcan cuisine.

Bitter and Twisted International Boutique Beer Festival, Australia

It’s the location that makes this beer festival stand out from the rest. The two day event takes place inside the walls of a former prison, the Maitland Gaol. Can you think of a more bizarre place to enjoy a pint? There are around 50 beers to sample over the weekend festival, such as Murrays Craft Beer Co., which has won many international awards for its unique flavour. There’s also an excellent range of entertainment to enjoy, such as singing and dancing. Look out for the family fun day on Sunday, where there are loads of activities for the kids to get involved in. Once you’re done sampling, make your way over to the market section for authentic handmade crafts. What this small festival lacks in size, it makes up for in hours of entertainment.

So there you have it, a roundup of some of the best beer festivals around the globe. What better way to explore the world, than through a pint glass? Follow the links below for accommodation and more information on the beer festival resorts mentioned above.


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