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Other than the US, what's your favorite country for beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by cmiller4642, Aug 7, 2015.

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  1. WolfBrewer

    WolfBrewer Initiate (19) Mar 23, 2015 Texas

    Belgium followed by Denmark and Sweden. Lots of amazing stuff going on in Scandinavia at the moment...many mirroring US styles, but doing it very well. And you have Akkurat in Sthlm, which is arguably the greatest beer bar in the world outside of Brussels :slight_smile:
    OleWorm likes this.
  2. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (479) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    To be honest I'd have a hard time picking between the USA, Germany and Belgium. Let's call it a tie. The UK is a close second to those.
  3. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Aspirant (288) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    #1 USA
    #2 Belgium
    #3 UK
  4. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Read the thread title and OP before you post, newbie. It says "Other than the USA, ..........." It also specifically did not ask for a list ranking of countries.
  5. costanzo_mike

    costanzo_mike Meyvn (1,239) Jul 17, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

  6. Homers_Beer_Odyssey

    Homers_Beer_Odyssey Initiate (0) Jun 17, 2014 New York

  7. Hrodebert

    Hrodebert Aspirant (254) Sep 2, 2013 Michigan

    Try to keep up here.
    Tut likes this.
  8. Oktoberfist

    Oktoberfist Aspirant (229) Nov 26, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    #1 USA
    #2 Dominican Republic - Presidente on draft!!!
  9. mikefuski17

    mikefuski17 Disciple (394) Jul 25, 2013 Oregon

    Belgium... Hands down. Started the whole sour beer craze. Quads... Amazing beers all around
  10. mulder1010

    mulder1010 Meyvn (1,019) Aug 29, 2008 Australia

    New Zealand. Bottles that get to OZ and US are nice and all but on tap in NZ, holy hell. Massive beers. Make Stone look like skimpers on hops.
    Netherlands--- Pure and simple de molen. Brilliant BA program they have. Most of their BA beers are more interesting as use some scotch barrel.
    KhakCane likes this.
  11. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (4,823) Mar 6, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    I really think that most people here aren't really qualified to actually answer this question, because the only way to truly appreciate a country's beer scene is to actually be there. The beer we get from Germany and England and other countries is just simply not the same as the beer they're drinking over there. Shipping lower alcohol, more delicate beers across the ocean isn't going to do wonders for the beer. It's not surprising that the answer is overwhelmingly Belgium here. That's gotta be because Belgian beers tend to hold up much better with time than beers from England Germany.

    I haven't been to Germany, Belgium, and England yet, but I really want to. I know I prefer American beer, because I can get it fresh and the way it's supposed to taste. I know most German pilsners that I drink are going to be a clear step down from the way they were when first bottled overseas. I know most English bitters and pale ales are going to suffer from the same problem, bottle-wise, and I'm also not getting them in probably their best form- via cask.

    This thread is fine, if it's simply about your "favorite" beers and favorite beer countries. That's fun. When it becomes what you country you think is "best" for beer, it becomes a shitty competition. Just enjoy beer, it's a lot easier.
    Hoppsbabo and rozzom like this.
  12. rugene

    rugene Aspirant (210) Mar 2, 2015 Quebec (Canada)

    I think i had never taste one of those two. (what a shame!) What could you recommend me?
  13. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    I'm assuming you aren't joking.
    Only an inexperienced beer drinker who has never visited the great European brewing countries would make that idiotic statement. You epitomize the special blend of arrogance and ignorance that too many Americans share. It embarrasses me when I encounter it traveling overseas and it reinforces negative stereotypes of Americans in the minds of people from other countries.
  14. rozzom

    rozzom Defender (622) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    If it was serious then I agree

    But my take on the post, was that it was definitely a joke. He liked my comments (which were against people blindly shouting 'murica on a thread that wasn't even supposed to include the US). Plus the first sentence about ethnocentrism doesn't scream idiot.
    breadwinner likes this.
  15. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Well, I hope you're right. Maybe I missed the sarcasm, but a smile/wink face would have helped. There are too many here that do have that attitude, so it can be hard to tell.
  16. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (479) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    That's ridiculous.
    Tut, rozzom and rgordon like this.
  17. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (733) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I prefer to not be anonymous and I am entirely capable of being a fool as a real person.
    rozzom likes this.
  18. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (733) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Too late for that, but you are very polite.
  19. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Neither have I, but I was joking. I responded quickly and didn't realize you probably weren't a native English speaker. In English, there are many Belgian, German, and English beers. Some here refer to them as Belgium beers, etc. like you did and should know better. Being from Quebec, you get a pass. :slight_smile:
  20. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (733) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    You would be a very fine negotiator, sir.
    Tut and rozzom like this.
  21. chrisjws

    chrisjws Crusader (760) Dec 3, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    I guess I didn't lay the sarcasm on thick enough.

    The US is my #1 primarily because its what I know best and I admit that. I've enjoyed a lot of German beer and Belgian beer, but I've never experienced those countries first hand and I admit that as a blind spot. A trip to one of those or one of a few other countries could probably change that opinion. For now, my based on my personal experience I slot US, Belgium and then Germany.
  22. rugene

    rugene Aspirant (210) Mar 2, 2015 Quebec (Canada)

    i have read too quickly your post, you meant german style of beer. here's one that i really enjoy:

    Tut likes this.
  23. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (733) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Please, if you have the opportunity, go to Bamberg, Germany, many places in tiny Belgium, and travel around in England. These are a few of the the things that not only gave me a love for beer, but a life and career in beer. Cheers friend.
    Tut and rozzom like this.
  24. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Excellent advice, but not just Bamburg and only England. Germany has many different regions. Bavaria and Baden Wurttemberg are among the best. Wales, and especially, Scotland, should be experienced as well for beer.
    rgordon likes this.
  25. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (733) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I still have a "It Takes Brains" ashtray from Cardiff that a bartender slipped into my jacket. There is no limit to travel that will make you understand beer less.
    Tut likes this.
  26. kilowattcycles

    kilowattcycles Initiate (129) Mar 6, 2011 Illinois

    UK - The Kernel, BrewDog, Siren, Thornbridge, Brew By Numbers, Beavertown, Liverpool Brewing, Magic Rock, and the list goes on...
  27. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    When I said "neither have I", I was kidding about " Germany" "England", and "Belgium" beers. I've had many German, English, and Belgian beers in their countries of origin. :wink:
  28. 19etz55

    19etz55 Disciple (322) Aug 12, 2007 New Jersey

  29. rtrasr

    rtrasr Disciple (320) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    England, Germany, Ireland, & Belgium. In that order.
  30. Samldc

    Samldc Initiate (37) Jul 16, 2014 New York

  31. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    I can't imagine anyone placing Ireland over Belgium. Are you blind drunk and delusional? Many here would love to hear your reasoning. You think Guinness is the world's finest beer, right?
  32. mrcraft

    mrcraft Meyvn (1,389) Dec 15, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    For me, it's not even close. Belgium by a wide margin.
  33. Archagon

    Archagon Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2015 California

    German beers never disappoint, don't cost a lot, and can always be found on the shelf. Whenever I drink a good one, I always leave with a smile on my face. I think the BA ratings for breweries like Weihenstephaner affirm this.

    Belgium is good too. I guess.

    Why do mommy and daddy have to fight?
    #193 Archagon, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
    Tut likes this.
  34. Archagon

    Archagon Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2015 California

    Not OP, but Ireland has a fantastic (though small) craft beer scene, as well as a thriving brewpub culture. One of the best beers I've had was in Ireland (by Galway Bay).

    And anyway, Belgium is overrated* on account of the strength, funkiness, and especially rarity of its beers. Beer fans gravitate towards extremes, which is unfortunate.

    * (Though it's still one of my favorite Beer countries.)
  35. 1960mb

    1960mb Initiate (10) Feb 24, 2015 Wisconsin

    Having been to the Big Five Beer Countries--I agree with the Czech Republic--it is hard to beat tank Pilsner Urquell two days from the brewery for a $1.50 a half liter and they now have a good craft environment going on. For quality and price you can not beat the Czech Republic. Second would be Belguim--truly the Disneyland of beers but high ABV makes it hard to go all day and night. Germany would be next--Lager Land. Home of clean crisp lagers and sweet Dobblebocks. Next would be the UK with their Real Cast Ale. Done right in a laid back pub these ales are hard to beat and lower ABV allows more sampling. Ireland would round out the list. A proper pull of Guinness is always welcomed and they have a decent craft movement underway. Could do without the music after about 15 minutes.
  36. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    I've been to both countries, including nine trips in Belgium since 1998. I agree Ireland has made serious improvements in beer quality and variety, but it's not nearly in the same league as Belgium, Britain, Germany, or the Czech Republic. It will take much more than their current craft beer scene and brewpub culture, which is still a small niche, to put them in that company.
    I strongly disagree about Belgium being overated. My first thought when reading that was "this guy has never been there", but I see that you have. It's hard for me to imagine anyone who's actually experienced their beer and cafe culture making that claim. Belgium is so much more than just strong, funky, dark beers and many of their finest beers are readily available there.
    #196 Tut, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
  37. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,725) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    There are quite a few breweries who have taken the experimental US style 'craft' (as we call it in the UK) approach to brewing in quite a few European breweries. I can suggest a few examples for you to seek out if you like.

    Wild Beer Shnoodlepip (Somerset, UK) - pink peppercorns, passion fruit and hibiscus, brett and saison yeast, aged in red wine barrels. There are a load more breweries doing sour/wild fruit based beers too, like Beavertown, Weird Beard, the Kernel and Buxton to name a few. Also as the name might suggest, Wild Beer do a lot of experimenting with different yeasts.

    Siren are pretty great too. Drinking in London the other day I had several from them, including an English bitter made with 12 different varieties of Brett, a session pale ale made with coffee and jasmine green tea, and a black Gose. In the past I've also enjoyed a chocolate pumpkin porter, a sour imperial ipa made with lemons and lactose (that one was a collaborative effort with Hill Farmstead and Mikkeller), and a tropical imperial stout made with cacoa nibs, lactose and cypress wood.
    SerialTicker likes this.
  38. YodersBeerEmporium

    YodersBeerEmporium Crusader (743) Mar 3, 2014 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Belgium!!!! No contest!!! As long as you like Lambic...
  39. Jerk_Store

    Jerk_Store Disciple (312) Feb 13, 2015 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    It's probably due to the lack of availability, but after Belgium and Germany (although I personally am not that fond of german brews), Quebec has to be one of the most solid locations worldwide in terms of quality (the quantity is also surprising).

    A look at the top canadian beers will tell you where it's really happening too :wink:
    Mantooth likes this.
  40. OleWorm

    OleWorm Initiate (0) May 20, 2008 Illinois

    I'll echo @WolfBrewer —Sweden is an incredibly interesting beer country. I won't go into the entire history of Swedish beer—but it's a big one! The Vikings made beer, but you can say modern Swedish beer starts when the English/Scottish imported stronger porters into the country during the 19th century, which eventually led to the establishment of Carnegie Brewery (which is holds the honor of being the country's oldest trademark). Carnegie's flagship, of course, is its Stark Porter, a style which became known as Baltic Porter.

    Fast forward a few years and Prohibition hits the country, as does alcohol restrictions—some of which are still in place (ie the government controls sales of beer over 3.5% ABV, and is sold in a monopoly called Systembolaget). In the mid-90s, Sweden joined the EU. As a result, alcohol regulations were lessened, and what was then the legal limit for beer in Sweden, 5.6% ABV, was lifted; the state monopoly on importing beer was lifted, and there were people bringing new beers to Sweden. So that means, it was the first time you could legally buy Belgian beers in Sweden. (I mean, can you imagine your head exploding the first time you're able to go into a Systemet and being able to try Belgian beer for the first time?) This time period corresponded with the rise of US brewing—so, these new importers were also bring US beers in to Sweden, inspiring young Swedish brewers.

    And that's where we are now. Breweries like Omnipollo, Brekeriet, Pang Pang, Beerbliotek, Dugges, Sthlm, Modernist, etc (and old guards like Nils Oscar and Jämtlands). Also, what's really fascinating about these Swedish breweries is their desire to brew lower alcohol beers to get legally sell in the Swedish grocery stores (there's a ton of restrictions set by Systembolaget, so being distributed nationwide in an ICA helps in a smaller brewery's success). Swedes are proving that you can have flavorful, low-alcohol beers on shelves—it's a niche that has a ton of growth opportunities.

    Besides modern brewing, there's also a fascinating farmhouse brewing culture in Sweden (and the rest of Scandinavia)—most notably are the indigenous ales made on the island of Gotland; a beer made from smoked malt and juniper known as a Gotlandsdricka (you can find a couple of examples of the style in the US—Jester King and Off Color have both made one).

    Anyway, if you're in Stockholm in the next few months, there's an exhibit on Swedish beer at the Spritmuseum currently running called Öl, which is a lot of fun. And then you should go to Omnipollo's new pizza place in Södermalm. And then take a shot walk to Akkurat, of course. And then head to the Stockholm Mikkeller bar and drink Brekeriet's beautiful beers.

    Ok, that was wordy! Hejdå!
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