Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Where is the Best Beer?

It's time to lighten things up a bit and switch to a more pleasant subject.


Yes, beer, or more specifically, which countries have the best beer? On that topic, I am a scholar.A few of the choices are obvious. A couple are surprising. In fact, two of the countries I have chosen for making the best beer are Muslim countries.

Let's take the obvious choice for number one.

1 Germany

German beer is really the best in the world. I learned to drink beer while a soldier in Germany in the 1960s and go back every couple of years. No matter where you go, you will find great beer. There is a myth that Munich has the best beer in Germany. I disagree. The city has a lot of breweries and is arguably the best place to drink beer with its beer gardens and beer halls. However, you can find beer anywhere in Germany that is just as good if not better. (I concede that the eastern part may be catching up to the west because in the days of the DDR, you had far fewer breweries to choose from.)

And a real beer fest? Not to be missed. Munich's is the most famous, but for my money, Erlangen has the best during May and June (Whitsuntide).

My preference is a simple pils from the draft as you would order in a restaurant. The beer is as attractive as it tastes as it is served in a stylish beer glass with the logo of the brewery and a creamy head on top. (I have a collection of German beer glasses that dates back to my army days in the 60s.)

As with all beers, you need to drink them in their own country. German imports-at least in the US- don't taste anywhere near what they do in Germany. If you want the authentic taste in the US, visit the Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas. It is shipped directly from the Munich Hofbrauhaus in kegs with no changes. It is the real deal.

2 Czech Republic

The real deal

Home of Pilsner Urquell and the original Budweis-which is ten times better than that swill we have in the US of similar name.

3 Holland
Heineken ...

Holland doesn't boast as many breweries as Germany. It has two or three that are internationally known, such as Heineken. As with German beer, Heineken doesn't taste the same in the US as it does in Holland. The only problem in Holland, at least up until my last visit, is that they served them in small glasses. Very bothersome.

4 Turkey (Surprised?)

The main brewery is Efes Pilzen, an excellent beer that goes great with Turkish food. When I was in Turkey in the 1980s, they also had a Tuborg brewery which produced a better product than Denmark. That is because it was Turkish beer. That's the way those "under license and supervision" deals work. When they were making Loewenbrau in the US, it was American beer. In Italy, they brewed Heineken locally in the 80s when I was there. It stunk. It was Italian beer (ugh).

5 Philippines
San Migue...

San Miguel. Best beer in Asia along with Indonesia. Trying it here in the US was, of course, disappointing. They used to make it in Hong Kong-again with disappointing results. (Maybe it still is.) In Aruba, I found a Filipino restaurant that got San Miguel from the Filipino sailors who brought cases on the ships. It was the real deal.

6 Indonesia

Bintang is an excellent beer. The Indonesians learned the art of brewing from the Dutch. Hmm. Looks like a good place to drink beer.

There it is.  Of course, it is all a matter of opinion and taste. The wave of micro-brews in the US has improved the beer scene dramatically. Yet, the beers I have listed above are superior (to me) than any American beer I have tasted.


Squid said...

I'll drink to that!!!


Ingrid said...

Have you ever had "Jever" which they drink in the North of Germany, it is very bitter, I don't like it but my sister in Bavaria prefers it. Our "house beer" is "Veltins" which is a pils and has a nice, clean taste. Every time we go to Erlangen we bring back a couple of cases of Kitzmann, which is still my favorite beer, though I am not a big beer drinker, prefering California style red wine. We were in Belgium a few weeks ago and the beer there was excellent. Since you blew it with Lance you won't get to taste some of his excellent home brewed beer, schade.....

manster said...

Obviously has very poor beer tastes. Me thinks he should down a 12 (pack, not oz) of Newcastle and the reconsider his conclusions.

elwood p suggins said...

I always thought the best beer at any given time was the one in your belly.

Findalis said...

I'll second that Squid.

I agree about the German beer. Best out of the keg.

I also like the Belgium beers. Very good in Belgium, not so good at home.

Gary Fouse said...

Belgian beers that have 8-15% alcohol are too strong for my taste.

Gary Fouse said...


I know the two brands but have only had Jever in Riga, which has a Jever restaurant. It was OK, but it was in Latvia. I once spent a night in Brussels sampling the beer. Too strong for my taste. Stella Artois in Belgium is ok but not as good as German beer.

PS: I did not blow it with Lance. Lance blew it with me. When he gets all emotional over GW and starts using words like Liar, F---- coward, and such, that's it.

Matthew Holderfield said...

You seem to only like lagers. Isn't that a little limited... and boring? I mean, once you've had one good pils, you've had them all. IMO the US has the best beers in the world, second place goes to Belgium and Germany comes in at 3rd with England a close fourth.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Well, its not made in Milwaukee any more. No beer is made in Milwaukee any more, except a few bottles for tourists at the Miller Museum.

Since Milwaukee stopped brewing beer, teen pregnancy and single-family parenting have grown by leaps and bounds. There must be a connection.

Gary Fouse said...

Milwaukee was always over-rated when it came to beer in my view. I mean, Schlitz??!! Miller High Life??

Gary Fouse said...


Newcastle is a pretty good beer-if you happen to be in the US. Dark beers are fine. I don't go for Weissens.

Findalis said...

@ Siarlys

There is a relation between a loss of jobs in a community and the destruction of community morals. Look at the cities with high unemployment, high welfare levels and you will find high teen pregnancy and high single parent households.

Could it be that the only way you can get government aid is to be a single parent? And why work when your neighbor on welfare receives free rent, free food, free utilities AND has all the luxuries that you have to scrape and struggle to get? To many young people it is better to get the free money than to work.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Excellent, Findalis. You and I are on the same page. Young men stopped marrying the girls they got pregnant after they no longer could get hired at a job that would support the family.

After that, yes, having a child was the ticket to a check, and the men became parasites who moved in with the girls. I've heard a few of these guys on the buses and hanging out at bus stops.

It all started when they stopped producing the beer. Whether it was quality beer, I don't know, because I don't drink the stuff. I have to take Gary's word for it. This is his field of expertise. But Conway Twitty used to sing about "red necks, white socks and blue ribbon beer," so SOME patriotic down home Americans must have been guzzling the stuff.

Bartender Cabbie said...

I have a friend from CA. who tells me the only good thing about Texas is "Shiner Bock." I find it ok at best really.
Good old Abita Turbo Dog is mighty tasty. It is a Louisiana product and I might be biased a bit.

I recently tried a "Piraat" from Belgium and after getting past the yeastiness and sweetness, I found it pretty good.