The craft beer scene is thriving overseas. Here’s how to find the best breweries, tasting rooms, bottle shops and bars on your next trip abroad.
You’re in a low-key overseas bar, surrounded by new, international friends chatting about everything from childhood memories to the meaning of life, spontaneously cheersing to a life of adventure.
Glasses clink, you take a swig.
GAH, what is that?
Instantly, and sadly, you realize your “beer” is Bud Light at best.
And you’re only on your first sip.
Subconsciously, you begin wondering what other deliciously hoppy (or malty) beers are out there just calling your name.
Fellow beer lovers, rejoice. You can put down those watery brews, because I have some good news for you:
The craft beer scene is alive and well around the world.
In Italy and Spain, known best as wine hubs, the younger generations are opening craft breweries and bottle shops throughout the edgy, hip areas of town. But it’s not just Europe. The craft beer revolution is spreading to Mexico, India, parts of Africa and beyond.
So how can you find the craft beer scene on your next overseas trip?
Quite possibly the best brew tool around, Beer Advocate is the beer-lover’s guide to drinking. It has a robust database of breweries, craft beer bars and bottle shops, with the address, rating, beer offerings and in some cases, photos of each spot under its “places” section.
Beer Advocate users frequently update the database with new finds, which helps those younger, blossoming breweries get discovered (and helps you find said blossoming, off-the-beaten path breweries!).
In addition to the places guide, you can find ratings on almost every beer in the world and a list of upcoming beer-related events.
Beer Advocate is for beer lovers, by beer lovers, but don’t just take my word. My brew-obsessed brother, who basically has a bottle shop of crazy craft beers in his basement, is a regular contributor to and user of the Beer Advocate Bible.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Beer Advocate (which honestly, is pretty unlikely), then do a search of craft breweries in your upcoming destination.
For example, if you’re visiting Cordoba, search “Cordoba brewery” in Google, and the first search result is Cervezas Califa. Goldmine. We loved Cervezas Califa, especially their IPA — the hops were unreal!
But I digress.
Make sure the brewery has a tasting room, or tastings of some sort (as we found in Cadiz, tasting doesn’t have to equal tasting room). Then, map it out and go!
Word to the wise, some brewery tours are … how do we put this nicely … tourist traps, so do your research before signing up for anything in advance. If it requires a tour bus to get there, swipe right. (Unless it’s a party bus; then you may want to reconsider. Because party bus.)
Whether a brewery tour, bottle shop or tasting room, the overseas beer scene throws you into the young, hip culture you’d miss at most well-trod chain pubs and fancy wine bars.
To me, beer abroad is half taste, half experience, and when you mix those delicious hops with new, beer-loving friends, you have the formula for an unforgettable Wander Brew time.
Want more inspiration for finding beers abroad? Read about The Beer Geek’s “Year of Beer” on GoNOMAD. These brew connoisseurs spent one full year traveling the globe tasting and experiencing all the international beer scene has to offer. Can I get a “yum!”