5 Unexpected Places to Experience Beer Culture Around the Globe

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Play a round of beer cup in Ecuador, then relax with a beer bath in Slovakia .

Beer is said to have been around since 9,500 BC — and it doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere. When you picture a pint of the world’s third most popular beverage, images of Czech Republic, Austria and Germany probably pop into your head. But these European countries are far from the only places where beer is enjoyed: there are tons of travel-worthy places off your radar where the beer culture is booming.

In celebration of International Beer Day, our friends at The Travel Corporation Canada suggested the top places around the globe to enjoy a pint (or two) that you might not expect:

Ecuador

You might be surprised to discover that Ecuador’s beer economy has grown significantly over the past ten years. As the first city recognized in South America for beer brewing, Quito in particular is a destination to be considered when travelling to experience beer culture and learn about Ecuador’s beer revolution. Quito alone has twenty microbreweries and the artisanal beer industry has boomed recently, with an average bottle of craft beer going for $4.00 CDN a bottle. Fun fact: Ecuador won nine awards at the America’s Beer Cup in Chile, which has earned Ecuador a spot on the world map as it relates to international brewing.

New Zealand

With over 150 commercial breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, and beer accounting for around 60% of alcohol sales, New Zealand should be on the top of every beer enthusiast’s list! Don’t miss Speight’s, a well-known watering hole and brewery in Dunedin, offering delicious ice-cold beverages to locals since 1876. Contiki offers guests a 16-day Kiwiana Panorama fun-filled adventure to New Zealand and what better way to say cheers to a memorable getaway than a refreshing pint from the land of Kiwis. Good on ya, mate!

Norway

Brewing has a strong tradition in Norway and has been a significant part of national culture – during celebrations, funerals, feasts but also a part of everyday life. To celebrate, every year more than 40 Norwegian breweries gather at Bergenhus Fortress, for the Bergen Beer Festival– Norway’s largest festival dedicated to the history, stories and appreciation of the product. You can enjoy an entire weekend of delicious food (and beer) in this vibrant city, and it certainly won’t be the only aspect to enjoy.

Slovakia

When it comes to beer, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia takes the art of beer-making as seriously as its beer-guzzling neighbour, Prague. In recent years, independent microbreweries and pubs have been popping up, often hidden down the back streets of the charming city. However, an even larger trend for those who really love beer are “beer spas” or “beer baths.” Yes, you heard that right. Travellers can enjoy drinking beer and soaking it in at the same time. Beer is said to have numerous healing properties for the skin and hair and it can soothe muscles and joints as well as support the immune system. Care to join us for a beer bath?

United States

California and wine are synonymous. But did you know The Golden State is also a brewery heavyweight with about 500 statewide? Although this sunny state began brewing beer a lot later than others, it has made up for lost time and currently boasts some of the nation’s most innovative breweries and beer. Thinking of travelling to Cali? Costsaver offers a 12-day Best of the West adventure, where travellers can pay tribute to ale-making endeavours – a must for all beer lovers!

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