Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What Other Countries Have Great Beer Besides Germany?

Since this site has settled the question of which country has the best beer (Germany), I will mention a few others that rate honorable mention. This includes only those countries I have visited and know from personal drinking experience. This is no particular order.


The Netherlands

Dutch beer is excellent. The Heineken's there is much better than the product we get in the US. Ditto for Amstel. The only problem each time I was there is those darn small glasses they served it in. Hopefully, that has changed. When I was living in Italy, Heineken's was brewed in that country "under license and supervision" of blah, blah, blah, woof woof woof, quack quack quack. Take my word for it; it was Italian beer.

Interestingly, Amstel has a brewery in Curacao, where the beer is made from de-salinated sea water. The while water itself is the best I have tasted anywhere, the beer doesn't measure up to Netherlands quality.

Czech Republic

Outstanding beer in another country where beer is king. The Pilsner Urquell and Budweis are both excellent and better than you find imported into the US. If you want a real Budweiser, try the original Czech brand. It puts that swill here at home to shame.


A surprising choice, but this country produces great beer, which goes perfectly with their food. The biggest brand is Efes Pilsen. When I was there in the late 1980s, they also had a Tuborg brewery. Just as the Heinken in Italy, the result was Turkish beer and thus, better than that produced in Denmark in my opinion.



The Indonesians have a fine beer called Bintang. Not surprisingly, they were schooled in brewing by the Dutch being a former colony. It goes well with the rich Indonesian cuisine.


San Miguel in the Philippines is outstanding. Though you can find it in the US, like other imports, it is not the same as in the home country. Hong Kong has (or had) a San Miguel brewery when I was in Asia in the 1970s, but it was nowhere close to that in the Philippines. Several years ago, I found a Filipino restaurant in Aruba serving San Miguel that the docking Filipino sailors brought in. It was very good.

That's it. As for the Americas, I cannot give the same reviews as I can to the above. Mexico is a good country for beer as is Thailand and to me their imports, Bohemia and Singha respectively, are the best imports you can find. They don't rank at the top, however.

If you are asking why I don't include Belgium, it is because my time spent there amounts to one evening trying to sample as many brews as I could. I don't go for strong beer, and the first one I ordered smelled and tasted like perfume. I even tasted a Stella Artois. It's OK, but not up to Germany. Till I get another chance to visit the country, I withhold judgement.

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