Title

5 Best Cities to do a Brewery Tour

Published November 22nd, 2013

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”,  implores the old proverb. But even if you’re not in Rome, it’s a sure-fire bet that wherever you’ve pitched up, you’ll be surrounded by locals sipping on a tipple or two. And what better way to get a feel for a city than on a brewery tour where you can shoot the breeze with a knowledgeable tour guide, sink a few well-earned ales and wake up next morning feeling fresh as a daisy?

 

The cultured types on the Via Veneto might thumb their noses – snobs! – but beer brewing is back with a vengeance. So without further ado, let Student Flights guide you through some of the best cities for brewery tours around the globe. All in the name of research!

 

 

 

 

Bruges

Remember that opening scene in the brooding movie In Bruges when a nonplussed Colin Farrell peers down a cobblestone alley and promptly declares his disdain for the Belgian city? Well, if you squint hard enough, you can almost see De Halve Maan – a working brewery and popular local institution located in the centre of one of Europe’s most picturesque cities.

 

Operating continuously since 1856, this beloved boutique brewery is as famous for its modern
'Brugse Zot' as it is for its tour that makes a stop on the brewery roof. From here, you can enjoy commanding views over one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities with the majestic Church of Our Lady looming spectacularly over the canal-laden landscape.

 

 

Munich

Nothing says bona fide brewery tour like a guide who has clearly indulged in some solo drinks before the big event, and the chances of that happening in Munich are fairly high. Fear not when your Colombian flamenco guitarist-turned-Bavarian beer expert rocks up to lead you on a merry waltz through the city, because pre-tour dishevelment usually means you’re in for a rollicking good time.

 

Many of the best brewery tours in Munich double as walking tours of the city, which boast the added advantage of skipping queues into some of Munich’s most popular venues. Take a seat at a crowded beer garden and tuck into some schnitzel, sample a hefeweizen in one of the city’s working breweries, and settle in for the evening at the legendary Hofbräuhaus with a stein of Munich’s finest.

 

 

 

Philadelphia

Once one of the world’s foremost brewing capitals, today Philadelphia competes with countless American cities in a marketplace teeming with microbreweries. Nevertheless, one of America’s most historic cities is well worth a visit not just for its impressive array of tourist attractions, but also for its enduring range of working breweries.

 

The Philadelphia Brewing Company offers informal Saturday afternoon tours, allowing visitors to sample some of the city’s most popular brews from their point of origin. The equally revered Victory Brewing Company not only offers tours, but also some of the tastiest food in the city, while relative newcomer Yards has weathered several relocations to establish itself as one of Philadelphia’s most beloved breweries.

 

 

 

Prague

Ever wondered why the Czechs are the world’s biggest beer drinkers per capita? Look no further than Prague where practically every second building houses a bar or crowded beer garden of some description. Indeed, this jaw-droppingly beautiful city is one of the best places on the planet to sit back and enjoy a drink, all the while soaking in the gloriously amber-hued surrounds while you’re at it.

 

Countless tours traverse the cobblestone streets of this medieval city, and one of the most unique aspects of Prague pubs is that many boast their own microbreweries onsite. That makes a quasi-pub crawl one of the best ways to explore this unforgettable city – though be advised that the more you drink, the less likely you are to recall the scenery!

 

 

 

Sapporo

Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido is famous for many things; wide open spaces, wintry climes and an almost pathological predilection for drinking beer. So popular is the pastime in the island’s capital Sapporo, that the city boasts Japan’s only dedicated beer museum – the heritage-listed Sapporo Beer Museum.

 

When the sun goes down and the Meiji-era façade of this resplendent red-brick building lights up, it signals the start of some seriously beer-soaked revelry. Line your stomach with an all-you-can-eat lamb extravaganza and slam down as much Sapporo draught as you can muster in the aptly named Genghis Khan Hall. “The ceiling is really high!” screams the Sapporo Beer Garden’s English-language website, so what more of an endorsement do you need?

 

Mike Tuckerman

From Europe to Asia and many places in between, there's rarely a town or city I've not enjoyed exploring. When I'm not wandering the streets and discovering new destinations, you can usually find me hanging out with the locals at major sporting events.