There is no doubt that Europe has one of the oldest brewing traditions in the world. This golden brew is also the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, even in the old country, cradle of the oldest fermented beverage in the history of mankind. And as such, Europe has the biggest beer festivals on the planet that are worth visiting. Hurray for Beer!
How good a beer feels during almost any part of the day, right? It is probably the most versatile alcoholic beverage that exists. It is ideal for a gathering of friends, in family celebrations, at work or family events, or to celebrate good news. Beer accompanies us in our day-to-day lives and also helps us to socialize. Its importance is such that, as it could not be otherwise, over the years an extensive number of beer festivals have been popularized throughout Europe.
Beer Festivals in Europe
One of the countries that produces and consumes the most beer in the world has also popularized one of the most famous beer festivals—so much so that it is imitated by many cities around the world. The original Oktoberfest beer festival is based in the city of Munich, Germany. It is celebrated at the end of September along with the beginning of autumn, from 22 September to 7 October.
As a curiosity at the Oktoberfest, only beers produced in Munich are served, such as the brands: Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Spaten and Paulaner—veritable delights for the palate.
Great British Beer Festival (United Kingdom)
If you are a beer lover you cannot miss going to the Great British Beer Festival in London, which takes place at the beginning of August, specifically from the 7th to the 11th. This is how to have a great summer! As in Oktoberfest, it is estimated that 60,000 people attend this festival every year. It is a great beer party set in a traditional pub and where traditional malt and cider beers are especially promoted. It is organized by the prestigious organization CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).
Pilsner Fest (Czech Republic)
The Pilsner Fest in this Central European country takes place on 6 October. Precisely in the city that gives it its name, Pilsen is located in the Bohemian region. It is a beer festival that has been held since 1842. It is also a worldwide beer institution worth visiting, where you can enjoy a festive atmosphere, good music, a wide variety of beers… And if you wish, you can book a visit to the Pilsner Urquell factory and taste the unfiltered beer directly from oak barrels.
National Winter Ales Festival (United Kingdom)
In recent decades, the historic city of Manchester in England has popularized one of the most thriving beer festivals in Europe. This National Winter Ales Festival takes place every January. Attendees can try some of the 300 varieties of beer, both from the barrel and in bottles, as well as apple and pear ciders, among other delicacies.
Belgian Beer Weekend (Belgium)
The European capital, Brussels, also has a prominent beer festival that is worth noting. It will be held from 7 to 9 September and, like most of these events, the entry is free, and you only pay for the beer. Did you know that Belgium is also one of the countries that consumes the most and most loves this golden liquid? So much so that they reserve their famous and iconic Grand Place for the celebration of this festival.
Cannstatter Wasen (Germany)
In the absence of a single major beer festival, Germany has two. The Cannstatter Wasen takes place in the forever-bustling city of Stuttgart. Even more, this year it is celebrating its 200th anniversary!!! It is a very old festival that you can visit from 28 September to 14 October. There is good beer, lots of music, and endless food. You can taste gastronomic specialties such as the Maultaschen (spinach, sausage, and onion ravioli), the Gaisburger Marsch (stewed meat) or the popular Spätzle (gnocchi with cheese sauce). The best combination!
Do you know which are the top beer countries of Europe?
According to data compiled by The Brewers of Europe, the inhabitants of the Czech Republic are the biggest consumers of this brew in old Europe with 143 litres per capita every year. They are followed by one of the largest producers, Germany (106), and in third place their neighbours, Austria (105). The rest of the ranking is completed by Poland (98), Lithuania (92), and Luxembourg (80). While in other countries, such as Italy (31), France (31), Greece (35), Portugal (46), Sweden (47), and Spain (47), the data, although very good, are smaller than in the most central part of the continent.
It is one thing is to consume beer and another to produce—here we can see big changes. Germany is a leader in the production of this beverage with 95,623 (in 1,000 hl). They are followed by the United Kingdom (44,039), Poland (40,890), Spain (34,960), and the Netherlands (24,012)—practically nothing!
And always remember: drink in moderation, it’s your responsibility 🙂