It’s September, which means all eyes are on Oktoberfest when it comes to international beer travel, but here are five other destinations that should be on every beer lover’s bucket list.
Explore the History of Ireland’s Favorite Beer at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland
Guinness is the national beer of Ireland, so it’s only fitting that the beloved stout’s brewery — which has a 9,000-year-long lease — is Ireland’s top tourist attraction. In fact, in 2015 the World Travel Awards named the Storehouse the top tourist attraction in all of Europe.
Get the true Irish experience by staying above a pub in the nearby Temple Bar District — another great area to find a pint. At The Norseman, you’ll find cozy accommodations right in the heart of Dublin. Established in 1696, the pub is the oldest bar in the district and prides itself on traditional Irish fare and local musicians performing seven nights a week. From The Norseman, it’s an easy walk to Dublin Castle or to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells on display in the Old Library.
Stay at an All-Inclusive Microbrewery in Cancun, Mexico
Ever wondered which country is the top world exporter of beer? The answer may surprise you: It’s Mexico, with their well-loved Corona and Tecate — in addition to others — grossing $4.5 billion in 2018. Last year alone, Mexico contributed to 28.5 percent of the total beer exports — the next top contender was the Netherlands with 12.9 percent of the world’s total beer exports.
And although beer may be the top export for the country, one of the top sources of income coming in is from their tourism industry. Recognizing the recent popularity of craft breweries, Mexico has capitalized on this new phenomenon by incorporating a microbrewery into the ever-popular all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva in Cancun. The resort provides ultimate relaxation for guests with their luxury accommodations, 10 restaurants, six bars, three infinity pools, and services at their zen spa. Plus, now guests are able to enjoy award-winning brews created by the resort’s brewmaster.
To experience all the wonders of the Quintana Roo area, guests will want to venture off property and explore ancient Mayan historical sites like Coba. Alltournative is one tour company taking all the stress out of planning such expeditions, and the company is helping employ modern-day Mayans as well as supporting the preservation of the local ecosystem.
The Traveler’s Table offers another great way to immerse yourself in the local culture: Indulge in a five-course meal dedicated to the local cuisine as you learn about and taste local Mexican wines and even an authentic Mayan mojito. The food is prepared by one of Mexico’s “MasterChef” finalists, Eva Millan, and her food walks you through the history of the area — highlighting Mayan, Spanish colonial, and modern-day inspirations.
Visit a Beer Spa in Prague
Rejoice! Beer is good for you — from stimulating your metabolism to rejuvenating your skin to delivering renewed vitality. At the Original Beer Spa Zitna and Rybna in Prague, guests reap these benefits as part of their spa services. Guests are encouraged to jump into a whirlpool filled with extracts of the Krušovice® beer, hops, yeast, and malt. After fermenting for a bit in the warm whirlpool, you’re encouraged to spend the same amount of time relaxing on a bed of warm wheat to help with the absorption of benefits from the bath.
Although the spa does not have overnight accommodations, there are nearby hotels like the Augustine, part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection, that provide guests with the ultimate romantic getaway. The Prague Castle is just a short walk away, as well as the Old Town Square. But if you’d rather continue on a more boozy tour of the city, be sure to check out some of the famous bars like the Letna Beer Garden.
If you’re in need of some food to help soak up all that liquid bread, be sure to check out U Medvidku for their Svícková or roast beef in sour cream with dumplings. Also the Pekarna Kabat bakeries are the perfect stop for a pastry or Kolace.
Experience the Beer Revolution Taking Over Cape Town, South Africa
The Beerhouse in Cape Town, South Africa is trying to give microbrewers in the area a voice. Currently it’s hard to compete with the larger companies when many of the small-scale operations just don’t have the means available to them for their own dispensing equipment. But The Beerhouse is working to change that — they feature 25 taps and 99 bottles of varying brews of both local and international makes, while educating visitors on different drafts. The Beerhouse also has their very own award ceremony for local breweries honoring the best brews each year.
Cape Town is in the process of rebuilding its tourism industry after suffering major losses due to the water crisis last year. Visitors have a huge impact on the local economy and with such a diverse landscape, there’s plenty to do for any type of traveler, from hiking the trails of the local Table Mountain to surfing and sunbathing on Long Beach to driving along the famed Garden Route or getting a history lesson at the Castle of Good Hope.
For a place to stay, The Table Bay is the perfect retreat. The hotel was originally opened by Nelson Mandela in 1997 and is located right next to the V&A Waterfront. The hotel even offers a shuttle to help guests get around Cape Town and provides quick tours of the area to help visitors decide where to visit.
Be Part of History at The Eagle and Child in Oxford, England
Grabbing a pint in England is more about the camaraderie than the alcohol intake — it’s a social outing. Perhaps one of the most well-known pubs throughout all of Great Britain is The Eagle and Child in Oxford. Literary buffs love to pop in to see where some greats like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis met weekly to discuss their latest writing. Famed as the weekly meet-up of the Inklings literary discussion group, stories like “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” are said to have been discussed here before ever making it to the page.
Like any good English pub, The Eagle and Child serves an array of traditional pub food, but if you’re in the mood for something more exotic, check out Spiced Roots for Caribbean fare or Oli’s Thai, which brings fragrant southeast Asian spices to the sometimes dreary local landscape.
Lauren Bowman is a travel enthusiast, book lover, and minimalist based in Georgia. She loves experiencing new cultures, trying new foods, lending libraries, and learning about the world around her. Follow her on Instagram/Twitter @lbowmantravels.