Sitting here and drinking ice cold beer in the beachfront restaurant of Villa Marmarine, the resort where I’m staying in Siquijor, I couldn’t help but remember all the beers that I’ve had during my travels.
I’m not a heavy drinker, but there are times when I’m tired from going around so much, and the only drink that makes sense is a beer!
From the blandest beer I have tasted, to the best ones I had the luck to have, here are some of the best beers I have ever had on my trip to Europe.
Hands down, my favorite beers are made in Belgium. Prior to my European trip, pilsen was the only kind of beer I knew, and coming from the Philippines where only one company dominates the beer industry, it was indeed a very pleasant shock to learn that they had over 700 varieties in Belgium.
Belgium is also known for having six out of only seven Trappist breweries in the whole world. Trappist beers are really special because they are brewed by monks inside a Trappist monastery, and it is not made for profit.
There are seven Trappist beers: Achel, Westvleteren, Orval, Rochefort, Chimay, Westmalle, and La Trappe (Koningshoeven). La Trappe is the only one not made in Belgium.
And yes, I have tasted all these beers except for Westvleteren and La Trappe. My favorite is Chimay and Westmalle, and for non-Trappist ones, Gordon Christmas Beer (my first beer in Belgium), Duvel, Brugse Zot, and Kwak (for the shape of its drinking glass!).
Speaking from someone who doesn’t know a lot about beers (except drink them), all I can say is that the regular pilsen I sometimes drink tastes like water if compared to these beers. That is, with the exception of the beers in Prague.
My Couchsurfing host in Praha was a Brit who used to own a bar. He introduced me to Pilsner Urquell, the original pils beer. While I like Urquell just fine, I loved Gambrinus better, as it was a bit lighter and more refreshing.
It is said that Czech Republic is the number 1 beer drinking country in the world, followed by Ireland and Germany (I was surprised to see Belgium is only #7!). However, when it comes to beer production, Germany is number 1 in Europe, followed by Poland and Spain.
I will also make sure to go back to Germany. I can’t believe that despite its being the top beer producer in Europe, I haven’t had a lot of experience drinking beer there! I have really missed a lot.
Despite my love for European beers, though I’m glad to know that Asia is fast becoming the biggest beer drinking continent in the world. I bat for our own San Miguel, as well as Singapore’s Tiger, Thailand’s Singha, and Vietnam’s 333.
How about you? What’s your favorite beer?