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The best beer destination in Europe is not what you think

You'll be surprised to learn the top beer city in Europe

engin akyurt/Unsplash

While beer is a big deal in the United States, it’s only been going through a boom for the last few decades. While there are well over 9,000 breweries currently operating in the country, back in 1988, there were only 100 craft breweries in the US. That’s a massive shift in beer’s popularity in 35 years.

Europe, on the other hand, has brewing traditions that extend for hundreds of years. While the US has only existed as a country since 1776, Germany’s Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan in the heart of Bavaria has been brewing beer since 1040. That’s a staggering 700 years longer than the US existed as a country.

So, to say that Europe is a beer destination is a bit of an understatement. Anyone who enjoys lagers, stouts, pilsners, wheat beers, and any number of other beer styles considers Europe to be a beer wonderland. But what country they’d love to visit varies depending on the person and the beer styles they enjoy.

That being said, there are some beer countries better suited for travelers than others. Danish company DFDS analyzed 70 European cities, 8,000 bars and pubs, sifted through social media posts, and looked over more than 40,000 online reviews to finally figure out the best European beer cities.

The best overall beer cities

Beer glass

The folks at DFDS used the information they gathered to find the best beer cities in Europe. They did this based on a variety of factors including bar quality, social media buzz, beer quality, domestic price, and price rating. They ranked these from 0-100 and gave the city an overall number score. When it comes to country ranking, you’re probably assuming cities Brussels, Munich, Amsterdam, Dublin, or London are leading the pack, right? Well, you’ll be surprised to know that the top beer country is not what you’d think it would be.

The best beer city is…

Beer Madrid
Rodrigo Ramos/Unsplash

According to the data, the best beer city in Europe is actually Madrid. Yes, you read that right. Spain’s capital city led the way with an overall rating of 85. It was followed closely behind by Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Thessaloniki, Valencia, Porto, Brussels, Berlin, and Vilnius. Amsterdam landed at 13, Munich at 17. London and Dublin didn’t even crack the top twenty.

Cities for specific beer styles

Gerrie van der Walt/Unsplash

If you’re looking for a specific beer style, there are obvious cities you’d look to, right? Well, according to DFDS, that’s not necessarily true. The best city in Europe for ales and pale ales is Reykjavik. The best city for lagers is Vienna. The best city for IPAs is Lyon. The best city for Craft beer is Copenhagen. And most surprisingly not Dublin or London, it’s Madrid.

The cheapest beer

Dark beer
Dan Barrett / Unsplash

Now we’re finally at the most important part of the data. According to the people at DFDS, the cheapest beer in Europe can be found in Porto and Valencia with the average price for a pint just over $200. If you don’t already want to book a trip to Portugal or Spain, this data should be enough to sway you.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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