Border Hopping

Your go-to beer order in 11 European countries
Photo: Tasting Table
Beer Glasses

This March, we're taking you on a tour of the Old World, with a focus on how traditional European dishes are influencing modern cuisine.

Walk into a bar in America and order "a beer" without specifying a brand, and you can easily guess which of three brewskies you might be handed. But what happens if you do that on your next trip abroad? If you're drinking a beer in these countries, here are the iconic bottles you should order. Or just tell the bartender you'd like a beer/bier/bière/cerveza—and it's likely they would bring it to you in the first place.

① Austria: Stiegl
If you ever feel old, remember this: This Salzburg brewery has been around since 1492. As in, the year that Columbus discovered America. Our entire continent was just being stumbled upon by the time plans were in motion for the original "Prewhaws."

② Czech Republic: Pilsner Urquell
They literally gave Pilsner its name (it was first brewed more than 170 years ago in the city of Plzeň), and per capita, this is the world's number-one-seed drinking country. Something to be proud of? Sure.

③ Denmark: Carlsberg
After a large business merge in 2001, this became the fifth-largest brewery in the world. Drink it like the Scandinavians do—that is, with a shot (or three) of aquavit.

④ England: Carling
This brewery actually started in Canada during the 1800s, but the lager has now been the top seller in the UK for more than 30 years.

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⑤ France: Kronenbourg 1664
As the name suggests, this one has been around for a long time—even longer than the Czech Republic's Urquell.

⑥ Greece: Mythos
The top Greek beer is actually owned by Danish giant Carlsberg, though brewed independently.

⑦ Italy: Peroni
Italy's not just a land of sprawling Tuscan wineries and late-afternoon spritzes. It is shaped like a boot, after all.

⑧ Ireland: Harp
Though arguably more recognizable, stout actually accounts for only 34 percent of the country's beer consumption. Harp, a pale lager, is still brewed by parent company Guinness.

⑨ Poland: Zywiec
Besides a crisp malty taste, this classic has a joyful label of two traditional Polish dancers, because we all know that the packaging is the most important part. The brewery also makes a porter that doesn't joke around, clocking in at 9.5 percent alcohol.

⑩ Spain: Mahou
There are four brewing centers throughout the country, making it the top producer by accounting for 75 percent of Spanish beer.

⑪ Turkey: Efes
Though the whole country isn't in Europe, if you're on a sidewalk café in Istanbul, you're likely to have this pilsner-style beer in hand.


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