It’s a beautiful thing to live in 2016, when you can find delicious fermented beverages nearly anywhere your travels might take you. Don’t believe us? Check out these exotic beer locales:
If your travels take you to South Australia, spend one sunset at Smiling Samoyed Brewery on the edge of the Myponga Reservoir. Snack on pizzas made with local veggies and meat and order pints of 12 Paws American pale ale while you wait for a glimpse of the kangaroos that frequent the property. A surer sighting? One or all of the brewery’s three friendly, fluffy Samoyed dogs: Mia, Cooper and Hoppy.
Visit Argentina’s breathtaking Lake District to enjoy a surprising number of local beers amid some of the world’s most majestic scenery, including glacial lakes, plunging valleys and snow-peaked mountains. Also, great steak.
In early autumn, the charming village of Bibbiano, Italy, becomes the self-proclaimed capital of birra artigianale, welcoming many of the world’s finest brewers including LoverBeer, Brewfist Italian Ales, Weird Beard Brew Co. and Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. for a week-end called Villagio della Birra. Lodging is scarce, so many revelers pitch tents on a campground so picturesquely Italian, it could double as a movie set.
Drink real corn chicha in the Peruvian Andes.“A red sack tied to a long stick, hanging out over the roadside—that meant ‘chicha for sale.’ Those sacks were easy to find, even in the rural parts of the Peruvian Andes where I studied Spanish in an immersion program. This was chicha de jora, whose corn is traditionally prepared for fermentation by an old maid who chews it in her mouth. At the shack I visited to drink my half-liter jar—it might have cost 20 cents?—I never learned whether the nice lady chewed the corn or not. It seemed unlikely, since she had no teeth. I couldn’t understand a word from her, nor from the two laborers who stopped in for their jars. But there were lots of smiles and thumbs up. They were congratulating me. Corn is a grain, you know, bred from wild grasses to become something juicier—maybe for food, but certainly for fermentation. People think Europeans were the first to brew beer in the Americas, but that’s plainly wrong. That pale milky stuff that was ladled from a plastic bucket and tasted a bit like sour dishwater was in fact a vestigial remnant of an original American beer.” —Joe Stange, contributing editor
Argentina’s Cerveza Artesenal Beagle is the world’s southernmost brewery since it sits in the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia, on the Tierra del Fuego peninsula. The beers are bottle conditioned, so enjoy the yeast at the bottom of the beers at the bottom of the world.
Svalbard Brewery opened in late 2015 after local officials lifted an eight-decade ban on brewing, originally meant to reduce drunkenness among coal miners. Find the world’s northernmost brewery in Longyearbyen, capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
The International Date Line falls between the Hawaiian island of Kauai and American Samoa, making the warm sands of Polihale State Park the best spot to relish the last beer before tomorrow. Pick up a growler of Kauai Island Brewing Co.’s 4%-ABV Lilikoi passionfruit golden ale, then make the 20-mile drive along the island’s west coast to the park. (Just don’t make the rugged trek in your rental car; you’ll be in violation of most companies’ policies.)
Next time you’re at an airport bar waiting out a flight delay, buy a fellow traveler a beer. It might be overpriced, but you could meet someone who will make your layover fly by. At the very least, you earned some awesome karma.