Craft Beer: An Introduction To 10 Craft Breweries In Europe

It’s arduous to discover a drink that rivals the satisfaction of a chilly beer – from the complexity of its flavour profile to the mouthfeel of its carbonation (or lack thereof). Craft beer, nevertheless, elevates this expertise when you consider the love and care that goes into making it. Sitting on the foundations of Outdated-World traditions of brewing and nurtured by the fashionable abilities and passions of hobbyists and purists alike, the recognition of craft beer has cultivated a fervent curiosity for the beverage all world wide.

From newcomers to aficionados, it’s a drink that’s straightforward to go down. Not like wine, they’re additionally completely packaged to have on the go and probably the most handy drink to have at picnics. Think about this: popping open a can whereas basking within the solar at a park or by the water throughout European summer time. It actually completes the scene, and it was the spotlight of my European summer time vacation. It was nearly unattainable to have the identical beer twice, as I used to be really spoilt for selection!

Whereas America has the biggest various variety of craft breweries on the planet, European craft beers have given the nation a run for its cash. What the continent has going for them is the number of flavours, substances and style profiles that’s influenced by every particular person nation. Right here’s a (non-exhaustive) beginning information to craft breweries and taprooms to assist you in your seek for the most effective beer in Europe:

BREWDOG, Scotland, UK

BrewDog Punk IPA craft beer
The IPA that began all of it for BrewDog: their Punk IPA. | Credit score:

BrewDog has grown right into a behemoth within the business, claiming to be the “#1 Craft Brewer in Europe”. Based in Fraserburgh, Scotland, the principle brewery is now at Ellon, with plans to additionally open two extra breweries within the US and Brisbane, Australia. The corporate additionally has greater than 100 bars world wide.

The beer that began all of it is their Punk IPA, a light-weight, golden ale that’s hoppy and tropical with grapefruit, pineapple and lychee flavours. Kick-starting their punk ethos along with their signature brew was the corporate’s crowdfunding scheme referred to as ‘Fairness for Punks’. It actually introduced them into the limelight, propelling their recognition and affect, providing shares of the corporate to the general public, which was equal to eight% of the corporate, totalling £2 million.


You’ll be able to’t discuss concerning the hunt for the most effective beer in Europe with out mentioning the Bavarian metropolis of Munich – house to Oktoberfest, the world’s greatest beer competition and travelling carnival. Whereas it’s recognized to have many conventional breweries and taverns, this has additionally cultivated a thriving unbiased craft beer scene.

In an effort to protect the standard and traditions of German brewing strategies, Germany has enacted strict purity legal guidelines on the subject of brewing. Brewers are solely allowed 4 substances: water, yeast, hops and malt, bringing challenges to experimenting with flavours and new strategies.

Nonetheless, CREW Republic Brewery has taken on this problem to “revolutionise the boring German beer world”, in their very own phrases. What began as a home-brewing experiment in 2011 with two mates Mario and Timm, has persevered into their award-winning IPA, the extreme, double-bodied Drunken Sailor IPA which received the World Beer Award for Finest IPA. Different artistic successes embrace their Roundhouse Kick, an imperial stout and In Your Face, a West Coast IPA.

MIKKELLER, Copehagen, Denmark

Usually described as Denmark’s reply to Scotland’s BrewDog, this microbrewery was based in 2006 by two home-brewers with the intention to “problem beer mates with intense new tastes”. What began out as a pastime grew by way of collaboration and experiments with a powerful give attention to the “gypsy” ethos, also referred to as a nomad brewing firm.

Mikkellar craft beer
Mikkeller’s iconic artwork fashion, colors and cartoonish facet eye make their cans arduous to overlook whenever you’re scanning the shelf for what to drink. | Credit score: Mikkeller Official Twitter account

Mikkeller now operates 4 breweries: Mikkeller Brewing in San Diego, California, Warpigs brewpub in Copenhagen, Mikkeller Brewpub in London, and Baghaven brewery and Blenderia in Copenhagen. Regardless of their humble beginnings with collaborators, their model is a definitive one, as informed by way of the distinct font and attention-grabbing fashionable artwork components of their labels.

This brewery had one among my favorite craft beers – a bitter brew (a private fave) from the Mikkeller Spontan sequence. Different choices embrace barley wines, imperial stouts or one among their a number of award-winning Beer Geek Breakfast imperial stouts (brewed with civet espresso!). With a mess of flavours and experimental strategies, you might be sure to seek out one thing right here to fit your tastes.

DE LECKERE, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Like Munich, the cities of Maastricht and Utrecht maintain a whole lot of historical past on the subject of beer brewing. We’re speaking about established breweries with century-old beers, preserved in recipes and served in locales resembling centuries previous. Nonetheless, Utrecht has the added benefit of being the hip and younger different to Maastricht’s old style legacy.

De Leckere_craft_beer
De Leckere’s craft beer and iconic model emblem on their bottles make them arduous to overlook. | Credit score: Steun de Brouwer

Paving the best way for a contemporary refresh is De Leckere, a brewery with the aware selection to make use of solely natural substances opened in 1997. Being over 20 years outdated, they’ve performed a big function in maintaining the scene alive in a metropolis as small as Utrecht, propelling the opening and successes of different smaller unbiased breweries. Their beers are 100% natural, naturally fuel free and pay homage to their house metropolis – their brews are all named after recognized Utrecht landmarks. A calling card to their origins, if you’ll.

BROWAR STU MOSTOW, Wroclaw, Poland

Representing Jap Europe, the Polish metropolis of Wroclaw was recognized to be probably the greatest cities within the nation for imported pilsners and German beers. In any case, it’s near the German border. With a lot coronary heart and fervour, Browar Stu Mostow, also referred to as the 100 Bridges Brewery is a craft beer brewery with ambitions on reviving town’s wealthy brewing custom. Based in 2012, the brewery has a manifesto on its web site, with the rallying cry: “So allow us to construct a whole lot of bridges!” This declare is greater than a nod to their house metropolis which has many bridges however can be additional defined: “We need to brew beer that can construct probably the most lovely of bridges. Bridges between individuals, cities and nations. Between previous, current and future.”

Of their ten years, they’ve achieved pioneering the native craft beer scene. Quick changing into Poland’s greatest and hottest brewery, in addition they paved the best way for different Wroclaw-based breweries to observe of their footsteps and the opening of extra native craft beer bars.

Their beers are finest described as classics redefined, highlighting two approaches to fashionable brewing: “redefining custom and following the dynamic beer revolution on the opposite”. This resulted within the WRCLW model of beer made solely out of conventional substances – these embrace porters, imperial stouts, lagers, pilsners and others.


Cloudwater Brew Co. is finest recognized for its seasonal craft beers: beers with massive concepts, as they declare. | Credit score: Cloudwater Brew Co.

With a “deep love for the altering seasons, every bringing with it an invite to benefit from the shortage and abundance the pure world provides”, Cloudwater Brew Co. started in 2014 in central Manchester with the objective of making seasonal craft beer. You’ll be able to’t assist however respect this imaginative and prescient of merely making do with no matter seasonal produce is accessible on the time. This exclusivity and time urgency planted the seeds for the approaching craft beer craze. Admittedly, it’s an incredible advertising technique – you might be at all times going to be looking out for what’s obtainable subsequent.

Regardless of being lower than ten years outdated, this brewery has began taking house awards stunning everybody as preliminary newcomers. However its greatest contribution to the scene is spotlighting the attraction of one-off batches of craft beer; this contains the nuance of its high quality and flavour and the unabashed ardour that goes into constructing it.

DIOS CORVOS, Lisbon, Portugal

Dois Corvos beer seven anniversary
Celebrating its seventh anniversary with a triple NEIPA, this Lisbon-based, family-owned brewery has lots to be happy with, representing Portugal within the craft beer scene. | Credit score: Mabel Ho, emblem from Dois Corvos

Translating to ‘two crows’, Dois Corvos is an unbiased, family-owned brewery within the neighbourhood of Marvila, an industrial space of Lisbon. Though the Portuguese craft beer scene isn’t as established relative to the Northern components of Europe (and different cities on this record), this brewery has passionately grown its beers, making their nation proud.  It was based by Susana Cascais and Scott Steffens in late 2013 when craft beer varietals have been nearly non-existent in Lisbon. In two years, by the tip of 2015, they opened Portugal’s first taproom with 17 faucets hooked up to their brewery.

They’ve since develop into recognized for the wide selection of beers of their portfolio and have received awards and recognition for his or her brews. You will discover all the things from “session beers and IPAs to massive barrel-aged stouts, experimental ales and blended fermentations”. They’ve lately celebrated their 7-year anniversary with a triple NEIPA, Se Timo Ceu (as pictured right here). Their regulars are the Creature (an American IPA), Matine (a session IPA), Galaxia (milk stout) or the Avenida (a blonde ale).


Tiny rebel brewery
Quick changing into an attraction for guests and vacationers to Wales, the Tiny Insurgent brewery has since expanded, providing excursions, a taproom and an space for households and mates to benefit from the Welsh summer time. | Credit score:

Based by brothers-in-law and hobbyists Bradley Cummings and Gareth Williams in Rogerstone, Newport, Wales, this microbrewery took the craft beer world by storm, sweeping awards from the very first yr they have been eligible in 2013. With their signature psychedelic neon colors and avenue graffiti font, the packaging tasks an excellent cool vibe.

Other than profitable awards, their model reached past beer, making a online game developer firm of the identical title: Tiny Insurgent Video games. It could not have something to do with beer, however it positively shares the identical goal market. Recognized for its CWTCH (rhymes with ‘butch’ and means ‘hug full of affection’ in Welsh), a Welsh pink ale and Simple Livin’, a crisp tropical pale ale – their reliable core vary lagers make excellently nice tipples.

Beer tasting flight
A beer-tasting flight, starting from stouts to pale ales and IPAs. | Credit score: paulbr75 by way of Pixabay


In its humble beginnings in 2003 Stavanger, Norway’s fourth largest metropolis and 7 hours by automobile from Oslo, Lervig Aktiebryggeri is a craft brewery began with brewing easy-drinking pilsners, however nothing else. Now, they brew a variety from pale ales to “daring and sophisticated barrel-aged stouts, barley wines and sours”.

Issues actually picked up as soon as Philadelphia-born and bred Mike Murphy joined the workforce as head brewer in 2010. From the place Lervig stood, its craft beer scene was miles behind the remainder of the craft beer world, even in comparison with their Danish neighbours in Copenhagen the place the market was shortly getting saturated. He began with Fortunate Jack, a pale ale, which the homeowners have been initially anxious was too bitter for the market. However they may not be extra improper. It’s what actually turned the tide for the brewery.

At the moment, the brewery’s affect has begun to outline the Norwegian craft beer scene, as Murphy launched extra hoppy IPAs and intense imperial stouts (just like the Konrads Stout) – most of which grew to become what the brewery was finest recognized for.


From left to proper: Neck Oil, Gamma Ray and Lupuloid IPA make up three of Beavertown Brewery’s flagship merchandise. | Credit score:

Beavertown Brewery has quick develop into an iconic London export on the subject of craft beer – particularly in north London. Recognized for his or her psychedelic artwork of skulls, area and rocketships, the model’s out-of-this-world vibe, and quirky beer names make this brewery’s choices one thing to recollect. (Should you felt that it additionally carried a rock and roll vibe, you’re not improper as it’s run by Logan Plant, the son of Led Zeppelin frontman, Robert Plant.)

But it surely’s extra than simply what it is available in – they’ve additionally brewed some scrumptious beers. Think about ordering a pint of Neck Oil, a light-weight and zingy session IPA; or Gamma Ray, an American Pale Ale which can be their flagship product.

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