World Travel

Around the world in beer

Around the world in beer

For your average Aussie holidaymaker, beer is going to make some kind of appearance on most trips. But why not make your favourite beverage the centrepiece of your travels? If the sight of a frosty glass of amber ale with a nice fluffy head gets your mouth watering, you won't want to miss our list of the ultimate attractions for any beer lover.

Beer baths, near Tarrenz, Austria

Drinking beer is for pansies! Take your lager-loving habits to new heights by swimming in the stuff. Head to Austria's Starkenberger Biermythos, a self-proclaimed "beer myth resort" which along with its medieval castle setting and modern brewery, boasts up to seven pools filled with beer geläger.

A two-hour session, in which you get an entire pool (fitting four people), costs €135 ($211) so it's best to find three friends to come along. And okay, we can't guarantee you'll get drunk on the stuff, but apparently the beery water is excellent for your skin. Reservation is required, so head to their website for more information.

Related article: Ralph's around the world in 80 bars

Sport and Beer Lovers Experience, Melbourne

Sport and beer: for many an Aussie it's a match made in heaven. And now there's a tour that includes a behind-the-scenes look at Melbourne's top sporting venues, such as the MCG, Flemington and the Melbourne Grand Prix, followed by a tour of Foster's Australia Brewery (including a free tasting).

For those who'd rather skip the sport and get straight to the drinking, there are also plenty of brewery and boutique beer tasting tours on offer around the nation.

Beer bike, Berlin and Amsterdam

Time and time again we're reminded not to drink and drive, but what about drink and ride? Berlin's "Bier Bike" is a pretty extraordinary sight: a sixteen-passenger vehicle with one sober company rep leading at the front, a huge wooden keg at the back, and a number of beer-burping peddlers powering the entire thing through the streets of Berlin.

The entire thing will set you back €100 to €130 ($157 to $204) for a two-hour tour, more if you choose to ride for longer, with the beer costing €3.50 ($5.50) per liter. There are also specials listed on their website.

The beer bike is also available in Amsterdam, so head to their website for more information.

Related video: Lunch around the world: from San Fran soups to Berlin's beer bikes

The World Series of Beer Pong, United States

Why not take the Yanks on in their own game: beer pong! This infamous drinking game has long grown out of its humble college frat-house beginnings, and turned into a full-blown "sport" with its own professional world series. And the best news is that you can enter!

While the 2011 tournament has come to an end, held early January at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, sign-ups have already begun for WSOBP VII. There are also satellite tournaments you can enter held around the year, in several cities across the States.

Drink Duff, Mexico

It's possibly the world's most famous fictional beer, but now one entrepreneurial Mexican has brought to life Duff, the beer from television show The Simpsons. Since 2006, Rodrigo Contreras, from Guadalajara has been producing Duff (with seemingly no fear of Fox's legal team) in packaging identical to that of the show: long brown bottle, red-and-white sticker label, with "Duff" in a hand-drawn black font.

The website even adopts the same sound bite as that which accompanies The Simpsons character Duffman. Head to their website for the latest information about stockists and events.

World's oldest brewery, Weihenstephan, Germany

Beer-loving history buffs can take a look into what's believed to be the oldest brewery in the world. Located in Weihenstephan, a small city north of Munich, the Benedictine Weihenstephan Abbey was founded in AD 725 and established their still-operating brewery in AD 1040, run by the resident monks. This makes the brewery an incredible 970 years old!

The Weihenstephan brewery offers guided tours that include a tasting of their international award-winning beer, and a take-home glass that bears the brewery motif. Head to their website for more information.

Oktoberfest, Munich

No beer-themed holiday list would be complete without a mention of the world's premiere beer festival, Oktoberfest. For two weeks, Munich, Germany comes alive with the sound of beer mugs clinking! Be prepared to see loads of lederhosen, chicken schnitzel, sausages, late-night (and early afternoon) parties, fireworks and of course about 7 million litres of beer being chugged by folks from all over the world.

Expect a litre glass of beer, known as a maß, to set you back by up to $13. This year's celebration starts from September 18. Head to the official website for more information.

St Patrick's Day pub crawl, Dublin

There are St Patty's Day celebrations all around the world, but why not make the next one extra special by heading to the day's very heart and home. There it's a public holiday, with loads of cultural events. But let's face it, we know you'll be licking your lips for that mucky, black stuff — Guinness.

While there are loads of tours on offer, if you want to do your own unofficial pub and brewery crawl on the day, don't forget to visit the Guinness Brewery and Storehouse and poke your head into The Porterhouse in Temple Bar.

Related gallery: Best beer spots in Oz

User comments
Following baodekker Gold Coast on 24 01 2011 post, the oldest pub in England is reputedly the Fighting *** (no pun intended especially related to beer effects) in St. Albans, Herts, the initial town where CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) was founded, as I understand. It has a low pit area to sit which was where *** fighting used to occur. It was a fascinating little pub as I recall, which has probably now become very touristy. Of course don't forget the Geat British Beer Festival which is due early August in Earls Court, hundreds of beer types to sample
In line with the 900 year old brewery in Germany, there is a fantastic pub in Nottingham, England which claims to be the oldest in all or Britain (over 800 years old) and is tucked away in the caves below the famous Nottingham castle. it is made up of the old castle brewery, caves and dungeons. A great experience and a absolute must for any beer drinkers in that partof the world. The pub's names is the 'ye olde trip to Jerusalem'.
Hey yeah Duff boy, your so interesting thanks. Your poor wangers boo yeah!
When any of the readers are in Mumbai (India) go to The Hawaiian Shack in Bandra. You will have to ask a local how to find it, but is a great place to have beers on a hot Mumbai evening......
Its great to read something for a change that is interesting and not stirring emotions as such i.e "some of the questions on the msn home page" or stories of carnage or terror........... Very well written article Now I'm thirsty again.... oh how I miss the liter mugs of beer in California all frosty and cold damn heavy suckers
In my country we do not sell beer, coz we r muslim country. I would like to try Beer Bath for sure. Well done Austria.
Hey...What about Belgium Beer Tours....The best beer experience in the world.
Weellll ... you might be too young to remember it Monica, but back in the mid 90's an 'entreprenuerial' Aussie beat Rodrigo Contreras to the punch when it comes to Duff Beer I'm afraid. For six months or thereabouts (until I guess the lawyers got involved), you could buy Duff Beer downunder, also resembling the packaging from the show. I've got fond (if somewhat hazy) memories of imbibing at least a few at our university bar. Knowing that it's now being made in Mexico will probably make a few Aussie locals upset as well - as I know of a few people (not me, alas) that had the foresight to hold onto their Duff slabs instead of drinking them, and these were (but not anymore I guess thanks to Mr.Contreras) worth a fair bit ...