City IndexWhat's on tap in bars around the world?
From single tap deserts to heavenly beer halls, here's what drafts you can get on tap at bars around the world.
According to booze lore, a bifocaled Founding Father once slurred something about beer being proof that "God loves us and wants us to be happy." While the divinity claim remains contestable (we’ll let it go, since Big Ben was, presumably, piss-deep into the sauce at the time), it’s undeniable that beer has contributed to human merriment since long before the first blue-balled Belgian monks brewed their first batch.
While ancient Mesopotamia produced the first beer - a Sumerian poem called “A Hymn to Ninkasi,” named for the goddess of alcohol, is both the earliest surviving brew recipe and a song about beer that precedes the career of George Thorogood by over 3700 years - trying to pound pints in Basra these days is more likely to get you shot than bombed. Here is what's on tap.
Bar: The Tap
On tap (1):
(plus a variety of “imported beer flavors” including cherry, banana, peach)
Egypt’s relationship with beer has changed dramatically in the thousands of years since the god of death and rebirth, Osiris, legendarily introduced them. While no longer the daily staple it was in pre-monotheistic yesteryear, beer still maintains a demand in the Land of the Pharaohs. Today’s Egyptian beer market is dominated by Stella, which has been produced for over 100 years and is currently owned by Heineken and is not to be confused with ubiquitous Belgian brand, Stella Artois.
*Fun/sad fact: According to a proprietor of The Tap contacted by the author, Heineken is the only manufacturer available on draft in Egypt.
Bar: Dicke Wirtin
On tap (8):
Berliner Kindl, König Pilsener, Flensburger Pilsener, Duckstein Rotblondes, Schneider Weisse, Guinness, Köstritzer Schwarzbier, Kloster Andechs Helles
Germany’s long and storied love affair with a frothy brew cannot be understated. A law called the Reinheitsgebot, or “purity decree,” was in place for hundreds of years and stipulated that the only ingredients to be used in the production of beer were water, barley and hops (yeast was added to the decree following its discovery). Until its official repeal in 1987, it was the longest-standing food regulation in the world, not to mention Germany’s least controversial policy regarding “purity.”
Bar: Beer House
On tap (7):
Pilsner Gold, Marzen Special, Extra Dunkles, Helles Light, Honey Medovar, Old Vienna, Beer House Premium (all brewed on location)
Humble little Estonia quietly quaffs the fourth most beer per capita in the world, putting it alongside powerhouses like Austria and Germany (although still falling far short of superhuman brew consumers in the Czech Republic - more on them later). So, while you pore over a map of the Baltics in a soused search for Tallinn, an Estonian is already drinking you under the table.
On tap (5):
Magpie Pale Ale, Magpie Porter, American Wheat Series – The Sorachi Ace, Belgian Golden Strong Ale (The Sinner), Gose
While not exactly a historical powerhouse of beer consumption, South Korea is currently experiencing a boom in brew culture and has been challenging an assertion, fueled by a devastating 2012 smackdown in The Economist, that its beers were “boring” and inferior to Taedonggang, the state-owned brew of its mortal enemy neighbor to the north.
Bar: The World’s End
On tap (13):
Carlsberg Lager, Carlsberg Export, Carling, Stella Artois, Staropramen, Fosters, Lowenbrau, Green King IPA, Tetley’s Smooth, Old Speckled Hen, Caffreys, Guinness, The World’s End Ale
The British aristocracy may speak with the patrician tones of sober authority, but its degenerate underclass - fueled by boorish servitude to everlasting gobs of frosty ale - was instrumental in the global development of hooliganism and bar crawling. Despite notorious class rigidity, however, every level of English society from Churchill to Cockney can fancy getting on the piss over a few pints of pub brew.
On tap (22):
Asahi, Boags Draught, Hahn Super Dry, James Squire Golden Ale, James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale, Little Creatures Pale Ale, Little Creatures Pilsner, Little Creatures Bright Ale, Little Creatures Rogers, White Rabbit White Ale, White Rabbit Dark Ale, White Rabbit Pale Ale, Kosciuszko Pale Ale, Guinness, Heineken, Stella Artois, Little Creatures IPA, Kirin, Hoegaarden, James Squire Orchard Crush, James Squire Orchard Crush Pear, 5 Seeds
As could be expected from the descendants of Great Britain’s rejected criminal element, Australians have stumbled comfortably into the top tier of worldwide beer drinkers. Mildly-humorous adverts aside, brew culture in the country doesn’t start and stop with Foster’s, Bastard-English for ‘beer’.
Bar: The Beerhouse
On tap (17):
CBC Pilsner, CBC Amber Weiss, Lakeside American Pale Ale, Lakeside London Ale, Devil’s Peak First Light, Black Label Lager, Jack Black Lager, Liefmans Fruitesse, Apollo Stout, Dragon Ginger Beer, Woodstock Hazy Daze, Castle Lite, Woodstock Californicator, Devil’s Peak King’s Blockhouse, Soweto Gold Lager, Apollo Blonde, Savanna Dry
Centuries-long, brutally racist occupation notwithstanding, Europeans brought at least one lasting and positive contribution to South Africa - brewing expertise. Today, the post-apartheid land of Mandela overwhelmingly consumes the most beer per-capita on its continent, demonstrating that “courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of [beer].”
*Note bene: “Jack Black” is a popular craft brew company based in Cape Town, South Africa, unaffiliated with celebrated triple threat American actor/musician/awards-ceremony-host “Jack Black.”
United States (Oregon)
On tap (10):
Miller High Life; Sierra Nevada; Uinta 22nd Birthday Suit; Mazama Tepache Radler; Woodchuck Gumption; Mad River John Barleycorn; New Belgium Lips of Faith: Pear Ginger; Oskar Blues Gubna; Breakside Old World; and Oakshire Overcast Espresso Stout
Portland’s smug urban-nouveau image is emboldened by serious brewmaster credentials; it boasts more breweries than any other city on the planet and is frequently referred to as the unofficial beer capital of the United States. Accordingly, Portland hosts an abundance of bottle shops and beer bars, with “curated” selections poured by probably-mustachioed “beertenders.”
Bar: Restaurace Kozička
On tap (3):
Krušovické Mušketýr, Krušovické Jubilejní ležák (Jubilee lager), Krušovické černé (dark)
Mocking the concept of a standard deviation of global beer consumption, the guzzling masses of the Czech Republic manage to down an average of nearly 150 liters per year of their chosen sweet nectar of life. Czech hopheads outpace their closest competitors in Austria and Deutschland by over 40 liters per year, accomplishing the remarkable feat of making Germans look like teetotalers by comparison.
*The Royal Brewery of Krušovice was established in 1581, and acquired by global titan Heineken in 2007.
Additional SOurces: wikipedia.org, irishtimes.com, beeradvocate.com, saraveza.com, beerhouse.ee, beerhouse.co.za, magpiebrewing.com, dukeofwellington.com.au, dicke-wirtin.de, facebook.com, facebook.com, kozicka.cz