There’s never been a better time for craft beer than right now. As much as beloved staples like Heineken, Fosters and even a chilled Chang have their place, when it comes to hops, barley and malty undertones, microbreweries are fast overtaking global brands.
Because nothing embodies the character and flavour of a town quite like its beverage of choice, we’ve searched the globe to bring you its most exciting, dynamic and, above all, home-grown craft beers. Pull up a bar stool, sharpen your tasting palate and meet the local ales, lagers and stouts that really have a lot to say.
‘Aces Lager’ from Aces Brew Worx – Johannesburg, South Africa
The brainchild of two Johannesburg brothers, this pale, golden lager balances maltiness and bitterness with expert flare. Light, refreshing and just a little lingering, this is an unbeatable accompaniment to a balmy Jo-Burg evening, watching the sunset over the city with friends, just as its creators intended.
‘Flying Dodo Blonde’ from Flying Dodo Brewing Company – Moka, Mauritius
Mauritius’ first and only craft brewery, Flying Dodo is run by a group of trailblazing beer fanatics. Located in the picturesque village of Moka, the brewery also boasts a ‘beer spa’ and gift shop selling beer soap and liqueur. This IPA is the brewery’s pride and joy – a crisp and light American style pale ale that its brewers have nicknamed ‘the elixir of life’.
‘Temstout’ from Big Five Breweries – Nairobi, Kenya
Drawing inspiration from traditional brewing methods, this full bodied, black stout exudes subtle aromas of coffee, chocolate and roasted malt as you drink it. Housed in one of Nairobi’s best loved bistros, an ice-cold glass of this will conjure up a true oasis amongst the heated bustle of Kenya’s capital.
‘Vanilla Gorilla’ from Red Brick Brewing Company – Georgia, USA
Georgia’s oldest operating craft brewery, the original incarnation of Red Brick Brewing was founded by a former Guinness executive. With its fragrant Madagascan Bourbon vanilla beans and six different malts, the Vanilla Gorilla Imperial Porter is great for pairing with sweet treats, such as a succulent Georgia cherry pie.
‘Steampunk’ from Noble Rey Brewing Company – Texas, USA
This unassuming building in downtown Dallas houses a vibrant taproom and one of the best brew pubs in North America, offering creatively designed beers and regular live music. Steampunk is an all-American steam lager, designed to release its flavours in warmer temperatures – what better tipple to sip on in the beating Texas sun?
‘Midnight Ryder Black IPA’ from Indeed Brewing Company – Minneapolis, USA
Equally intent on cultivating excellent cold beer as ‘warm fuzzy feelings’, this Minnesota taproom and brewery is a staple of its local community, nestled between disused rail tracks. A beloved regular of the brewery’s collection, Midnight Ryder IPA fuses hints of chocolate and caramel with the piney, forest aromas of its north Minnesota home.
‘Pils’ from Heater Allen Brewing – Oregon, USA
Currently tied as the number one Pilsner in the world on ratemybeer.com, Pils is a malty, American take on traditional Czech flavours. The brewery that Pils calls home started life as the home-brewing project of an investment banker, and has since matured into one of Oregon’s finest craft beer outlets.
‘Red Rice Ale’ from Kiuchi Brewery – Naka, Japan
With almost 200 years of expertise under its belt, Kiuchi Brewery has translated its sake production know-how into a range of innovative beers. As hazy and pink as the Naka cherry blossoms in full bloom, Red Rice Ale uses ancient traditions, as well as red rice in its brewing process, which culminate in hints of strawberry.
‘Gweilo IPA’ from Gweilo Beer – Hong Kong
This pioneering brewery is on a mission to ‘redefine’ Hong Kong beer culture, with a stripped back brewing style and minimalist branding. Their deliciously fresh IPA uses secret fusions of South Pacific and American hops, creating a fruity, tropical taste intended to transport Hong Kong’s beer fans around the world with every sip.
‘Standing 8 Pilsner’ from Boxing Cat Brewery – Shanghai, China
Using a simplified brewing process that is all about the malt, Boxing Cat’s selection of craft beers feature a little dash of flavour derived from the local area. Standing 8 is celebrated for its simple finish, brought to life with Czech Noble Hops and a flowery bouquet.
‘Seorak Oatmeal Stout’ from Craftworks Taphouse – Seoul, South Korea
This pioneering brewery started life as the dream of a group of close friends, eager to revolutionise the beer culture in their home country. Each of the brewery’s products is inspired by one of South Korea’s mountain locales, and Seorak Oatmeal Stout’s earthy flavour evokes the rugged scenery of the Taebaek Range.
‘Doss Blockos Pale Lager’ from East Ninth Brewing Company – Melbourne, Australia
A back-to-basics inspired ethos forms the basis this Victoria brewery. Its minimal selection of beers are each meticulously designed, and the new Doss Blockos lager is no exception, with heady notes that are intended to ‘conjure memoirs of future destiny’. This is definitely a flavour that has to be tasted to be believed.
‘Kaiju! Betelgeuse’ from Kaiju! Beer – Victoria, Australia
With its collection of fantastical beers and designs, Kaiju! brewery is inspired by all things monstrous. Each of its beers has been given a unique identity, as well as cartoon-style branding. Betelgeuse is a hoppy, barleywine, whose fiery flavour is represented by an orange dragon – fitting really that ‘Kaiju’ translates as ‘strange creature’ in Japanese!
‘Dead Canary’ from ParrotDog Beer – Wellington, New Zealand
What once began as three friends named Matt home-brewing in an Aro Valley flat, ParrotDog is now an award-winning brewery. Dead Canary fuses mild malts with New Zealand’s trademark fruity hops, and is every bit as easy going and sunny natured as its country of origin.
‘Chocolate Coffee Stout’ from Barossa Valley Brewing – Tanunda, Australia
Among Barossa’s verdant, rolling hillscapes sits Barossa Valley Brewing, a brewery focused on creating incredible beers through pairing them with local dishes. Coffee Chocolate Stout is flavoured with Peruvian cocoa nibs and home-grown, Barossa roasted coffee – what better accompaniment to a valley sunset?
‘The Imperial Black Lager’ from Brutal Brewing – Varby, Sweden
A break-off initiative from one of Sweden’s leading breweries, Spendrups, Brutal Brewing is run on a mainly voluntary basis by a team of dedicated beer lovers. The Imperial Black Lager is created using darker malts than traditional Guinness, and a hearty swig will release tones of roasted coffee and even fresh mint.
‘SNAB Koning Honing’ from SNAB Bierbrouwers – Purmerend, Netherlands
A proud producer of ‘alternative beers’, SNAB draws inspiration from forgotten Dutch beverages to produce fresh new flavours. Koning Honing is distinguished by its sweet flavour, courtesy of Canadian clover honey and Sicilian orange blossom, which is said to evoke the crisp air that rolls across Purmerend’s polders.
‘South Face Red IPA’ from Top Out Brewery – Edinburgh, Scotland
With a philosophy and branding inspired by its majestic, mountainous surroundings, Top Out Brewery’s beers are drinkable forms of the dramatic scenery just outside of Edinburgh. South Face Red uses New Zealand hops to produce a tropical fruit taste, but stays true to its Scottish roots with its label, which illustrates Bidean nam Bian summit overlooking Glencoe.
‘Wildebeest’ from Wild Beer Company – Somerset, England
Nestled within Somerset’s undulating scenery, Wild Beer Company focus on producing products inspired by rugged, English countryside. Wildebeest is a real treat for those with a sweet tooth – an ‘espresso chocolate vanilla stout’, which is said to be best enjoyed from a comfy armchair in front of a roaring fire.
Keen to go around the world in local beers? Download Download our map for the ultimate inspiration!
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