We Miss European Beer So Much!

Oh, European booze how we miss you…

Stereo Bar, Copenhagen, Denmark billboard of a woman screaming "I can't hear myself drink!"
Stereo Bar billboard. European advertisements are so great! 

Our first night in Copenhagen was cause for celebration! We had successfully begun our 3-month European backpacking extravaganza and we needed to toast! There could not have been any better place than Strøget Street and the surrounding neighborhoods of Kongens Nytorv to start. Generator Hostel ended up being just so perfectly located for us, just a minute or two walking distance from both! We were able to step out from our hostel go a street over and into one of the best spots in Copenhagen. Great! Because we did not have the energy to go very far. After almost 2 days of travel to get here, we were only armed with adrenaline to fend off exhaustion and jet lag. And, there is no better ally in the great battle to stay conscious, other than beer!

2 bottles of Turborg beer from Copenhagen. Our first ever European beer.
We were not picky at what bar we stopped in for our first European beer. After a quick walk around Kongens Nytorv and exploring the surrounding neighborhood a bit we wandered in to pretty much the first bar that we thought looked inviting. Stereo Bar. I’m not gonna lie, they were playing Journey and that’s all it took. Plus, I mean, come on the name.. Our first European beers were Tuborg. They tasted like heaven after all it took to get here.

We fell in love with European beer immediately. Oh, man the beer in Copenhagen is soooo good! We already knew the booze overseas was better than ours…well pretty much everywhere is better than the crap like Bud Light in the U.S. but to taste it for yourself…that my friend is true enlightenment. It was everything we had been missing in our lives and we don’t even really drink that much. Let me just say, I in no way claim to be an expert of any kind on booze or hooch or any of that. The fact I’m calling it booze and hooch should be evident enough of that. But, I do know what I like as a consumer, and in my opinion there is no comparison in the quality, the taste and craftsmanship of European brews compared to American. That being said, back to my beer rant..

Some of the bars in Europe have character. I mean character. Take this one, for example, Bobek Cafe in Budapest, Hungary. The video shows one of the rooms that can be used for groups instead of the main room. There’s also an indoor patio, a large outdoor patio and I think there were even a couple other little rooms like the one in the video. I can’t be sure though, the place was built for much shorter people than myself and I was busy ducking nonstop on my way through. Also, the large amounts of Dreher that flowed that night may also have contributed to my hazy memory of all the rooms, who knows. 

Let’s face it American beer sucks. Sure Canada and Mexico are trying hard to pull this continent’s weight, but that only helps so much. The U.S. is bringing this side of the world down hard when it comes to the hops. We have some of the world’s worst beers, and here we claim to be the best at everything, pffft. The only thing that the United States has going for our brewing industry is that everyone here likes to get drunk for cheap. Well, U.S. dollars cheap, alcohol you find in other countries is not only better but a fraction of the cost! A 16oz can of Dreher in Budapest only cost us $0.75 USD! You can’t beat that!

The beer here doesn’t even compare to European beer. Our beer has less alcohol content, most European beer has around 6-7% alcohol whereas we have about 4-5%. You would think being weaker would make the beer at least taste a little better, right? Nope, nope and nope. Neither of us are generally fans of hoppy tasting beers, and most domestics have very little, but it somehow still manages to taste like crap. Just in a less hoppy kind of way. Here it either tastes like water or piss. If it does have that hops taste so many crave, it’s as if you straight up swallowed the whole batch. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs. Euro-beer tastes so much smoother, richer, more refined and even fresher. 

Two plates of amazing looking food with a big frosty glass of Pilsner.
This wonderful drink that is Pilsner is even better with food!

Oh, do we have some catching up to do with the rest of the world. Now, with all these immigration and foreign import laws, it’s making getting high-quality imports for less than an arm or a leg all but impossible. Never fear though! There’s still hope! Maybe the huge influx of all these fancy hipster IPA’s here in the States will save us. Maybe one of these new-age would-be beer connoisseurs will hit it big and the U.S. will finally bring some quality competition to the field. Until then, better booze is just another reason why we travel!

This may not have been the best European beer but it was damn cheap. Image credit: Leon Barnard https://www.flickr.com/photos/leonland/

If you want to know some of the more technical reasons why European beer is different then it’s U.S. counterpart. Or from someone that actually knows what they are talking about beyond a consumer’s opinion, check out this great article from crushbrew.com.

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