Beer drinking has a rich history in Europe – according to reports the pastime begins 5,000 years ago – and there is certainly no shortage of places to find great beer there, from the monasteries of Belgium to those made according to the strict beer laws of Germany. But as modern flavors evolve, and the American impact of cooking in small portions and experimenting with flavors becomes more prevalent, a new school of European breweries is emerging.
M Brussels To Rome, Craft breweries feature beverages like India Pale Ales (IPAs) and session beers, as well as a combination of spices, fruits and herbs for breweries, all methods that were not common in Europe just a few years ago. Enter one of these five exciting breweries on your next trip and you will get a taste of the evolving flavors of European cooking.
Vagabond Brewery, Berlin
Out of a desire to expand beyond the pilsners and lagers that make up most of the German beer market, three American home breweries launched the Vagabund Brauerei as a community-supported brewery in late 2011. They wanted to focus on top-fermenting beers, such as American Pale Ale, Coffee Stout and Szech Season. After successful Mass funding campaign, Vagabund opened a small tap room in July 2013 in the western neighborhood of the town of Wedding, where it serves beers from other local micro-breweries and a growing number of its own breweries. The community-supported strategy allows supporters to buy annual memberships and involve them directly in the cooking process, and Vagabund has participated in several of the city’s beer festivals and events in its first year, quickly sealing its place alike. BerlinThe company’s developing micro-breweries.
Trust Brewery, Amsterdam
This brand new brewery has opened its doors this month at the former convent b AmsterdamThe western neighborhood of De Pipe. It was launched with three beers – Wiesen, Blonde and IPA – and hopes to eventually get eight to 10 beers on tap. The brewery was set up by the staff at the back Costverloren Coffee, Whose burgers are likable in the city, in order to produce beers for its cafe. Troost also has these beers available, along with a small dining menu, and the space features an outdoor beer garden perfect for sunny days.
Crate brewery, London
A crate brewery opened inside LondonThe increasingly trendy Hackney Week neighborhood in July 2012 as the area’s first brewery and pizzeria. It has since become a hub for local artists and creators thanks to its delicious micro-bar menu, including its classic Crate Best bitter ale, aromatic Crate Pale ale and velvety Crate Stout. The restaurant further supports the local art community, and features unique facilities, including a handmade bar from railings, a metal wire chandelier and lighting fixtures for bed springs. The location of a crate, inside a former printing plant on a canal, is ideal for visits in hot weather, and the live DJs and band nights of the restaurant are other popular attractions.
Brussels’s beer project, Brussels
Next time you find yourself in Belgium, skip the abbey for a pint of Delta, the first offering from the Brussels beer project, a team of innovative breweries looking to infuse creativity and community into its breweries by sourcing masses of its flavors. The Delta – a slightly trendy IPA with delicate fruit notes – was collected from four different prototype flavors, selected during 10 tastings with more than 800 people. And supporters of her #beerforlife campaign, raising money for a new brewery in Brussels, have earned just that: 12 beers each year, for life. While the team is working on building the new brewery, it is brewing at the Beer Anders Brewery in Brussels, and you can Taste the beer In cafes and restaurants all over the city.
Open Baldin, Rome
The Tuscan brewery Theo Musso opened the Baldin Brewery in 1996 in his small hometown, Piozzo, near Turin. His creative beers – like an Egyptian-style stag with ginger, myrrh and orange peel, and Pilsner Hopi brewed in conjunction with Delaware’s Dogfish Head – gained fame, and Musso brought the beers to Rome in 2009 with the restaurant and bar opening Baldin. The bar, hidden in a small street in the Campo de Fiori neighborhood, provides a casual menu of burgers and fries, as well as an impressive list of more than 100 beers from Italy and around the world. Another highlight of Baladin is its commitment to the environment; As an “agricultural brewery,” Baladin works directly with farmers to produce their ingredients and uses solar panels to produce up to 80 percent of the energy used by the brewery.
Photos courtesy of Brussels Beer Project, Brewroom and Tom Jennings