Five Under-the-Radar Beer Nations
These often overlooked beer-producing countries bottle some serious suds.
While countries like Belgium, the Czech Republic and the United States have asserted themselves as producers of world-class beer, other nations are worth seeking for pints of fine lager and unusual ales.
In a country known and celebrated for its wine, artisan beer makers are taking root and offering alternatives to bland light lagers that have dominated the culture. One, Cerveza Austral, located in Patagonia, uses the fruit calafate (similar to a blueberry) in one of its ales, giving it a vibrant, crisp taste and finish.
Thanks to a climate that makes it perfect for growing hops, the Nelson region in New Zealand has been positioning itself as the craft brewing capital of the country. There are about a dozen breweries in that region, with some great ones like The Moa Brewing Company, Sprig and Fern and McCashins Brewery.
Sweden is the largest export market for American craft beer, according to the U.S.-based Brewer’s Association. So it’s little surprise that the local breweries are mimicking what is being brought in. Most breweries are located in and around Stockholm but a local favorite is Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri, located on the coast.
Despite only about two-dozen breweries operating in the country, the Israel beer scene is strong with brewers and drinkers embracing hoppier offerings like India Pale Ales.
Though the country is largely dominated by conglomerate breweries, several independent operations have opened over the last decade. The bottle-conditioned line of Robson’s beers from Shongweni Brewery are quite popular.