Some call Munich the world capital of beer. At the same time, there are plenty of other great beer cities and destinations that might not be on your radar yet.
From beer deliveries in Bern and Gothenburg's thriving craft beer district to self-guided beer tours of the Greek islands, here are some seriously underrated alternatives to Munich's Oktoberfest. Don't tell Germany, but if you're looking for the best beer in Europe, these are the places to go:
1. Bern, Switzerland
Despite being a relatively small city, Bern has a beer culture strong enough to while away the most stressful work weeks. The city hosts almost 200 breweries and microbreweries, many of them within walking distance (especially around the most modern district of the city, Breitenrain).
You can try Oberbottiger Kurbelbräu, a cloudy beer that is completely natural: unfiltered, unpasteurized and without stabilizers.
2. Ghent, Belgium
If you detect a relaxed atmosphere in Belgium's third largest city, it might be because beer runs through its veins. The local products here are completely hop-free due to Ghent's history: the French citizens of the city brewed beer with herbs and spices, as opposed to the Dutch style of brewing.
Here you can try Gruut White, a tasty, fruity beer, and if you are looking for more complex notes, take Gruut Brown: a cuvée beer made with herbs, spices and nuts.
3. Peloponnese, Greece
Many of the Greek islands also have a strong beer culture - and the Peloponnese region has one of the best. You can start with Patras and stop in ancient Olympia, Mani and Messinia.
Here you can try Olympia beer and Elis Brewery, a solar-powered brewery with an excellent selection of lagers.
4. Wrocław, Poland
Poland's beer culture is legendary throughout Europe, and the lesser-known city of Wrocław is the best place for beer in the country (with the possible exception of Warsaw). The last ten years have seen a steady growth of microbreweries in Wrocław, most of them being established in the city center for easy access. Once here, you can start from the square where three of the best breweries are located: Browar Złoty Pies, Bierhalle and Spiż Brewery.
At the same time, try the beers of Browar Stu Mostów, considered one of the best and most creative breweries in the city. The Nigredo Chocolate Mint Foreign Extra Stout beer is a must for any Stu Mostów drinker here for the first time.
5. Trondheim, Norway
The Trondheim Beer Festival, which takes place annually in July, ensures that the city remains Norway's best destination for beer and gastronomy lovers. Microbreweries in Trondheim offer dark beer obtained using kveik, a yeast native to the region.
Try here The ØX Tap Room, in downtown Trondheim, where the beer is miraculously brewed on site, in a location that combines modern microbrewing equipment with a 300-year-old vaulted cellar. Any of the ØX house beers are great, being made from the clean waters of the nearby Trondheim Fjord – and you can start with the crisp blonde ale.
7. Gothenburg, Sweden
In the past, beer played a huge role in Sweden's economy, and microbreweries have long been part of Gothenburg's couture. But while competition from Germans and Danes has caused the Swedish brewing industry to decline in recent decades, Gothenburg's local scene continues to thrive. The trendy Ringön district is now Gothenburg's craft beer hub.
Try here Två Feta Grisar – or Two Fat Pigs, a microbrewery named because two pigs used to graze next to the microbrewery.
Try Columbus, a double IPA with a hint of bitterness and a pine aftertaste.
8. Strasbourg, France
With its German and French influences, the wine-producing region of Alsace is a dream destination for oenophiles, but it also boasts a booming craft beer industry. From Colmar to Kaysersberg, Alsace is full of excellent breweries, but if you have to choose a place, Strasbourg is where you'll find the largest concentration of Alsatian breweries and bars.
try Bendorf Brasserie here, a craft brewery with character in the city center.
Order anything from the "cycles ephemeres" range, which is part of a limited series of seasonal beers.
9. Pilsen, Czech Republic
Sure, Prague is a magical city when it comes to beer, but have you tried Plzen, the other beer hotspot of the Czech Republic? The famous pilsner beer was born here. The city retains an old-school charm and there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in its brewing past and present, from seeing where Pilsner Urquell and Gambrinus are produced to visiting the small breweries in the Dobrany district.
Try here Rokycany U Stočesů, a majestic renovated beer hall, where you can follow all the working stages of a microbrewery in the process of obtaining beer.
Order The Stočeská 11, made with hops from the Saaz region, which is a delicious summer beer, perfect to end a tour of Pilsen.