While microbreweries in Europe are by no means a new concept, they have certainly seen a resurgence in recent years. It’s often the chance to support small, independent breweries while sampling some of the best beers in the world. As such, both brewery and distillery tours are also proving popular, very much for the same reason.
After all, microbreweries in the UK and mainland Europe has always been a frontrunner over the mass-production of craft beer and real ale. Not only that, but the modern beer drinker has changed drinking habits too. The binge-drinking culture being replaced by those who appreciate the craftsmanship and complex flavours behind their favourite pint.
As such, food and drink tourism isn’t just about groups of lads descending on the local bar. It’s much more of an experience, rather than simply finding somewhere to settle down for a drink.
So, let’s take you on a trip from England to Iceland, stopping off at some of the best microbreweries in Europe.
12 of the Best Microbreweries in Europe
Our 12 best microbreweries in Europe include the following, albeit in no particular order:
- Brewdog – Edinburgh, Scotland
- Cloudwater Brew Company – Manchester, England
- Lervig Aktiebryggeri – Stavanger, Norway
- Brouwerij De Molen – Bodegraven, Holland
- Garage Beer Co – Barcelona, Spain
- Vagabund Brauerei – Berlin, Germany
- Lady Brewery – Reykjavik, Iceland
- ToØl – Odense, Denmark
- Beavertown – London, England
- Tiny Rebel – Newport, Wales
- The Garden Brewery – Zagreb, Croatia
- Westmalle – Westmalle, Belgium
Brewdog – Edinburgh
Despite now having over 75 bars across the UK and having gone on to become a global brand, there’s still a reason for Brewdog appearing on our list. After all, despite its unprecedented growth since launching in 2009, the Scottish brewery has played a significant role in the wider industry.
Cloudwater Brew Company – Manchester
Heading towards the other side of the border we reach Cloudwater Brew Company in Manchester, England. While many home-brewers spend hours producing beers by trial and era, it’s very much a precision process at Cloudwater. Resulting in crisp and refreshing craft beer, that embraces the 4 seasons with new ideas throughout the year.
Lervig Aktiebryggeri – Stavenger
While Norway isn’t normally associated with its beer production, the Lervig brewery is set to try and change all that. In particular, by introducing a number of collaborations with other European manufacturers. Resulting in small batch craft beers that can be exported to a number of independent bars further afield.
Garage Beer Co – Barcelona
Having started as a brewpub as recently as 2015, the Garage Beer Company soon went on to become one of the best microbreweries in Europe. They’ve made a name for themselves locally, but also somewhere to visit for a brewery tour if you are on holiday in the area. One for craft beer lovers if you’re looking for a drinks experience in Barcelona.
Brouwerij De Molen – Bodegraven
Situated in the town of Bodegraven, if you ever take a brewery tour in Holland, you won’t be able to miss Brouwerij De Molen. Head towards the windmill to discover a taste of craft beer, that’s happy to combine innovative techniques with classic flavours.
Vagabund Brauerei – Berlin
While Germany has always been known for its beer culture, it is in fact 2 Americans behind this particular microbrewery. As such, the pair introduce some of the USA’s modern techniques, placing American Pale Ale’s next to IPA’s. If you wish to book an organised pub crawl or brewery tour in Germany, we of course highly recommend doing so during Oktoberfest!
Lady Brewery – Reykjavik
Making their mark in what was once considered a man’s world, the women behind the Lady Brewery in Iceland have certainly made their mark. The only thing that should matter really, is that they make fantastic beer. However, the Lady Brewery signature brew is proudly named the First Lady, paying homage to the fact this is very much a female-fronted brewery.
To Øl – Odense
Within the past 10 years, To Øl have maintained their microbrewery status, while distributing to over 50 countries worldwide. Having partaken in collaborations with other some of the microbreweries above (in particular Lervig and Brewdog), they managed to expand their customer base. While spreading the word that Danish craft beer is a taste worth savouring.
Beavertown – London
We couldn’t list the best microbreweries in Europe without mentioning Beavertown. Travel to any trendy bar or pub offering a range of craft beers and no doubt, a can or two will have been on the menu. Whether that be with one of their regular beers or a short batch of specials, Beavertown has become frontrunners in the craft beer market.
Tiny Rebel – Newport
Following closely behind them in terms of notoriety are the Welsh experimental microbrewery, Tiny Rebel. While the name may imply something small, they are full of big and bold tasting beers. If you ask someone if they’ve tried an ice cream IPA, a can of strawberries and cream or a marshmallow porter, chances are it’s come from Tiny Rebel brewery.
The Garden Brewery – Zagreb
Not even 5 years on from opening, the Garden Brewery in Croatia has been responsible for special events featuring world-renowned DJ’s. Although it wouldn’t surprise if you hadn’t heard of this fantastic microbrewery before embarking on a pub tour in Zagreb. However, it is a hive of activity, with some incredible local beers.
Westmalle – Westmalle
Lastly, we really do have to put Westmalle up there as one of the best microbreweries in Europe. It is responsible for some of the best Belgium beers imaginable. The traditional Trappist brewery is run from within the Monastery grounds. In which the Monks follow a lifestyle that is largely kept behind closed doors. All of which adds an air of mystery behind a fine selection of lovingly crafted Belgium beer.
Book a Brewery Tour in Europe with tabl.com
If you are visiting Europe on holiday, here at tabl.com we have a selection of food and drink tours available. Including brewery and distillery tours or experience days, organised pub crawls, cookery classes and much more.
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