Some say the international language is love. I say they're half right.
The international language is love... of beer. Go just about anywhere in the world and you'll see people enjoying a frosty one.
Whether it's out of a red plastic cup at a college party or a carefully crafted glass flute in Belgium, the citizens of the world enjoy bonding over an amber brew.
Some countries, of course, do beer better than others. Regardless of whether you're an aficionado or a casual fan, these are the 10 beers of the world that you have to try.
Germans know a thing or two about producing beer, and Paulaner, to my mind, is the pinnacle. A half-litre mug of Paulaner Hefewiezen from the tap is just about unbeatable - it's hoppy, fruity and frothy. Prost.
Where to drink it: A beer garden in Munich.
In some respects you can get a pint of Guinness anywhere. But in others, you can only get a real pint of Guinness in Ireland. The joke is that it's not legit unless you can balance your change on top of it while you walk back to the table. Irish Guinness isn't a beer -- it's a meal.
Where to drink it: At the source: the Guinness brewery in Dublin.
Nile Special, Uganda
Is it the fresh Nile water that's pulled directly from the river's source? Or is the fact you're in such a far-flung destination that something so familiar as beer tastes so good? Whatever it is, Nile Special is one heck of a lager. Drink it icy cold.
Where to drink it: On the banks of the Nile in Jinja.
There's a touch of the Nile Specials about Beerlao -- as in, it might just be the exotic location its imbibed in that convinces you it's such a great beer. Whatever the reason, however, Beerlao is cheaper than water in Laos, and probably much better for you. Might as well indulge.
Where to drink it: On the banks of the Mekong in Vientiane.
Where do you start with Japanese beer? To be honest, three or four of its beers could have made this list (Sapporo, Kirin, Suntory etc), but that would have been boring. Pick of the bunch is Yebisu, a malty, frothy glass of pure beery goodness.
Where to drink it: Any old bar in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Big Al's Pale Ale, Seattle
It's not often I'd recommend someone "go get a growler from Big Al", but this is the exception to the rule. Big Al, like most microbrewers in Washington State, is doing some great things with beer. Get a growler (a small bottle) filled up next time you're passing through.
Where to drink it: At Big Al's brewery in Seattle.
Monteith's Original, New Zealand
Kiwis know beer. Mac's, for example, is a great drop. But for a consistently good brew, you can't go past Monteith's. The seasonal beers are always interesting, but the Original is a sure-fire winner.
Where to drink it: At a Queenstown bar after hitting the ski slopes.
La Chouffre, Belgium
Belgians drink some beer that can seem pretty experimental to our tastes (raspberry beer, anyone?), but La Chouffre is good entry point for first-timers: It's an easy-drinking ale that's not too heavy on the alcohol.
Where to drink it: A traditional pub in Bruges.
Okay, perhaps not one of the 10 best beers in the world, but when you're sitting in a square in Buenos Aires on a warm evening, it'll sure feel like it is. And it's perfectly designed to wash down those giant steaks.
Where to drink it: A parrillada in BA.
Bia Hoi, Vietnam
It's brewed on the streets. It's poured out of plastic containers. It costs next to nothing. Together, these are not the obvious indicators of a good beer. But the homebrew in Vietnam is something else -- rich and flavorful.
Where to drink it: Same place everyone else does: the streets.
What do you think are the world's best beers?
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