European Beer Festivals

European Beer Festivals take place throughout various countries of Europe in a wonderful atmosphere of culture and brewing styles.

European Beer Festivals are where you can enjoy a favorite beer and sample new tastes in a festive atmosphere of fun, food and entertainment.

History of Beer

Beer dates back to around the fifth millennium BC in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) where early agrarian civilizations began farming staple crops like wheat, barley, rice and maize. 

It was from these staple crops that the fermentation process of brewing beer was first discovered.

A 3900-year-old Sumerian poem (“Hymn to Ninkasi”) honoring the patron goddess of brewing (beer was considered a gift form the gods), contains the oldest surviving beer recipe from barley. 

By 2000 BC, the Ancient Babylonians were brewing a variety of beers flavored with mandrake, dates and olive oil.

The Romans considered beer the drink of barbarians wheras wine was ambrosia (food or drink conferring longevity or immortality) gifted to man from the Roman god Bacchus of agriculture and wine.

In China, residue on pottery from the fifth millennium BC als0 shows evidence of beer being brewed using barley. 

In Europe, beer was brewed by some Germanic groups as early as 800 B.C.

In 1516, German brewers introduced the Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot), which were a set of quality guarantee standards that all German beer must consist the base ingredients of water, hops, malted barley, malted wheat and yeast.  

During the Medieval Age, beer was made and sold on a domestic scale by artisans and Catholic abbeys who further improved the brewing methods of beer.

Bottled beer was invented at Much Hadham in Hertfordshire during the reign of Elizabeth I, by Dr Alexander Nowell, a forgetful Church of England parish priest and fishing fanatic. 

The story says that he went on a fishing expedition to the nearby River Ash, taking with him a bottle filled with home brewed ale.

When he went home, he forgot the bottle of ale at the river-bank. 

A few days later when he returned, he came across the still-full bottle, “he found no bottle, but a gun, such was the sound at the opening thereof; and this is believed (causality is mother of more inventions than industry) the original of bottled ale in England.”

The 1800's saw advancements in beer brewing through Louis Pasteur’s discovery of yeast’s role in the fermentation process and the invention of pasteurization.

During the Industrial Revolution, beer production moved from artisan manufacture to mass production with the advent of automatic bottling, commercial refrigeration and the rise of the railroads.

Today, the brewing industry is a global phenomenon made up of multinational companies and regional breweries scattered throughout the world.

Guinness-Dublin, Ireland

In 1759, Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) took over an abandoned brewery in Dublin, named St. James Gate and signed a 9,000-year lease with an annual rent of £45.

Guinness Irish dry stout originated from that brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James's Gate in Dublin, Ireland.
Guinness stout is pasteurised and filtered and made from water, barley, roast malt extract, hops, and brewer's yeast.

A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark color and characteristic taste. 

Guinness today, is one of the most successful beer brands in the world and is brewed in almost 50 countries and sold in over 120.

Guinness Emblem-The Harp
The Guinness emblem, is a harp based on a famous 14th century Irish harp known as the "O'Neill" or "Brian Boru" harp which is now preserved in the Library of Trinity College Dublin.

The Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is a popular tourist attraction at St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin.

The building was constructed in 1902 as a fermentation plant for the St. James's Gate Brewery and was used until 1988, when a new fermentation plant was built near the River Liffey.

The Guinness Storehouse today tells the history of beer through its various exhibition areas and where visitors can also sample the smells of each Guinness ingredient in the Tasting Rooms.

European Beer Festivals

Big or small, European Beer Festivals showcase each country's well-known beers and introduce the enthusiast, to regional favorites.
European Beer Festivals attract people from around the world to enjoy the festive atmosphere of a favorite city or region and its sightseeing delights.

Drink Drink Drink (The Drinking Song) from the movie of THE STUDENT PRINCE (1954) starrng Edmund Purdom & Anne Blyth with the voice of Mario Lanza

Munich, Germany

European Beer Festivals take you to Munich, Bavaria’s capital in Germany.

The city is famous for its centuries-old buildings, beer halls and, for its annual Oktoberfest beer festival.  

Famous landmarks include the Altstadt (Old Town) and central Marienplatz square with its Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall), with its popular glockenspiel show that chimes and reenacts stories from the 16th century.

The Munich, annual Oktoberfest is a 16 day festival traditionally taking place up to and including the first Sunday of October.

It has become the largest beer festival in the world attracting around 6 million visitors every year. 

It is also the oldest beer festival starting in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and his bride.

Pilsner Fest
Pilsen, Czech Republic

Pilsen is a city in western Bohemia in the Czech Republic, about 90 kilometres (56 miles) west of Prague.

Pilsen (Plzen) was first mentioned as a castle in 976 and it became a town in 1295 when King Wenceslaus II granted Plzen its civic charter as a "Royal City".

From the end of the 17th century, the architecture of Pilsen has been influenced by the Baroque style and since 1989, the city centre has been under cultural heritage preservation.

Pilsen is known worldwide for Pilsner beer, created by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll there in 1842.

It is also the first brewery to produce pilsener blond lager style beer.

And, the Pilsen Fest is actually an anniversary celebration for the brewing of the first batch of the celebrated Pilsner Urquell produced nearly 200 years ago.

There's music, and brewery tours where you can visit the brewery cellars to sample Pilsner Urquell tapped directly from oak lager barrels.

The Belgian Beer Weekend
Brussels, Belgium

European Beer Festivals takes you to The Belgian Weekend.

Brussels is a major center for international politics and is also the de-facto capital of the European Union.

Brussels is famous for its French and Flemish influences and, for The Belgian Beer Weekend organized by the National Federation of Belgian Brewers.

Belgian beers are among the best in the world and the festival features around 40 different Belgian breweries and more than 350 Belgian beers from Pilsners to Trappist brews.

The Belgian Beer Weekend is traditionally at the cobblestoned square, Grand Place and celebrated during the first weekend of September with people coming from all over the world.

Great British Beer Festival
London, Great Britain

London, the capital of the United Kingdom, has a history that goes back to Roman times.

Famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock, Westminster Abbey (the place of British monarch coronations) St Paul's Cathedral, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and The Shard.

London also has four World Heritage Sites:

1. the Tower of London

2. Kew Gardens

3. the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church

4. the historic settlement of Greenwich (the Royal Observatory, Greenwich marks the Prime Meridian, 0° longitude, and GMT)
The city also hosts London's Great British Beer Festival in August, styled as the ‘biggest pub in the world’ showcasing some of the UK’s best breweries and features around 900 different cask and bottled real ales, international beers, ciders and perries

European Beer Festivals

Europe is blessed with many wonderful cultures and languages.  

Almost every European country has its own national beer as well as their own unique regional favorites.

A favorite beer festival is where you can sample the many beer varieties and to discover new beers from the smaller breweries dotted throughout the regions of each country of Europe.

European beer festivals give you the opportunity to enjoy the festive atmosphere of a favorite city or region as well as its sightseeing delights.

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