Explore The Old World With The 17 Best European Beers
Tap into the greatest old-world brewing traditions by sampling the best European beers offered domestically — stout, wheat beer, brown ales, and more.
You can’t help feeling a little more refined and cosmopolitan when you request a European beer. Maybe it’s the exotic-sounding names or their reputation of being a superior brew. But it can also be intimidating. There’s so much choice, so what do you order?
With at least a millennium of brewing experience, it’s no wonder there’s such a variety. Europe produces some of the best beers in the world, with every region having its own traditional ingredients and tried-and-true methods. Whether your beer’s coming from a major producer or small craft brewery, it’ll have a distinct heritage. The continent overflows with delicious beer, from light wheat beers to thick, dark stouts. Whatever your brew preference, you’ll be able to find something to love.
On your way out to your local pub or a quaint brasserie? We’ve put together a list of the best European beers to give you a taste of the old world. Enjoy!
1. Franziskaner Weissbier Naturtrub 6pk 12oz Btl 5.0% ABV
GERMANY – Weissbier or white beer is a classic Bavarian brew that combines wheat and barley malts to craft a pale yellow brew. It has a distinctive banana and citrus flavor that pairs amazingly with bratwurst. It’s no wonder Weissbier is traditionally served at Oktoberfest. Eins, Zwei, Drei, G’suffa!
2. Guinness Draught 6pk 12oz Btl 4.3% ABV
IRELAND –Stout is as Irish as leprechauns and four-leaf clovers. Rich and velvety, this brew pours out a thick, creamy head. Its taste combines coffee, toasted malt, and hops. Guinness starts out soft and finishes with a light bitterness that adds balance to the draught.
3. Leffe Blonde 6pk 12oz Btl 6.6% ABV
BELGIUM –Award-winning Leffe Blonde is a full-bodied, deep golden beer that is smooth, subtle, and easy to drink. Its spicy, faintly clove-like aroma draws you in to reveal a creamy body that leads to a restrained dry finish. It’s an elusive yet satisfying experience. Sip slowly and savor the mystery.
4. Paulaner Hefeweizen 6pk 12oz Btl 5.5% ABV
GERMANY – This is the #1 wheat beer in the world. Munich master brewers have crafted a beer that has a uniform, slightly cloudy appearance that pours a strong head of foam. Light caramel and banana flavors mingle with the malty taste of wheat, which leads to a mild, slightly spritzy finish.
5. Hacker Pschorr Weisse 6 Pack 12 oz Bottles
GERMANY – Another classic wheat beer from Bavaria, Hacker Pschorr, is dark amber in color with crisp citrus and hoppy flavors. This beer is unfiltered and cloudy. Its recipe has remained unchanged since the 1400s, so you know you’re tasting tradition.
6. Schofferhofer Grapefruit Bier 4pk 16oz Can 2.5% ABV
GERMANY –Whoever said all German beer tastes the same has never tried a Schofferhofer. This distinctive radler blends flavorful German Weissbier with tangy, refreshing grapefruit juice for a taste experience all its own. Light and delicious, this fruity beer is the perfect summer thirst quencher.
7. Murphy's Irish Stout 4pk 14.9oz Can 4.0% ABV
IRELAND –Murphy’s Stout remains true to its roots in Cork “Rebel” County, Ireland. Each jet black pint of this craft-brewed stout is filled with the character and resilience of the Irish spirit. Brewing Murphy’s Stout isn’t merely a craft; it’s a calling.
8. Stella Artois 12pk 11.2oz Btl 5.2% ABV
BELGIUM – True to the time-honored recipe, Stella Artois pilsner is crafted with three ingredients: hops, barley, and water. It has a wonderful hop aroma, well-balanced malt sweetness, crisp bitterness, and a dry finish. It’s easy to see why Stella regularly makes it onto the list of the top 50 beer brands in the world.
9. Hoegaarden 12pk 12oz Btl 4.9% ABV
BELGIUM –The original Belgian wheat beer, Hoegaarden, is inspired by the experimentation of beer-brewing Trappist monks who added botanicals from around the world to their traditional beer. The result is a brew with a taste unlike any other; it defies description. Just taste it instead of reading about it!
10. Bass Pale Ale 12pk 12oz Btl 4.4% ABV
ENGLAND – Bass is a full-flavored ale still brewed according to its original recipe. Selected malts, aromatic hops, and water rich in essential salts and minerals combine to give Bass its slightly nutty, burnt roast aroma and high-quality, full-bodied flavor. Taste what 200 years of brewing traditions bring.
11. Newcastle Brown Ale 12pk 12oz Btl 4.7% ABV
ENGLAND –Brewed with a unique blend of pale and roasted malts with American hops, Newcastle Brown Ale is smooth and crisp, with a slightly roasted flavor. Not too sweet. Not too bitter. Altogether an uncommonly balanced Brown Ale.
12. Pilsner Urquell 12pk 12oz Btl 4.4% ABV
CZECH REPUBLIC –This is the world’s first pilsner! Brewed in the Czech town of Plzeň, this brew is bottom-fermented for a flavor that combines the taste of sweet malt with zesty lemon. This legendary beverage is considered the “model of meter” among beers; it’s the original and still the best.
13. Heineken 24pk 12oz Btl 5.0% ABV
NETHERLANDS –Smooth, nicely blended bitterness, clean finish. Wherever you go in the world, it’s always refreshing to see a lager brand that you recognize. That green bottle, the red star, the smiling e’s. It’s like the familiar welcome of an old friend. Cold, fresh, high-quality, and enjoyed near and far since 1873.
14. Amstel Light 12pk 12oz Btl 3.5% ABV
NETHERLANDS –Thirst-quenching and refreshing. Amstel Light’s unique mixture of barley malt and hops delivers a full, never-diluted flavor that sets it apart from other light beers. Amstel Light is a full-flavored light beer that’s never light on refreshment.
15. Carlsberg Lager 12pk 12oz Btl 5.0% ABV
DENMARK –The Danes say that Carlsberg’s pale lager is good for your health. They’re recognized as the happiest people on earth; they must be doing something right. Maybe it’s the smooth beer with light yeasty flavor, citrus aromas, and mild hop finish. There’s only one way to find out. Bottoms up!
16. Peroni 6pk 12oz Btl 5.1% ABV
ITALY –Peroni Nastro Azzurro is Italy’s number one premium beer. Crafted for the Mediterranean palate, this crisp, refreshing lager exudes Italian style. It combines the delicious flavors of apple and toasted grains with citrus, grass, and caramel notes to create a medium-body beer with a refreshingly bitter finish.
17. Okocim O.K. Beer 4pk 16oz Can 5.6% ABV
POLAND – Introduced over 50 years ago, Okocim derives its quality from a recipe incorporating the best indigenous Polish hop varieties, luxurious barley, and soft mountain water. Thanks to its unique flavor, this hard-to-find craft brew has built a cult following across Europe.
What’s the most popular beer in Europe?
Europeans view their beer much the same way Americans view football — with a lot of civic pride. So it’s no surprise that beer popularity varies from country to country, with the local brew taking the top spot. Considering that, here’s our unofficial tally of popular European beer styles.
Most Popular Overall: No surprise here. Heineken is one of the most beloved beers on the planet.
Most Popular Pilsner: The original pils, Pilsner Urquell. It’s still brewed according to its original recipe.
Most Popular Lager: The pride of Denmark, Carlsberg Lager, takes the crown.
Most Popular Stout: The luck of the Irish has nothing to do with it. Guinness Draught is simply good beer.
Most Popular Weissbier: There’s only one beer worthy of accompanying a delicious Oktoberfest bratwurst, and that’s Paulaner Hefeweizen.
Where can I buy European beers in America?
European beers are becoming quite common in America. Most pubs and bars stock a few options from across the pond. Premium quality liquor and specialty beer stores will also have a good selection of European craft beer, imperial stouts, red ales, bocks, you name it.
Of course, if you need some European suds ASAP, you could order online from your friendly and dependable liquor delivery service, and it’ll be at your door in no time. (HINT! HINT!)
What is the best-tasting beer?
Alright, you asked, we’ll answer. For our money, the best-tasting beer from Europe is Stella Artois. We love that it’s made using the same recipe dating back to 1366 using three simple ingredients: Saaz hops, malted barley, and water. This beer’s unique and well-balanced in its fruity, malty sweetness, crisp hop bitterness, and soft dry finish. It tastes best served in its signature chalice. And who doesn’t want to drink beer from a chalice?