HOPDAYS - The Best Beers From the World Cup Quarter Final Nations

This week on Hopdays I am showcasing my favorite beers from the eight countries that remain in the World Cup. I won't bore you with the traditional export beers, but instead pick my personal favorites which I have tried. The chances you will find these in your local liquor store are pretty slim, but if you ever travel to these eight countries and you love beer, I would highly recommend trying any of the brews on this list.

Brazil - Bohemia Weiss

One of two wheat beers on the list and yes, this one's a wheat beer from Brazil. Bohemia brewery is the oldest active brewery in Brazil, and it makes one hell of a weiss. In a country that is mostly known for very light lagers, this is a refreshing find. Perhaps this is not a beer you buy a bucket of when sitting under the sun all day, but this aromatic beer with slight fruity tones is definitely a change from almost anything else that is on the market in the World Cup host nation. Keep in mind, if compared to other wheat beers especially in Europe, this one is a bit behind, but if you're tired of the Brahmas, this beer is very nice for a change.

Colombia - Apóstol Bock

Another beer that is a bit unusual to South America is the Colombian Apóstol Bock. With 6% alcohol and a nice mahogany color, this beer with its caramel and coffee undertones is a good pick up. And although it's dark and has a higher alcohol percentage than most Colombian beers, it's still not so strong that you would not be able to drink it on a hot summer day in Medellin

Netherlands - La Trappe Quadrupel

Leave your Heineken aside. This is a real beer. 10% alcohol, beautiful dark pour with raisin, cinnamon and caramel flavors, the La Trappe Quadrupel is a must try when travelling to the Netherlands.

Costa Rica - Tamarindo Witch’s Rock (Pale Ale)

This pale ale is probably the best thing you can try when looking for a good local brew in Costa Rica. The Ticos unfortunately are not known for their exquisite beer brewing skills, but when you have something a bit different than the usual light brew the likes of Imperial, Bavaria or Pilsen, and it has a hot pirate chick on the label, you have a winning combination. It's definitely hoppier than other Costa Ricans brews and also incorporates light fruity flavors as well. Keep in mind you may even have trouble finding this one in Costa Rica itself, but it's worth the try.

Germany - Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier

OK, so this one is indeed available in a lot of liquor stores around the world, but it doesn't mean it's not good. In fact, this is a great wheat beer, and although I myself try to stay away from wheat beers on most occasions, this one is a must have! With its great aroma and smoothness there are very few people who would not enjoy a pint of this wonderful German creation.

France - Gavroche

So far Gavroche is the only French beer that I have tried and really liked. Sure I can probably take down a twelve-pack of 1664 Kronenbourgs on a hot day, but if you would like to try something unique from the French, this would be it. The beer has a rich amber-like color and flavors of malts and caramel.

Argentina - Antares Imperial Stout

I won't lie, I have only tried two Argentinian beers and I can't remember the other, which was quite light and was not unique in any sense. But the Antares Imperial Stout did leave an impression with me. It's dark and has a great coffee and caramel balance. What was most interesting to me is the hint of tobacco, which was incredibly pleasant.

Belgium - Barbãr

There are literally thousands of beers to chose from when talking about Belgium. With a variety of beers for any occasion or mood, I've decided to feature the one that I think could be consumed at any point, in any weather and at any occasion. The Barbãr, although a bit of a strong beer with 8% alcohol is quite easy to drink. With its obvious honey flavor and pleasant aroma there is no reason why you should travel to Belgium just to have that same Stella Artois you have sitting in your fridge back home.



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