Stylish bars: the hottest beer temples in Europe

A stylish bar and a bar keeper working
(c) Skúli Craft Bar

As part of the current beer movement, not only are a number of new breweries establishing themselves throughout Europe, but also more and more cool, stylish bars with a wider selection of creative beer concoctions. Here are five insider tips for beer aficionados who frequently travel throughout Europe.

Skúli Craft Bar in Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland offers more than just breathtaking landscapes, simmering volcanos and bubbling geysers. In the lively capital Reykjavik, the hip bar scene is bustling with life. Those wanting to sample their way through the world of Icelandic brews should head over to Skúli Craft Bar – probably the city’s coolest ale house – which is centrally located between City Hall and The Settlement Exhibition. Here the island’s beers flow from 14 shiny taps. The ale house’s bestseller is a pilsner from the Borg Brugghús called “Bríó”, which is flavored with herbs native to Iceland. Borg Brugghús is, in many respects, considered the hottest brewery in the country and well worth checking out!

Hops Beerstrò in Trieste, Italy

Italy is regarded worldwide as a country of pleasure and has so far mainly shone with its wine. However, Italian brewers are now also increasingly making a name for themselves with creative brews. The Hops Beerstrò opened just a few months ago in the heart of Trieste near the city’s port and Piazza Unità d’Italia. With a total of 12 taps, the stylish bistro is one of the only of its kind in the city to offer such an extensive range of barreled international delights. Aside from its beer selection, the pub’s chic design makes you feel right at home and includes an open-plan kitchen serving fusion cuisine. And the staff, who are always happy to make recommendations, know exactly which beers will go along perfectly with your meal.

Sori Taproom in Helsinki, Finland

After a long period of hibernation, Finland is finally establishing itself more and more as an attractive beer destination. There were only a handful of breweries in the “land of the moose” some 20 years ago, but now there are roughly 80, most of which have sprung up within the last five years. The coolest hotspot when it comes to beer is probably the Sori Taproom, which is within walking distance of Helsinki Central Station. Aside from their burgers and American-style BBQ, the taproom serves barrel-fresh beer from 24 taps. Guests can see exactly what is being served on flat screens directly above the taps. The selection rotates regularly. The motto of the Finnish bar is: “Serious beer for not so serious people.”

NaparBcn in Barcelona, Spain

Interested in sampling beer while watching a master brewer at work? This is exactly what beer fans can experience at the NaparBcn bar in Barcelona – right at the heart of the university district. But even when the brewer has called it a day, guests can still have a look at the shiny tanks. This chic but also rock-inspired brewpub is probably the only one in Spain where a star chef works to create dishes that accompany the house beers. Aside from pale ales, IPAs and barley wine, styles such as Kölsch or pilsner are also part of the bar’s portfolio. The menu also includes international beers.

Porterhouse in Dublin, Ireland

Dublin has always been known for its lively pub scene. However, quite a bit has changed in the beer temples of the Irish capital. Those seeking to enjoy something different than the usual Guinness should go to the Porterhouse in the Temple Bar district. Initially, the concept of a pub brewery with its own brews was a source of amusement here, but it is now considered a real cult favorite. After all, about eleven years ago, this four-story establishment was the first brewpub of its kind. Visitors can order around ten house beers and more than 100 international varieties at several rustic counters in a cozy atmosphere.

Mareike Hasenbeck

Mareike Hasenbeck is a freelance journalist with her own craft beer blog (Feiner Hopfen), she is also a beer sommelier and an international expert for beer sensory certified by the DLG (German Agricultural Society).