You Have to Check Out These 5 International Craft Breweries

From wheat ales to imperial stouts, we highlight some of the globe’s best homegrown brews

Conjuring idyllic visions of humble entrepreneurs brewing in their basements—and gathering high praise for their rich and unexpected flavors—craft beer companies have boomed in popularity in recent years. According to an annual report from the Brewers Association in the United States, small and independent American craft breweries saw 6 percent growth in 2016. And traditionally nondrinking countries like India are jumping on the brew-wagon, too. Entrepreneur India found that the Indian beer market is poised to produce 430 billion liters by the end of 2017. 

One of the most notable characteristics of craft breweries is their tendency to source local, culture-rich ingredients to make their brews sing. Here, we outline five varieties from across the globe worthy of serving up at your next Celebrate or Network event. 

Germany

Named Craft Brewer of the Year at the fourth annual Meiningers International Craft Beer Awards in May, Brauhaus Riegele of Augsburg pours some seriously mouthwatering varieties. Several beers brewed by the company won platinum medals, including Simco 3 Hopfiges Lebensglück (an American IPA), Robustus 6 Malziges Feuerwerk (an English porter) and Noctus 100 Schwarzes Geheimnis (a Russian imperial stout). 

Italy

When you think of Italian alcohol, craft beers aren’t typically the first adult beverage to come to mind. Naturally, Italy created its own red wine-inspired craft brew that nabbed a platinum award at the Meiningers International Craft Beer Awards: Rossa, from the brewery Collesi. Elegantly bottled like vino, the vessel’s slender neck pours a mahogany-hued brew with a decidedly toffee flavor, contrasted with a delicate, fruity aroma. 

Hong Kong

Surprisingly, China boasts a fairly robust craft brewery scene, according to a report from CNN. Asia hosts an annual Beertopia festival that puts the best craft brews in Asia-Pacific countries on display. Last year, one of those brews was the Island 1842 Imperial IPA from Hong Kong brewery Young Master; it’s a full-flavored IPA with 8 percent alcohol by volume (so it’s strong). As CNN states, Young Master won four of the nine beer categories at the Hong Kong Beer Championship at Beertopia, earning the coveted “Best Brewery” honor. 

Australia

As CNN goes on to highlight, La Sirène’s Wild Saison (brewed in Melbourne) is arguably the best craft beer on the Australian continent. However, you might need to keep an open mind when trying the stuff for the first time: It reportedly smells like a “horse blanket” when first popped open. The flavor is undoubtedly funky, too, with a musty, farmhouselike taste.

India

Dubbed India’s first (and arguably best) craft brew by Entrepreneur India, Witlinger boasts two varieties: Wheat Ale and Lager. Brewed with wheat malt, the Wheat Ale’s zesty flavor can be attributed to crushed coriander seeds and sweet orange peel. The Lager contains lemongrass and citrus for a tangy taste.