Grab a cold one at the world's best beer gardens
Posted on Thursday 10 May 2012
in Czech Republic, Prague, Japan, Tokyo, United States of America, New York
By Rory MacTavish
Summer's heating up in the northern hemisphere and Kiwis looking to escape from the winter blues can take flights to New York to embark on their journey to the world's best beer gardens. Historically originating in Germany, these outdoor drink parties have been popping up all over the globe from Beijing, China, to Prague, Czech Republic, and everywhere in between. Within the next few months, April showers are clearing the path for frosted glasses of foamy, crisp and refreshing beer.
Get a headstart on Oktoberfest in Queens, New York
The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Queens is the oldest in New York City. With more than 100 years of service, Bohemian is a veteran of backyard barbecues and good times. A hot spot for the younger, local crowd and international visitors alike, this urban party has rows of communal picnic benches where Kiwis can slam their pitchers of lager and exchange travel tips with vivacious spirits who will undoubtedly want to know everything about New Zealand.
Tantalizing aromas of authentic Czech eats such as pierogi and kielbasa sausage, waft through the air from the outdoor patio grill, making it difficult to resist grabbing a snack to complement a tall pint of ale. At just US$15 a pitcher, there are plenty of drinks to go around.
Chinese beer gardens offer the best bar bites
Forget kumara fries and lamb kebabs, because the Wudaokou Beer Garden in Beijing, China, has delicious bar bites that are best washed down with an icy glass of Tsingtao. After taking flights to Beijing, Kiwis can stretch their dollar to the limit with pints for less than a dollar and cheap Chinese dumplings and Korean barbecue.
Catered to the late night college scene, this beer garden is decorated with sparkling lights and rickety plastic chairs, but with endless drafts and authentic Asian cuisine, Kiwis of all ages can enjoy an evening of people watching.
Brews in the park - the best of nature
After taking a long walk through the art museums, historical sites and boutique stores, the Letna Beer Garden in Prague of the Czech Republic is a welcome reward for Kiwis on holiday. Situated on top of Letenske Park, which boasts incredible views of the city's most illustrious bridges, Letna is a classier alternative to the more informal beer gardens in New York and Beijing.
Instead of shelling out a few dollars for greasy food, visitors can indulge in an authentic Italian pizza before walking off their meal (and brew) along the beautiful tree-lined paths surrounding the restaurant.
Climb a mountain for a pint of ale in Japan
Kiwis will have to climb almost 600 metres to get to a cold brew at the beer garden atop Mount Takao in Japan. With plenty of Asahi and Kirin beer to go around, there's no better way to cool down after a challenging hike than with an ice-cold glass of beer. The hike is part of the experience as the restaurant is only available on foot or by cable car.
While drinking and munching on a Japanese buffet, Kiwis will have uninterrupted views of Tokyo and the surrounding regions. Travellers who book an adventure at the right time also have the chance to watch a fireworks show, which takes place frequently throughout the city in the summer.
Back to the basics in Bruges, Belgium
Belgium is known for having the world's longest beer history, and Cafe Vlissinghe in Bruges is no exception. Dating back nearly half a millennium, this beer garden is the oldest pub in the city and has been a local favourite for centuries. The outdoor patio is a haven for good conversations and, more importantly, incredible beer.
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