The World’s Top 10 Beer Destinations for 2024

It’s safe to say that the craft beer boom has now reached nearly every corner of the globe. But with experimental and innovative releases coming from countless producers every year, determining which cities are worth a beer-inspired visit is no small feat — especially if you’ve already ticked off well-known suds hubs like Brussels and Munich or San Diego and Asheville.

This year’s list of the best beer destinations recognizes cities with up-and-coming craft scenes, many of which have exploded in recent years. Additionally, it celebrates historic and iconic beer cities with new and improved attractions set to welcome visitors for the first time.

From strolling through the streets of the “Paris of South America” to motorbike brewery tours in Vietnam, here are the 10 best beer destinations for 2024.

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10. Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa is one of the top beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Mad Giant Brewery / Simon Hurry

Defined by decades of mass production, craft brewing in South Africa is still relatively nascent, with the first craft outfit, Mitchell’s Brewery, opening in Knysna in 1983. Come 2008, the number of craft operations across the country had grown to 20, but now that number is well over 200, with many residing in Johannesburg, South Africa’s third-largest city.

One of Joburg’s most popular destinations for beer drinkers is Mad Giant Brewery, which sprung up as a garage operation in 2014. Since then, the brewery has expanded significantly, moving into its current downtown residence in August 2016. Head to the taproom for crisp, low-ABV brews marked by notes of tropical fruits and citrus.

9. Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece is one of the top beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Athineo / Constantinos Kollias via Unsplash

Beer production in Athens dates back to 3300 B.C. And while the modern era has been mostly defined by mass-produced lagers from companies like AB-InBev and the Heineken Company, finding quality craft beer is getting easier and easier, much as it is to encounter a world-class cocktail.

Production on the current site of Athineo Microbrewery, in the Rouf neighborhood, stretches back to 1965, when Athenian Brewery, now owned by Heineken, started brewing Amstel. By 2015, that production had shifted to other parts of the country, and Athenian reimagined the space as Athineos, a microbrewery, museum, and laboratory. While not “craft” in the independently owned sense of the term often favored stateside, the brewery places an emphasis on small, experimental batches, with many made using 100 percent Greek barley. After a refreshment, don’t leave without checking out the space’s museum, which outlines the history of beer production from ancient Babylonia to present day.

Next up, and just a short walk from the Acropolis, is Strange Brew. The bottleshop and taproom features 10 handles charged with proprietary pours (brewed “nomadically” at multiple facilities around the country), as well as a rotating selection of local guest beers. Strange Brew’s flagship, the Jasmine IPA, is a must-try, offering aromatic tropical fruits and relaxing jasmine notes.

If sampling as many local beers as possible is a priority, fire up Untapp’d and check in to Barley Cargo. The beer hall, decorated with beer-stacked open crates, serves over 350 styles from over 140 Greek microbreweries, as well as dozens of international producers. If hunger strikes, a convenient tasting menu has been designed to pair perfectly with a beer in hand.

8. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina is one of the top beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Bier Life on Instagram / Barbara Zandoval via Unsplash

Beloved for its wide stretching boulevards, regal cultural institutions, and world-class architecture, Buenos Aires is well deserving of its nickname, the “Paris of South America.” And while Argentina may be better known for wine, the country has a craft beer scene that’s blossomed impressively over the past two decades. In 2010, there were roughly 70 breweries scattered across the country. Now, there are thousands and the industry is expected to continue growing by nearly 10 percent year-over-year until 2028.

Among the sea of large-scale domestic producers that line the shelves of beer retailers in the city, visitors can also indulge in craft offerings at the city’s numerous breweries, microbreweries, and tasting rooms. At Bierlife, which occupies a rustic, colonial-era former home in San Telmo — the city’s oldest neighborhood — guests can choose from 50-plus taps, then enjoy their pours in the bar’s shaded biergarten.

Over in the Colegiales neighborhood, Strange Brewing dishes out dozens of experimental brews, ranging from sour ales with strawberry and coconut, to Argentine interpretations of New England IPAs, oatmeal stouts, and light lagers. For relaxation, don’t miss out on Tēdelūpulo, Argentina’s first beer spa, offering treatments like malt and hop oil massages as well as blind beer tastings.

7. Minneapolis, Minn., United States

Minneapolis, Minn., United States is one of the top beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Canna Connect MN / Nicole Geri via Unsplash

The American Midwest is practically synonymous with beer production, led by cities like Milwaukee and Chicago. But tucked away in Minneapolis are over 40 craft breweries, representing approximately a quarter of Minnesota’s total producers, with each pushing to make brewing a more innovative and creative space.

Leading the charge is Modist Brewing and head brewer Kiegan Knee, who received a nod from VinePair last year for his experimental brewing techniques. In a custom-built brewhouse, Knee conceives beers from a singular desired flavor, leading to recipes like Pineapple Passionfruit Fruited Sours, Double Marshmallow & Vanilla Dark Lagers, and a number of hemp-based seltzers.

A short 10-minute drive leads to Fair State Brewing Cooperative, the first cooperatively owned brewery in Minnesota, and only the third to open in the United States. Founded by Evan Sallee, Niko Tonks, and Matt Hauck, guests are able to buy into Fair State’s Member-Owner Program, which allows for beer lovers to help design recipes, pick berries for brews, and volunteer to support the brewery. To date, the brewery has put forth creations such as Bonk City, a double IPA made with Columbus Cryo hops, and Biggie Jumbo, a double stout with rich chocolate notes.

If you’re not tied to a summer excursion, the annual April Minnesota Craft Beer Festival typically serves more than 400 brews from over 100 producers in the state. Get your tickets soon — in the past, every festival has sold out.

6. Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand is one of the top beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Canyon Brewing on Instagram / Michael Amadeus via Unsplash

With over 200 breweries for just 5 million people, there’s no shortage of great beer in New Zealand. And with the highest concentration of bars and restaurants in the country — and quite a few breweries of its own — quality craft beer abounds in Queenstown, on the nation’s South Island.

Drinking with a view seldom comes close to the scenes found at Canyon Brewing, with an outdoor beer garden situated on the edge of — as the name suggests — a canyon. While savoring the sight, sip on a hazy IPA or the Farm Hand Saison, made with homegrown pilsner malt, honey, and foraged elderflower. The brewery’s restaurant defies culinary categorization, with dishes ranging from wood-fired edamame beans with Korean chili powder to beef rump steak with chimichurri butter.

For über-local brews, Cargo Brewery produces a collection of fresh-hop beers using the yields from an on-site hop farm, which are sold at the cellar door and at brewery events. Cargo Brewery also produces lagers, pilsners, IPAs, and ales, and this year plans to open a beer hall that will serve as an events space and production venue for beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic drinks.

To hit as many spots as possible without the hassle of planning, turn to Queenstown Beer Tours, hosted by Kiwi-born Lewis Benseman, who was raised in the city. The five-hour Craft Beer Brewery Tour includes three stops, an interactive brewery tour, and 13 tastings. For an additional culinary aspect, consider the Craft Beer Brewery and Food Tour; while the Private Brewers Day Out may be more your speed if you’re looking to sample some gin and sake as well.

5. Albuquerque, N.M., United States

Albuquerque, N.M., United States is one of the top beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Bow & Arrow Brewing / Josh Hild via Unsplash

Since Santa Fe Brewing opened its doors in 1988, craft brewing has taken off in New Mexico, with over 40 establishments now operational in Albuquerque. With its original location some 65 miles away, Santa Fe Brewing expanded to the city in 2015. Saddle up to its bar in Green Jeans Food Hall, the city’s original shipping-container marketplace, for hazy IPAs to Mexican-style lagers and even an Imperial Java Stout.

Bow & Arrow Brewing Co., the first Native American, woman-owned brewery in the United States, delivers some of the best beer to be found in the city. Co-founded by Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay, Bow & Arrow rotates its beer offerings seasonally. Typical selections include malt-forward, barrel-aged imperial stouts, and dry-hopped farmhouse ales that spend extended periods in cask. The quality on display at Bow & Arrow earned the brewery a nod from the James Beard Foundation in January 2024 as a semi-finalist for “Outstanding Bar.”

For history buffs, Canteen Brewhouse holds the distinction of Albuquerque’s longest continually operating brewery, while Gravity Bound Brewing Company leads on the sustainability front as the city’s most eco-friendly producer.

4. Charlotte, N.C., United States

Charlotte, N.C., United States is one of the best beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Pilot Brewing / Wes Hicks via Unsplash

Following the outbreak of Covid-19, Charlotte experienced an influx of new residents. According to CLT Alliance, a Charlotte-based business networking company, 113 people moved to the greater Charlotte area everyday from mid-2021 to mid-2022. And while the city plays younger sibling to Asheville and Raleigh, Charlotte’s craft beer scene is thriving, with over 70 breweries in the region.

NoDa Brewing Company, one of the city’s original craft outposts, opened in 2011 and has since expanded to a second location. Now it even has an outpost in the city’s airport. At the O.G. location, 12 year-round releases are featured alongside a collection of seasonal and limited-time brews. Over at NoDa Brewing Company, the newer of the two, 16 brews pour from the taps year-round joined by rotating seasonal selections. Since it’s North Carolina, sampling Cheerwine Ale — a wheat ale made with the state’s favorite soda brand — is a must.

For a more experimental experience, stop in for a pint at Pilot Brewing Company, a small-batch nano-brewery with no flagship beers and no core ranges. The team instead prefers to rotate selections as often as possible, currently offering 14 proprietary and two “co-Pilot” beers; two non-alcoholic brews; four ciders; and two hard seltzers. Pilot Brewing Company was also named the 1023 North Carolina Brewery of the Year at the NC Brewers Cup Competition.

3. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam is one of the best beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Furbrew / Silver Ringvee via Unsplash

Beer production in Vietnam dates back to the 19th century, and the nation now consistently ranks in the top 10 beer-consuming countries worldwide. While labels like Saigon Beer and Hanoi Beer occupy most of the market, a vibrant craft scene is flourishing in Hanoi, mostly led by Furbrew.

Opened in 2016, it was the city’s first independent craft brewery, originally located in The 100 Garden, a beer garden located in the Tây Ho District. Since then, Furbrew’s expanded to a 1,000-liter brewhouse, with selections spanning some 20 taplines, and cans and bottles also on offer. For a wider selection, return to The 100 Garden, which supplements Furbrew beers with a selection of other Vietnamese brews flowing through 31 taps.

At Standing Bar, located on Truc Bach Lake in the city’s Old Quarter, 19 taps rotate brews from across Vietnam alongside a food menu that changes daily. Hop in the car and head 15 minutes north to enjoy one of 20 beers on tap at Turtle Lake Brewing Company, while listening to live music along Tay Ho lake.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Vietnam without a ride on the back of a motorbike. The Hanoi Beer Tour combines that experience with a five-hour guided tour, complete with food and a history and culture lesson on Hanoi.

No matter what, drinking bia hoi is a must in the city. While not “craft,” the daily-brewed and briefly matured brew is the backbone of beer consumption in the city, delivered to suppliers daily and typically served in a frosted glass with large chunks of ice.

2. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is one of the top beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Scout Magazine / Mike Ben via Unsplash

British Columbia’s booming beer scene boasts some 250 craft breweries — most of which opened their doors in the last 10 years, with approximately 70 calling Vancouver home.

The highest concentration of breweries and brewpubs can be found on the east side of the city, affectionately nicknamed “Yeast Van.” The industrial area, which runs from Powell Street to Commercial Drive, contains around 15 breweries, the first of which — Storm Brewing — opened in the 1990s. At Parallel 49 Brewing, Yeast Vancouver’s largest brewery, enjoy the plethora of urban street art while sipping one of the more than 10 brews offered. Fancy visiting as many breweries as possible in the area? Join the Yeast Vancouver Ale Trail on a four-day exploration through the city’s beer scene.

Outside of Yeast Vancouver, no visit to the city is complete without a trip to Steamworks Brewing, the only steam-operated brewery in Canada. If you’re traveling with others who don’t share the same affinity for beer, hit up the Vancouver Urban Winery which shares a space with the Belgard Kitchen, a restaurant spotlighting Canadian ingredients alongside a selection of wine, cocktails, and, of course, draft beer.

1. London, England, United Kingdom

London, England, United Kingdom is one of the best beer destinations for 2024.
Credit: Kanpai London / Luke Stackpoole via Unsplash

With its trademark pub culture, London seems like an obvious beer destination, but the city has never allowed itself to get comfortable, and continually pushes the boundaries of what it means to brew great beer. And with over 100 commercial breweries operating in the city — and more pubs than anyone could check out in one visit — there’s certainly no shortage of suds.

To break from the beaten tourist path, head to southeast London for a galavant down the Bermondsey Beer Mile. The stretch of road (that’s actually closer to two miles long) is rife with breweries, bars, and bottle shops, all nestled in former railway arches. Expect anything from traditional English ales — at Southwark Brewing, they’re served straight out of the cask — to stouts, IPAs, and even some honey-based brews. Need a break from beer? Kanpai, the U.K.’s first sake brewery and taproom, is located along the strip and serves 10 sakes on tap alongside a collection of Kanpai collaboration beers. Pro tip: Saturdays are the best day to visit the “mile,” as most of the breweries and pubs open at the same time.

Starting this year, stout drinkers will no longer have to venture up to Dublin for an “official” pint of Guinness. Set to open late 2024 in Covent Garden, Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard is bringing production back to a part of the city where brewing dates back to 1722. Diageo, the brand’s parent company, plans for the microbrewery to focus on limited-edition beers while offering visitors a guided tour of the premises. Additionally, the 50,000-square-foot operation is set to become the southern U.K. hub for “Learning for Life Bartending and Hospitality,” Diageo’s training program. Eventually, 100 London-based students will graduate from the program annually.

While the English capital’s summer weather is notoriously unreliable, the London Beer Festival is a guaranteed August fixture, giving guests the chance to sample over 800 beers from more than 100 breweries. Located on Tobacco Dock in Wapping, approximately 16,000 drinkers flock to the festival each year for brews, cocktails, spirits, wine, and vibrant live music. Remember to pack that umbrella, just in case!