No other nation in the world gets beer better than Germany. Its reverence of the beverage goes way back to 1516, when the government passed a purity code dictating that all German brews be made only from water, hops and barley-malt. (Yeast had not yet been discovered.) This prevented unscrupulous Bavarians from tainting beer with cheap ingredients. Today Germany boasts over 1,000 breweries and toasts its boozy legacy every September at Oktoberfest, a 16-day gluttonous affair requiring all manner of ale to wash down the spetzel and sausage. If youre there, be sure to try the the sweet, malty Spaten's Oktoberfest, an amber lager that will remind you of home cooked food on a rainy day.
Most people think of San Miguel as a Spanish beer, but it was originally in brewed in the Philippines by a German brewmaster 1892, and only later brought to Spain. (You can still get it in both countries.) Light and refreshing, and dirt cheap in the Philippines, its no wonder its a favorite among locals. Order this pale lager frosty after a day of sightseeing. Dave White