Bruges Coat of ArmsMore and more Irish people are heading off on weekend city breaks. This has been helped by the availability of cheap flights from Ryanair and Aer Lingus. There are more flights to more destinations than ever before. So why not choose a destination that has an excellent selection of good pubs and quality beer?

Copenhagen If Carlsberg were in charge of tourism for the city of Copenhagen, “Probably Eastern Denmark’s Best Beer Destination” might be the slogan that they would choose to advertise to the rest of the world. Even though Carlsberg (and Tuborg) may be one of the first things that comes to people’s minds when the city of Copenhagen comes up, luckily there is a lot more than Danish lager to offer a beer tourist on a trip to the capital of Denmark. I should issue this disclaimer before I go any further though: although I’ve spent the last five years living in Dublin, I grew up in western Michigan drinking Midwest craft beers such as Bell’s and Founder’s, am married to a Danish woman, and have studied, visited and worked in Copenhagen here and there over the past ten years. So basically, in this article, I’ll compare Copenhagen to Dublin and I’m partial to hoppy Indian/American Pale Ales that are fairly popular among Danish craft breweries.

Over €25 worth of beer, Oslo style"Forty-five bucks!? This better be the best tasting beer in the world. [Drinks] You got lucky." -- Barney Gumble

Let's face it: Oslo is not the obvious choice for a beer-hunting weekend. Two contributing factors spring immediately to mind: the state monopoly on selling booze, and the ferocious price of the stuff. Armed with these prejudices I marched into Norway prepared to do battle with inaccessible over-priced mediocrity. I was surprised by what I found, though not about the price bit...

This town is hard on the feet with its many steep inclines and cobbled streets, but that is all the more justification for stopping off, resting your weary legs and having a restorative pint of life giving ale. This is not a straight forward as it might seem because pubs serving craft beer are few and far between. True, most pubs of the older style have a cask or two on, but invariable it is the rather disappointing Deuchar's IPA which just doesn't make the grade. In cask this beer is a mere 3.8% abv and rather insipid, and doesn't provide what the slightly stronger bottled version offers. The Deuchar's 80/- is also quite common and fills the need for a mild dark beer, should it come upon you. A little of bit of footwork might result in stumbling upon some Deuchars XPA which is slightly stronger, much more satisfying on the hop front and the best of Deuchar's offerings.

Clock What can you say about a city in which the best lagers in the world are available on every street corner at a quarter of the cost of pub prices in Dublin?

It’s a beer lover’s fantasy and I found it hard to believe I was really there, and this was before I discovered the micro brewed offerings. I flew from London but Aer Lingus provide a regular service to Prague and the journey from the airport to the city centre can be made by taxi or for just 20 CZK (75 cents) via public transport. The taxi service appears official and well regulated with a set price for the trip while the public transport option we took entails a bus journey and a metro connection. The metro runs beautifully, is safe to use and easy to navigate. The city itself can be easily traversed on foot or the metro can be used to get around very quickly.