The 6 essential summer experiences for true beer connoisseurs

Summer is finally here. The season commonly perceived by the general public as the most beer-friendly of all. If you’re not into the ordinary beer-centered pool parties, then here are the best summer 2022 beer experiences for you.

Simone Massenza
Simone Massenza
esperienze estive e birra

Summer is finally here.

It’s summertime, as the timeless Gershwin/Fitzgerald/Armstrong trio sang (or, more recently, Morcheeba), in one of the most popular jazz standards in international musical history.

The season, commonly perceived by the general public as the most beer-friendly of all, in which even those who aren’t beer connoisseurs or those who are diehard wine lovers, let themselves be seduced by this bubbly amber beverage and how easily it goes down, with its low alcohol content and light, thirst quenching bitterness.

But if you’re a true beer lover, you’re not interested in the ordinary old beer-centered pool parties, with shouts of “Toga! Toga! Toga!” or the thousands of local beer fests which pop up every year like mushrooms throughout the country.

You’re looking for something more…and I’m here to give it to you!

Here are the best summer 2022 beer experiences for you.


Do you dream of competing with the Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt and her donkey milk, but feel more like Obelix in “Asterix and Cleopatra” (“Loss of appetite is a dreadful blight!”).

Then I have the perfect solution for you!

It’s called a Beer Spa, featuring beer, thermal baths, and wellness. Large pools full of beer, that you can actually bathe in, and a tap from which you can help yourself to all-you-can-drink! Plus a selection of beer-based treatments. These are becoming more and more popular throughout Europe, including Italy, but the first and original one is that of the Starkenberger Brewery.

Located in Tarrenz, just a one-hour drive from Brenner, near the famous and ever-popular Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, Austria. Thanks to its Alpine lakes, crystalline water, mountain paths, hiking trails, and mountain biking, it’s also a perfect summer destination.

The brewery, open since 1810 and situated within the local castle, a medieval fort from the 14th century, produces seven different beers, from #Loyal to #Straightforward (if you don’t know what we’re talking about then hurry and take our Taste Test!), and two radlers.

Here you can enjoy bathing in a 12,000 liter pool, the only one of its kind, in which 300 liters of beer are poured.

They say that beer baths, thanks to the hops, improve circulation, make skin softer and more supple, are relaxing, and have detoxifying properties.

Finally, after a bit of pampering, you can enjoy a nice brewery-style dinner directly in the castle’s stube, where, in addition to tasting the beers which are produced there, you’ll be offered a true traditional and beer-themed Tyrolean menu: from gulash prepared with beer to pork tenderloin in a dark beer sauce.

Before leaving, don’t forget to stop by the castle’s shop, not just for their precious bottles, but also for the beer-based cosmetic products, from bath salts to face, body, and hair products.

As a well-known Italian ad from the 1930s used to say: “Those who drink beer, live to be one hundred!”.

spa alla birra


Are you more of a sea type? Cliffs, sand, and waves?

What do you think of Capri, in Campania’s archipelago, with its many caves and stairways, just off the coast of Sorrento? Between the Blue Grotto and the Faraglioni, with Vesuvio in the background, sits Birra di Capri, an artisan brewery just waiting to welcome you.

The beers it produces, all blonde, easy-to-drink, and perfect for the summer, are: Ligea (a golden ale that gets its name from the siren spotted by Ulysses on the island), Perla (a Weizen), and Pilsner. The brewery can accommodate you at La Giuliva, its splendid B&B, and feed you at the Grotta Azzurra, their pastry shop/bistrot.

In addition to the beers, the crystalline sea, and the breathtaking views, even more beautiful while sipping a beer, they’re known for their delicious Neapolitan pastries, from their caprese cake to the sfogliatelle, from the babà made with Capri limoncello to the traditional pastiera, spoiling you from breakfast all the way to after dinner, including at snack time.

“In no place on earth are there so many opportunities for delicious peace and quiet as on this small island,” cit. Charles Dickens.

hotel e birra


Are you more of an art-city type? Do you love cultural and cosmopolitan trips?

Don’t feel discouraged, I have the right destination for you too. What do you think of Brussels, the capital of Europe? The Grand Place, the Atomium, the Mannequin Pis, the Comic Book Museum, and the Musée Magritte.

In addition to being, if you’re gluttonous like me, the World Capital of Chocolate and one of the undisputed beer capitals of the world, together with Munich, Dublin, Prague, and London. Perfect, all that’s left is to reserve one of the twenty-two rooms in the Het Anker Hotel (the welcome drink is, obviously, a beer!).

Het Anker is one of the oldest (founded in 1410), well-known, and award winning breweries in Belgium (the one that produces Gouden Carolus, Lucifer, Boscoli, and Maneblusser, to be clear), and you can stay overnight in the historic Mechelen brewery itself, 25 km north in the suburbs of Brussels.

Between Friday and Sunday you can go on a tour of the production area, meet the master brewer, participate in guided tastings, and, in the evening, dine at the brasserie, also located within the brewery, serving specialties from Flanders, cooked with beer and paired with beerAlso located in the brewery, which produces an excellent whisky and sake, is a shop where you can purchase souvenirs before returning home. Forget about your average postcards and magnets! PS: the night tables in each room are two early 20th century wooden beer crates



Forget your small town beer festivals (no offense intended, they’re definitely fun!), but there are great summer festivals all over the world.

My advice? I don’t even have to think about it.

One stands out above the rest: the Great British Beer Festival!

This takes place in London, at the Olympia London, a fantastic Art Noveau-style structure and exhibition center in West Kensington, in the very central neighborhood of Hammersmith and Fulham. Organized by (drumroll please) none other than Cam.R.A., the first association in the world working to promote high quality artisan beers and safeguard traditional British beers, founded in 1971, and a member of the E.B.C.U., the European Beer Consumers’ Union.

In other words, a piece of history and an important institution (it’s partly their fault that you drink good beer today!)

The festival takes place from August 2nd to 6th (admission is £20 if you reserve tickets, or £24 if you pay there) and offers the opportunity to taste over 900 beers and hard ciders, especially British ones, while enjoying concerts, events, performances, and food stands. It’s the perfect occasion not only to visit “The Big Smoke”, one of the richest and most popular capitals in the world, but also to taste English beers, from the rarest to the most famous. A triumph of English I.P.A., British Brown Ale, Bitter, Barley Wine, English Porter, and Golden Ale.

This edition’s guests will include giants of the brewing world, like Adnams and Bishop Nick, as well as micro-producers like The Wild Beer, with its beers that have been rigorously aged in wooden barrels, its alternative fermentation methods, and its unorthodox yeasts.

At the festival, for £16, you can also participate in an Introductory Course to Beer Tasting, held by Cam.R.A. beer-tasters, or, for £20, a City of London Tasting Tour, during which Des De Moor himself, the well-known English singer and beer-writer, will take you from pub to pub, discovering the best pints available in the city.

Now that’s a festival!

fontana di birra


In the heart of Slovenia, amidst woods, parks, and crystalline lakes, there’s a fountain… of beer! No, it’s not the start of a Brothers Grimm fairytale, but rather a reality in Žalec, a small city with 20,000 inhabitants in the Savjniska region, right in the center of the country. Here, in 2016, the city government created the first fountain of beer in the world, open from June to August.

It’s called Zeleno Zlato (“green gold”), referring to hops, which are also depicted in the municipal coat of arms and are a fundamental ingredient in beer, as well as a traditional local product.

Since 1886 Slovenia has produced excellent hops in this area of the country and is the fifth producer of hops worldwide, possessing one of the few and rare noble varieties, the Styrian Golding, native to this area. The fountain is comprised of a structure with six columns from which six different and excellent beers flow from 10am to 10pm, plus a seventh tap with water for rinsing your mouth.

To enjoy it, you need a specific mug, equipped with a special microchip that the fountain recognizes in order to pour six different 10 ml tastes of the beers offered. The mug can be purchased directly at the fountain, the Tourist Office, or the Hops Museum (which I encourage visiting) for €9. Among the beers offered, all of which are worth tasting and perfect for the summer with their 4.9%-5.2% ABV, one in particular stands out, also symbolically: the Kukec from the Težak brewery, named after Simon Kukec, the man who, in the 19th century, more than anyone else pushed the development of the Slovenian beer industry, a true national hero.

Na zdravje!


Are you a dynamic type? Someone who gets bored sitting under a beach umbrella doing nothing? Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you.

It’s called Mosto di Malto and it’s in Prato.

In the heart of Tusany, the cradle of the Renaissance, just a stone’s throw from Florence, where you can visit the Prato Cathedral and the Emperor’s Castle and enjoy pappa al pomodoro, schiacciata with Prato Mortadella (less well-known than that of Bologna, but just as good), cantucci, and the ever-popular Prato peaches, two soft cakes, soaked in alchermes and held together with custard… As you can see, it’s no chore to go there.

In this small paradise, which our country is full of, be sure to visit this small pub/beer-shop in the city center. In addition to the incredible variety of beers, roughly 200 labels available either on tap or by the bottle, which can be enjoyed there or taken away, you can make your own beer.

I mean that literally!

Just two days a week, Thursday and Saturday, and only with a reservation, the laboratory (like none other in Italy) opens up to the public and you can become a true brewmaster, learning the ancient art of beer making.

Choose from the eleven recipes offered by the house, or modify one and create your own, and after three and a half hours of work, assisted by highly skilled personnel, your wort will be ready. After 15 days, you’ll be able to stop by again to pick up your ten liters, already bottled and with your personalized label.

A really fun, useful, dynamic, and not overly exclusive experience: it only costs between €99 and €130. I think that’s everything… Suggestions for every taste and interest. Now you have no more excuses not to dedicate yourself to beer this summer!

All that’s left to do is make a reservation and go.

Have a nice trip! Cheers!