Traveling, drinking beer and the possibility of live Oompah music – what could be better? If you’re off to see the world this fall, you like beer and you want to pretend you’re at Oktoberfest, then pack your stein and read on. Airports around the world are pouring some frothy brews this beer-drinking season, and we’ve found some of the best spots to sit back and grab a cold one before your flight. If you’re lucky, you might even catch an Oktoberfest celebration, so you can get the full experience even if you’re not heading to Germany.
San Diego International Airport, San Diego, California
California is one of the top craft brew hot spots, and Cali-based Stone Brewing is producing some of the most delicious and top-rated beverages on the map. Enjoy the farm-to-table food menu and a variety of beer selections at its airport location.
Location: Terminal 2
Drink this: Try out the Stone IPA, the definition of a reliable Indian Pale Ale with a crisp, hoppy finish.
Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
If you’ve got some extra time in the Frankfurt Airport, you’re in luck. There will be Oktoberfest celebrations happening right in the airport for the next three weeks. Enjoy live music, drink up at a traditional beer tent and snack on giant soft pretzels — all before takeoff. Doesn’t get much better (or more festive) than that.
Location: Pier Z, Terminal 2
Drink this: Enjoy a liter of fresh beer from the tapped keg right in the terminal.
Denver International Airport, Denver, Colorado
The Denver airport has its share of tap houses where you can while (and drink) away the hours before your flight. If you want the true Colorado beer experience, make your way to the New Belgium Hub, which boasts artfully crafted beers designed for drinkability. New Belgium keeps winning awards for its microbrews, so you should probably find out why. For research purposes, of course. The Denver airport also hosts their own Oktoberfest shenanigans with a pop-up beer garden on Level 5 between the Jeppesen Terminal and the Westin. Now in its third year, the event kicks of Sept. 30 and runs through Oct. 10. Tickets are $10 at the door and entry includes a souvenir glass.
Location: B Gates
Drink this: Sip on the 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, a unique beer inspired by centuries-old Belgian style.
Sydney Airport, Sydney, Australia
If you find yourself in the land down under, make a pit stop at Coopers Ale House, which received the International Airport Bar of the Year at the 2014 World FAB Awards. The shabby chic airport pub designed out of recycled timber offers original Australian beers in a variety of styles.
Drink this: Order a Best Extra Stout for rich flavor and a punchy finish.
Portland International Airport, Portland, Oregon
Rogue Ales is an Oregon brewery dedicated to working with the best ingredients, whether that’s hops, malts, yeast or water. It’s got a meeting hall at the Portland Airport with an array of beers to choose from. Be sure to grab a 22 ounce pre-flight brew or pick up a growler to take with you to your destination. If you decide on the latter, here’s what you need to know about taking alcohol on your flight.
Location: Concourse D, Gate 4
Drink this: Try the Hazelnut Brown Nectar, a nutty beer with a malty finish.
Munich Airport, Munich, Germany
Maybe you’re leaving Munich post Oktoberfest, or perhaps you want to start the celebration early. The Munich Airport Beer Garden is the closest you’ll get in an airport to the feeling (and drinking) of Oktoberfest, with an actual maypole onsite. As they say in Germany, “Prost!”
Location: Nested between terminal 1 and 2
Drink this: Give the Jetstream a try. It’s an affordable pilsner with just the right amount of hops.
Tokyo International Airport, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Floor 3F
Drink this: Try the Yebisu Premium, a classic Japanese all-malt beer.
Tampa International Airport, Tampa, Florida
Location: Airside C Terminal
Drink this: While at Cigar City Brewing, sip on the Jai Alai Indian Pale Ale, which was originally a style brewed for British troops.
Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Canada
Canada has increasingly embraced its craft-brewed culture and, if you are passing through Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, you can sample some of the results at Mill Street Brewery. Although the brewery has grown to include locations all over Canada, including this airport brewpub, it started in 2002 as a local operation Toronto’s Distillery District.
Location: Terminal One near gate D20.
Drink this: Try the seasonal German-style Marzen brew, a malty lager aptly named Oktoberfest, and forget the fact that you’re an ocean away from the real event.
Feature image: istockphoto/ Izabela Habur