Believe it or not, there is life in Brazil beyond bikini-clad beauties, and if you need proof, this full-bodied (in a different way) black lager is a tribute to the ancient black beers of the Amazon Indian tribes. History lesson aside, expect a rich and creamy beer topped with a mild bitterness and an anise aroma. Try that line on your friends.
France: Brasserie de St. Sylvestre
The French seem to have perfected many things, and this beer is no exception. With roots stemming back to 1800, this robust red brew has a deep malt flavor and bright hoppiness. Expect fruity flavors, courtesy of a special top-fermenting yeast that is rarely found in France. Seriously, who doesn't love exclusivity?
Italy: Birra del Borgo
Italian native Leonardo di Vincenzo may sound like someone you'd read about in a history book, but this youngster actually founded Birra del Borgo just a few short years ago in 2005 — and only after dabbling with brewing as a hobby in college. So, why not toast in his honor with this amber-colored brew, complete with bitter orange, caramel, and honey notes? We think you'll agree, his tuition was good for something.
Japan: Kiuchi Brewery
Servin' up some sushi or fish? Then this old-school brew from 1823 (yes, really!) is the perfect accompaniment. Our favorite part about this pale ale is the spicy sweetness that comes from the fresh ginger root.
Turkey: Efes Beer Group
Among the top 10 brewers in Europe, the Efes Pilsner has become synonymous with beer in Turkey since 1969. Take it from your R29 Chicago editor who spent some serious time in Turkey, this brew is as good with a kebab as it is with a burger or any other American meze you've got on hand.
All of these beers are available at the House of Glunz,1206 North Wells Street (between Division and Scott streets); 312-642-3000.