Every beer drinking country has its traditions when it comes to drinking beer and snacking Whether it’s the salty bar snacks that are given to you for free to increase your consumption or the ones you buy, it’s important to get it right. Pairing your beer and the best beer snacks ensures that you get the best experience when you’re travelling. We’ve collaborated with some great travel writers and beer drinkers to bring you a compendium of worldwide beer snacks. These top beer snacks are sorted in alphabetical order by region and country.
Our writers have scoured the world to bring you the best beer and snack pairs, they’ve tested them rigorously and brought you photographic evidence. From Ecuador to Japan, from Germany to India and Australia to the Azores, these really are the world’s top beer snacks that you’ll want to seek out and consume.
We asked all our contributors to tell us about one of their favourite beer snacks from around the world and what specific beer to drink with them. Read on, and then tell us what your favourite snack to have with beer is. If we’ve missed any, then drop us a line and let us know what else we should include!
What's in This Article?
- Best Armenian Beer Snacks
- Best Australian Beer Snacks
- Best Beer Snacks from the Azores
- Best Bavarian Beer Snacks
- Best Ecuadorean Beer Snacks
- Best English Beer Snack
- Best Georgian Beer Snacks
- Best German Beer Snacks
- Best Beer Snack from Granada, Spain
- Best Indian Beer Snacks
- Best Indonesian Beer Snack
- Best Irish Beer Snacks
- Best Italian Beer Snacks
- Best Japanese Beer Snacks
- Best Netherlands Beer Snacks
- Best Beer Snacks from the Philippines
- Best Portuguese Beer Snack
- Best Russian Beer Snacks
- Best Slovakian Beer Snacks
- Best South African Beer Snacks
- Best Ukranian Beer Snacks
- Best Beer Snacks – What’s Yours?
Best Armenian Beer Snacks
Armenian Beer Snack – Crayfish
It has to be one of the more bizarre snacks with beer that we’ve had around the world. Crayfish. In bars throughout Armenia, you’ll find tanks of fresh living crayfish. In the market, you’ll see boxes and boxes of them. Armenians boil them up with a dash of vinegar and allspice. They’re served with dill. Crack them open, eat the claw and white meat. It won’t take you long, there’s not much meat on these little snackettes. You’re going to need to order quite a few to fill up and on that basis, you could argue that these are healthy snacks with beer!
Armenian Beer Snack – Chechil Braided Smoked Cheese
We’ve eaten chechil in a number of diferent countries. First of all in Russia, and then most of the old soviet states as we’ve passed through them on our overland trip from Istanbul, Turkey to Khiva, Uzbekistan. It’s moorish, salty and very, very addictive. Chechil, however, originated in Armenia. It’s a string cheese – a bit like a semi-hard mozzarella. You’ll find it in plastic packs in the fridge of supermarkets – braided into a short rope of dense strings.
In Armenia you may also find it call “husats” or “tel”. You may also find it as “chechil panir” or Armenian or Syrian cheese. (Many of the Armenian refugees from the Armenian Genocide settled in Syria) The curd is bathed in hot whey, kneaded and stretched to a pliable consistency. It’s then braided. It’s generally smoked. You can even find Chechil in the USA. For me, this is a perfect combination of beer and snacks!
It’s slightly salty, chewy and a great pair with Kilikia Beer.
Read More on Armenia in our Itinerary for the Caucasus like a local.
Best Australian Beer Snacks
I was somewhat dubious when Alex Gibb of Size Jinx in One told us of his top Australian beer snack pairing, but now I can’t wait to go back.
Best snack with Australian Beer? What could that be? Well for me it’s Vegemite on white buttered toast with Matso’s Mango Beer. It’s Vegemite, not Marmite.
Kicking back on a nice hot summers day with your Mango beer, but there’s something missing? You know that time of the day, where you haven’t eaten anything for lunch and your stomach is just craving hard for a snack. The combination of Vegemite and Matsos beer is unique and I would say it is still my favourite beer snack today.
There are two traditional versions of Marmite, the British version and the New Zealand version. Australia, however, has it’s own version called Vegemite. It is currently my favourite beer snack in Australia. Matso’s Mango beer is just pure goodness for the taste buds. If there were some health factor for drinking this beer I would be drinking more. At the end of the day, it’s just a good beer that has a flavour of Mango, that compliments the hot dusty dry weather conditions.
Vegemite is made from yeast extract, it’s thick black food spread, a by-product of beer brewing. It’s naturally salty in taste and can be a love or hate relationship for many people.
So give it a go, you got nothing to lose.
Best Beer Snacks from the Azores
Megan Starr tells us of a tried and tested beer snack made better. Many people associate Tremocos as a beer snack when Portugal comes to mind. While the ones in Portugal are delicious, the ones in the Azores are incredible! You will undoubtedly find them at every bar you go to or anywhere where beer is present! In the Azores, they marinate them in a chilli and garlic oil and makes them spicy and to be honest, completely addictive.
I was waiting to end up with intestinal issues from the absurd amount I consumed whilst there (never happened, thank goodness!) These brined lupini beans are very regional and different marinades exist depending on where you are at. Out of all of the places I’ve travelled, I definitely think the Azores sits at the top in terms of delicious beer snacks!
At AsocialNomad we LOVE Tremoscos and rate them as our top best snacks for beer!
Read more about Megan’s Azorean travels.
Best Bavarian Beer Snacks
You might have guessed that we’d have some German beer snacks in here, Corinne Vail from ReflectionsEnroute has a favourite from this region.
Obatzda, a cream cheese spread, is often served with brown bread and raw onions. It has a pale pink colour as one of the ingredients is a sweet paprika. It is the perfect accompaniment to a great Bavarian beer, such as the Weltenburger Klosterbier from Kelheim.
There is nothing better than sitting in the monastery beer garden and whiling away the afternoon with some traditional Obatzda and a beer. This is one of the more moorish snacks to eat with beer that we’ve seen!
Check out Corinne’s in-depth article about the Munich Hops Museum and explore the world of Bavarian beer.
Best Ecuadorean Beer Snacks
Shifting to the other side of the world, Scott and Hayley from International Hotdish rave about their favourite beer snacks from Ecuador.
When you’re sitting on the beach in Ecuador, you should probably have a beer in your hand. And if you have a beer in your hand, you should have a plate of patacones by your side. What are patacones, you say? Glad you asked.
Patacones are salty, flattened, twice-fried plantain disks. Plantains are a starchy plant, not unlike potatoes, so they make a tasty, affordable fried treat for when you’re having a few beers. Patacones end up being similar to french fries: they’re crispy, salty, and starchy. And while they might be popular in Ecuador, they can be found all over South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and Africa.
Since you’ll probably be in a hot climate when you eat these, your best beer pairing is a pilsner. The salt on the patacones will drive you to drink more, and having a moderately light beer helps prevent bloating. Enjoy!
Best English Beer Snack
My out and out favourite English beer snack has to be the pork scratching. Pork rind is pig skin. If it’s roasted or fried in pork fat then it becomes what we know as pork scratching. The cooked rind reduces a lot in size and becomes crispy with an underlying softness. You might find this in Spain as chicharron. It’s moreish, tasty and you don’t want to know what its doing to your cholesterol levels. Drink it with whatever your local pub has on hand pump. My favourite hand pumped ale in Brighlingsea, Essex is currently Landlord from the Timothy Taylor brewery.
Best Georgian Beer Snacks
Georgian Beer Snack – Suluguni Cheese
Suluguni is a Georgian cheese. It’s sour, somewhat salty and dimpled, which means its often called the “pickle cheese”. You’ll find suluguni in colours from white to pale yellow, and it might also be deep fried! In markets you’ll see large discs of suluguni. It’s salty sour taste makes it a great combo with the main beer that you’ll find here in Georgia, Natakhtari.
Best German Beer Snacks
You might expect we’d have several top beer snacks from Germany, (and that we split out Bavaria as a region earlier). Cate Brubaker’s favourite German Beer Snack is tried and tested – and making my mouth water as I write this…
One of my favourite countries for beer is Germany, and one of my favourite things to eat with a German beer is Bratwurst, fresh off the grill. I always eat mine in a Brötchen (roll) topped with mustard. It’s absolutely the best! A staple at festivals, outdoor markets, and home grill parties, a fresh, hot Bratwurst warms you up on a cold day, yet is still satisfying with a beer on a hot summer day.
Bratwurst are inexpensive, easy to find anywhere in Germany, and taste great with all kinds of beer. My favourite German beer? It’s a toss-up between Bitburger or a Hefeweizen (but really, I love them all).
Be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and check out Cate’s German Dessert suggestions.
Taking Bratwurst a step further is Kaylie Lewell of Happiness Travels Here, with her favourite beer snack from Dresden.
In Germany bratwurst and beer just go together. But in the former East German city of Dresden, like in Berlin, you will find the humble sausage has been given an upgrade. Grilled and diced bratwurst is topped with a slightly sweet curry sauce, choose how spicy you want it from kindergartener mild to knock your lederhosen off spicey.
While you might get to choose 8 levels of heat you’ll only get one choice of beer. In Dresden, at the most popular vendor Curry24, it is the refreshing Radeberger Pilsner that is on offer. Crisp and slightly sweet it’s the perfect beer to cool the mouth and quench the thirst.
Best Beer Snack from Granada, Spain
Worldwide Shopping Guide’s James takes our beer snack compendium to the Andalucian town of Granada in Spain to tempt your taste buds.
In some towns in Spain, such as Granada in Andalucia, it’s still typical to get a complimentary tapa served with your beer. One of the most common tapas that you can expect to get is a slice of Spanish tortilla, known in Spanish as tortilla española, tortilla de patatas, or tortilla de papas.
A Spanish tortilla is an omelette made with slices of potatoes and eggs, mixed together and cooked in a deep frying pan. Some recipes use onions as well, but even this slight variation is considered controversial in Spain. Any other additions, such as slices of pepper or tomato, are essentially pure sacrilege.
The tortilla is normally cooked up in advance and served cold, although some bars will reheat it before serving. It’s often served with a slice of bread, as part of a pincho, or with a dollop of Aioli on the side.
Spanish tortilla pairs well with most beers and is most commonly served with a pale lager.
Best Indian Beer Snacks
Lavina from Continent Hop suggests snacks to eat with your Indian Beer.
While masala peanuts are popular as an accompaniment to a beer (they get ASocialNomad’s vote for the best Indian snacks with beer) , my personal favourite is ‘Chivda’. Chivda is very versatile. It hails from India and the main ingredient is roasted rice or corn flakes. Depending on preferences, locals make it in a variety of ways so no chivda is same unless it’s bought from the same store or from a recognised brand!
What makes it a great snack is that in addition to being crunchy, usually peanuts, cashew nuts or almonds are added to the mix. You might even find fried curry leaves, ‘shev’ – fried strips of gram flour and other additions in it, ensuring you get a burst of flavour, every time you take a bite. Try them and see if, for you, they’re the best snacks with beer in India.
Chivda tastes best with Kingfisher or a King’s which can be found only in Goa!
Best Indonesian Beer Snack
Tempeh has been eaten in Indonesia for hundreds of years, primarily as a replacement for meat. It’s made from slightly fermented soybeans. It’s high in protein and calcium and has a textured, nutty flavour. It’s very solid and it’s great fried with garlic, lemon and salt. The resultant fries or chips, especially dipped into a salsa will have your bottle of Bintang going down very well.
Best Irish Beer Snacks
Kevin and Heather Moriarty of Live Learn Family Travel, report on their experiences of the best beer snacks in Ireland.
It seems difficult to imagine visiting Ireland without partaking in a proper pint of Guinness at the local pub. This was unequivocally the experience I was looking forward to the most. My mind filled with visions of rugged-looking fishermen in tweed hats sipping the dark, rich stout made famous in the 1800s. The snack of choice to accompany this iconic beverage? Fresh oysters, of course!
The pairing of Guinness and oysters is sturdily rooted in Irish history. Long before oysters were considered a delicacy they were seen as the food of the poor and the protein of survival for Irishmen during the Great Famine. As for stout, it was appreciated by the working class because it cost less than other beers, had a stronger taste and, most of all, more calories to sustain them. Times have changed and cost aside, the flavour combination is undeniably brilliant. The briny, salt-sprayed oysters are a perfect match to the slightly bitter taste of the creamy stout. In fact, Howard Hillman, author of “The Gourmet Guide to Beer,” calls Guinness and oysters “a marriage that was made in heaven”.
Next time you visit the Emerald Isle, try it for yourself. Sláinte!
Best Italian Beer Snacks
Adriano Fariselli hails from Italy and never misses an opportunity to tell the world about Ciccioli, which should be accompanied of course with Moretti.
Some of the best food in the world comes from Italy and the best of the best comes from Emilia Romagna: Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto, Tortellini, Balsamic Vinegar and of course Ciccioli. In a region made famous by its food, it’s a guarantee they have some great snacks!
Ciccioli are little bites of deliciousness made by cooking chunks of pork until all the fat drains away. They are then seasoned and put into a cloth sack and pressed. Either in a special press or by driving a tractor over it, if you believe the stories the old guy at the bar tells you. At the end you are left with a dry crunchy bit of pork you buy at the local butcher shop.
On a crisp autumn day, there is nothing better than grabbing a sack of Ciccioli and heading across the piazza to the bar and ordering up an ice cold Birra Moretti, a pale lager the Italians have been drinking since 1859. The light crispness of the beer offsets the salty crunchiness of the Ciccioli and is just another example of how the Italians are culinary masters.
Catch up with Adriano and Charleen Fariselli at Big Wave Nomads.
Best Japanese Beer Snacks
Japanese Beer Snack – Kushikatsu
Mary Chong of Calculated Traveller suggests heading to a specific area of Japan for the best beer snacks.
The Shinsekai area of Osaka Japan is well known for its neon lights, bars, nightlife, and the famous Kushikatsu – battered and deep fried skewers of meat or vegetables. Each Kushikatsu is dipped into a communal rectangular metal container containing a sweet brown dipping sauce before eating and is typically served with large pieces of torn cabbage. The cabbage cleanses the palate between bites, eases digestion from all the oil, and acts as a spoon should you need more sauce on your skewer.
Lotus Root and mushroom Kushikatsu in Shinsekai Osaka Japan.
Sold individually by the skewer the budget-friendly Kushikatsu goes perfectly with any beer but I like to drink Asahi Super Dry when in Japan.
The main rule to adhere to when eating these delightfully addictive skewers? No matter how many beers you’ve had – no double dipping allowed!
Join Mary on 9 unique experiences only to be found in Japan
If you’re heading to Japan, then be sure to go to the Asahi Brewery for a free beer (and of course snack) tasting.
Japanese Beer Snack – Edamame
Edamame are young soybeans usually served still in the pod (although you can buy them shelled too). They’re a popular Japanese beer snack, although unlike many beer snacks they’re surprisingly healthy and a great source of low fat protein. Edamame are boiled in salted water, or steamed then sprinkled with salt. Apart from the salt, which makes them moorish, Edamame really are healthy beer snacks. They can be eaten hot or cold, but are better with a little warmth in them. To eat your edamame direct from the pod, bring it to your lips and squeeze or bite the beans into your mouth. The beans usually pop out pretty quickly. Don’t eat the pod!
The best beer to drink while eating Japanese beer snacks like Edamame? I like Asahi, but that’s because I visited the Asahi brewery in Japan!
Best Netherlands Beer Snacks
Esther de Beer of Your Dutch Guide knows a thing or two about the best Dutch Beer Snacks and advises that you can’t visit The Netherlands and not order a portion of bitterballen to go with your beer. Typically, the filling of a bitterbal is a ragout made from either veal or beef and then battered and deep-fried. However, in winter you can also find bitterballen filled with a ragout made from game, like venison or wild boar. And nowadays it’s not uncommon to see vegetarian or even vegan bitterballen on the menu of bars and cafés.
Since The Netherlands have such a booming and rich craft beer scene, I absolutely have to recommend some great beers from small Dutch breweries to go with your bitterballen. I really think you should order the beers from Maximus brewery from Utrecht. Their hoppy beers like the Pandora or High Hops go very well with snacks. Another popular beer from Utrecht is Hop Art, a fine IPA by Utrecht brewery Van de Streek. If you are based in Amsterdam, you simply have to visit Brouwerij ‘t IJ while you are there. It’s set at such a great location, near the water and a windmill. It doesn’t get more Dutch than that, and it’s only short stroll or tram ride from the city centre. The beers by ‘t IJ are al 100% organic and their blond beer IJwit is round, soft and fresh and goes perfectly with some hearty, warm bitterballen.
If craft beer is your thing, check out the Ultimate Craft Beer Guide to Utrecht from Your Dutch Guide.
Best Beer Snacks from the Philippines
Bren from Bren on the Road has our first suggestion for Filipino Beer Snacks.
If you’ve spent any time in the Philippines, you’ll know these people love to enjoy a beer (or twelve), and of course, the nights don’t end without some good beer-friendly food. Sisig sits at the top of the list. So what is it? Sisig is a pork dish, but it’s made from the “leftovers” of the pig – think the snout, the ears, the cheeks. It’s all chopped up, almost like minced meat, and then fried to a crisp in pig fat, salt and pepper, vinegar and calamansi.
It might not sound delicious, but it seriously tastes like bacon and pork belly on steroids. When you’re halfway through a bucket of beers and a sizzling plate of sisig comes out, I guarantee you’re ploughing into it and ordering another.
Of course, it’s best paired with the famous Filipino beer, San Miguel.
There’s a lot more on Filipino food from Bren’s food frenzy guide.
Chilli Cheese Sticks
Jhanis Vincentte of Third World Kitchen suggests spicing it up a little with a second top Filipino beer snack, the name should give away the heat levels!
Dynamite or Chili Cheese Sticks is a popular appetizer here in the Philippines. Definitely not for the faint-hearted as every bite brings the spiciness to a higher level. People also prepare this as a beer snack and is almost always served in many pubs and bars around the country.
Made with cayenne peppers and cheese, rolled in spring roll wrapper then deep fried, this finger food gives you a nice zing in the mouth! Bars serve this with a mayonnaise dip on the side but the men like this dipped in plain vinegar. Goes really well with San Miguel Pale Pilsen Beer or Red Horse Beer. Be careful though, this will make you drink more than usual to chase the chilliness away!
You can find Jhanis’s recipe for this favoured beer snack at Third World Kitchen.
Best Portuguese Beer Snack
Portuguese Beer Snack – Tremoscos
Tremoços – or lupini beans – are only made edible by the process of soaking them in salted water for several days. You’ll find them in bars in Portugal dusted with salt as a favourite beer snack. They’re also found in Ecuador as the street food, Cevichochos and Egypt known as the Arabic, “termes” (ترمس). In the UK and the USA you may find them in specialist food stores, usually in the olives and pickles area, they’ll be marked lupine or lupin beans. (don’t mistake them for broad beans!).
They’re served in their skin, which you remove by either making a tear with your teeth and grabbing the bean inside, or by twisting your thumb and forefinger to pop the bean out. They’re Moorish, extremely tasty and addictive. They’re high in protein, moderate in fat and have high antioxidant capacities – all of which means I can eat more of them than less.
Best Russian Beer Snacks
The Stingy Nomads find that Russia’s Best Beer Snacks are ubiquitous and also easily made at home.
Crispy dried bread snack is the most popular beer snack in Russia you can find it anywhere; homemade or store-bought, like chips just smaller portions. The dried bread snack originally wasn’t associated with drinking beer and leisure people used to make them when going on a long journey or a war because they’re easy to preserve and quite filling.
Nowadays it’s just a snack with all sort of flavours from tomato or mustard to caviar that can be made from rye or white bread. It’s easy to make them at home; cut bread into small square pieces (1x1cm), salt them, add flavours and put in the oven for about 20min. Why are they great with beer? Well, first they are salty you need something to drink. Second, they’re nice and crunchy. Third, they’re cheap most bars give it to you for free as addition to your beer. Rye bread snacks are great with dark beers when white bread once go with light beers. My husband (South African) loves this snack, especially with spicy tomato flavour.
Best Slovakian Beer Snacks
Maya of Mayamaceka narrows down Slovakian beer snacks to three options.
Slovakia is a country that is famous for their delicious (and extremely cheap) beer. However, the delicious snacks to go along with the beer often get overlooked. Which is a shame, since Slovak food is rich and full of flavour.
Here are the top three Slovak beer snacks:
Bryndzove Halusky: This hearty meal is one of the national dishes in the country. It consists of soft noodles in a thick sheep’s cheese sauce. Best paired with a can of cold Kozel beer.
Utopenac: While this dish isn’t winning any awards for beauty (or scent), it’s a very popular pub snack in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It’s basically picked hot-dog with onions and pickles. Traditionally served with a heaping portion of bread. Best paired with a light pilsner.
Tartar: In some countries, beer tartar is a classy dish. But in Slovakia, it’s standard pub fare and goes nicely with just about any Slovak craft beer.
Best South African Beer Snacks
Jessy of Planet Pilgrims suggests the top beer snack from South Africa is pretty versatile with a long history.
Biltong literally means a ‘strip of meat’. It derives from the South African forefathers who would sundry their meat during their ‘trek’ into the country. They would often hang it under the saddles of their horses. The chaffing would make the meat tender and the sweat of the animal would make it spicy. I think I would have been vegetarian during that time… In current days the spicing is made up of vinegar, salt, sugar, coriander and other spices. Beef biltong is the moistest.
You can find biltong of Kudu, Springbok, Eland, Ostrich and these days even of tuna. Biltong is the perfect snack to go with your Castle Lager although I prefer it with a Hunters Dry or Savannah Dry. Biltong is also the perfect ‘padkos’ (pad = road; kos is food) and whenever we go on South African road trips I make sure to have a stack next to me to snack on while driving. My daughter also loves it so it often goes into her lunch pack too. It is a very healthy snack and most kids love it.
Read about Planet Pilgrim’s favourite South African road trips from Cape Town
Best Ukranian Beer Snacks
Niels Thomas, the RoadTrip Guy brings us beer snacks from the Ukraine
When I visited the Ukraine I thought that vodka would be the most popular drink, but to my surprise, it was actually beer. Many cafes and restaurants have their own brewers and having a delicious snack with your beer is a must-have for the Ukrainians.
These local potato chips are called “Chips Luxury” and are very popular when drinking Lviv Piva Beer. The locally brewed beer is one of the most popular beers in Ukraine and the Chips Luxury snack goes well together. Other than salty chips, the traditional chicken wings with a blue cheese or BBQ sauce are also very popular as a beer snack. There is one rule when it comes to a Ukrainian beer snack: It has to be salty…extra salty!
You can read more about Niels Road Trip through the Ukraine.
Best Beer Snacks – What’s Yours?
The best beer snacks around the world seem to have commonalities – it’s a taste the compliments the beer you’re drinking. They contain salt, fat and flavour in a variety of quantities. More than that, they’re memories of the place you ate them, and the beer that you washed them down with.
What’s your favourite beer snack? Can you add to our list of the best snacks with beer and bar snacks around the world? Let us know!