Most beer lovers fantasize about the day they visit the very place their favorite brew was born.
Like a pilgrimage to Germany, touring the oldest brewery in the world and drinking at one of the country's many famed beer halls. Or a trip to Belgium, walking the cobblestone streets in the town where witbier was first created.
The good news? You don't have to leave North Texas to sample some of the world's most authentic international brews.
No need for vacation days or travel budgets. Visit these two restaurants or pick up a sixer of this Austin brewery to get your fix.
The staff is dressed in lederhosen and dirndls. Someone is playing the accordion. Smells of schnitzel fill the air, and 30-plus beers are on draft.
This isn't a beer hall in Germany. It's Plano.
Since 1993, Bavarian Grill has been home to one of the most impressive Bavarian and German beer selections in North Texas, with more than 70 available in house.
"Essentially, if it's an approved beer style in Germany, we will have it," says Juergen Mahneke, CEO of the bar and restaurant.
Many of Mahneke's beers are staples, but some rotate with the season. In the summer, hefeweizens dominate the draft selection. In the winter, it's doppelbocks. And in the fall? Oktoberfest brews.
One of Mahneke's favorites is Weihenstephaner Festbier, a hoppy seasonal lager brewed by the oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephan, which started in 1040.
"And what they have on draft there, we have here," Mahneke says. "You can drink it fresh from our keg."
Christine Celis was determined to continue her father's legacy. So the daughter of Pierre Celis, the man who revived the modern Belgian witbier and is responsible for the original recipe for Hoegaarden beer, opened a brewery.
Austin-based Celis Brewery opened this spring, and it's a familiar name in the state capital. Christine's father left Belgium for Austin in the 1990s. That's when he started Celis Brewery -- widely deemed Austin's first craft operation. Eventually, he sold it to MillerCoors, and the brewery shut down in 2001.
Pierre died in 2011. But six years later, his daughter is continuing the family tradition, brewing beer with the unique yeast strains her father once revived.
"I look at this as a collaboration between my father and me," Christine says.
Celis Brewery's most popular beer is Celis White, a Belgian witbier with a yeast strain similar to Hoegaarden. It's currently available in bottles at Tom Thumb, Whole Foods, Central Market, Total Wine and Spec's stores, and on draft at Katy Trail Ice House, Meddlesome Moth, The Common Table and more.
Locals in Hanoi, Vietnam, sip their afternoon beers from plastic cups. The drink is called bia hơi, meaning fresh beer, a straw-colored lager that tastes more like a blonde ale.
A pint of bia hơi will set you back 50 cents or less. And Braden Wages fell in love with it.
He first tried the beer during a post-college trip through Asia. The journey inspired him to open his own Thai-Vietnamese restaurant, Malai Kitchen, which now has three locations in Dallas, Fort Worth and Southlake. And with the food came the beer.
Malai Kitchen offers six beers, from a Thai-style IPA to a toasted coconut and Thai chili porter. But the most authentic is the bia hơi. The beer is made with rice and malt, and at 4 percent alcohol content, it's an easy sipping beer, just like it is in Hanoi.
"But obviously, ours is $4, and theirs is 50 cents," Wages says. "I can't compete with that."
Except during North Texas Beer Week: Wages plans to host a pop-up shop in front of Malai Kitchen's Dallas location on Nov. 4. He'll set up plastic tables and plastic chairs, and sell bia hơi for $1 in plastic cups -- the same setting where he once fell in love with it.