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International Beers Right Here!

When dining out, it’s always nice to have a crisp beer with your food. At most restaurants you’ll see the usual suspects: Bud Light, Corona, Heineken and Sam Adams, etc.

If it’s Polish food you want, Eva’s European Sweets boasts 15 Polish beers (!) including the standard Okocim and Zywiec lagers.

While these go-to choices may be easy, they’re not always inspiring. They’ve become the things we drink with our meal because they’re there, not because we are necessarily excited about them. Sometimes there really aren’t any other choices on the menu, so these choices have become the standard. There are, however, a number of beers readily available at local establishments that you might not have heard of and may want to try. Right in our own backyard are many ethnic restaurants that serve an array of international beers barely seen and are worth checking out. Don’t know where to start? No worries, I did a little research for you!

Craving curry chicken? Abundant in Central New York, most Indian restaurants serve at least one beer selection from India. Taj Mahal Indian Palace serves Kingfisher and Taj Mahal beers; Dosa Grill also serves these lagers as well as Flying Horse. If it’s Polish food you want, Eva’s European Sweets boasts 15 Polish beers (!) including the standard Okocim and Zywiec lagers. A nice Thai lager to drink with pad thai is Singha beer, happily served at Thai Flavor, Lemon Grass and AppeThaizing. With so many Mexican restaurants to choose from, there are also more beers than Corona to enjoy with your spicy meal. San Miguel Mexican Restaurant on North State Street has a nice selection: Dos Equis Lager and Amber, Corona/Light, Negra Modelo, Tecate, Pacifico and Bohemia. Cantina Laredo in the Destiny Mall serves two delicious Vienna Lagers on tap: Negra Modelo and Dos Equis Amber. Alto Cinco on Westcott and The Mission in downtown also serve some of these Mexican brews.

Yamasho on Onondaga Boulevard serves Asahi, Sapporo and Kirin/Light. Try some of these selections at Mizu on Erie Boulevard or Sakana-Ya Sushi Bar on Walton Street in Armory Square too.

If it’s Italian dining you’re craving, you have options galore! Joey’s Classic Italian Dining on Thompson Road near Carrier Circle serves Peroni Nastro Azzurro, a classic lager. You can also get a bottle (or a few) at Delmonico’s as well as many other places.  If you want to have Peroni on draft, go to Asti on North Salina Street. Tsingtao lager beer is no stranger in Chinese restaurants throughout the country. Try it at China Road or P.F. Chang’s. Whether it’s sushi or ramen, beer goes hand in hand with Japanese food. Yamaso on Onondaga Boulevard serves Asahi, Sapporo and Kirin/Light. Try some of these selections at Mizu on Erie Boulevard or Sakana-Ya Sushi Bar on Walton Street in Armory Square too. Korean and Japanese restaurant Secret Garden on Erie Boulevard serves Japanese Asahi, Sapporo and Korean Kloud beers. The ever popular Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub & Restaurant in Armory Square and Coleman’s Authentic Irish Pub on Tipperary Hill not only serve up Irish fare, both serve Ireland’s Guinness Stout, Harp Lager, Smithwick’s Irish red ale and Kilkenny cream ale on tap. The beer alone is worth the visit!

While this list is by no means extensive, it’s a start. These selections might not be craft beer and may even be considered their country’s version of Budweiser. If that’s what you normally order when dining out, then why not try them? If you don’t normally drink Bud, you should still try these multicultural selections. Some are pretty standard, some more delicious, but all worth investigating. Where do you dine for international and what beers have you tried? Is there a hidden gem out there? Share your recommendations to gloria@hoppynomad.com or on Twitter at @hoppynomad. Cheers!

Gloria Rakowsky
Craft Beer Crusader
Beer/Travel Writer, Founder of Syracuse Women of Craft Beer, and Craft Beer Crusader!