For all of the spotlight that's been cast onto craft brewers in recent years, much of the world remains in the dark. Traditional beer capitals like Germany, Belgium and the States remain the center of the hopsiverse. But according to Denny Carvell, food and beverage manager of World Cafe Live, great beer can come from unexpected places.
"Think of any place that you wouldn't expect," Carvell says. "There's probably someone in that region brewing craft beer. There's so much out there to be discovered."
World Cafe will help save curious imbibers some exorbitant plane fares with "Around the World in 80 Beers," a tasting of craft beers from across the globe. Carvell has scoured the dustier nooks of his distributors' catalogs to offer samplings from breweries like Svyturys in Lithuania, Windhoek in Namibia and Hitachino in Japan. Other stops range from Italy to Austria to Denmark. In addition, Carvell will offer a few limited-edition North American brews that he set aside for just such an occasion.
The biggest challenges, Carvell says, were unearthing quality brews from Africa and South America, where the predominant offerings seemed to be "boring, Budweiser-style beers." Among his most intriguing discoveries are 5 A.M. Saint -- a red ale from Scotland's BrewDog -- Taj Mahal Lager from India and Dutch brewery Mikkeller. "I don't even know what style I'm going to get from them," he says of Mikkeller with a shrug. "It's really irrelevant, because everything I've had from them is just out of this world."