Bottoms up! Cheers! These words have always been synonymous with a glass of chilled beer. It is one drink capable of bringing long lost friends together. Beer also holds the honor of being an icebreaker on first dates. This drink is a life-saver for globetrotters. One of the sought after ‘avatar’ of this sparkling potion is craft beer. Read on to find out how it’s become a favorite on the beer menu? This alcoholic wonder has a history of its own.
If you are a traveller wandering around for a glass of chilled craft beer with lip-smacking accompaniments, then a traditional microbrewery is the best place to sit down and relax. The first sip will make you realise how passionate the craft brewers are about the taste, flavour, and brewing techniques of their beer.
So, here is a list of popular varieties of craft beers that can quench the thirst of a traveller and add to the fun in what can be the night of your life, because what can be better than sampling some of the most famous drinks with origins in different parts of the world.
Alt in German means “old”. Altbier is subject to an older brewing style of top-fermenting technique, highlighting the addition of darker malts. Some altbiers have a creamy texture and a firm foam because of the addition of pale wheat malt.
A typical altbier comes in a deep copper to a light mahogany colour. This craft beer is known to have a bitter taste. Although, Altbier Ais fermented with the help of a top-fermenting yeast which gives it a fruity flavour. Brewers scorch the malt to give the beer a caramel flavour.
Food Pairing: Roasted Chicken, Pork Chops, Pine-board baked Salmon or grilled Tuna.
American Adjunct Lager
This American craft beer is a descendant of the pre-prohibition era American Lager. American Adjunct Lagers has undergone changes over hundreds of years, particularly in flavour. The lager is less bitter, highly carbonated and the malt in it is thin.
The color scales from pale straw- light golden. This beer has three different forms, i.e. a standard, light, and premium lager. The alcohol by volume in the standard version is between 4-6%, and light is somewhere lower than 4%.
Food Pairing: Buffalo chicken wings, Loaded Nachos, Grilled pork or chicken, Pizza.
Biere de Garde- A strong Pale Ale
This French drink is also called “beer for keeping”. Biere de Garde was traditionally brewed at farmhouses to reflect life in rural Europe. Historically it was brewed for a short time during late fall/early winter and matured until spring.
With colour ranging from golden, copper to reddish-bronze or chestnut brown, the traditional French beer is brewed in blonde, brown, and amber styles. The sweet and rich malty aromas give this beer caramel and toasty elements. A very distinct flavour of caramel or toffee sweetness can be tasted with medium to high malt in the beer. It has a medium-dry finish with a malty aftertaste.
Food Pairing: Pavin & Munster cheese, pecan pie, or a light fruit sorbet.
The classic Belgian witbier means “white beer” because of the pale and almost milky texture of the brew. This texture is because of the high amount of oats or wheat used in the brewing process.
A Belgian Witbier is always spiced with freshly grounded coriander. A bitter orange peel is also added to give it a blended taste of two different spices. Brewers also have the option of using chamomile, ginger, anise to provide the iconic craft beer with a distinct flavour.
The craft beer contains up to 50% wheat. A small amount of raw oats is also added to the brew, giving it a blended palate of silky-smooth, honeyish, and lemon contrast along with a pinch of fruitiness.
Food pairing: Mild goat cheese, Sushi, Fish Tacos.
Irish Dry Stout
This beverage is mainly characterized by a single pitch black to deep, vibrant brown color. Dry stout is defined with a roasted flavour with light tastes of bittersweet chocolate, acidic sourness, moderate to high Hop bitterness with a coffee-like aftertaste.
The roasted barley justifies a coffee-like taste in the beer. While having a glass of beer, you can expect aromas of cocoa, chocolate, and slight graininess.
Many of the Dry Irish Stout recipes include ale yeast, roasted barley, sometimes lactic, sour mash. Hops are only added to add and accentuate the brewed beers bitterness.
This beer perfectly compliments salty and fried food, sweet desserts. Seafood such as a lobster is also an accompaniment.
Food Pairing: Pork with Mole Negro Sauce, Barbecued Baked Beans, Meringues Topped with Coffee Ice Cream and Praline Sauce
A popular alcoholic beverage in the United Kingdom, Cider is specially crafted from the fermented juice of Apples. However, the fruits can differ from country to country.
Your favorite cider’s taste can vary from either one of the following: Dry- Semi dry- Semi sweet- sweet. The color of this drink in glass can either be pale, straw, gold, amber, apricot or copper. The carbonation in a cider can either be still or sparkling.
Food pairing: Salads, aged sheep’s milk cheese and aged cheddar cheese.
India Pale Ale
This centuries old beer was originally crafted in England around 1840. The modern IPA is brewed using the Dry-hopped technique. The hops are added to the fermenting beer instead of being added to the boiling liquid. This creates a strong fruity or candy aroma. It might also have caramel or toasty malt aromas.
These beers show typically a biscuit, toffee or caramel flavour and has fairly dry aftertaste. The colour ranges from light copper to golden amber and commonly has a orange hue to it.
Food pairing: Tacos, Burger, Fajitas, pho soup or lemon tart to compliment the bitterness of the beer.
Curated by Ruchit Rastogi