21 Sep 17
Be a Craft Beer Connoisseur
As thoughts turn to summer and (fingers crossed) warmer and balmier days, my drinking habits tend to change too. Away from creamy winter cocktails and heavy ales, at the first hint of sun we’ll all be on the hunt for more cool, thirst quenching, refreshment. And where better to find that than in the new wave of craft beers that can now be found across the UK.
In recent years the headlines about British beer have made for depressing reading; pubs closing daily, alcohol consumption falling, we’re all drinking less beer – it just doesn’t seem right. However the past few years has seen a new wave of beer fans turning those trends on their head, with massive demand for more creative brewing and revolutionary new beer styles.
Separating myth from fact to establish how big craft beer has become is hard, mainly because there is no absolute definition of what craft beer is. It can be cask or keg, bottled or canned, and is just as likely to be made in Aberdeen as Alabama (seriously).
While real ale has sometimes struggled to shake off its older, male, more traditional image, craft beer is resonating with the young, urban and fashionable. Think tattoos, piercings and beards (well at least I have one out of the three!). Whoever craft beer appeals to in the future, the momentum now seems unstoppable and Britain seems firmly in the grip of its own craft beer revolution. And that’s something we can all drink to.
Talking of which if you’re looking for some inspiration for the summer, or maybe just want to impress down the pub with your craft beer knowledge, I’ve pulled together some tips on a few of my favourites -
BrewDog DEAD PONY CLUB - SCOTLAND Brewed in Scotland, this Californian-style session ale is light, aromatic and zesty. Weighing in at only 3.8%. Big citrus aromas explode from the glass. Inspired by US-style Pale Ale’s, Dead Pony Club is a low amplitude, high voltage hop hit.
ANCHOR STEAM BEER - USA A beer which derives its unusual name from the 19th century when ‘steam’ was a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of America, under primitive conditions and without ice. Easily drinkable beer with hop bitterness and medium body.
VEDETT BLONDE - BELGIUM Vedett Extra Blond has been satisfying the clientele of Antwerp-Brussels since 1945 so maybe not everyone’s idea of a new wave craft beer. However this blond, light, and crisp premium lager isn’t taking its history too seriously. It’s an excellent thirst-quencher, right from the first mouthful, which is immediately followed by a subtly bitter aftertaste.
SIRREA NEVADA PALE ALE - USA A home brewer’s dream which went on to inspire countless other brewers. Its unique pine and grapefruit aromas from the use of whole-cone American hops have fascinated beer drinkers for decades and made this beer a classic
Which one will you be supping this summer?