Mark’s Beer Breakdown
I hope you enjoyed last months post on the rise of craft beer and maybe got to try something new as a result. Since then, one of the breweries mentioned have been in the news as Tottenham Hotspur announced that Beavertown will be their craft beer partner at their new stadium which was followed by Heineken confirming they are to invest £40million for a minority stake in the North London brewery. Consumers are demanding more flavour and variety in their beers and this shows how the big macro breweries are starting to recognise that.
OK, so this month let’s look at just a few of the many different beer styles with some recommendations of each for you to look out for. I’ve mentioned supermarkets here but these beers can also be sourced at many pubs, micropubs and independent bottle shops that could do with your money more than the supermarkets.
India Pale Ales & Pale Ales (IPA’s & PA’s)
Probably the most popular and most produced style by micro breweries. Made using pale malts producing a light/pale colour. IPA’s tend to be brewed with more hops and typically stronger and more bitter than pale ales.
Brewdog Punk IPA (most supermarkets) is worth trying and the biggest selling craft beer in the U.K. Along with their Elvis Juice, this always goes down well with my playing partners during our Midsummer Madness and Christmas Scramble events.
Thornbridge Jaipur (Tesco & Waitrose) has been around a few years and a nod to the original pale ales that were packed with hops to survive the journey to British outposts in India, hence the term India Pale Ale. Expect citrus hops and a lingering bitter finish.
There is a blurred line between what is a stout and what is a porter. Back in the 18th century porter was a London style brewed using a blend of brown, pale and stale or well matured ales. The strongest of these was called Stout Porter reduced over years to Stout. These days you could define as Porters being ales using malted barley whereas Stouts use unmalted roasted barley as found in Guinness.
I’m sure many of us have enjoyed a Guinness after the graft of a winter league match but what other dark stuff ticks the boxes?
Fuller’s London Porter (Waitrose) is rich with chocolate and coffee in the aroma and taste. A great beer that’s been around for over 20 years.
Of the new wave, seek out Bristol’s Wiper & True Milk Shake (Waitrose) and Yorkshire brewery Bad & Co.’s Dazed & Confused (Asda). Both are milk stouts using lactose (a sugar derived from milk) to provide a sweet and creamy element to the beer.
Gose, is a traditional German-style sour wheat beer usually brewed with coriander and salt. A really refreshing beer with a slightly tart lemon sourness. This is an old yet less well known style that is making a comeback and there are some great examples of it out there in the aisles including these…
Magic Rock’s Salty Kiss (Marks & Spencer) is super refreshing and a great intro to the style
Wild Beer Co.’s – Sleeping Lemons (Waitrose) made using preserved lemons and goes great with fish or to cut through more spicy cuisine such as Moroccan.
Thornbridge’s Mr Smith Gose To…. (Waitrose) is the latest winner from their annual home brew challenge. I’m not a fan of watermelon but loved this and would make a perfect summer garden beer with say a beetroot and feta salad.
So there you go. A few well established beers and some newer very different beers to tempt your tastebuds. The Gose might not be your thing and that’s OK. The purpose of these posts is to bring new beers to your attention and hopefully encourage you to give them a go.
Thanks for reading and do let #teambunker know what you think if you get to try any of the above.
Thanks for the post Mark. Look out for Mark’s insights on craft beer every month in the Sunday Social emails.
Follow Mark on twitter: @Markmonkeyyoung
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