Beer is hot again. No longer considered a mere thirst quencher after a hard day’s work, beer is now a trendy drop.
Chances are you’re rediscovering the joys of beer or introducing yourself to some of the latest brews.
This short guide will give you a taste of what’s available, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Strictly speaking, all beers fall into two categories. Ale or lager. The difference between the two is in the brewing process.
Ale is fermented at a warmer temperature using yeast that ferments near the top of the tank.
This warm fermentation encourages the release of flavour compounds, which is why ale tends to have a stronger, fruitier taste than lager.
Don’t over chill ale. If it’s served too cold, those fruity flavours will struggle to come out.
An Australian favourite. A cold lager lends itself to warm summer days, so it’s a top drop Down Under.
Unlike ale, the yeasts used to ferment lager sit near the bottom of the tank.
Lager is fermented at a cooler temperature too, which tends to restrict the release of flavours and results in a subtler taste.
Lager is usually served at a lower temperature than ale – which is why it’s the perfect summer beer.
Pilsner is the most popular beer in the world, with much of its success since it goes well with a wide variety of food.
The next time you have roast chicken, forego the chardonnay and drink a crisp, chilled pilsner with it.
A typical pilsner is pale or golden in colour, and even though hops are prominent, it is renowned for its clean taste.
And yes, it can be spelt pilsner or pilsener. Make it easy on yourself and ask for a pils…
It’s the pale malt that gives pale ale its name, and distinctive dry taste.
If you were to order pale ale in a London pub, they’d pour you a pint and tell you it is actually called English Bitter.
In fact, pale ale is known as many things around the world, including Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale and Indian Pale Ale (IPA), which is one of the trendier beers on the world market right now.
If you like the taste of hops and a dry finish, this is the beer for you.
Porter is made from dark malts, which gives it that lovely chocolate colour.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that Porter is a thick brew, or a meal in a glass.
Porter actually has quite a thin texture without being watery.
The flavours are complex, combining chocolate and malt characters with slight sweetness.
Back in the day, an extra strong porter was called an ‘Extra Porter’, a ‘Double Porter’ or a ‘Stout Porter’ since shortened to just ‘Stout.’
Up to 70% wheat malt is used in brewing this type of beer, which has a big effect on its mouth-feel and appearance.
A good wheat beer will look slightly cloudy, but that’s no cause for alarm.
Because of the amount of protein found in wheat malt, the head on a wheat beer will be much thicker and creamier – foam moustaches territory – while the texture will be velvety smooth.
Wheat beer is usually delicately flavoured, with lots of effervescence, which makes it an excellent alternative to lager over the summer months.
Blonde beer is another type of pale ale; however it has become such a staple in European bars that it is often considered a stand-alone beer.
It is brewed using top-floating yeasts but has a light colour and mild flavour often associated with lager.
Unlike Porter, which has a blend of flavours and characters for you to ponder, blonde beer is widely regarded as an easy-to-drink variety; with just a hint of malt and little of the fruitiness you’ll taste in many types of ale.
Think of it as a thirst quencher rather than a ‘supping’ beer.
To enhance your beer drinking experience, serve it at the right temperature.
As a rule, the lighter the beer, e.g. lager, the colder it can be served, but don’t drink it too cold; this will only freeze out the flavours.
Try some food matching – it’s a change from predictable wine and food pairings and you’ll be surprised at how well beer and food go together.
Finally, don’t rush! Modern brews are carefully crafted to reveal different flavours, so take your time, sip your beer and enjoy the myriad of tastes that you’ll discover in today’s best drops.
We of course recommend choosing Kubarz, rated the number 1 mobile bar, cocktail and catering company Australia wide to ensure you party is a hit and the correct beverage selections are chosen to impress your guests and make sure your party is a hit!
Contact us today for a customised quote for your needs and budget.
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