So much beer, so little time.
The phrase is a common complaint among beer aficionados, and for good reason. Today the variety available at restaurants, pubs, specialty stores and online is staggering. Even the most dedicated beer drinker could sample only a small fraction of the total. So, here’s a small fraction of the total, for your consideration…
Popular for centuries, thanks to their unique British craftsmanship, British ales continue to offer some of the finest brews anywhere.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Wychwood’s Hobgoblin. The devil’s brew never tasted so fine. The color is a dark copper, with caramelized malt flavors combined with strong hops and hints of fruit and nut. For those who prefer something on the sweet side, this is worth investigating.
If your tastes run to Irish reds – and what civilized beer drinker doesn’t have at least two in his or her cabinet? – you can do no better than Moylan’s. The Paddy’s Irish Red Ale is true to its name. Reddish brown, with a roasted malt base the strong malt combines with aromas of nut and grain for the perfect brew on a stormy night.
The truly dedicated beer drinker will go all the way and try a stout. Here, too, Moylan’s offers one of the finest brews in their Ryan O’Sullivan’s Imperial. A coffee-colored brown, with hints of chocolate and toffee, it’s a creamy beer that won’t sit long in the cupboard.
But the Brits aren’t the only fine brewers of dark beer. Samuel Adams makes a Chocolate Bock that lives up to its name in color that’s offset with a dense head. The taste is in line with the color, with a strong chocolately malt and hints of vanilla bean.
The lager drinker is not to be looked down on, though. These lighter brews are the ideal complement to a fish or chicken dinner, but stand well on their own.
In this category, the Czech pilsner may have be the grandfather, but the New World is now challenging the old man. Veteran brewer Samuel Adams has a Bohemian Pilsner that pays homage to Europe while striking out on its own.
Golden amber and rich in hops, this delightful brew belongs among the collection of even the most discerning. Tangy citrus and lightly caramelized malt flavors combine to make this example one that will stay in the refrigerator only long enough to chill.
San Miguel can readily be found in the supermarket, but they also make a fine specialty lager. The offspring of the Philippine company’s acquisition of Thai brewing company Amarit, this lager would be welcome anywhere in the world.
Pale golden in color, the brew combines toasty malts and earthy hop aromas to offer a light, dry glass. Tart and tangy, it would make an excellent partner to a seafood dinner.
Granville Island offers a Cypress Honey Lager that is last but far from least. Crisp and mildly sweet this golden amber is rightly named after the home of the nectar of the gods. Hints of mineral delightfully blend with clover honey and citrusy hops to form a drink that is simply divine.