#Beerwatch Guide: Craft Beer for Non-Beer Fans to Try…

Do you think that you don’t like craft beer? Well, maybe you’ve just not found the right one for you yet. Food Scouts Jayne here, I’m personally fairly new to the craft beer fandom, over the past 4 years my interest in beer has gradually increased thanks to the beer geekdom of friend and ex-craft beer pub manager, Miz. Last weekend at Mash Beer Festival in Barcelona, I was confidently able to know what beers I like and successfully make recommendations too. A skill that’s taken a long time for me to master. It’s incredible how much there is to learn when you’re first presented with a craft beer menu; it does take some basic understanding and a lot of tastings to figure out what kinda things you actually dig.

Within the past six months or so it’s become clear that I personally have a specific love for non-hoppy beer types: Berliner Weisse/Wheat Beer, Gose, Lambic, Sour Ale, Saison, Mead and sometimes a Stout too surprisingly. Miz is the total opposite and he’ll no doubt share his own thoughts on the blog in the near future. What these beer types have in common is that they don’t usually have the hoppy, bitter taste that many of us associate with beer (particularly cheap, basic beers) and therefore if you’re someone who thinks they don’t like beer, or would usually prefer wine or a cocktail, these could be for you too!

So, in the hopes that I can convert some non-beer drinkers into craft beer enthusiasts, here’s my (not so) little guide to some specific beer types and recommendations of stuff you might like to try. Let me know if this helped in anyway, would love to hear of any new favourites I might have helped you find.

Don’t generally consider yourself a beer fan? Keep getting super hoppy beers that aren’t really your thing? Think you prefer wine, cava and spirits? Well we might not agree but…there may be a beer for you yet! @jaynekitsch has become a Sour, Gose, Saison, Lambic and Berliner Weisse enthusiast, maybe even expert! Catch her new blog post guiding you through a journey of non hoppy beers this coming week. Her standout beer at @mashbeerfest yesterday was the Passion Tang Sour-Ale by @lervigbeer! What was yours? #mash17 #mashbeerfest #barcelona #beer #beers #beerific #beerme #beerlove #beergeek #beernerd #lovebrew #hophead #cervezaartesanal #craftbeer #beercraft #öl #beerporn #cerveza #biera #ilovebeer #beerenthusiast #øl #craftbeerlover #brew #doppelbock #ibeer #brewery #lovebeer #beersofinstagram

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BERLINER WEISSE and WHEAT BEER

A Berliner Weisse is a type of wheat beer, Witbier and Weizenbock also fall into this big wheaty category. These types of beers are generally more golden, cloudy and yellower than their more hoppy counterparts. These varieties are brewed with a large percentage of wheat (obviously) and usually a simple barley malt. The flavours tend to be light, smooth and usually with fizz and a creamy textured head to them. They work well with fruit and herbal flavours as well as on their own. There’s even some gluten free wheat beers out there now.

Ones to try: Magic Rock Shredder, Watermelon Man by BlackLab, Pink Passion by Brekeriet, Gerds & Mores by Cerberus Artes, Penedes Weiss by Espiga, Culture Trip by Garage Beer Co, Bellini Vice by Magic Rock, Apassionada by Edge Brewing

GOSE

Magic Rock’s Salty Kiss has been a favourite of mine before I even knew that Gose was a type of beer. I solidified my love for Gose at the last three craft beer festivals we attended and now this salty, sour combo is something I always look out for. Gose is an old German style of beer which has recently regained popular amongst craft brewers everywhere. The main ingredients of a Gose are wheat, barley, coriander, and salt making it a clean light beer with less of a head and a sour, citrus base flavour that is perfectly balanced with the addition of that salt. The Gose characteristics make it a very popular vessel for fruit flavours, which I really love. The champagne style bubbles and lighter colour and texture make it a great introduction to craft beer if you prefer more familiar flavour notes than traditional beer.

Ones to try: Redchurch Brewery Spring Shots, Salty Kiss by Magic Rock, Lemon Keffir Gose by Casa Bruja, RaspGose by Cerveza Fort, Magic 3.5 Pineapple Gose by Omnipollo

Craft Beer on Tap at La Fira Poblenou Festival in July 2017. Gose and Milk Stout from Casa Bruja of Panama. Review and Photos by Food Scouts.

LAMBIC

If you’re a fruity cocktail or wine drinker or normally choose Appletiser over alcohol, then Lambic might be a good place to start. Lambic is a type of brewing from Belgium and Brussels which always involves fruit which are usually blended and matured. Head to a Belgian Brewpub and you’ll find LOADS of Lambic choices. Popular flavours of Lambic are cherry, blackcurrant and raspberry but I’ve also seen apple, peach, blueberry and more too. These are rich flavours and generally close to the taste of the fruit that’s inside, they feel thick to drink and have little carbonation, a little like wine. Lambics generally have a lower alcohol content as well, making them a wiser choice in some situations.

Ones to try: Lindemans, Timmermans, Spontnsourcherry by Mikkeller, Mort Subite Kriek

MEAD

If you’ve ever played as Vikings on Settlers or Age of Empires, then you know about Mead. It’s the drink of the Vikings and why wouldn’t you want to try that at least once?! If you didn’t know; Mead is a brew made from honey; in some cultures is also known as Honey Wine. Signs of this drink have been found dating back to 7000BC, the history geek side of me finds that fascinating. Unfortunately for us, Mead isn’t something you can find just anywhere, but with the growing popularity of craft beer, I’m sure we’ll see more popping up. With alcohol contents generally ranging between 8-20% Mead would make a great alternative to Cava or Champagne at your next banquet. Lol.

Ones to try: La Vikinga by Hidromiel, B.Nektar Black Fang by War Pigs

STOUT

You say stout and the thing that comes to mind is Guinness, that stuff is hard to drink! Hence why I avoided the category for so long. You’ll recognise a Stout by it’s thick, dark colour and rich, deep flavour profiles; not unlike what you’d find with dark chocolate or coffee. Within the stout category you’ll also find: porters, milk stouts, imperial stouts and dry stouts. Alcohol contents are normally around the 7% mark in the stout family. The dark colour, thick mouth feel and low carbonation is created through using roasted ingredients. The best thing about this category for me is how well it compliments dairy, nutty and chocolate flavours. As a result, I’ve seen some cracking novelty taste combos.

Ones to try: Neopolitan Milk Stout by Saugatuck Brewing, Vanilla Black Velvet by La Quince, Noa Pecan Imperial Stout by Omnipollo, Nightmare on Bold Street Milk Stout by Mad Hatter, Peanut Butter Stout by Belching Beaver

SAISON

A Saison is a type of pale ale; less hops than a IPA and more blonde in colour with light carbonation. Saisons are commonly brewed with spices and fruit. A little like your Lambics but in my experience, less thick and heavy. This traditional type of brewing, also known as a Farmhouse Ale takes time and the ingredients are usually kept simple. Saisons normally have a fruity flavour and prove to be a good base for experimenting with fruit and herbal flavours.

Ones to try: Fool for You Saison by Cloudwater, Stateside Saison by Stillwater, Harvest Saison by Mad Hatter, Sour Puss Pineapple Sour by Wylam

It’ll be a long time until I’m a genuine expert in craft beer. For now, I hope you’ll enjoy my suggestions. Let me know if you have a recommendation that you think I’ll dig. I’m a sucker for anything fruity or an experimental flavour combination.

Jayne – Food Scouts.

 

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