“So many beers, so little time” ~ a beer lover
Pliny The Younger, Trappist Westvleteren 12, Fuller’s London Porter, Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, Wee Heavy, Traquair Jacobite and so many others! If one were to make a list of different beers available then a day will fall short, courtesy to the myriad of beer styles available.
Though there are different beer styles but the ingredients used in brewing the beer remain same in most of them – water, barley, hops and yeast.
So the mystery is if all beers have a combination of malt and hops, then why they taste differently. The mystery lies in the art of the brewer and the way beer is fermented. Some beers have a higher combination of both hop and malt, while some have a higher combination of either hop or malt.
Beer styles primarily fall under three significant categories Ale, Lager and Hybrid.
Ale beer style: The first beer was ale. Ales are the single largest category of beer style. A majority of ale styles originated in the British Isles but there are styles that originated in Belgium and Germany. Following is the list of different ales –
Lager beer style: Lager is one of the three major beer styles. The term lager is derived from the German word “lagern” which means to store. Hundreds of years back beer was stored in a cool place to keep it fresh and hence, the name lager. It is a kind of beer that is bottom fermented, means yeast settles at the bottom of the brewing vessel rather than floating on top. It is fermented at cold temperature of around 50 degree Fahrenheit or below. This is stored or lagered for some period, usually between two weeks to a month, before it is ready to drink.
Hybrid Beer Style: Hybrid beer style is fairly different from both ale and lager. It is a kind of beer produced in some unique ways. Hybrids are usually dry like lagers but have malty flavours. This category of beer was originally produced by fermenting a yeast strain at a different room temperature. For example, California Common Beer is brewed with a lager fermented in sunny, warm California, while Kolsch was first brewed with ale strains in the unusually low temperatures of North Europe.
Difference between ale and lager:
Now when we know about the three main beer styles let us take a look at the difference between ale and lager. The difference between ale and lager can be categorized into following three main groups:
Ale involves “top-fermenting” strains of yeast. On the other hand, lager involves “bottom fermenting” yeasts that sink to the bottom of the tank and ferment there.
Ale is fermented at warm temperature whereas lager is fermented at cooler temperature.
The realm of beverages has escalated in the prevailing years with a mass predisposition to be seen for it. Going by what the people today prefer, I have personally witness a strong affinity for the name of beer. Experiencing a cult status globally, a brief glimpse is enough to corroborate the exhaustive base for beer connoisseurs present in all corners of the world. A global fanaticism to be seen for it, for a true beer addict like me pampering the taste buds to the innovations brought in this realm is forever enticing. A wonderful drink to get indulged into, the myriad of options to be seen in the class of beers defines its growing passion.
Beer has extended itself to facilitate the ever expanding urge seen among the beer addicts. Pulsating with innovations brought in this realm, novelty on parameters of seasonal demands has garnered much eminence. To start with the first, spring beers are influenced by the exuberance of this season with freshness in colour and flavor. An element of zing added to them, the names of Belgian-style wheat is associated with these ones. Coming to the brighter version of life which witnesses our wholesale thirst for fluids, summer inspired beers are characterized with volumes to satiate our desire. Light golden as the common colour, White ale is what you can go for in this season.
Going by the tendencies we show in the period of autumn, the inclination for the darker hues is what is seen the most. Hence in conformation to this, beers dominated by earthy savour are commonly seen in the stores. Much spicy to taste, they possess the heavy influence of chocolate. Arriving at the finale of the year, winter brings within us the craving for warmth by the fireside and what better way to get soaked in its charm than beers meant to stir up the ecstasy of coldness. Brewed as per seasonal specification, the seasonal fashion of beer is intended to accentuate the charm of each weather phase we go through.
A beer aficionado myself, the greatest facet which attracts me to this category of beverage is the diversity it holds. The ingredients playing an instrumental role in the eventual flavour, some very popular names like Hitachino Nest Beer have made a place in the heart of every beer buff purely on the inventiveness shown by them in each of their brews. Boasting of an impressive range of beer to exhibit, the White Ale has been the hot favorite involving an amalgamation of coriander, nutmeg and orange peel. Recipient of several recognitions in the regions of both UK and US, it caters to a strong market in Japan in parallel
The fanaticism for beer has grown up to reach new heights with its history to be claimed of more than 100 years. Making its presence felt globally, the cheer for this beverage can be heard in places from Portland to Melbourne. Developed a culture of itself, the use of mysterious ingredients and updated techniques have given birth to a line of world class beers. Sending the right waves across, the culinary masters have realised the exotic combination which food and beer can bring together. Celebrating the presence of a drink which has mesmerised us all in its indulgence, this blog takes you to a tour of beer fantasy.
The roots tracing to the grounds of Mesopotamia, it is the year of 1800BC which stands as major milestone in the history of brewing. Unusual to the elements we use today, it should be understood that during then beer was just not a fun beverage. Used as a currency in the early Egyptian cities, beer has a long association with pyramids. Advanced in its taste and flavour, the passing years have brought a much desired change in this sphere. With the pursuit for improved savour making the brewers explore all possible opportunities of experimentation, the merge of the traditional and contemporary is what you will encounter today.
For the beer aficionados like you and I, the art of beer storage and pouring holds immense value. Understanding the behavior of this drink, a set of rules and techniques needs to be followed. While storage of the beer bottles in the upright posture is advised, a slow and steady pace of the pour should manage a foam layer of about 2.5cm. A process much gentle to carry out, your craving should ideally touch the summit through it. Following the golden rule of lower temperature for lighter beers, the very sensation of a cold one gives a chill down the throat.
How well you taste the beer determines your personal choice of it. Someone who is a veteran in this field will agree to my personal opinion of visual assessment. A glass of sparkling golden hue is enough to escalate your levels of desire. And in these regards, evaluating your drink under the natural light is the first step prior to your indulgence. The second stage involves undertake of the aroma through the nostrils which lets you soak in the essence that you might otherwise miss out. And then is the final embracement which should ideally be done gradually, immersing in the lingering taste of the beer.
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