The Olympics are coming up soon and as thoughts turn towards London you might conjure up images of Big Ben or the Changing of the Guards, and chances are you’ll think of the pub as well.
The British drinking culture is revered and often imitated, but if you’re looking for the perfect pint of an original without crossing the pond. As I continue work on my upcoming guide to London Beer for NBC Publishing, I went on WNBC in New York to talk about some beers. Here’s some more info on the beers featured:
One of the most common styles of beer you’ll find when visiting London or the UK is bitter. Despite it’s name, it won’t cause you to say Yuck. It’s more pleasing, it’s just not overly sweet and gets a generous amount of flavor from hops which are, you guessed it, a bittering agent. At Fullers – the oldest existing brewery in London they took the style up a notch and created the Extra Special Bitter. You’ll get notes of pepper, grass, citrus – like lemon and orange –and because of the malts there is even a biscuty, toffee element.
At one time London was the brewing capitol of the world and with the empire traversing the globe, Britians living abroad wanted a taste of home. Pale Ales were popular, but something stronger was needed to make the sea voyage to outposts, like India. So a new beer style was created and eventually named India Pale Ale. Today, it’s one of – if not the most – popular style of ale. At Meantime, a craft brewery that is celebrated for walking perfectly walking the line between traditional and innovative, their IPA is dosed with a generous amount of hops. It comes in this attractive packaging and pairs wonderfully with Indian cuisine.
Before you go thinking about the Irish, stouts got their start in Britian. Like it’s brother porter, it gets its dark color from roasted malts. This oatmeal from Sam Smiths in Tadcaster has a smooth taste, not too bitter, not too sweet. And what you’ll notice from drinking this beer is that it is not heavy. That’s something that should be addressed: dark beer does not mean it’s heavy. In fact, try this beer wit everyting from grilled tuna to pizza and you’ll find its quite refreshing. Sam Smith is a great, historic brewery, that also manages many pubs throughout London.
Here’s a fun sipping beer. The strong bitter from Admans is red in color, has fruitcake aromas, tastes of almonds, and some preserved fruits as well. It’s stronger in the bottle than if you travel to the U.K. and have it on cask. But it’s certainly tasty and perfect for cooler nights or relaxing on a back patio.
All of these beers are available in the US and there are more out there as well. Check the international aisle of your local beer shop. Many places offer mixed six packs, meaning you can get a few bottles of different styles and see which you like best. Also, if you’re looking for an authentic British pint, Kegworks has your needs covered.
Want to learn more? Ask me a question on Twitter.
When it comes to pairing a beverage with cheese, most people will immediately turn to wine. But would you believe that beer is a suitable substitute? This morning I was on WNBC to share few pairing ideas from the vast selection of cheeses and brews available. Continue reading
I’m headed back to Chile this weekend for a week for beer tasting, brewery visits and lectures. This time it’s for the Copa Cervezas de América 2011 and I am excited to see many South American beer friends and to share the experience with some well respected US journalists, brewers and industry professionals. Expect a full wrap up upon my return, but meanwhile here’s a video interview conducted when I was in Chile last May for a separate contest.
Last Month, Nate and I stopped by a television studio in Kentuckiana to talk about our book, Indiana Breweries. We had a few pints as we helped wake up the good people of Kentuckiana. Cheers!
I did a quick television interview last week for local cable station News 12 New Jersey about beer for Valentine’s Day.
We taped at J.J. Bittings, a brewpub in Woodbridge, N.J. which has a wonderful chocolate cherry stout on tap.
I show up in the second half of the story to talk about the cuvee brut from Liefmans. We filmed a bit about Gamma Ray from Terrapin brewing (a wheat wine brewed with two types of honey) but it was cut due to time. Oh well. Next time.
On the morning before Thanksgiving, I was on News12 New Jersey talking about four beers that would likely go well with the big turkey dinner.
- Infinium by Samuel Adams / Weihenstephan
- English Mild by New Jersey Beer Company
- Saison du Buff a collaboration by Dogfish Head / Victory Brewing Company / Stone Brewing Company
- Breakfast Stout by Founders Brewing Company
I traveled to Nashville right after the taping and personally enjoyed a variety pack (Pale Ale, Dos Perros, Sly Rye Porter and Hefeweizen) from Yazoo Brewing.