Top 10 beers in the world media
Windsor & Eton Republika
Will Hawkes, writing in The Independent, picked out a few of his favourite pilsner beers, which he says is a style which is “on its way back”.
He said: “Pilsners might not offer the same bang for your buck as IPAs, but as session beers they’re very hard to beat. Only the best cask ales are in the same class.
Of this selection he said: “And then there’s Windsor & Eton’s Republika, which is perhaps the closest any British brewer has come to replicating Czech-quality Pilsner. Given that it was brewed in collaboration with Czech brewer Tomas Mikulica, that’s no surprise – and you don’t have to squeeze into an East End booze den to drink it, either.
He added: “This clean, crisp Pilsner is perfect now the sun is here (ahem).”
New Belgium La Folie, New Belgium Brewing Company, Colorado
Evan Benn writing in The Miami Herald, chose this sour brown ale from the New Belgium Brewing Company in Colorado, which was this week named the third largest craft brewer in the US.
He said: “Step into the world of sour beers with La Folie, a brown ale from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing that possesses all the hallmarks of sour: aromas and flavors of tart cherries and malt vinegar, the mouth-puckering feel of a green apple, and a sharp, prickly finish. La Folie is brewed then aged in wood barrels for up to three years, where it develops acidity and wine-like tannins. Sour beers are an acquired taste, for sure, but La Folie is an excellent start.
“La Folie is incredible with roasted duck; its sharpness cuts through fatty, crispy skin and legs, and its tartness serves as a lovely complement to breast meat, like a side of sauteed cherries or orange sauce.”
Sour brown ale, 7%
Ommegang Fire & Blood Red Ale
The newly released third “Game of Thrones” beer, Fire & Blood Red Ale, was reviewed by Chris Morris, writing for the New Jersey nj.com, this week.
He said: “Fire & Blood pours a deep, hazy reddish copper with a large, foamy, off-white head. Retention lasted the entire drink (and it was 25 ounces) and sticky lacing left marks at every sip.
“To be honest, I was caught be surprise with the aroma. I was expecting it to be malt-forward, but instead got a huge yeast notes on top of a variety of spices, maybe some clove and coriander, on top of the chilli pepper. A little sweet malt comes through with some breadiness, followed by a touch of alcohol (6.80% ABV).
“The sweetness comes through earlier in the taste with some caramel malts. It’s quickly met with dark fruits (some cherry), a little pepper, and more belgian yeast. It finishes dry and crisp. Overall, a lot of nice flavors mixing around; good body, some nice spices, with a yeasty finish.”
Red ale, 6.8%
The Ridge, Harviestoun brewery
Sophie Atherton, beer writer and the current holder of Parliament’s Beer Sommelier of the Year award, recommended this beer from the Harviestoun brewery in Scotland writing on her blog, A Female View.
She said: “Named after the Mid-Atlantic ridge ‘where two tectonic plates meet at almost the midpoint between America and Scotland’ – the beer’s label declares it a US-style ale using the best of US (Amarillo) and British hops (not named).
“It poured a bright, lemony gold with a small white head. The aroma was quite disappointing as I was expecting a big, hoppy noseful but some vague but pleasing citrus aromas emerged. The beer had a delicious hoppy punch, a mixture of citrus and bitterness that put me in mind of sherbet lemons, balanced with a malty, biscuitty aftertaste which counteracted the hop kick making the beer incredibly drinkable.”
Pale ale, 5%
Broken Dial, Harviestoun
Also from the Harviestoun Brewery, Atherton said its Broken Dial amber ale was “clean-tasting” and “very drinkable” but that The Ridge had the edge.
She said: “Although clearly well-made and very drinkable beer I didn’t like this as much as The Ridge. A dark bronzey-amber colour with a loose bubbly white head, like the previous beer its very subtle mandarin orange aroma disappointed me when I was anticipating something akin to a grapefruit nasal spray. Clean-tasting and dry with an orange marmalade bitterness, there was sadly something about its malt flavours that turned me off. But to be fair there’s something about reddish beers and the malts used in them that I don’t like in combination with certain hops. I can’t be more precise than that about it right now – but when I can you’ll be first to know. Some people will love this beer – but I’m sticking with The Ridge.”
Amber ale, 4.5%
Centurion, Hillside Brewery
Matthew Horsley, writing on the UK’s Vinspire blog, recommended this “hearty” IPA which he called a “cracking drop”.
He said: “The nose is strong with instant kicks of wheat, beautifully fresh hops and an underlying note of citrus. In the glass is it bright copper with plenty of fizz and a nice thick head. Even though I followed the note on the bottle ‘pour gently’ you’re still getting plenty of froth. Something I like to refer to as a ‘tash-tickler’ with my current face fluff. So far so good. On the palate the first thing I notice is the body and weight of this beer. There is plenty of substance which isn’t particularly surprising given the strength (7%). The second is the hops. Jam packed full of them giving it a really smooth almost savoury taste that is followed up with that tangy citrus fruit found on the nose. Sharp, bitter, dry and full. Just what you want in a hearty IPA.The finish is long and flavoursome. Although you can taste the alcohol, the weight of flavour and mouth-feel far outweigh it which is very impressive. A real standard bearer.Cracking drop. But more than 2 and you’d be a bit like Russell Crowe at the end of Gladiator. Pretty ****ed.”
American IPA, 7%
Eighteen Weizenbock, Weyerbacher Brewing Co., Easton, Pennsylvania
Todd Haefer, writing at usatoday.com, tried the Weyerbacher Brewing Company’s Eighteen which he said stood out for its richness and “creamy mouthfeel”.
He said: “Eighteen makes bold use of its bock addition, as its brown color indicates upon pouring. The familiar weiss aromas of banana and cloves were immediately apparent. It didn’t have the huge head associated with the weiss style, but this attribute is common to most high-alcohol beers. The flavor is delicious with a lot going on. It does taste like a doppelbock, with caramel and chocolate notes, and some date flavor. But then you also get the character of the banana-fruity weiss with some vanilla and honey character.
“As flavorful as Eighteen was, however, what really stood out was the richness of its body. It’s like the difference between super-fine chocolates such as Lindt or Scharffen Berger and mass-produced chocolates with their cardboard-flavored background. Another bonus is the creamy mouthfeel.”
Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout, Belching Beaver Brewery, California
Brandon Hernández, writing for the San Diego Reader, picked this unusually named Belching Beaver peanut butter milk stout which he said pairs perfectly with sweet foods, given its similarities to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – one of America’s favourite confections.
He said: “Dark, sweet, and nutty, the brew comes in at 5.3% alcohol-by-volume. It has a creamy mouthfeel brought on by the addition of rolled oats as well as lactose. The latter is where the milk stout style gets its name. Roasted malts impart a nice cocoa flavor that creates a chocolate milk profile. Throw in peanut powder — a substance made by pressing the oils from peanuts, then dehydrating and pulverizing the remaining solids — and you’re left with something that’s very much akin to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
“Encapsulating the taste elements of one of America’s favorite confections makes this not only the perfect beer for pairing with sweet items, but also an ideal ingredient for dessert dishes. That said, it’s pretty filling and quite satisfying as a dessert all by itself.”
Milk stout, 5.3%
Amish Mash, Great Heck Brewery, Yorkshire
Michael Bates, beer expert from the House of Trembling Madness in York, recommended this beer from the Great Heck Brewery in Yorkshire which he said was a “fantastic, crisp ale”, writing for The York Post.
He said: “Amish Mash, pun clearly intended, is not brewed to a traditionally Amish recipe, rather it’s a bit of a mish-mash between styles. It could broadly be called a hopfenweiße or similar, only a lot lighter in body; it’s a wheat beer, liberally hopped with American and new-world cultivars. The result is that this pale gold beer pours with a rich fluffy head, bursting with a bone-dry grapefruit and pine-needle aroma.
“The body isn’t as heavy as some wheat beers can be, nor is it as heavily carbonated, rather the mouth feel is pitched just right, making this easily drinkable. Toasted sunflower seeds and tangerine peel play off against a dry, earthy bitterness, with a touch of fennel seed and coriander in the finish. The malt really is the backing dancer here; more a vehicle for the hops, but like their Citra, Great Heck’s wheaty pale ale is extremely light and refreshing. Everything told, it’s a fantastic, crisp ale at the stronger end of session abv, and it’s fantastic.”
Three Floyd’s Man-O-Awe, Munster, Indiana
Finally, Jason Baldacci, writing for the Chicagoist.com, picked out this monster of a Munster ale which he said was “hoppy yet balanced”.
He said: “Man-O-Awe is an American Pale Ale from the darlings of Munster, (and pretty much the entire craft beer industry), Three Floyds Brewing Co. It pours an enticing copper-orange, and you can pick up aromas of fresh cut grass from at least a foot away. On the palate those grassy notes turn to lemongrass up front, with a burst of juicy citrus in the middle and a pop of fresh herbs on the finish. There’s a hint of malty sweetness, but just enough to balance the bitterness of the hops and make sure that this one doesn’t come across as over the top. Three Floyds brewed this beer with hops that were grown in Michigan, so we’d be lying if we told you this one wasn’t hop-forward, but like most of Three Floyd’s offerings, Man-O-Awe is hoppy yet balanced. At 6% alcohol content, you can afford to knock back a big bottle all by yourself.”
American pale ale, 6%