Welcome to Kovol Blog’s first food and drink article
When we decided to write a food and drink article, we had to ask ourselves just how much do we know about food and drink, and is it enough to write about? With this in mind — along with the experience of the writer — the outcome is quite sobering; the long story short is that the first article (and quite possibly the last)… is about beer.
Ale, stout, lager, pilsner, porter, IPA, wheat, rye… to name but a few, are some of the main types of beer. In actual fact, there are thought to be well over 100 different types of beer around the world, with many regional craft beers going under the mainstream radar. With this in mind, it’s worth noting there are many kinds of beer most people haven’t tried. People like to stick to what they know they like, to stay in their comfort zone. Have you ever tried an oatmeal stout, a Trappist ale or a traditional English bitter?
Much of the classification of beer is determined by color, flavor, strength, ingredients, production method, recipe, history, and/or origin. While virtually all beers consist of the same main ingredients — grain, hops, yeast and water — there are variations in the type of grain used, whilst it is mostly barley, some beer producers use wheat and rye, and there are even dark stouts fermented with oats. The main ingredient of beer is of course water, and surprisingly, some breweries consider it the most important ingredient in beer, as the water chemistry can strongly influence the final taste. These breweries will ensure the water they use is of a suitable quality, and some even add calcium sulphate to the water which helps bring out the flavor of the hops, or magnesium sulphate that enhances other flavors in the beer.
A beer of unique origin that is becoming more sought after, is Trappist, which is brewed under the supervision of Trappist monks (a monastic Catholic order) in their monasteries. There are only fourteen monasteries producing Trappist beer worldwide, and the label is assigned by the International Trappist Association. The breweries operating in these monasteries run to strict rules, and brewing production must come second to the main activities of the monastery. In addition, they cannot be run solely as a commercial venture, and profits made must be reinvested into the monastic community or charitable projects. In many cases, this beer is only available locally or at the monastery itself.
But beer is not only brewed from grain and hops. There are a large range of specialty beers, and some of these include, honey beer, fruit beer, smoked beer, vegetable beer, and herb and spiced beer.
When it comes to beer drinkers, we can assume that the majority of people know exactly the type of malty beverage they like to drink. But there must be dozens of beers that most people have never tried before. So, remain open-minded and next time you’re in the booze aisle of your local store or grocery shopping online, pick up (or add to cart) a bottle/can or two of something you’ve never tried. It might just become your new favorite.
So with that said, let’s take look at some top-rated beers from both at home and abroad, you may or may not know. If you’re interested in ordering any of these beers, all are available to buy online at Drizly. Cheers.
Capella Porter is named after a bright star in the Auriga Constellation—the sixth brightest star in the night sky. A medium-bodied porter, it imparts sweet dark flavors of chocolate and caramel, accompanied by malty aromas with hints of roast. It’s a lively porter due to the four different types of hops used to brew it. ABV 5.2%
This California-based India Pale Ale is a juicy unfiltered beer that is canned raw straight from the brewing vats, allowing for it’s unadulterated hoppy flavor with moderate bitterness that accents a fruity and creamy mouthfeel. ABV 6.7%
When it comes to oatmeal stouts, they don’t come much smoother than Velvet Merkin, and this decadent bourbon barrel-aged oatmeal stout is overflowing with dark aromas of chocolate, espresso, bourbon and vanilla. It’s drinkability has been noted among reviewers who like its balanced and firm taste. ABV 8.5%
Westmalle Tripel hails from Belgium where it’s production is overseen by Trappist monks. It’s a clear, golden yellow Trappist beer that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle. A complex beer with a fruity aroma and nice nuanced hop scent, it is soft and creamy in the mouth, with a bitter touch carried by the fruity aroma. ABV 9.5%
Boddingtons Pub Ale is a smooth and creamy traditional English Pale Ale with 4.7% alcohol by volume (ABV). A refreshing beer that’s been enjoyed by beer drinkers in England for over 200 years. It pours amber in color and features a long-lasting dense creamy head. The taste, as with the aroma is malty with hints of sweetness and gentle bitterness in aftertaste.
Pilnser Urquell — a triple-decocted malt — meaning the mash has been heated in 3 stages, is a beer that’s full of flavor with a refreshing taste and a thick smooth head. It’s crisp with subtle caramel tones and a satisfying bitterness. Brewed the same way since 1842 from 100% Czech ingredients, it claims to be the world’s first pale lager. ABV 4.4%
This classic Bavarian lager is a long-stored, full-bodied beer that has a long secondary fermentation for a hoppy finish with an overall crisp and smooth taste. It’s clear gold in color and pours a small head with minor retention. It has been described as slightly creamy with lemony, floral and earthy notes. ABV 5.2%
Hop Rod is a rye beer brewed by Bear Republic Brewing Co. It’s brewed with 18% rye malt and this 8% ABV IPA is bursting with hop aroma, subtle caramel notes with earthy and spicy rye character.
A deliciously crisp wheat ale with a clean taste, it features complex overtones of citrus and other fruity aromas. In addition to the beer producing a big impact on the palette, this beer is also helping marine restoration efforts in Chesapeake Bay. ABV 5.0%
A Mexican lager that is second only to Corona Extra as the most imported beer in the US, Modelo Especial has broad appeal and is characterized as a full-flavored Pilsner-style lager that delivers a crisp, refreshing taste. This well-balanced beer has a light hop character with a clean and crisp taste that’s great with food. ABV 5.0%
Beer is essentially any alcoholic beverage fermented from grain. This is a very open definition and that is why the choice of beers available seems almost endless. The popularity of craft beer has soared in recent years. How do these beers differ from mainstream offerings? I went into a specialist beer store a few months back and it was just wall to wall of fridges full of beer. So many brands I had never even heard of or seen before. There must have been hundreds of different beers on offer from around the world. Very few of them were the mainstream brands you see in the supermarket, although Corona Extra was a notable exception. Some of these beers were not cheap either, with prices closer to what you might pay for a vintage wine, and even some with an alcohol content higher than you would get in a spirit!
So what are the kinds of beers that interest you most? Let us know in the comments! And in addition, if you have tried any of the above beers, please share what you think about them.
The Kovol Blog Team