World Beer Week aims to see the public increase their knowledge and branch out with their beers. With 70 craft breweries in London alone, beer has never been more popular, with countless new bars opening specifically marketing craft beers and real ales. In celebration of World Beer Week, we ask what is the right beer for you, and which London Breweries to enjoy a drink in.
When faced with such a vast selection of beverages, it is often difficult to make a decision of what may be best suited to your taste buds. Many bars have an extensive choice of draft and keg beers, both of which can be tasted as requested, to “try before you buy”. This will save disappointment of making the wrong decision, and allow you to compare if the decision is between a couple of options. Once you have found a beer on a tap, taking a photograph of the label or writing down the name will help you remember for next time.
If you prefer to take the plunge and try a can or bottle, a bartender may often ask you what beers you already like, if you are more partial to sweet or bitter, fruity or malty undertones.
Read the label: All cans and bottles will have a description of the type of beer- for example IPA, and will usually be accompanied by tasting notes, which will help give an understanding of the flavours within and also what food you could pair this with.
If in doubt, ask: staff are there to help, and can recommend you beers based on a beer you may have previously tried, or the characteristics you may like. If you are new to beers, try flights: many bars offer a tasting flight which is a more experimental experience and can build your knowledge when tasting.
Stick to similar styles in one sitting: depending on your alcohol tolerance, choosing to stay with one type of beer or at least a consistent ABV percentage may save you from nursing a sore head the following day. Of course, always drink responsibly, particularly during World Beer Week as warmer weather approaches. Stay hydrated by drinking water between drinks.
TYPES OF BEER
Beer is a universally enjoyed beverage, which can take form in many colours, flavours and made from a variety of different hops. There is indeed “a beer for everyone”, as the flavours can be so unique a least one would suit any palate. Knowing your beer, or the styles of beer, will help you when ordering.
Light, refreshing - Lager, Pilsner or Saison. These beers are particularly easy to drink, and are often a lower ABV of no more than 5%.
Crisp, delicate, bitter or fruity undertones - Pale Ale
Fuller, refreshing, citrusy and tangy - IPA, Citra hops
Sweet tones, more dense palate, easy to drink - Wheat beer
Darker beers with malty tones, sweet and bitter notes - Amber, Red, Mahogany Ale
Very dark, chocolatey or coffee tones with bitter notes - Stout or Porter
These are just a few examples of what to look out for when tasting. Recognising the typical characteristics of ales in particular will help to build knowledge of what may suit your tastes.
As part of World Beer Week, the aim is to educate those less familiar with their beer, and to show what is available this summer. With the weather improving, beer gardens will be popular as ever, and enjoying a cold beer outside will be perfect for the upcoming festivities.
If you really want to make the most of the occasion, booking a beer tasting or brewery tour would be a fantastic day out to celebrate and get to know more about beers and some of the fabulous breweries that produce them.
Bars in the capital will stock world beers, brewed anywhere and everywhere. Try something local or branch out with a brand new beer from any country you could imagine!
Summer Favourites: Erdinger (Bavarian), Estrella Damm (Spanish), Einstock Pale Ale (Icelandic), Liefmans (German), Leffe (Belgian), Hitachino Nest (Japan), Brooklyn Lager (New York)
These are just some of many options across the capital to relax and enjoy some new favourites this World Beer Week. Try something new and encourage your friends to join you in expanding their tastes. Let us know what you’re drinking using the hashtag #worldbeerweek, and share your photographs. Cheers!