Beer is one of the world’s oldest and most beloved beverages, adored by people from various cultures. Its rich history and diverse types of style make it the perfect subject of exploration. The world of beer is filled with a diverse range of favours and a vibrant culture that brings together beer enthusiasts in their journey of discovering delightful brews.
The Art of Brewing
Brewing beer is a centuries-old tradition that has art, science and rich aromas behind it. This tradition combines malt, water and yeast to create one of the most adored and drunk beverages in the world. From the first time beer was invented until today, there have been many brewing styles and each style has its roots in the country of the region of its origin, and some of those beers are known worldwide. Some of the most famous countries include Germany, Belgium, England and the Czech Republic although the USA and lately Australia have joined the club.
Lately, people have also started brewing and crafting beer in their homes, going to show just how beloved beer is. So, why do people drink beer? Since it’s one of the oldest beverages and people seem to enjoy it nowadays more than ever, this question can be answered by saying that beer is so different and versatile that there is a type of beer for every single person who wants to try it. It is delicious and it helps us relax.
The Different Types of Beer
As mentioned, each brewing style is different and so many different types of beers have emerged. Every brewery has its style, and therefore we have a wide range of beers to choose from, depending on what we went in a beer. The main difference between beers is the type of yeast and the way it is fermented.
Ale is a general category of beer and its subcategories include brown ale or pale ales. As mentioned before, the difference between all of these different types of beer is the temperature.
- Brown Ale – If you are looking for something with a little different flavour, try the brown ale. These beers can be nuttier with caramel or chocolate flavour.
- Pale Ale – Pale ale is the middle ground when it comes to beers, it’s not as heavy as other beers, and yet still full-flavoured. There are many options you can choose from when it comes to pale ale – from American Ale to Indian Ale – this variety is a staple in Melbourne beer bars.
- Stouts – The darkest beer is the stout beer. They are made from deeply roasted malts, but their many variations are dry stouts, sweet stouts or milk stouts, so there is a variation for every beer enthusiast.
- Wheat Beer – This type of beer has a significant amount of wheat in it. It is often light, slightly tangy, and effervescent, making it a popular choice for warm weather.
Probably the most consumed type of beer is lager, known for its refreshing qualities. They are fermented at a cooler temperature. This technique of brewing includes many styles of beer, from dark to pale, from sweet to bitter, so there’s lager beer for everyone.
- Pilsner – Pilsner is a type of lager which is characterized by its golden colour and balanced sweetness.
- Helles – This type of lager is slightly maltier than Pilsners and isn’t as sweet as the pilsner. It is characterised by low bitterness and alcohol levels.
- Bock – If you like your beer with an added kick this is the one for you since its alcohol levels are a bit higher.
- Dunkel – Another type of beer, that is made from roasted malts and added flavours such as nuts, bread and coffee. The bitterness in this beer, as well as the alcohol levels, are pretty low, so if you’re looking to just enjoy the taste, this beer is your new friend.
Pairing Beer with Food
Now that we have seen some of the beer types, it is time to discuss how we can pair them with food to enhance both the drinking and dining experience. While most people prefer to pair fancy dishes with wine and think of beer as a bar-type of beverage, that should only be paired with food like burgers, it shouldn’t always be the case. Pairing the right type of beer with the right type of meal can lead to a delicious meal. When combining beer and food you should do whatever you feel is right for you.
Delicate dishes go best with delicate beers and by this logic, strong beers go best with flavoured foods. So consider pairing light beers like pilsners with salads, seafood or even chicken. Havier, darker beers go best with roasts. That way neither the beer nor the food dominates each other and the meal would be perfect.
However, if you want to spice things up, try combining things that contrast each other, because as people say opposites attract and you might be surprised how good oysters taste when combined with stout beer.
Cleanse the Palate
Now, something you don’t want your beer and food to complement each other, you just want to cleanse your palate with the beer.
For example, when drinking a beer that is high in bitterness, a food that is a little oily right through it. According to Melbourne beer enthusiasts, having a nice IPA while watching a rugby match and enjoying a nice burger is the best.
Beer and Desserts
For some people, this combination doesn’t sit right with them however, when these two are paired properly it can make all the difference.
The same rules go for desserts as with main courses, you can either pair two complementing flavours or contrasting ones, depending on what you want. So, for example, consider combining stout beer with a nice chocolate cake, or a pilsner with any fruit-based dessert.
The realm of beer is very big and exploring all the types of beer there are is a great adventure. Whether you’re new in this world, or you have been a part of it for years, there is always something new for you to explore and discover. What brings bigger joy is that you can expand your love of beer by combining it with your favourite dish so that you can enjoy both of your favourite things and discover new flavour combinations. Go ahead and combine these two worlds into a bigger and better one. Cheers.