World Beers in your Local
World Beers in your Local
Britain has a strong history of brewing and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to beer. As a nation we’ve brewed alcohol, imported alcohol, sold alcohol, cooked with alcohol, enjoyed alcohol, we’ve taxed it and the term tee-total was even created by an English man. Right now, we’re experiencing something of a renaissance of beer. In fact, the whole beverage world is. Look at how the Gin industry continues to boom, or how the demand for coffee is becoming unsustainable. Interest in food and drink continues to spike.
Across the world, CAMRA continues to go from strength to strength. They are no longer seen as a set of anorak wearing blokes, sat in the corner with beards and itchy jumpers. Worldwide membership is about 188,000 members and very diverse. Although there are probably a few members with beards and dodgy knitwear, they are playing a vital role in UK culture, the pub trade, and community life.
In recent years, the craft beer movement has meant brands like ‘BrewDog’ are now firmly in the mainstream. Customers are actively chasing down craft lagers, porters and IPA’s from across the world that range from pleasantly interesting, to downright different, odd and unusual. However, don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Beer Sommelier or hold any formal qualifications to joy beer, although, there are beer and cider courses available if that is something that interests you. You can still just sup and enjoy your beer in peace. You don’t need to over complicate it.
Furthermore, it’s easy to get blindsided, and duped into thinking that some of the more mainstream beers aren’t that exciting or are bland when really, this isn’t the case. They are just popular, or mainstream, with big marketing budgets to match. There’s a reason why they are popular. Take Guinness for example. It has a large, dedicated following, but some people say it’s ‘too thick’ or ‘filling’. Sometimes this is just an assumption, or a cliché embedded into the public psyche, and they haven’t even tried it. Yet has anyone ever called Guinness boring? No, of course they haven’t.
So with that in mind, let’s talk about lagers from across the globe. You’ll probably know these highly recognisable brands but taste a little deeper and you can find a pint, really worth enjoying.
Peroni – Italy
Peroni is a very popular premium lager with a lot of history. Peroni Brewery was founded in Vigevano, Italy by Francesco Peroni in 1846. Unlike many lagers in the UK, Peroni is imported from Italy as it’s only brewed in Rome, Bari and Padova. The blue ribboned ‘Nastro Azzurro’ is instantly recognizable to most people and is the most popular Italian lager outside of Italy. Nastro Azzurro is a pleasant, golden hay colour with a strong aroma and malty sweetness that is very easy to drink. In fact, in 2010 it was the 13th most popular lager in the UK. Great as a pint on a summer’s day and even better alongside fish and chips.
Some people are known to be able to taste the subtle difference between the breweries output too.
Peroni also offer a 5.1% gluten-free lager in 330ml bottles.
Tiger – Singapore
A highly drinkable lager from Asia that sits on the sweeter side of the beer spectrum. Tiger beer was launched in 1932 after Heineken and Fraser & Neave had joined forces in a business venture and was Singapore’s first locally brewed beer. It has a stronger ABV than its rival Cobra, but don’t let it put you off, it is very easy drinking and enjoyable if you like a light feeling beer.
Great with a curry or spices such as a sweet chili sauce.
Cobra – India (sort of)
Ok, so not as Asian as you might expect, Cobra has its headquarters in Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire, where it’s brewed to this day. Although originally brewed in India, production of Cobra Beer was moved to the UK in the mid 90’s due to mounting costs. Founded in 1989 by a Cambridge law graduate, Karan Bilimoria wanted to give the British market a lager that was ‘less gassy and not too heavy with food’. Although not as strong as Tiger, Cobra has a richer, malty taste that lingers long after your first sip and offers great mouth feel and depth.
Again, great with a curry or salty bar snacks like pork scratchings. Although our personal favourite is a pickled egg. A good, underrated beer.
Grolsch – Netherlands
Grolsch is the second largest brewer in the Netherlands after Heineken. Founded in 1615, Grolsch has long, proud history and despite changing owners a few times, is still brewed in the Netherlands. The green bottle with its swing top and ornate design is very recognisable and a popular feature, although we offer it on Draught. The taste is dry and bitter but extremely drinkable. A very typical Dutch brew, it’s easy to see why it is so popular.
Brilliant to drink by itself or equally suited to a burger or hearty food.
Staropramen – Czech Republic
For a long time in the noughties, the Czech Republic was lauded as having the best beer in the world, and with good reason. Remember the buzz around Budvar? Czech Budweiser. It’s easy to see why. It’s one of the best lagers in the world and we sell it in 330ml bottles.
Unlike Budvar, we offer Staropramen on draught. Steeped in rich history and brewing tradition, Staropramen was founded in Prague, in 1869 and literally translates as ‘Old Spring’. The beer itself is very highly rated and offers a great golden colour and delicate floral aromas. There is a hoppy crispiness on the palate that can taste peppery, the malt is pleasing and succulent, a highly drinkable lager.
Have with classic pub food or enjoy with a packet of crisps in front of the football or around a darts board. Staropramen is a great beer if you want something a little less obvious.
San Miguel – Philippines
Go on, admit it, you thought it was Spanish! Well, you’re half right. The truth is that around 1890, a group of Spaniards opened the first brewery in Southeast Asia. The brewery produced a range of beers and products under the name ‘San Miguel’. In the 1950s the company expanded across the world, firstly into Spain and Europe and then into Africa.
A very popular beer, the brand is still widely drank and one of our best sellers. A gorgeous golden brown with a good frothy head, San Miguel also has a strong malty aroma that leads to a crisp finish and some bitterness. A highly rated beer, worthy of its popular status.
Particularly good with Mexican food like chili con carne or spiced chicken.
As we said, there’s a reason why these beers appear to be everywhere; they are popular, and with good reason. Think of it like this. Why do you see so many guitarists in bands using the same model Fenders or Gibson guitars? It’s because they are workhorses and do what they set out to do. The same can be said about beer.
If you’re interested in finding out more about alcoholic beverages, then please read our blog post about constructing a Wine List.