A new year, new beers to try!
I know this is a little late, please forgive me, but I didn’t have access to my blogging toolkit while on holidays!
Are you like me, can’t be bothered with making another New Years resolution to lose weight, quit something that is bad for you, or be better at something you really know you should be?
If so, don’t do it, don’t get sucked in to the hype. Instead, have some fun with it and maybe try one of my suggested New Beer Resolutions…read on!
Fresh Is Best
When we were younger and had less cash to spend on good beer, one of my best mates mentioned that he had received a carton of the local mainstream drop from his father in law that was out of date by 12 or so months…and he drank it all. It was “fine” he said…but who wants to drink “fine” beer…not me.
Resolve to: Check your Best Before dates on your beer, and if it’s not fresh, chuck it out! Seek out local breweries that are serving beers that may be fresh out of the tanks and taste the difference…fresh really is best.
Side note: The exception to the rule is when you are “cellaring” a beer to see how it tastes later. I would probably suggest you only really do this dark or malt driven beers, as hops kinda lose their punch after a while. I’m currently cellaring a few bottles of the fantastic Return of The Dread from Little Creatures…can’t wait to try it again next Winter.
Pick Up Something New
It’s so easy these days to chase a cheap price on a beer that you drink all the time…but variety is the spice of life. If you have been drinking the same old lager, or “Lo-carb” beer for ages, switch it up a little next time you visit the bottle shop. I am not trying to turn your beer drinking world upside down, but more just suggesting that there is more to beer than “draught”, and you might enjoy the difference.
Side note: I remember when my restaurant dining world was altered when I was introduced to Indian food…I was dragged along to this little hole in the wall Indian restaurant called MY2K (why that name? I don’t know) and was introduced to the joys of Naan Bread, Butter Chicken, Burrah Kebabs and Lamb Korma…I have never looked back!
Resolve to: Pick up a six pack, or a few single bottles, of something a little different next time you are at the bottle-o. If you are a mainstream lager drinker, pick up something with a “little more” in it like a Kolsch, a Summer Ale, or a lighter Pale Ale and see where your taste buds take you. If you are one of those drinkers that are afraid of dark beers, try a Brown Ale, a Porter, or even a Guinness and be delighted by how refreshing these beers are and realise they aren’t so scary. Or if you enjoy some hops, challenge yourself with an American Pale Ale are enjoy the hoppy aromas and the refreshing bitterness this style of brew offers.
Drink your beer properly
We have been trained for many years to drink our favourite lager ice cold directly from the can or bottle, but that’s not really the best way to get the most out of your beer. Tipping a beer into a glass to get all the aromas, allowing a dark beer to warm up to make the most of the malty flavours, or get down to your local brewery to experience the beer as it was meant to be…fresh!
Resolve to: buy a nice beer glass that will allow you to experience all of the aromas that the brewer has infused into your beer…you won’t regret it!
Side note: If you are after some great beer glasses, you should check out Craft’d or Spiegelau. I have the IPA glass and a couple of others that really help in giving your nose a great big helping of hop aroma as you take a sip…they are worth it!
Tell Her About It
Wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, bit on the side…whomever the significant female is in your life, introduce them to the wonders of beer. So often we see women being scared of beer because of the bitterness, but there are so many low bitterness options on the market that you can pretty much find one that won’t offend even the fussiest non-beer lover.
Resolve to: Share your beer with that woman in your life…but make sure it is the right beer to be sharing with them. Something like the beers I spoke about in this post would be a great option.
Try the Beer & Food Matching thing
For most of the beers that I review on this site, I like to suggest a food dish that I think goes really well with it. Sometimes they are absolute winners, other times they might miss the mark, it’s really a personal thing…what you think goes well with a beer might be totally opposite to what I like to eat with it. It’s all about the 3 C’s when it comes to food matching, Compliment, Contrast, and Cut.
Compliment: Enhance the flavour of the beer or food to get a double hit…something like an Amber ale with Char Grilled steak…the caramel and roasty malt flavours enhance the caramelised and charred outer edges of the steak.
Contrast: Pair opposing flavours and aromas with this one, like sweet with sour so as to balance each other out and create a new taste sensation. A classic pairing is a bitter and chocolatey Stout with the briny sweetness of Oysters.
Cut: Take contrast to the extreme here…drink a bitter IPA with a curry to allow the intense flavours to mix together and compete, while the malt helps to cut through the heat.
Resolve to: try a new beer and food match…take a look at this site for some ideas and let your imagination run wild!
On holiday? Schedule in a brewery visit!
What better way to immerse yourself in the craft beer culture than visit where the magic happens and talk to the brewer who has lovingly crafted the brew about to pass your lips. There are so many new breweries popping up all over the world, if you do a little bit of that Googling thing you might just find that here is a cool little brewery in the city you are planning to visit that would love nothing more than hosting your tour party for a few brews, some good conversation and a great time.
Resolve to: Google the local area where you plan to take your next holiday to see if there is a brewery nearby…if there is, visit them! If you are in Sydney, check out Daves Brewery Tours for some fun!
Share your thoughts
If you are on social media, you can easily share your thoughts about anything, so why not tell people about the beer you are drinking? It doesn’t matter if it is a weird and wonderful brew brewed by monks in the hills of some remote village, or the Pale Ale from your local craft brewery…heck, even share your thoughts on the mass produced lager you drink all the time, it’s all good.
You might find that others share your enthusiasm and you can start a meaningful conversation about beer…or you could take it to the next level and write full articles each week in the hope that one day it will be more than a hobby and you will be flown first class to brewery openings world wide to offer your opinion and share it with your millions of social media followers (I can dream, can’t I?).
Resolve to: Take a picture of the beer you are drinking and share it on your favourite social media site. Talk about the colour, smell and the taste of the beer, how it feels in your mouth and what the after taste is…talk about times where you have drunk that beer previously and the fond memories it evokes for you.
Side Side Note: While it’s great to take photos of your beers and post your thoughts…do the anti-social typing and posting bit after you have finished your sampling session. I hate seeing people in pubs constantly tapping away on their phones and not engaging with their friends who are right there with them! Live in the moment and enjoy the experience, the company, the session, there and then…then re-live it it later via your social media post!
Share my thoughts!
Resolve to: Like my Facebook page or check out my YoutTube channel. You can sign up for email notifications here , leave me a comment to let me know how I am going, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and maybe even re-tweet some of my stuff…it all helps!
Cheers to New Beer Resolutions!