I decided to delve a little further into the beerscape that I am now a part of. I have been acquiring a growing appreciation for beer over the last few years and have found it to be an increasingly intriguing subject. There are many ways to approach the beer topic…we could get into the technicalities on differences between ales and lagers (as well as their derivatives) or we could instead go from country to country sampling different brews… on the other hand we could also walk the pairing route and discuss which beers pair well with certain dishes.
A stash of international beers has been sitting in a dark cool corner of my bedroom waiting for me to get thirsty. It dawned on me that it might be the perfect thing to do for this month´s Our Growing Edge hosted by Marija from Palachinka. For those of you wondering, the title was meant as a double pun in reference to both beer and Genie, the creator of Our Growing Edge.
Some of the beers I tried solo, others with a meal…all of them were new to me. I do not want to behave like a beer snob so I have decided to just share my thoughts on flavors, which ones I liked and why.
I stopped by a local chinese shop and picked up a Japanese red ale and a Japanese stout. The red ale wasboasted a beautiful auburn hue with a lovely caramel aroma. Very easy to drink and quite tasty with the herring canapes I made. Sipping it during a warm bubble bath only added to the experience. I had never heard of Japanese stouts, but was wonderfully surprised. Malty and rich, the Echigo stout was quite nice. I did a little research and discovered that Echigo is an old province in northern Japan that has since been renamed.
My list of beers to sample also included two that are quite well-known elsewhere but new on the Costa Rican market: Samuel Adams and Paulaner. Both beers were mild but easily forgotten next to the other ones. I recently read that Germany, known for its extensive selection and strong beer culture, is drinking less beer per annum than usual. On that note, I tasted DAB lager, Schnitzer Bräu, Warsteiner Premium Verum and Warsteiner Premium Dunkel. I preferred the Dunkel out of the 4.
Schnitzer Bräu is worth mentioning for its organic and gluten-free qualities. It is made with millet malt. I was not wowed by the beer, butit was interesting and very different. For those of you looking to buff up on beer lingo, dunkel is a style of German lager. The Warsteiner Dunkel was smooth with a nice body and depth to it. The dark tone of the beer made me feel like a brooding poet lost in the depths of a glass searching for inspiration. I appreciate culinary experiences that transport or transform. Needless to say I enjoyed it very much.
I am a big fan of a local artisan brewery that goes by the name of Costa Rica Craft Brewing Company (if you follow my blog the name might ring a bell). Their new seasonal ale, 450, is an unfiltered wheat brew that combines the citrus of their Libertas golden ale with the malty tones of the Segua. Very tasty and good with pretty much anything on the menu at Costa Rica Beer Factory.
A local beer aficionado has a facebook page called the Birroteca. He brings in different beers on a monthly basis and if you shell out $30 you can try 3 new brews. I purchased some from Oskar Blues brewery, located ambiguously in Colorado and North Carolina. My Birroteca package included Dale´s Pale Ale, Mama´s Little Yella Pils and Old Chub Scottish Ale. I also purchased a package of Yankee beers hailing from Brooklyn. Although I am partial to anything southern I have to say New York hit this one out of the park. Instant love for the Sixpoint brewery when I noticed the statue of liberty barcode… I am a sucker for clever details.
All three beers were great but for different reasons. Resin was an intense experience. It is made with hops resin and from the second I popped the can my senses went into overdrive. I would not say it was my favorite and I would have liked a smaller can, it was a bit overwhelming by itself. It would be a doozy to pair, but it was a beer I think every brew lover should sample at least once. 3Beans is made with romano beans, cacao and coffee. The result is a dark, complex and seductive ale. By far my favorite was the Bengali Tiger, if it were up to me I would keep a 6 pack in the fridge at all times. Delicious and full of character, I loved the pine reminiscent bouquet, it lingered on my palate and left me thirsty for more. Bengali Tiger is now among my favorite 10 beers.
So that is my recap of new beers this month. There are still a few in my bedroom corner, so there may be another post in the works but for now its toodle-loo and cheers!
Until next time…