Beer transformed from being solely a cheap alcoholic beverage suitable for men and students to a more fancy, flavourful drink marketed to a larger group of people – including women. Me, a woman who fancies beer a lot, would therefore like to share my favourite beers of last winter and enlighten you with the trends to be expected for the coming year.
Favourite Winter Beer #1
This beer is a Belgian Strong Golden Ale. It has an alcoholic percentage of 8.5% and it has a warm taste with hints of vanilla. As the beer is oaked, it has this nice woody taste – making this beer unique. One of my new favourites! (Tip: at Kadinsky in Tilburg, they have this beer available on draft!:)). Fun fact: This beer is being brewed in honour of a knight in the 11th century, Salomon de Maldeghem.
Favourite Winter Beer #2
This Belgian Tripel is chosen as “Best Tripel of the World” by the World Beer Cup and World Beer Awards 2018 (Beerwulf, 2018), and it happens to be one of my favourites as well! The beer is recognized by its crisp, fruity aroma and rounded flavour – including hints of citrus, roses, bananas and red apples… The interesting flavour pattern makes this Tripel of 8.8% ABV special! Interestingly, this beer was introduced just 2 years ago but it is already widely known in Belgium and the Netherlands. Hint… try yours at Anvers in Tilburg.
Favourite Winter Beer #3
La Chouffe N’Ice
This beer is definitely my favourite beer when it comes to beers which are particularly designed for winter. Chouffe N’Ice is a strong (10% ABV), brown unfiltered beer available from mid-October until mid-February. It is spicy with hints of thyme and curaçao, including some caramel to sweeten the taste. Good one for those of us not being fan of bitter beers!
#1 Sour Beer
Some beer experts and sommeliers expect that 2019 will be the year of the Sour Beer (Beerwulf, 2018). Sour Beer is a Belgian beer and uses spontaneous or wild yeast, which makes the beer sour. Sometimes, also bacteria are added to make the beer sour. The beers are mostly sweetened with fruit or candy sugar or wood-aged to balance out the sourness. Beer styles which are known for their sourness are Lambic, Flanders, American wild ale, Gose and Berliner Weisse.
Fun fact: even though the concept of “sour beer” is not well known and it is not available everywhere, it is the oldest type of beer in history (Vinepair, 2017).
#2 No & Low Alcohol
Non-alcoholic and beers low in alcohol are a trend we already saw in 2018 and lives on in 2019. If you are a fervent beer shopper, you probably noticed the change in the beer shelves in the supermarket: this new category was added and enlarged. Beer becomes more of a drink that is not only suited for drinking during dinner or at parties, but also for drinking during the day or when you are driving. The variation in these beers is becoming larger and larger, with different types of tastes and styles.
Fun fact: some breweries are marketing these beers as “Sport Beers”, whereas others call them “Naked” or “Virgin”.
#3 Food Pairing
Food pairing has been done with wine for decades, but with beer it is quite new and not common in restaurants and bars. Expected for 2019 is that restaurants and bars are going to include a beer pairing tip next to their wine pairing tip in their menus, or even starting to serve menus specially designed to combine with beers. Already in 2018, a lot of Beer Festivals were introduced and this amount is expected to grow in 2019 also – but here it is also expected that these festivals will start to evolve more towards beer-food pairing and cooking with beer.