Culture: Don't get the beer blues
Ahh, the summer holidays; basking in the sun, a dip in the pool, strolling around town, enjoying the local food and a cool, refreshing beer to go with it.
Whether it’s abroad or here in England, you can’t beat it. Quality time to recharge those batteries that previously left you feeling drained and tired. But this joyful time usually comes to an end. All you’re left with is a huge pile of dirty laundry and those fond memories of a fun time, great food and beers. At least, that’s my experience!
Trying the local food and drink always ranks pretty high on my ‘to do’ list on holiday. And if you do, it’ll be likely you encounter beers that are not commonly available from your local supermarket. So that’s why we like to do things a bit different at Beautiful Beers and offer people the opportunity to experience that great feeling once again. After the children return to school I always get a large number of people asking for a particular beer they have had on holiday. It always gives me great pleasure if we can locate them and provide a little happiness to customers, following those inevitable ‘holiday blues’ in late August. So here are a few beers that you may have come across on your recent travels:
Hertog Jan Pilsner, The Netherlands, 5% ABV
This pure, clean lager style beer from the south part of The Netherlands is brewed with natural spring water. The Dutch don’t like too much bitterness in their beers so this is a scrumptious lager which is likely to appeal to female drinkers too.
Grimbergen Rouge, Belgium, 6% ABV
Hugely popular in France and mainly brewed for that part of the world, it’s almost impossible to get it elsewhere. A malty, light brown ale brewed with red fruits such as strawberries and cranberries. Light and refreshing to drink.
Berliner Kindl Weisse, Germany, 3% ABV
A bit of an unusual beer and only one of two beers that was allowed to be brewed outside the ‘Reinheitsgebot’ or Purity Laws in Germany. This low ABV, kettle soured beer is great on hot summer’s days and hugely refreshing. A wheat beer with natural sharpness, similar to lemon.
Verdant Headband Pale Ale, Falmouth, England, 5.5% ABV
On a recent holiday to Dorset and Devon I had this stupendous beer in a small pub. Blown away by the juicy hoppiness and the low bitterness, I just had to have another pint. . . On my return I made sure this great beer was available in the shop, as are other Verdant beers.
Delirium Tremens, Belgium, 8.5% ABV
The Belgians have a great sense of humour and brewing. Not quite as scary as the name suggests but a wonderful, full flavoured blonde beer with an ever-so-easy-going taste. Beware of the strength though!
So, don’t let those blues put a dampener on your return from holiday and experience the same at home. Enjoy, but drink sensibly.
René van den Oort is owner of Beautiful Beers
1b St John’s Street
Bury St Edmunds