Whoever said they don’t like beer is wrong.
They do like beer they just haven’t drank enough to know any better. This may sound counter-intuitive. But saying you don’t like beer is like saying you don’t like cheesecake. The thing is, you probably do like cheese-cake, you just haven’t tried really good cheese-cake, because there are thousands of cheese-cake recipes, and you will probably like one of them. So don’t write-off cheese-cake (or beer) if you haven’t tried many different types of cheese-cake, because your bound to find one you like, and be kicking yourself for ever thinking that cheese-cake wasn’t for you. It is. Cheesecake is for everyone, just like beer.
Even my mom said she doesn’t like beer. But this isn’t true. I introduced her to a beer called Fruli, and she liked it. So she does like beer. Fruli is definitely on the fruitier side of the beer-spectrum, but not everyone can appreciate a nice dark stout. If your mom says she doesn’t like beer, introduce her to a Fruli. She might like it.
If you knew what kind of beer you like, you won ‘t be able to say you don’t like beer. It’s just a matter of easing the doubters into the range of flavours that exist in the beer world. There are thousands of different breweries, and every brewery makes a different beer, so you’re bound to like one of them.
Unless you’re a beer traditionalist, and believe in the “German Beer Purity Law” of reinheitsgebot. This law states that the only ingredients that can be used in the production of beer are water, barley, and hops (Note that this was before the discovery of yeast and the role that this tiny living organism plays in the fermentation of beer-- thank you Louis Pasteur!). So right from the beginning the purity law was flawed. But at least people aren’t starving on the street because brewers are using up all the grains and barley needed to make bread affordable! Why limit yourself to only four ingredients when the original reason for the law of beer-purity has long since out-lived its’ usefulness?
How to convince someone that yes, they actually do like beer: walk into the Lick-bow (LCBO), or a beer store with a specialty beer section, and choose a selection of different types of beers, either at random, or by whatever happens to catch your eye.
These are the beers I bought tonight: Fruli (a 4.1% strawberry Belgian White beer), Mort Subite Kriek (another Belgian, cherry beer), Maple Bock (a 6.5% beer from Oakville Ontario, brewed with maple syrup), Innis & Gunn Original (6.6% Oak-aged Scottish beer), Cochonette (8.5% Belgian Amber Ale), and X.0. Beer (an 8% French beer, made with Cognac!)
Chill them in your freezer for half an hour, and serve them cold.
In a glass!
Sample the different types of beers you’ve bought, covering the range from ales, to lagers, to stouts; amber-beers, brown-beers, cream-beers, dark beers, light beers, fruit beers, pale ales, pilsners and wheat. Share each beer with someone else so you only get a taste, and if you don’t like something, you won’t have to drink much of it. If you do, you’ll be left wanting more.
And, you’ll know what to get next time!
Fruli is a delicious, sweet beer that tastes more like fruit-juice or pop, made with real strawberry juice, it also has a hint of sourness like a sour beer. For info on sour beers click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sour_beer.
Kriek is even better because it isn’t as sweet as Fruli, it has an even stronger sour flavour, and the more subtle and complex taste of cherries. Mmm. I wouldn’t recommend getting drunk on either beverage (the sugar content would probably give you a killer hang-over, or is that a myth?), but either one makes a nice break from your run-of-the-mill beers.
Maple Bock, is a darker, malty, satisfyingly caramel-flavoured maple-syrup beer (which is very Canadian), and brewed in Oakville Ontario by the Trafalgar Brewing Company.
Innis & Gunn is probably one of the more neutral/accessible beers that I’ve tried tonight, although it is still interesting enough not to be boring. It is aged in oak casks like many wines, it provides a delicious hickory-smoky-scotch flavour, (other beers made by Innis & Gunn actually include Scotch in their recipe), and the carbonation-- (are beers carbonated? Or is that just the yeast? Why are they so bubbly? Is that where soft drinks get their bubbles? It never really occurred to me until now).
Please excuse my drunken ramblings. I think I’m getting more verbose the more I write/drink (I’m beer-tasting as I write to record my first impressions): Apparently beer is naturally carbonated when it is prematurely sealed inside a container with carbon dioxide, produced by the yeast as a by-product, either in a cask, or in a bottle, or added artificially (I just consulted Google). I found the info here:
Back to my rambling:
Innis and gunn is slightly hoppy, like a thorny evergreen tree (just taste the beer if you want to know), and has a pleasing carbonation.
Cochonette is an 8.5% Belgian amber ale; it is an odd beer with a heady, fruity-sour mixture of flavours that are coherent because the flavours hang together, although admittedly odd; a compendium of sweet, strong, and vinegar sourdough.
X.0. Beer, “la biere forte au Cognac,” is an 8% French beer made with Cognac, which is a type of Brandy that is made from distilling wine and is sometimes aged in oak casks. X.0. has the flavours of wood and cherry (but not a sweet cherry), and the honey a bee would make from the fermented pop-can soda left baking in the noonday sun, or the honey extracted from the queen bee called, royal jelly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_jelly.
I think my writing has changed the more beer I drink. Has my analysis of the flavours become more or less accurate, or maybe just less inhibited?
Anyway, enjoy your evening of beer-tasting. And your cheese-cake.
Written by Nathan Adler for World Beer Collection