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When it comes to knowledge and consumption of beer, we expectedly tend to know more about what’s nearest to us geographically. But it’s also nice to learn about – and learn from – global beer innovations and traditions that differ from what we’re used to seeing in Canada and across North America.
Let’s begin our trip around the world!
First stop: Belgium
Belgium might not be the first country you think of when it comes to beer, but maybe it should be. Styles found here run the gamut from light lagers and ales to darker red & brown ales and stouts. One interesting tradition here is that cans are rarely used, and a large percentage of beer brands have uniquely designed and shaped bottles. Belgian beer culture has even been recognized by UNESCO.
Second stop: Germany
Like Belgium, Germany is famous for its beer culture. Oktoberfest has provided the rest of the world with some of the most iconic imagery coming out of the country. They take brewing so seriously, in fact, that it must be done according to the Reinheitsgebot, which permits only water, hops, and malt as ingredients in beer.
Last stop: Japan
Unlike the other three stops on our tour, Japan ranks very low on beer consumption per capita – 51st place, globally! But don’t let that fool you into thinking there’s any less emphasis on quality. Craft brewing has grown in popularity annually due to increased emphasis on craftsmanship, quality of ingredients, and distinct new flavours.
Here are some international brews you can try today:
A young lambic in which the raspberry filtrate is macerated. Powerful raspberry aromas. A complex taste of sweet and sour coming from the raspberries with a hint of caramel. It has a slightly tart finish
A unique, authentic Belgian wheat beer first brewed in 1445. Hoegaarden monks were the first to discover and experiment with flavouring wheat beer with orange peel and coriander. Naturally cloudy with a pale golden colour, followed by aromas and flavours of soft wheat, citrus, orange and coriander spice. Delicately creamy with a smooth crisp, clean finish.
Wernesgruner is a fine example of a German Pilsner, with its typically wonderful balance of grassy,earthy hops and grainy, bready malts in both the aroma and flavour. It is clean and crisp and packs a refreshing hop bitterness. This well carbonated beer has a dry, refreshing finish.
A light refreshing pilsner-style lager with floral aromas, slight notes of hops and mineral on the palate and a crisp, clean, hoppy finish.
Try: DAB LAGER 500ML
Inspired by the dry taste of Sake, with white bread sweetness balanced by light toasty maltiness, and mild grassy hop bitterness