Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. From light lagers to hoppy IPAs, there is a beer out there for everyone. While classic beers like pilsners, stouts, and ales are always a safe bet, it’s worth exploring some of the more unique and lesser-known beer styles on your next trip. Here are seven unique beers you need to try on your next adventure.
Gruit is a classic, time-honored form of beer that was produced for a very long length of time before hops were ever incorporated in the recipe for the beer. Gruit is a style that has been passed down from generation to generation. Gruit is not produced with hops; rather, it is created using a wide variety of herbs, spices, and other botanicals, including heather, yarrow, and mugwort. Hops are not utilized in the manufacturing of gruit.
Hops are not utilized in any way during the brewing process of beer at all. Because of this, the beer has a subtle flavor profile, with overtones of earthiness and just a touch of sweetness here and there. In addition, the beer has a complex appearance. Gruit is produced in a variety of European countries, some of which include Belgium, Germany, and Scotland, to name just a few of those countries that produce gruit.
You will have the chance to try a beer that has a history that spans hundreds of years when you attend the Gruit Day Festival in Amsterdam. The festival takes place every year. This is an event that should not be skipped. If you go to this event, you will have the chance to sample gruit beers from all over the world, and the number of these beers could reach into the hundreds.
Sour beers are a unique beer style that has gained popularity in recent years. As the name suggests, sour beers have a tart, acidic taste, which is achieved through a process of wild fermentation. Sour beers can be brewed in many different styles, including sours ales, lambics, and Berliner weisses. These beers are a perfect choice for those who enjoy a more tangy, fruity taste. If you’re a fan of sour beers, check out the Cascade Brewing Barrel House in Portland, Oregon, which specializes in sour beer brewing.
Rauchbier, or “smoked beer,” is a beer style that originated in Bamberg, Germany. The beer is brewed with smoked malt, which gives it a distinct smoky flavor and aroma. This beer is perfect for those who enjoy a smoky, savory taste, and is a great pairing for grilled meats and barbeque. If you’re interested in trying rauchbier, head to the Schlenkerla Brewery in Bamberg, which has been brewing smoked beer since the 14th century.
Fruit beers are a beer style that is brewed with fresh fruit or fruit extracts. These beers can be brewed in many different styles, including wheat beers, ales, and sour beers. Fruit beers are perfect for those who enjoy a sweeter, fruitier taste and are a great choice for summer sipping. If you’re interested in trying fruit beers, head to the New Glarus Brewing Company in Wisconsin, which is known for their fruit-infused beers.
Farmhouse ales are a beer style that originated in the farmhouses of Belgium and France. These beers are typically brewed with wild yeast and fermented at warmer temperatures, which gives them a distinct fruity, spicy taste. Farmhouse ales can be brewed in many different styles, including saison and biere de garde. These beers are perfect for those who enjoy a complex, earthy flavor profile. If you’re interested in trying farmhouse ales, head to the Brasserie Dupont in Belgium, which is known for their traditional saison beer.
Kolsch is a beer style that originated in Cologne, Germany. It is a light, crisp beer with a subtle fruitiness and a clean finish. Kolsch is traditionally served in small, cylindrical glasses, and is perfect for those who enjoy a light, refreshing beer. If you’re interested in trying Kolsch, head to the Früh brewery in Cologne, which has been brewing Kolsch since 1904.
Eisbock is a beer style that originated in Germany. It is a strong beer that is made by freezing a dopplebock (a stronger, darker lager) and removing the ice, which concentrates the alcohol and flavor. This gives the beer a rich, malty flavor with a higher alcohol content than traditional dopplebocks. Eisbock is perfect for those who enjoy a strong, warming beer, and is a great choice for colder weather. If you’re interested in trying Eisbock, head to the Kulmbacher Brewery in Kulmbach, Germany, which is known for their eisbock beer.
There are many unique and lesser-known beer styles that are worth exploring on your next trip. From ancient gruit to smoky rauchbier, fruity fruit beers to complex farmhouse ales, there is a beer out there for every taste preference. So why not step outside your comfort zone and try something new? You may just discover a new favorite beer style