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Thread: Foreign Beer. Is it all the same.

  1. #1
    I'll stay on me own Andy Ven's Avatar
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    Default Foreign Beer. Is it all the same.

    I've just returned from a long weekend in Spain quickly followed by a fortnight in Kos. I've just about had my fill of Amstel, Heineken and Mythos. (Tonight I've opened a Davenport's Fox's Nob to go with my balti). The closest I came to drinking something different was Erdinger Weissbier. The question I have is whether there are any decent beer offerings abroad?

    When I was in Australia 2 years ago I was surprised that Boag's in Northern Tassie did a decent amber ale while Cooper's Brewery did some dark ale, pale ale and stout as an alternative to the ubiquitous lagery drinks. Cooper's can be found in the UK.

    While I was away I read Pete Brown's Hops and Glory (excellent book) describing the development of IPA and attempts by the US to produce similar styles.

    I don't know much about Belgian beers or German beers so what I want to know is whether other countries produce the range and quality of ales etc to rival the UK and, if so, what is worth trying? (Who knows I might get onto Beers of Europe, based in Norfollk, to try to broaden my horizons)
    Waes hael!

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    I've literally just returned from Hungary, where I went to get some dental work done (great work, great surgery, about half the price compared to UK - and that includes flights, accommodation and food! AND all done and dusted in 3 days!!!)

    Ahem, I found a couple of lovely drinks. Gosser, and it's partner in crime Gosser Bock are delicious. (Austrian though incase you can't find them under 'hungarian beers). Soproni was another decent lager, with a crisp, slightly citrus taste.

    If you want something to have a look at on the web, which I found useful when first getting into 'different' drinks, click here
    *insert something clever/humorous/interesting here*

  3. #3
    Pussy Galore No 1 Oggwyn Trench's Avatar
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    The range and variety of Belgium beers makes our range of beers look pretty dull , Lambic , Gueze , Fruit beer , Saison , Red Ale , Brown Ale , Trappist Ale , Faro , Bierre de Guarde the list goes on and on , some like Lambic are fermented with wild yeast and can taste a bit strange .
    German beer is the same lots of variety , Bock , Double Bock , Altbier , Berliner Weiss , Weisbier , Dark lager , Kolsch as well as the more well known Lagers and Pilsners .

    Can i point you in the direction of the exellent book Michael Jacksons (no not that one) Beer Companion , it explains all the classic beer styles from around the world
    Theres a Man with a Mullet going Mad with a Mallet in Millets !

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    This Space For Hire gillhalfpint's Avatar
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    We spent 3 weeks on the Belgian coast, and tried 63 different Belgian beers in that time, using Tim Webb's Good Beer Guide of Belgium which is very good and easy to follow on the Belgian beer styles, and lists breweries with tasting notes. Superb!!

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    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Yes, Belgium is definitely the place to go in Western Europe if youíre going beer hunting. I have fond, although hazy, memories of a trip to Gent a couple of years ago. Be careful though as they can be deceptively strong and some, like Gueuze and other Lambic beers, can be rather sour which is an acquired taste. Iíll never forget my first taste of Rodenbach Grand Cru, I thought my head was about to explode. But after a while I became accustomed to it and managed to finish the bottle.

    The Czechís also brew so decent beers and there are a number of brewpubs in Prague. I remember a pleasant afternoon in the Klasteri Pivovar in the grounds of the Strahov Abbey alternating between their house light and dark brews.

    ĎProperí beer is also becoming more popular in the USA and they do produce some good ones. If you see any Rogue beers in your local supermarket they are worth a go, especially the Mocha Porter which I think is comparable to Youngs Double Chocolate Stout. Thereís also a white beer called Blue Moon that Iíve seen on draught over here a couple of times, just make sure they donít put a slice of orange in as that masks the taste.
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

  6. #6
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    There isn't exactly a whole world of beer styles out there, most of the world makes some sort of copy of Pilsner and that's about it. While these vary quite a bit they're still lagers ranging from good to pish. The honourable exceptions is that band stretching from Ireland through the UK, Northern France, Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic and maybe a bit beyond plus the USA, Austrailia, New Zealand and there is also a nacent craft beer scene in Italy. My favourites are the Belgians (practically any of them) German Weiss beers and Bocks, Coopers, American IPAs .... the list is a long one and I would recommend any beer lover to at least try a few bottles of the different styles. You may not like them all but you will probably find a few beers that will amaze and astound you. I'll think up a list of suggestions later when I'm not rushing out to the pub.

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    Pussy Galore No 1 Oggwyn Trench's Avatar
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    A few years ago a mate brought me some decent Milk Stout from Malta , better than Mackeson with morethan a hint of choclate
    Theres a Man with a Mullet going Mad with a Mallet in Millets !

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    This Space For Hire Rex_Rattus's Avatar
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    There are very few countries that do the range and complexity of beers that we enjoy in this country, and they have already been mentioned. The vast majority of countries produce some kind of lager style beer about which the best things that can be said are that they are wet, cold, and have a bit of alcohol in them.

    But there a few, and some very surprising, places that do produce some decent beers. India produces some excellent bottled beers once you venture beyond Kingfisher; I've had some decent stuff in Namibia where they still adhere to the German Rheinheitsgebot purity laws; and the one bottled beer (Beerlao) produced in Laos is far better than the average foreign stuff. But the most surprising place I've encountered decent beer abroad was in Outer Mongolia where I visited a sort of Mongolian bierkeller run by a German and and a Mongolian, where they had installed a microbrewery producing something called Khanbrau. And a rich full-bodied beer it was too. Mind you my expectations for beer quality in Ulaan Baatar weren't high so may be that coloured my judgement a bit, but it was definitely a darned sight better than anything else I had had in East Asia! So, not all foreign countries are a brewing wasteland, just the vast majority of them.

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    Roving RAT ROBCamra's Avatar
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    Visited Funchal in Madeira two years ago and was surprised and overjoyed to find a brew pub on the marina.

    They even brewed a dark beer which was excellent after all that lager.
    A pub is for life not just for Christmas

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    This Space For Hire Rex_Rattus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROBCamra View Post
    Visited Funchal in Madeira two years ago and was surprised and overjoyed to find a brew pub on the marina.

    They even brewed a dark beer which was excellent after all that lager.
    That reminds me - I encountered The Hammerhead brewpub on the marina on Grand Cayman last year.

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